In coverage of Robert “Beto” Francis O’Rourke’s official kick off of his 2020 presidential bid on Sunday, the Associated Press furthered the narrative that he’s Hispanic when it declared that he often spoke to the El Paso, Texas, crowd in “his native Spanish.”
Nowhere in the article does it say his full (real) name, nor does the author mention his Irish-American roots. Instead, we get this:
Which has since been edited to remove the “native” part. Whoops.
Bounding onto a makeshift El Paso stage in a blue button-down shirt to The Clash’s “Clampdown,” O’Rourke declared: “We are safe, not despite the fact that we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers. We are safe because we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers.”
“We have learned not to fear our differences, but to respect and embrace them,” he told a crowd that waved small American flags and black-and-white signs reading “Viva Beto” while often interrupting their candidate to chant his first name. O’Rourke also spoke at length in Spanish, eliciting loud and sustained cheers.
Many on social media were quick to call out the Associated Press.
Native Spanish since when do Irish families speak native Spanish— Kat Free (@KatFree6) April 1, 2019
Following the narrative. The myth continues from AP.— Peasant H (@c_gt1982) March 31, 2019
The dude is white Irish Catholic. Yay journalism.— Tabasco on Eggs (@randeez72) April 1, 2019