December 27, 2020

MRS. ALEC BALDWIN MORPHED INTO ROBERT “BETO” O’ROURKE SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Cultural Appropriation Alert: Alec Baldwin’s Wife Torched for Faking Spanish Accent and Heritage, Megan Fox writes at PJM:

Hilaria Baldwin is married to Alec Baldwin, the mouthy star who does a terrible impression of Donald Trump for Saturday Night Live. Hilaria, or Hillary Hayward Thomas as she was known growing up in Boston, is on the receiving end of internet sleuths who seem to be out to cancel her for faking a Spanish accent and lying about where she was born. Page Six has the story.

Hilaria Baldwin has been forced to defend her fluctuating Spanish accent — and admitted that her name is “Hillary.”

The wife of Alec Baldwin took to Instagram Sunday morning after a Twitter storm erupted following a tweet which read: “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.”

Baldwin’s own bio on her agency’s speakers site states that she was born on the island of Mallorca, Spain, and raised in Boston. Her 2016 interview with Hola! magazine also stated: “Hilaria, who was born in Spain, has made certain to raise her children with her native language, Spanish.”

During TV appearances, she has spoken with a pronounced Spanish accent, and on one occasion during a cooking segment she even seemingly forgot the English word for “cucumber.”

Here’s an [NBC] video of her with a strong accent describing married life, and another of her “forgetting” how to say cucumber.

More here: Unpacking the Drama Around Hilaria Baldwin’s Accent.

Which is actually true: Baldwin’s family — at least her parents, Dr. Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas — do live in Mallorca, and per Page Six, have since 2011. But before that, they appeared to have lived in Massachusetts. Our Twitter sleuth dug up the following footage of Kathryn Hayward (“formerly an internist at the Massachusetts General Hospital,” per what looks like her website) speaking about her upbringing in Longmeadow, as well as Baldwin’s paternal grandfather’s obituary, which states that the Thomas “family presence in … Vermont pre-dated the American Revolution.” Baldwin’s grandfather’s professional travel to Argentina reportedly inspired his children to “become proficient in the Spanish language.”

* * * * * * * *

But Baldwin’s parents do not appear to have been Spanish, and the Cambridge School of Weston (a private high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts) names Hilaria Baldwin as an alumnus, which would suggest that she lived in the U.S. prior to turning 19. According to people who claim to have gone to school with Baldwin — some of whom, per Page Six, have tweeted that she was “fully a white girl from Cambridge” and “did not have her current accent” at that time — attest that Baldwin used to go by a different name: Hillary.

Earlier this year, Jonah Goldberg explored the concept of “Binaries For Me, Spectrums For Thee:”

At some point in the future people will look back at how the left made two contradictory arguments at the same time. When it comes to sexual identity, the word has gone forth to oppose “artificial” categories, “false binaries,” etc. People can define themselves sexually without any regard to medical science, never mind tradition or political or cultural orthodoxy. I’ve lost count of how many genders there are now. Just last week, CNN was so scared of using the word “women” it tweeted that “Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 …”

Meanwhile, when it comes to race, it’s all about new artificial categories and enforced binaries. White people who pretend they’re black are committing theft. Heck, white people who cook non-white food or pay homage to non-white art forms are committing theft. Cultural appropriation is evil. But gender appropriation is something to be celebrated. Biological males can collect all the women’s track and field awards and that’s fine. But don’t you dare wear dreadlocks if you’re not black?

That’s just weird. But these are weird times.

The person who apparently outed Hillary Baldwin’s “cultural appropriation” tweeted:

“Grift” is an interesting choice of word, considering the trans-racialism and “cultural fluidity” of several recent Democratic Party presidential candidates. In 2019, Victor Davis Hanson explained “How Robert O’Rourke Became ‘Beto:’”

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.

Which may also explain a bit of what’s driving Alec Baldwin’s hardman shtick over his wife being outed as an apparent “cultural appropriator,” given his role over the last four years or so of playing President Trump on Saturday Night Live:

As Megan Fox asks at the first link, “Why anyone would try to pull off this hoax in the age of the internet, I have no idea. It seems so dumb to even try, yet plenty of people do it. Remember Rachel Dolezal? Or Jessica Krug? There’s no getting away with faking your heritage in 2020… I do enjoy, however, the fact that the race imposters are always ideologically far-left, even making a living on the race-obsessed culture in America. Race imposters are never conservatives. It’s always the fringe kook left that does things like this. Why isn’t anyone asking why? Has there ever been a conservative person who impersonated another race in order to be liked or to be more acceptable to their community? Who are the true racists in this country?”

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