August 12, 2019

How Robert O’Rourke Became ‘Beto’
A  great deal of controversy has continued the past few days over Robert Francis O’Rourke’s longtime use of a nickname given to him at birth (albeit temporarily jettisoned while in prep school) — especially in the wake of his recent sensational and unfounded charges that Donald Trump is directly responsible for the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and that white supremacy defines America, past and present, and explains Trump’s culpability.The point of the amused contention is not that O’Rourke was given such a nickname at or near birth. Rather, the controversy is over his continued use of the sobriquet for cynical political advantage in a somewhat related manner to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s longtime false cultural appropriation of a Native American identity for careerist purposes. After all, we live in a progressive era in which “cultural appropriation” is a mortal sin and non-minority university students are routinely chastised for wearing clothing or hairstyles associated with minority groups or appearing in dramas playing the roles of characters of a different ethnic background.According to the Dallas Morning News, a quite prescient senior O’Rourke once explained why he had given the shortened form of the Spanish “Roberto” to his son as a nickname. And he seemed to imply that such naming was for political reasons in addition to avoiding confusing young Robert with his maternal grandfather of the same first name:> In the backdrop of the city's multicultural community, his father, Pat O'Rourke, a consummate politician, once explained why he nicknamed his son Beto: Nicknames are common in Mexico and along the border, and if he ever ran for office in El Paso, the odds of being elected in this mostly Mexican-American city were far greater with a name like Beto than Robert Francis O'Rourke.While congressman and would-be Senator Beto apparently found the Hispanic nickname advantageous in some ways in local and statewide Texas races (ironically, sometimes in contests opposed to those of authentic Latino ancestries), his continued use of Beto suggests that he thinks it also resonates, at the least, an empathy for assumed marginalized peoples, and at the most offers some confusion to less well-informed voters over whether he is in fact Latino himself.Add in the fact that Beto is also a child of both inherited and maritally acquired wealth and what he would call “white privilege” that likely kept him as a sometimes reckless youth out of jail on one occasion for a serious crime. Thus, in a bizarre way, the misleading nickname offers some concrete authenticity to his chronic resentment of the very privilege he has for so long enjoyed.Certainly, a number of Hispanic politicians and opinion writers have chided Beto for cynically giving incomplete impressions to voters — that he might be ethnically as well as linguistically Latino. Again, one could cite cruder efforts at gaining some sort of political or careerist traction in the minority misrepresentations of Senator Warren, Ward Churchill, or Rachel Dolezal. Warren, after all, who makes the same sort of serial allegations of dominant and endemic white supremacy that Beto does, did not choose to assume a false Finnish or Irish identity to propel her legal and academic career, although, given her appearance, it would have been an easier distortion.But why his nickname is again in the news and additionally matters is because Beto himself is on record recently of damning Trump as a white nationalist and a racist who is responsible for the El Paso shootings. According to Beto, Trump apparently seeks to resonate with kindred white supremacists. Beto additionally goes further in damning the United States as essentially governed by ideas of white supremacy both now and in its past. But again, Beto is no longer running a local congressional or even a Texas-wide race. He has far transcended the clairvoyant predictions of his father that the nickname would come in handy in the anticipated borderland politics of southern Texas.Rather, Beto seems to think that the current and continued Hispanicizing of his nomenclature (remember, at times Beto has dropped his nickname) will pay dividends in a national race. Yet according to his own logic, it should not, given his prior denunciations that America is incurably racist.Given that all politicians entertain a degree of cynicism and opportunism, if we truly lived in a culture of white supremacy, we would more likely see candidates fabricating European dog-whistle names and identities than the sad efforts of a Churchill, Dolezal, O’Rourke, or Warren. And in fact, in a far different America of the past, many minority celebrities and politicians did assume Anglicized names on their unfortunately all-too-accurate assumption that too many white racists would ostracize them for their minority status.Yet the opposite linguistic dynamic has been in play for some time. A young and politically ambitious Obama brilliantly understood that political reality when, in a twist to authenticity, he ceased going by his teenage nickname Barry and reverted to his actual birth name, Barack.In terms of linguistic contortions or just simply adaptations, the force of compound names, accent marks, and ethnic sobriquets is to suggest perceived difference from, not homogeneity with, the majority population — to the extent that, in a racially intermarried and assimilated population, anyone’s ethnic heritage is clear.In other words, O’Rourke’s use of Beto seems ipso facto to suggest that he privately believes in general that Americans of all backgrounds (including a supposed 70 percent white electorate) either do not care whether a candidate is so-called white or, more likely, are intrigued by or admire those who are not — again, sort of refuting Beto’s entire premise of an intolerant and all-powerful white-supremacist society.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Variety Launches Variety Intelligence Platform: VIP
April 03, 2020
lESKUjXQvDs
Everything You Need to Know About the Media Business
April 03, 2020
GBtW6QubDxM
Viola Davis on 'How to Get Away With Murder' - Variety After-Show
April 03, 2020
XnU1gziXJoc
Channing Tatum & Jessie J Have Split Again | E! News
April 04, 2020
6r7WdAH482U
Meghan Markle's TV & Film Roles Through The Years | E! News
April 04, 2020
-dGynC0Qtc8
"What a Girl Wants" With Amanda Bynes: Rewind | E! News
April 04, 2020
NP9sv0OMphM
L.A. Beachgoers & Hikers Hit the Sand, Trails Despite Beach Closures | TMZ
April 04, 2020
JtcY523mXRE
Squirrels Take Over Park in Santa Monica During California Lockdown | TMZ
April 05, 2020
Gimfz-GC1js
British Actor Adam Bond Says UK's Coronavirus Policy is Dangerous | TMZ
April 04, 2020
OqPaMfiJ_cg
Nikki and Brie Bella take us inside their closets, talk pregnancy style | Page Six Celebrity News
April 01, 2020
T9art86o6FI
Jeannie Mai and Jeezy get 'Real' about post-pandemic plans | Page Six Celebrity News
April 03, 2020
sofzhfS1By0
Is ‘Bigger’ better? BET+ sex scene review | Page Six Celebrity News
April 01, 2020
1XBLbXU1rPQ
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Inter Milan
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Manchester City
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Everton
08
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Genoa
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Sociedad
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.