A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, January 05, 2009

What's in a name?

Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico, has gallantly decided not to accept President-elect Obama's invitation to be Secretary for Commerce. This is because of an investigation over business dealings, in which Richardson denies any wrongdoing. Obama would have had two former challengers in his cabinet.

The thing that got me over this story is the fact that journalists love to describe Richardson as "an Hispanic politician" as if his name doesn't fit with his background. Obama's been through the ancestry mill, with the press hotfooting it to Kenya to seek out his aged grandmother as if to make a point or two. Richardson also follows in a similar vein.

All the time Bill Richardson was running for president, I never really bothered to think of him other than Bill Richardson. The name sounds very English and therefore very Yankee. In fact, Richardson is only a small part Yankee. He owes that to his paternal grandfather only. All his other immediate ancesters are of Spanish or Mexican background.

So in his case, Richardson could claim to be far more Hispanic than Obama could in claiming to be African. But does it matter? I don't think so at all. There's a chap running the Russian gas business called Mr.Miller. He sounds very Russian to me. A cursory glass at the Amsterdam telephone directory will show all manner of English names, but the vast majority of these are not ex-pats but everyday Dutch folk, just with English monickers!

We are all the result of who our parents met, but we are not our parents. If Obama's African grandmother is to be consulted on all major issues by the press, it will detract from his own abilities and talents. We are hopefully judged by our own views and actions, and not those of our ancestors.


Post a Comment