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The Struggle of White Latinos in the United States

Written by admin on . Posted in Marketing, U.S. Hispanic

They were/are all Latino.

They were/are all Latino.

White Latinos endure their fair share of suffering in the United States. They are constantly being tested to see how Latino they really are, since their facial features do not scream out “Latino!” Check out this video of things White Latinos are sick of hearing.

I wonder how hard it is for White Latinos to reinforce their Latino-ness. It’s something I’ve never really had to worry about. What I also wonder is: is it easier for them to assimilate since they can sometimes pass as a White American? According to data presented at an annual meeting of the Population Association of America, an estimated 1.2 million Americans changed their racial and ethnic identification from “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin” on the 2000 census to “white” on the one in 2010.

Maybe after much disbelief from others it just becomes easier for light-skinned Latinos to simply say they are White. If everyone around them is White, if they speak English flawlessly, and identify more with American culture than Hispanic, then I can see why. Maybe the old saying is true, “if you can’t beat em’, join em.’”

But what do I know about that struggle. I look “Latino.”

This post is also available in: Spanish

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Comments (1)

  • Gil Chavez


    Hola, or (for those that are against “trying too hard” ( as suggested in the video), whatever that is supposed to mean), How do you do?
    I’m sharing a couple of sites that I hope you’ll find interesting and funny enough to alleviate any tensions engendered by situations shown in the related video.
    I’d suggest changing the word “White” in the title of the article to light complexioned. That is because a lot of “us” (“White” Latinos) honor and cherish our “non-white” (that term makes me think it is suggesting something like “non-good”) heritage and our beloved, “non-White” family members.
    The culture “inside” of us,not just our exterior also makes us who and what we are. Unfortunately, there are many Brown as a coconut Latinos wishing to and pretending to be whit2.
    Also, many of “us” are frequently reminded that there are those who look at us as being “non-good”,no matter how “white” we look.
    Those reminders range from the hateful and insulting to naive and ignorant and come from comments such as:
    “You don’t look like a Spik. How come you have a greaser last name?”. “If you’re Hispanic,teach me some words in Mexican.” “I don’t care how white you look, you’re not equal to a real white person.”
    You don’t look Hispanic (or like you know how to Speak Spanish). My answer to “real whites” for that one is “You do” (look Hispanic). And to their confused response (I especially like it for blonde, blue eyed folk),I say things such as – ” You look like a lot of people I’ve met in spain and lots of people I’ve met from nations to the South of the U.S. border. – AND -“Since you say you’ve been to Mexico (or Central America) I hope you didn’t mistake a lot of the locals who as “white” Americans or Irish.”
    Then from our some of our own gente (as well “real whites”, especially if we are not wearing a name tag “) “Highlighting our Spanish surname or affiliation with some “Hispanic” organization) if we act as we “normally do” and greet them in Spanish we often get the following:
    “I can’t even speak Spanish, so why do you white people assume that because I’m brown that I can?” “Listen gringo, I understand English, so don’t try to impress me that you’ve studied Spanish.”
    – And-
    “You don’t look Latino.” (Often right after you’ve overheard them discuss how their familia members range from dark brown to light chocolate to “white” looking.”
    As to “looking” Latino, so do more than a few Arabs, Jews, Vietnamese, Roma, Italians,French,Hungarians ,and some people from India, as well as many mixed face individuals. You only “look Latino” within the context of being identifiable as one depending on such factors as people knowing your surname,and being in a barrio,
    T3y this experiment: Get introduced to strangers with a non-Hispanic surname and pretend to be a first generation U.S. citizen.


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