Mike Kueber's Blog

August 12, 2012

Pimentel on American exceptionalism

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 5:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

O. Ricardo Pimentel, an Express-News columnist who recently arrived in San Antonio, has the effect of routinely pulling my chain on all matters related to political philosophy.  This morning was no exception, with his column titled, “Romney, it’s more than just culture.”  After reading his column, I went on my morning bike ride and couldn’t get his provocative comments out of my head, but at least that distracted me from thinking about the grueling ride.   

Pimentel’s column pointed out that, while all the media focus last week was on Mitt Romney’s suggestion that culture had something to do with Israel’s robust economy and its neighbor Palestine’s decrepit one, Romney made a similar comparison between America’s culture/economy vis-à-vis its neighbor Mexico.  According to Pimentel, Palestinians were insulted by Romney’s comments, and Mexicans (and Mexican-Americans) should be similarly insulted. 

Instead of carefully and deliberately refuting Romney’s insight, Pimentel used an emotional scattershot approach:

  1. Because so many Americans have emigrated from Mexico and have relatives living there, much of American culture, especially in south Texas, stems from Mexico.  This is actually an argument used by anti-immigration types who question the ability of America to assimilate the current number of immigrants in our country.  Furthermore, most reasonable people agree that if the south Texas economy was a microcosm of the American economy, our nation would be in deep doo-doo. 
  2. Even if one accepts Romney’s description of culture as “things like free enterprise, human dignity, human rights, women’s rights, work ethic, education and entrepreneurialism,” Pimentel still wonders, “So, Mexicans don’t have or want these things?”  Talk about a non sequitur.  A culture is based on actions and achievements, not on musings.
  3. Mexico’s economy is fine, thank you.  Pimentel reports that the Mexican economy ranks between 12th and 14 in the world and has projected growth higher than America’s.  Well, America’s economy is #1.  Nuff said.
  4. Mexico’s economy is troubled, but America is to blame.  In addition to the American contribution of guns, drugs, and corruption to Mexican culture, Pimentel’s UTSA resource points out that Latin American countries were hampered by colonization and exploitation.  This argument fails to recognize that all of North America was colonized and exploited.  Some countries just dealt with it better than others. 
  5. America’s economy is troubled, so its culture is to blame.  Pimentel points out that Luxembourg, Bermuda, Norway, and Brunei have higher per capita GDP than America, and then he sneeringly wonders whether their culture is superior to ours.  That is like comparing the culture of Fred Loya Insurance and State Farm Insurance.        

Not surprisingly, Pimentel closed his argument, just like the Palestinians, by playing the race card:

  • Mexico has more to do but has also come a ways. Go figure; Mexican ‘culture,’ including in San Antonio, permits success — because accomplishment is not white, black or brown.”

When Romney extolled the virtue of “things like free enterprise, human dignity, human rights, women’s rights, work ethic, education and entrepreneurialism,” I didn’t detect any reference to white, black, or brown, but Detective Pimentel apparently did.



  1. Pimentel is the second most racist columnist that the EN has ever published in my time reading it. While I found his hiring interesting, I have been disturbed by the tone of many, many of his columns since he has been in South Texas.

    Comment by Bob Bevard — August 12, 2012 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  2. now, now boys… if someones says they experienced racism it cannot be challenged. It can’t be that they have a chip on their shoulder, it can’t be that they taking advantage of the situtuation, it can’t be that they are emoting – oh, and you cannot challenge their facts or their logic!! So, just move on.

    Comment by q — August 12, 2012 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  3. I to live in San Antonio and I to am tiring of Pimentels E-N editorials grossing about Latino’s not being accepted (his word). I have suggested that maybe that is because some Latino’s (including him) didn’t seek to get assimilated into mainstream American and/or Texas society because they didn’t wish too and of course he scoffs at the idea. As I Google the word racism and the name O. Ricardo Pimentel I get and inordinately large number of hits. He can’t seem to distance himself from it.

    Aztlan is a pipe dream Pimentel. This is Texas and we’ve already fought that war to free us from the tyranny of Mexico. So get over it! If you are so unhappy in the US/Texas why not go somewhere where you would be happier. Somewhere where you can assimilate. But then maybe you’re wearing out your welcome wherever you go? Ya think!

    So Pimentel I have an offer for you. The olive branch if you will. Let’s have a cease fire and do lunch and try to bury the hatchet. I’ll hear you out if you’ll hear me out. No politics (I lean right) and no grossing about racial inequality as I don’t accept that argument. I see equality as an individual issue rather than a racial one. And if that goes well then maybe we’ll play a round of golf (if you play) at the club. If you feel I’m being to patronizing then so be but it will be your choosing. What say you O. Ricardo?

    Comment by Robert Senf — November 24, 2013 @ 9:02 am | Reply

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