What a Vizcaíno is in the literature of the 16th and 17th centuries has always been a puzzle due to the different uses given to the word. The connotation of the term Vizcaíno can go from an insult similar to “thief,” “traitor,” even “Portuguese,” to, in other cases, “stupid,” “gregarious,” or simply different. In other words, the Vizcaíno is a paradigmatic Other, which seems to have become an insider Other (nothing could be more enervating for some in Spain, or more nostalgic for others than the “insiderness” of this quintessential Other). And unfortunately, in this case, otherness has been the companion of both hate and nostalgia, which seem to be extreme emotional expressions that justify numerous slanders, acts of violence, and overcompensations. “The Vizcaíno effect” has become a systemic mark in the understanding of Spanish and Basque identities in the long process of nation building, probably based on the long term construction of misperceptions, miscommunications, and opportunistic manipulations of all sorts. These misperceptions are not far away from hate speech. Many times comments about Basques pass by as humoristic in our readings of the early modern literature, but perhaps it is pertinent to locate them as a part of the so-called “Triangular Hate Scale” (Sternberg, The Nature 217). First comes the verbal negation of intimacy with the target group, later passions are verbalized; finally there is a commitment to act and propagate the sentiment of hate (Sternberg, The Nature 217). In this article, I aim to make a reflexion about the expression of hate surrounding the basque speaker in the early modern period.
"Vizcaínos: The Scourge of the Empire and Uncomfortable Identities,"
BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/boga/vol5/iss1/4