He creates a complicated problem for me. It has a lot to do with race. As the news reports more misstatements, inaccurate statements, potential lies, probable lies, and outright lies I feel more and more embarrassed.
The less competent he looks the worse I feel it reflects on me. He’s currently the highest ranking Latino in the U.S. government. The fact that he’s a Latino has fortunately not been mentioned in the press except in the context that everyone has been great about not mentioning race when they talk about how incompetent he is.
This is one of the weird ways racism works. I’m both relieved and troubled that race has not been mentioned. Hopefully it’s not mentioned because it’s not a relevant to the fact that he can’t do his job. But I worry that it’s not mentioned because it’s what all the white people are thinking about him.
I know that’s a piece of stereotyping, but b/c I don’t know what big chunks of the white population are thinking, I worry that it might be the worst.
Now, as a Latino, on top of worrying about how the white people are thinking about Alberto Gonzales, I worry how much they associate him with me. I’m one of the few Latino lawyers in Oregon. I’m bound to be associated with him. I didn’t go to Harvard and don’t have a fancy job but it still concerns me.
This is the interesting way that racism currently works. I have a fear that is probably semi rational, but I have no way of verifying how rational it is and I’m suspicious that I’m being judged by his actions.
There’s an old joke, “What do you call a Mexican in a suit?”
Most attorneys of color I’ve talked to have mentioned at least one experience in court where they were mistaken for the defendant. As Alberto becomes more and more like a defendant I feel like he’s undercut the advances everyone of color have achieved.
He’s someone I’m in no way associated with except for some skin color, and he embarrasses me.
White people aren’t embarrassed about being associated with Bush.