You Are Not Latina! – spoken words of ignorance within the latino culture

Posted: March 10, 2010 in ethnic, fight the hate, latina
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“What are you?” “Where are you from?” “Your Latina? You can’t be Latina (or  Spanish) because you are too white!”

By this time, I am usually frowning because I have heard this numerous times by a Latino person (well…mostly from the Latinas ). In an attempt to defend my skin color, I would explain that my “whiteness” was given to me genetically by my white American dad (even though my skin color is darker than my dad). Sometimes I would be looked at disapprovingly and told that I could not be a Latino because: I do not speak fluent Spanish/am too white/hair not black/fill in the blank.  I would try to explain as calmly as I could, that I grew up around the Latino culture. I grew up spending lots of time with my abuelita (Spanish for Grandma), who would make me homemade tortillas and sway her hips to the  sound of Latino music. As I child I would drink Columbian coffee with a homemade cupcake and I would scoop up my frijoles  (beans) with a piece of tortilla. I loved eating my tamales with Coca-Cola while I watched my American shows.  I had an interesting childhood growing up with an American and Latino culture.

Culture is the most important word to understand  here because Latinos and Hispanics (not Spanish because then we would be from Spain,which I am not, though our ancestors were) is not a race but a culture/ethnicity. When we call ourselves Americans, we are saying we are not only from the “Americas” but we are of that culture. Being an American is not a race, just like Japanese is not a race.  Japanese people obviously are considered to be of the Asian race.

Many American-born Latinos don’t speak Spanish, and can be of white, black, American-Indian (mestizo) and even of Asian race. There is a stereotype of what a Latino should look like: Ricky Martin or Jennifer Lopez, with dark hair, dark eyes and tan or olive skin. However, we all come in different colors, like Latina beauty Zoe Saldana.

Latina Zoe Saldana - Star Trek's Uhura

I will keep on educating those, who believe that a Latina should have a certain look. Even though some feel that they are more Latina than I am, there are many more Latinos that accept me as just as I am.  I am proud to be a Latina.

  1. ëlf128 says:

    Exactly! We all come in different colors
    I remember on one of my visits to PR when I was a kid,I saw this Puerto Rican kid with an afro bigger than mine!lol
    I also know Cubans,Dominicans,Panamanians,Colombians, with dark chocolate complexions.
    My Mother hardly knows two words in spanish but If you saw Her, you would easily assume that she is latina because of her complexion.

    The groups of people who give birth to this whole skin color nonsense set out to divide,create confusion and tumoil,over the beautiful shades of people the world over.Its up to us to stop this nonsense and teach our children to Love & Overstand the colors of our universal family.

  2. Kristopher Snowden says:

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

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