Conan the genealogist

Not being satisfied with fame and fortune as the result of being a bodybuilding legend, action hero, movie icon, and California state political phenomenon, Arnold Schwarzenegger is currently looking to add “genealogist” to his repertoire.

About a month ago, recorded conversations were released wherein the California governor attempted to establish the hereditary roots of State Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia in the following fashion: unsure of her exact origin, yet concluding she was Hispanic, Schwarzenegger observes (and please apply stiff Austrian accent for better effect) that “they are very hot (referring to temperament). They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood .”

With no formal education and/or training in genetics, cultural anthropology, or even history, the aging Terminator star is professing to be able to decipher the ethnic make-up of fellow politicians. Shortly after the release of the abovementioned recorded statements, and no doubt at the insistence of one of his political advisors, Arnold appeared publicly and apologized, just like he had done when it was rumored that he had acted in a sexist manner to dozens of women in his movie hay-day.

What did you expect? It doesn’t take a brilliant politician to remember that California was founded by Mexicans, having one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country, and that California big cities, like Los Angeles, boasts heavy voting registration by African-Americans. Regardless, I have always felt that politics, for the most part, is serious business and therefore should be handled by serious people. The State of California seems to feel that it is more important to be entertained than properly represented by its leaders. My only hope is that the people of California wise up and vote Arnold out of the governor’s mansion and into the starring role in Terminator IV: Revenge of the Slighted Minorities – or as it would appear with Spanish subtitles, “Hasta La Vista, Arnold.”

Octavio Ramos is a doctoral candidate and graduate teaching assistant in the history department. He may be contacted at