I think I'm a Latino

Anthony Pignataro: That’s right, folks, it looks like I’m actually a Latino. I never knew this before today, but the evidence looks pretty solid. It comes straight from  state Senator Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles,  in the form of an e-mail he just sent on behalf of Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial fundraising arm:

“Yesterday, I joined Latino leaders from across California, including State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, and LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, to annouce our support for Jerry Brown’s campaign for Governor,” Cedillo wrote in the July 9 e-mail.

My first thought after reading that was, Garcetti’s a Latino?! I always thought he was an Italian (which constitutes most of my heritage as well). So does this mean Frank Sinatra and Sylvester Stallone are also Latinos?

But now as I read over that rather clumsy sentence another time, I’m not so sure. I mean, that comma after “Florez” and then again after “Garcetti” might be indicating that Cedillo is separating out Garcetti from the “Latino leaders” he has joined. But if that’s the case, why just name Florez?

I mean, Cedillo clearly says he met with “leaders” — which is plural. That’s like me saying I have pictures of all sorts of dead presidents in my wallet, including George Washington. Does that really tell you a lot about my financial situation?

Reading over the sentence a third time, I just noticed that Cedillo used “and” instead of “as well as” after he mentioned Florez. “And” implies that he met with Latino Leader #1 (Florez) AND THEN Latino Leader #2 (Garcetti). To be really clear, if he met with a group of “Latino leaders” in addition to Garcetti — say, they were all sitting around a table at some swanky LA cafe and then Garcetti happened to walk by and pledge his support for Candidate Brown — then the way to phrase that would have been something like:

Yesterday, I joined Latino leaders from across California, including State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, AS WELL AS LA City Council President Eric Garcetti blah blah blah…

Well, glad that’s all straightened out.

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  1. David
    David 9 July, 2010, 12:28

    Eric Garcetti’s Wikipedia page says his father is of Italian and Mexican descent. Unless you have information to the contrary, I think you owe him an apology for your ridiculous diatribe.

    Reply this comment
  2. Anthony Pignataro
    Anthony Pignataro 9 July, 2010, 13:07

    So yeah, looks like Garcetti is a Latino after all. Just saw an LA Times article from July 2000 that calls Garcetti’s Mexican heritage the “best-kept secret in town.”

    But I have to apologize? For what? Calling him an Italian? Hey buddy, I just found out that I’m actually an Italian. What do you have against Italians?

    -Anthony Pignataro

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  3. John Seiler
    John Seiler 10 July, 2010, 08:16

    My ancestors lived in the Holy Roman German Empire back when it was run by “Carlos I de España y V del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico” (for you Anglos, that’s “Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman German Empire”). So I’m a Latino, too.

    I certainly am NOT an “Anglo,” having no English ancestors at all.

    Link: http://www.diomedes.com/carlosV.htm

    Reply this comment
  4. David
    David 10 July, 2010, 12:39

    You should apologize for indicating that Garcetti and/or Cedillo were lying about Garcetti having Latino heritage. You weren’t insulting them by saying he was Italian. You were insulting them by suggesting they were lying. And by not even checking before you posted the attack.

    Reply this comment
  5. Anthony Pignataro
    Anthony Pignataro 10 July, 2010, 23:22

    David: I’m sorry, but I wrote what?! An “attack” that was “indicating” that Garcetti and/or Cedillo were “lying” about someone’s heritage? Wow — you are what we in journalistic circles call a “tough crowd.” See, what I was actually writing was a satirical little blog post about how I did not know that Garcetti was Latino (the Italian last name threw me — call it an honest mistake). That’s it. That you interpreted that piece as being an attack says, I think, a lot more about your lack of, I don’t know, anything resembling a sense of humor than about my skills at writing jokes (though I’d rather not get into a debate about the later…).

    Anyway, yeah, um, thanks for reading us and for taking the time to comment. If you like, please e-mail us your address and we’ll send you a fancy — and useful! — official CalWatchdog keychain, which has a nifty little flashlight for finding lost keys or, in a pinch, even more subtle items like sarcasm.


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  6. David
    David 11 July, 2010, 19:44

    Thanks for your courtesy and good humor in responding. I understand that you were writing sarcastically. The problem is that your sarcasm was based on the mistaken premise that Garcetti is not Latino. Since he is, there’s no basis for the sarcasm, and the article makes no sense. I’m all for comedy, and the bleak political scene needs more of it. It just needs to be based in reality.

    Thanks for the keychain offer.

    Reply this comment
  7. John Seiler
    John Seiler 11 July, 2010, 20:37

    David is too sensitive. In a multicultural society, the only way we can get along is if we tolerate one another’s differences, and allow at least some level of humor about them. Would we be better off if Don Rickles shut up? I don’t think so.

    The real problem is that government keeps labeling us and dividing us. That way, government can act as “mediator” by increasing its own power — with consequent increases in pay and perks and pensions. Even the words “Latino” and “Hispanic” are government creations. When I was in school in the 1960s and early 1970s, we had Mexican kids in our classes in a Michigan suburb. But they weren’t treated any different from the other kids. They weren’t even called “Mexican Americans.” They were just Americans whose ancestors happened to be Mexican, much as other kids’ ancestors were Irish, German, Jewish, English, Italian, etc.

    As Rodney King pleaded, “Can’t we all just get along?” Yes — let’s all get along and get the dividing government out of our lives.

    Reply this comment
  8. Randy
    Randy 12 July, 2010, 12:15

    I think the point that David was making was that author was making a comment that since the subject of the article had an Italian surname, that that the author also had an Italian surname, that that must make him a Latino. However, the facts were never checked and the subject turns out to have a Latin bloodline. I don’t want to speak for David but my point is that there is too much of this “snarky” journalism that really turns off the electorate. I have come here to get fact based information. It’s clear that my decision to do so was not based upon my gathering the facts to the point of understanding the mission of this blog. To that end, I will be discontinuing my subscription until I learn more.

    Randy Evans
    Visalia, CA

    Reply this comment
  9. Curtis Walker
    Curtis Walker 3 January, 2011, 02:00

    Yea, what Randy Evans posted.

    Reply this comment

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