Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney: Hispanic

Because of religious geography former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is Hispanic.  Romney's Hispanic heritage is rooted in religious migration and revolution.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (Salt Lake City Mormons) began establishing colonies in Mexico during the 1870s.  These colonies were to serve as a fall back point in case the United States government tried to aggressively crush polygamy.  Mormon President Brigham Young, who brought his band of Mormons to what is now Utah to escape outside forces against the faith, realized the American West was closing and Mormon de facto independence was about to end.  The Romney family, a leading family in Mormonism, were among the Mormon Mexico pioneers.  Eventually the Salt Lake City Mormon church abandoned and suppressed polygamy but the colonies continued to grow.

Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, was born in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907.  George's father, Gaskell Romney, was a Mormon colonizer who settled in 1885.  George's maternal grandfather, Helaman Pratt, was one of the first Mormon missionaries in Mexico and became a Mormon colonizer in 1876.  Mexico at the time did not allow dual citizenship and thus forced the Romneys to choose between Mexican and American citizenship.  They chose American citizenship.


View Larger Map
The American Public Land Survey System, grid system, is seen as an import by Mormon colonizers

In 1912 raiding and the threat of Mexican Revolution spillover forced most of the Romneys and many, but not all, Mormon colonial families to flee to the United States.  George was able to integrate into the United States and eventual become Governor of Michigan.  His son Mitt was born in 1947 in Michigan.

So how is Mitt Romney Hispanic?  The 2010 United States Census states

"The terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" refer to persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish speaking Central and South America countries, and other Spanish cultures. Origin can be considered as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race."

Nothing in the definition says Hispanics have to speak Spanish.  This allows many Mesoamerican Indians in the remote parts of Central America to be classified as Hispanic as well as Paraguayan Mennonites.  The fact that race does not matter allows Middle and South American Indians, Mestizos, pure blood Spanish-Americans, European South Americans, and Black Dominicans all to claim to be Hispanic.  All this allows the Romney-Pratt family to be of Hispanic heritage.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you insane? Romney's "roots" go back to whatever part of Europe they came. Mormon missionaries who chose to remain Americans and spoke English are not Hispanic. Please don't insult us real Hispanics.

Catholicgauze said...

Anonymous,
So what is a Hispanic then? Is Pope Francis Hispanic? What about some of my Mexican friends who have had family there since the 1600s but not a drop of Indian blood in them (like many former Mexican presidents)? What about an Afro-Cubano friend of mine who may have a drop of Spaniard blood in him but not Indian? Mestizos do not have a monopoly on Hispanics.