Friday, September 08, 2006

Hot Blooded or Hot Water?

Everyone's favorite un-PC Governor has caused a stir with tape-recorded remarks about Cubans and Puerto Ricans.

As reported by the AP,

The statements were captured on a six-minute tape made during a March 3 speechwriting session between Schwarzenegger and his advisers. On it, Schwarzenegger and chief of staff Susan Kennedy speak affectionately of state Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and speculate about her nationality.

"I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

It is important to note that Garcia herself, a fellow Republican to Schwarzenegger, claims she is not at all offended by the comments,
Garcia, who is Puerto Rican, appeared with Schwarzenegger on Friday and said she was not offended by the governor's comments. Garcia earlier told the Times that she often calls herself a "hot-blooded Latina."
It is also important to note that with the exception of Schwarzenegger's opponent in November's election, Phil Angelides, the Democratic response appears muted.

What do I think?

There are certainly a lot of factors to consider.

As I previously mentioned, Arnold is certainly not the most "politically correct" person ever. Then again, he doesn't make a lot of bones about it.

That being said, consider the issue at hand. While it may very well be politically motivated, Garcia says she is not offended by the comments. Indeed, I can say from personal experience that many Latinos - Puerto Rican, Cuban, or otherwise - consider themselves "firey" or "hot blooded". On the other hand, the governor's specific remarks did not limit themselves to Garcia nor the people who approve, and there likely are Latinos who are offended.

Let's look at one more thing. As an American of Austrian heritage, Arnold has often been stereotyped racially. Now from what I've seen, when such stereotypes are made in jest, he appears to take them as such. On the other hand, having been stereotyped, he should be more sensitive to the harm such comments can cause.

I submit that as usual, there is no black-and-white answer. As a result, I invite you to share your views.

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