I am a white Mexican.
Some people do a double take when I say this, others squint and take a long, hard look at me, and some have even pulled me aside to ask in private what I mean by that—surely I didn’t mean to say that. There is nothing particularly distinct about me or my ancestry. As far as I can tell, no one in my family —on either side— is a recent immigrant. For at least 150 years, my ancestors were born, lived, and died in the state of Jalisco. They tended to their crops and animals, worked in factories, fought in wars, and raised very extensive families in mostly rural areas around Guadalajara. I am a pretty “average” Mexican, and Mexican all the way.
In New York City, I live in a neighborhood with a large Latinx population, of which Mexican immigrants have become a growing number in recent decades, so I feel quite at home. Because I am white, when I go into the bodega and ask for a bag of nopales or masa in Spanish, people routinely tell me “no pareces mexicana.” My daughter and I are so used to this, that we usually exchange a smile before I respond again in Spanish “I know.”
I recount these two small pieces of my biography —my very Mexican origins and my very white appearance— to reflect on the seeming impossibility of being both, white AND Mexican. My purpose is not to exalt or redeem this composite identity—I have no interest legitimizing any white genealogies, including my own. It is also not to publicly lament the many times I have been assumed not to be Mexican—or Latinx even. I have seen outraged Latinx recount such stories as an abuse, while remaining completely oblivious of the white privilege that they are receiving even as they are misidentified.
Yes, I said white privilege.
These days, as the global repudiation of white supremacy grows stronger, I keep scratching my head at the number of fair-skinned, European-looking Latinx I know —of all political tendencies and both in the U.S. and in Latin America— who refuse to be called white. I don’t intend to shame my fellow white Latinx, nor to call anyone out on their own understandings of their identity. Mostly, I’m interested in understanding why. Why, despite a life of white privilege, do so many white Latinx vehemently refuse the title? Sure, I admit that I have an agenda. I believe that in order to truly join the global movement against racism and for Black lives more specifically, it is absolutely critical for us, white Latinx, to start facing up to our complicity with and participation in white supremacy. The widespread refusal gets in the way of our ability to do anti-racist work. And while I think the denial is misguided, I am interested in listening and taking seriously my people’s reasons for refusing the term white—not to coddle their racial comfort, but to find a way forward in the fight to dismantle white supremacy.
I will start with the simplest culprit of white denial: guilt. Who wants to be associated with the bad guy? A good friend of mine (half-white Cuban) recently told me that her nine-year-old nephew said to her in confidence that he didn’t want to grow up to be a white man. She told me that in his tone when he said the words “white man,” he seemed to already be carrying the tremendous moral weight of that identity and her heart broke a little. And while this is poignant story of a young boy, we can’t hide behind our white veil of innocence our whole lives.
Eventually, we must reckon with our entanglement with histories of colonization, genocide, enslavement, and exploitation. Yes, being white and Latinx most probably means that some ancestor somewhere up our genealogical line sailed the ocean blue, and like Columbus, participated in some pretty heinous acts—whether actively or passively. And yes, I recognize that people’s genealogies are complex and I am grossly generalizing here—most of us in fact cannot trace our lineages to La Niña, La Pinta or La Santa María. But despite the vast diversity of routes that brought our European ancestors to this land that we now call América (and I mean the continent), it is undeniable that the basic racial hierarchy that operated in colonial times is alive and well today. And this means that in our lifetimes we, fair-skinned, Europeanish-looking Latinx, have been beneficiaries of racial privilege. How many times have we heard our friends and family members remark with excitement “¡Ay, míralo qué blanquito!” at the sight of a baby they deem beautiful? Let’s sit with that for a moment.
This takes me to the second culprit: blindness. As scholars and activists —particularly Black folks at the frontlines of racial justice work— have been telling us for quite a while, one of the fundamental characteristics of being white is being oblivious of one’s whiteness.
Being afforded the luxury of not having to think about one’s race on an everyday basis is the most evident marker of whiteness. So, if after cavalierly checking off the Latinx ethnicity box, you have ever stared blankly at the boxes of racial categories in front of you —knowing that you cannot in good conscience check off Black, Indigenous, or Asian— you are probably white. And I know that many of us are also compelled to check off “mixed-race” or “other” and feel satisfied with reproducing the myth of mestizaje and the supposed incomprehensibility of Latinx racial categories. But if like me, you are routinely “mistaken” for a white person, I think you know which box is most accurate. In the end, race is not an essential truth about us or our ancestors, it is a biased reading of our bodies that places us along a hierarchy. This experience doesn’t resonate, of course, for my fellow white latinoamericanos. In Latin America, we don’t check off ethnicity boxes for being Latinx. In our countries of origin, being white is unmarked, so most likely, we haven’t checked off many boxes in our lives. But that doesn’t make us any less white.
This racial blindness tends to be compounded by our experiences with other forms of discrimination—which can look and feel a lot like racism, but should not be conflated. Those of us who are immigrants, for example, have likely been made to feel unwelcome in the place where we reside due to our nationality or ethnicity. In the U.S. the messages that saturate popular culture with negative stereotypes of Latinx—as rapists, drug traffickers, and animals from “shithole countries” are dizzying and deeply harmful. In one way or another, we Latinx have been collectively made to feel undesirable and many of us have faced formidable obstacles to access the basic rights that should be guaranteed to any citizen of the planet: health care, education, a minimum income, and the right to live without feeling hounded. For white latinoamericanos, not all of whom are rich and famous telenovela actors, poverty, political disenfranchisement, and violence all act as experiences that hinder our ability to recognize ourselves among those with white privilege. How can I be privileged if I am poor? Or if I have experienced oppression due to my class, national status, gender, or sexual identity?
The key here is that racial privilege, though two words, is really one concept and is centrally about race. All of the other injustices that we have experienced —while important— do not cancel out our racial privilege.
Of course, discriminations are often intertwined in ugly ways. Thirty-five years after the fact, I still remember the look of disgust on a little white, U.S. American girl’s face when by mispronouncing the word “robot” while standing in line at Disney World, I revealed to her that I was “Spanish.” I was only seven years old, but understood immediately that being “Spanish” was bad. In the U.S. and Europe the rejection of our language, our cultural practices, and our very existence is palpable.
But this should not be equated with racism. Xenophobia is real, as is ethnocentrism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia. But all of these are also distinct from racism. They are often compounded by and entangled with racism in terribly insidious ways, but they are not simply synonymous.
So even though after that fateful summer in the early 1980s I have been subjected to other instances of humiliation for being Mexican, those were not experiences of racism. Yes, I was made to feel inferior and yes, those experiences felt terrible, but I did not at those moments cease being white.
The relationship between myself and the little girl in Disney World was mediated by a violent history of U.S. imperialism in Latin America—which is also deeply marked by racism. For centuries, the U.S.’s dominance of Latin America has been justified by the logic of the so-called “white man’s burden,” the alleged moral responsibility of “superior races” to bring others along the path of civilization and development. This was the logic of the Monroe Doctrine, which has been consistently enforced by U.S. foreign policy and was openly celebrated by John Bolton just last year, who proudly assured a group of Bay of Pigs Veterans in Miami that the doctrine “is alive and well.”
So that little encounter between two little girls was not “simply” one across ethnic, linguistic, and national differences. For me, it was marked by the indignities of belonging to a country that has been exploited and routinely portrayed as inferior by another. It was marked by a relation of inequality. But even in those moments, I did not stop being white. If I had, the little blond, blue-eyed girl would not have had to discover I was “Spanish,” she would have known that we were different just by looking at me—and maybe she would not have been so dismayed to find out that I wasn’t “like her.”
The takeaway is this: the fact that we have been subjected to numerous forms of discrimination —some of which intersect with racism in complicated ways— does not exempt us from our whiteness. Yes, many of us have suffered all kinds of injustices. And some of these injustices are also related to racialized ideas about the countries we or our ancestors came from, but these experiences of marginalization and inferiorization should not be taken as a “Get Out of Whiteness Card.”
This one is harder to sit with.
I was recently part of a group of white Latinx all living in the U.S. who met to discuss and work through Layla Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy. Here was a group of twenty-some white Latinx ready to face up to our complicity in white supremacy and yet in our conversations some of the same patterns emerged. We consistently distanced ourselves from U.S.-born whites and many of us expressed discomfort at self-identifying as white. Rather than simply dismissing this as blindness, I had to ask myself yet again, why is the refusal so entrenched? I want to understand.
My 12-year-old daughter, who is more politically savvy than I was at 30, asked me the other day in the presence of white Argentine friend if she should count herself when tallying the number of people of color in her school. Without flinching, my friend affirmed that she should, of course include herself. For her, being half Mexican and half Colombian undoubtedly made my daughter a person of color.
When I said that I disagreed, the conversation turned tense. That night I went to bed with the question swirling in my head and in my sleep I figured out the answer I wanted to give my daughter: “Imagine a world map in which some countries are marked white and others are not. But within those countries there are people of different colors. We come from countries that are not marked white on the world map, but you and I are white—we are reminded of this every time someone says ‘you don’t look Mexican.’ Of course, this association between being Brown and being Mexican has to do with the fact that many of our paisanxs —including some of our family members— are in fact not white. But for those of us who have been called ‘güeros’, the category ‘person of color’ is an odd fit.”
One of the things I’ve learned after more than two decades in and out of the U.S. and Latin America is that whiteness operates through a global pact. We white people recognize and welcome our kind with open arms. One of my first experiences with the Pan-Latin American whiteness club was when I traveled to Colombia for the first time to meet my then-fiancé’s family and his great grandmother candidly declared that she liked me better than his previous Mexican girlfriend because I was lighter-skinned. Granted, she was senile and had no social filter at the time, but she was likely expressing what others thought.
Everywhere I have been in Latin America —and I have lived or worked in Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Cuba— I have been immediately invited to join the whiteness club. The invitation can take many different forms, but the most consistent of its characteristics is that it is marked by a tacit affirmation of racial superiority.
But because in Latin America we don’t like to openly talk about race, we cloak white superiority in the language of culture. We condemn and deride Black and Indigenous people’s cultural practices while marveling at our own accomplishments—ay, mira fulanita’s beauty and menganito’s financial success.
We selectively appropriate Black and Indigenous people’s labor and cultural practices with little or no regard for Black and Indigenous people’s well-being. In Mexico, to name just one obvious example, white Mexicans tout “our” cuisine as world patrimony without directly crediting or benefiting the communities that sustain it. We naturalize the vast social and economic disparities between black and indigenous people and “us”, the racially and ethnically unmarked. We might publicly lament the poverty and marginalization that these communities face, but most of us do very little to shift the disparities. If all of this sounds like the behavior of white people, it’s because it is. To the point, despite its history of racial mixture and its subaltern status in relation to Europe and the U.S., Latin America is not exempt from the global regime of white supremacy.
And yet, I think it is important to recognize that racial categories are contextual and that they often shift. They shift over a person’s lifetime and sometimes they shift when we travel—even from one neighborhood to the next.
The cultural cues that we use to attribute race to any given individual are complex—they include how we dress, speak, carry ourselves, etc. And accordingly, they can often shift depending on who is doing the assessment: their own geographical location, class, race, etc.
So while I recognize that some of us are not uniformly identified as white —always, wherever we go— this experience of shifting racial categories does not absolve one from racial privilege. True, some of us are white everywhere, while some of us have been racialized as non-white and perhaps have even lived firsthand the indignities of racism at some point in our lives.
But if we have ever, anywhere been identified as white, then we carry the moral responsibility of dismantling white supremacy as members of the group that benefits from it. Many of my family members, for example, would not be read as white in the U.S. A combination of their shade, speech, and manners would likely disqualify them from entry into the whiteness club in say a restaurant in the Upper East Side of New York. In Mexico, however, some of these same people are undoubtedly white—in Mexico we call ourselves mestizos. The precise meaning and reading of that whiteness is different from what it is in the U.S., but its essence as the invisible, racial norm that is globally positioned as the pinnacle of the human form and culture, remains.
And the disproportionate access to resources that this category affords is also undeniable. My primos and tías may be intimately familiar with experiences of racism when they are north of the Río Bravo, but if at home they have ever been called güeros, their complicity with white supremacy is clear. I would hope that having experienced racism firsthand would only make one more empathetic with those for whom it is a daily and inevitable occurrence.
In the end, as Ibram X. Kendi reminds us, some of us white people do not identify as white to avoid reckoning with the ways that whiteness has offered us the privilege of being inherently normal, standard, and legal. It is not a comfortable thing to do, owning up to one’s whiteness, but if we want to actively contribute to dismantling white supremacy and the colossal suffering it sustains, it is a necessary place to start.
Roosbelinda Cárdenas is a cultural anthropologist, professor, immigrant, and mother. She is passionate about social justice issues and about Latinxs wherever they may be. She lives in East Harlem with her daughter and partner. Twitter: @roosbelinda.
Really thoughtful piece. Thank you for the depth. As a fair skinned Latina who was raised in the South, I never thought of myself as white because white people there told me I wasn’t White. They intentionally denied my access to their privileged spaces. Therefore, I grew up believing them. When I left the south for a life in New England, I was shocked to discover that many people up north did consider me to be white. They presumed I was Italian, and they AND my black friends confirmed to me that in their eyes I was White. Now a California, it literally depends in the city I am standing in. I have started accepting since the onset of motherhood–if for no other reason than to intelligently and sensitively parent my children through this ridiculous maze.
Instead of saying “I know” in reference you not looking Mexican, educate everyone that Mexicans are all different races. By saying “I know” you are contributing to the stereotypes imposed by ignorance!!!
Con que use la palabra Latinx, es suficiehte para saber que es otra pobre víctima de la Leyenda negra. Es vergonzoso ver esto. Y da risa su uso de painanxs pero al mismo tiempo usa fulanita y menganito. One hot mess: I hope she’s in therapy to overcome her self loathing and low self esteem.
Gracias, Rob. That Americans mangle their language, does not give them the right to mangle OUR BEAUTIFUL language — just to make themselves a) feel better, b) look like they are SO sympathetic, or c) just look cool. As another white Mexican, I find the adoption of this machaca by our people utterly repulsive. (Can ya tell?) So, let the X go, and honor our linguistic history. (As an academic, I would hope you would) Please let the X go, because it will pass like every other feel-good fad in this feel-good fad country.
Miscegenation connotes one meaning and understanding in the US than its literal translation of mestizaje does in Mexico. Here it is associated with Gov. George Wallace and in Mexico it is associated with Jose Vazconselos and his famous book, “La Raza Cósmica.” Your implication is a false equivalency.
Further, if you are going to follow the White privilege logic than you need to contextualizad for the readers what version of White people are comparable to your people in Jalisco. Are they “white educated liberals” or they “white uneducated conservatives”? I use this as a way to point out the slippery-slope of your thinking where it fails to contextualize white supremacy in its specific logic location. White supremacy has always existed in Mexico, but its version of it has been very different there than in the US. As Ibrahim Kendi pointed out, in the book you cite, race was invented out of greed and specific motivation to justify the crimes of genocide of Natives and enslavement of Africans, and, by extension, America (I mean the US) and its great wealth and standing in the world. In Mexico, not so much. Mexico’s indigenous population is larger by percentage than the US and Mexico’s black people is a minuscule percentage.
I agree that white LatinXs have White privilege, but that shit is watered-down here in the US to a point that as White LatinX can’t be like “I’m white like George Washington.” When in fact, they are more white like “Simon Bolivar.” White, but a different kind of white that is not America-white.
My DNA is composed of 60% European mix and 40% native Mexican. Does that make me white? Can I be like “I am not black, I am OJ”? No way. I am a mestizo Mexican-American who’s father was born in Jalisco and who’s mother was born in Durango.
The author is not talking about someonelike you. Demi Lovato is 90% European but she does not look white. By the way I live in Latin America and English is not my first language.
Besides not all white people in the US are blond with blue eyes.
The author is talking about people who are actually white but still get the minority rights and the white acceptance.
Like Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen or Brazilian President Bolsonaro who is white skin and blue and Trump friend.
Pope Francis who is from Argentine or Lionel Messi.
Cuban Ana de Armas who has been cast to play Marilyn Monroe for Neflix. Or Cameron Diaz or Ted Cruz.
Mexican singer Luis Miguel(whose parents were Europeans). Or Mexicans Thalia and Edith Gonzales.Eduardo Verastegui who is supporting Trump.
And the red hair and blue eye woman from that video who look white because she is white.
I read studies that say that white latinos earn more money that other latinos.Black latinos earn less.
I think that is time to stop making this about ourselves and we stop thinking that we are the owner of the truth and what I think or believe is the only truth and apply for everyone.
I am not disagreeing with the author that there is white privilege that LatinXs benefit from in the US. The problem I have with the author is that her point of view about mestizaje does not take into account the significant differences it has and connotes in the US versus the Latin American countries with its specific history. There has never been a KKK-like organization in Latin America. There are definitely racist organizations and policies in Latin America, hence the benefits and privileges of all of those you have mentioned. That being said, the dominant influence and power in this hemisphere has been the United States, not Mexico, not Brazil, not Chile…none other. So to compare the what happens in Latin America to the United States, as the author and you do, is lacking. To say that she is a white LatinX-American is the same as a White American, is to ignore the whole “truth” of the power dynamics at play and its true and insidious impact of white supremacy in the United States. Again, there is white supremacy in Mexico, Brazil, and other countries. Yet, Mexico did not invade the US during the Mexican-American war of 1846, Guatemala did not intervene in the US elections in 1950’s, Salvador Allende’s government did not drop bombs on the White in the 1970’s, Nicaragua did not use it’s version of the CIA to traffick guns and drugs to support the Sandinista government…the US did. Their white supremacy and its policies have been instrumental in making sure that the US is dominant in Latin America, not some other country with its white supremacist policies.
Lesson: You cannot look at the MICRO without the MACRO, or vice versa. If
The United States’ heavy control of Latin American as per the Monroe Doctrine is not in question. Reflect on why the sun doesn’t set on U.S. military bases. All lands are seen as plantations through the Manifest Destiny prism of Calvinized North American colonizers. Obsessed with control and wringing profit from anything, remember that even their children fathered with “colored” enslaved women, were unceremoniously sold as objects. Meanwhile, their gold-seeking Iberian cousins, the Conquistadors, had other priorities in the New World–the proof is in the mirror. Here’s where the family agreed: profit by specifically mistreating their browner victims using the diabolical twins of racism and colorism. The evil genius of this strategy is that “people of color” (non-white = black) must accept a concept of reality that ensures European “whites” are supreme. The game’s zero-sum symbolism is white-good over black-bad. With its majority brown population, Iberian “whites” codified colorism; being in the majority, Calvinist “whites” codified racism. Colorism, more so than racism, has irreparably ruined Latin America. After centuries of rolling the gene dice, culturally entrenched caste attitudes insidiously compels individuals–even grandmothers–to poison family members with hurtful prejudice. This home-grown self-hatred speaks in a thousand different ways, from popular “color-erased” telenovelas, to the spine-chilling barbarism gangs use to despoil “colored” bodies. Surveying this inhospitable landscape, the dispirited now seek sanctuary in the U.S. because the “Good Sheppard” Calvanists, while stumbling and unjust, played a better chess game managing their subjects than the Conquistadors.
Calvinized Americans grudgingly welcome Latin-American “whites” as reinforcements on the Northern Wall because it’s no secret that their professed aversion of socialism is typically a smoke screen to hide avaricious sins and racist attitudes. They are battle-tested and politically reliable. Collectively, people’s morals are as broad and flexible as their options. The United States was built, made prosperous, and holds together by critically functional anti-black racism. This bonding glue simmers tribalism among European-identified factions, and unites them under the banner of team “white.” The straight-faced question is can the newly socially engineered “Latinx” team of whites, indigenous peoples, blacks and mestizos, effectively participate in desperate battles of post-racial narratives, by suddenly claiming to be “people of color” (POC), while participating in “whiteness” games when it’s convenient? In the raw, grinding machinery of everyday life in the U.S., the odds don’t look good.
Review Neely Fuller’s book, “The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept,” and well as Joel Kovel’s, “White Racism: A Psychohistory.”
You talk as if race was some biological deal.
I have a Colombian corworker, white, YES, WHITE. Blonde, green eyes, looks like she came out of some redneck state. Guess what? she fiercely opposes to her also pretty white son (also blonde and Colombian) dating a Mexican because the mexican girl looks like “all mexicans do” I quote: Indios horribles. She said that to me trusting I am also white looking like her.
I am from latin America and I have seen horrible racism, all variables, from black latin Americans being downright hostile towards non black latin Americans, to brutal nationalism between mestizos such as in Costa ricans hunting down nicaraguans. An eternal dislike for the indigenous, and I have also seen bolivian indigenous being downright hostile almost violent to white bolivians…. and yes also plenty of white Latin Americans enjoying TONS OF WHITE PRIVILEGE.
No one cares what SOME Americans think white is. The US masses and their opinions are not the ultimate holders of truth!
By the way, SIMON BOLIVAR WAS A RICH WHITE PARASITE OF SPANISH AND IRISH HERITAGE LEECHING OFF OF HIS PRIVILEGE.
Dude what’s your point? How is any of this apologizing for ancestors and acknowledging our whiteness etc etc going to actually move society forward? What is it going to DO?
LatinX doesn’t exist. Latino is not a race – it is scientifically impossible. We are of all races, and yes, even White Caucasians. Marxist thought atrophies the mind. This web site is evidence of that.
I find this really off the mark. And her perspective is of a privileged woman from Latin America, not of a “white” looking Chicana from East L.A. Of course I acknowledge that my light skin affords me privilege that other Mexicans don’t have. Of course Latin America is racist and operating on a caste system that idolizes whiteness. Of course I profit from white supremacy whether I like it or not. But being a light complected Latina is not the same as being White. The author highlights some aspects of being light-skinned while ignoring others. Grossly simplistic article. I’ve been aware of my privilege for decades. I’m not afraid to acknowledge that. But the experience of being “othered” in this country from birth affects our genes, our immune response, higher rates of PTSD, and in countless other ways . Please don’t claim that Euro-American white privilege is the same as my light-skinned privilege. Or that having white privilege in Latin America means that you get to be white in America. My name alone closed doors for me. My culture has been ghettoized by the media. My emotional expressiveness has been pathologized. I’ve been afraid to speak Spanish to my mother in public places during the Trump presidency. I’ve watched my parents be humiliated and targeted. Privilege is complex but negating a person’s culture isn’t the way to add to the conversation. This writer experiences push back because the arguments about whiteness are wrong. Some Black folks can “pass” as white too. Are they also to start calling themselves white? I will not allow others to deny the intergenerational trauma and internalized oppression that is inextricable with being raised as an outsider in this country. It is literally proven by epigenetics. The writer has spent a lot of time in Latin America. But how Mestizos are treated there is NOT how they are treated in the U.S.
Thank you for sharing your testimony; it truly helps round out the discussion. Sadly, “Post Traumatic Colonizer Syndrome,” is not a book most large media outlets would want to see the light of day. It doesn’t fit their proscribed narratives, and the “game” is still on.
The article and comment section is an academic meal for me. As a cultural anthropologist, the author uncloaks an interesting phenomena Machiavelli would call, “pain avoidance.” Why would a cohort with obvious advantages in the context of “white” supremacy, suddenly become skittish about identity politics–what do they sense in the forecast? Problem solving starts by naming the problem: here, she begins the pain of abnegation by exposing herself to concrete reality. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”–the U.S. Marines.
The 2020 presidential election results highlight many Euro-American’s extreme anxiety about demographic shifts. Expect marches, fireworks and loyalty trials, particularly of Latin-Americans, who will be expected to choose sides in the struggle against “The Rising Tide of Color.” This queasy reality, given the varied gene expressions of Latinized peoples already suffering from deeply ingrained colorism and anti-black racism, is motivating the intuitively savvy to quickly rethink a lot of things, including their pain threshold. What’s coming may be a matter of life or death.
The hazing of “honorary whites” in this nation has always been disturbing, even against Irish, Germans and Arcadians–until they “bent the knee,” and got with the “program.” America’s history of violent coercion speaks for itself; but there’s a method to the madness. One can keep their religion, but not their old culture of foreign allegiance–that bond must be broken. “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…Hyphenated Americans are not Americans at all,” Theodore Roosevelt told an assembled group of Irish in 1915. The Immigration Act of 1924, and the recent nasty separation of primarily “mestizo” children from their families at the border, is par for the course regards force-ranking loyalty to Americanism–powered by the system of “racism/white” supremacy.”
Lastly, America’s Anglo-Teutonic concept of race is not biological, nor is it hate for the sake of hate. It’s codified thought, speech and action that defines and manages relationships between people against their will for the sake of Americanism, and, in turn, the perpetuation and dominance of Western Civilization. The impulses for hierarchy, projection and objectification are deeply rooted in European psycho-cultural history. Duty for the sake of survival, has no sweethearts. Hence, feelings of “the slighted” about their niche experiences mean nothing. “Others” are objects (capital)–and should expect to be used and mistreated, if not now, eventually, later. Therefore, a vetting gauntlet based on the eugenic symbol of the one-drop rule, still segregates prospects as insiders or outsiders for the “white” team. Outsiders are classified as “non-white”–black. The chess game is black versus white.
I understand where you’re coming from but I vehemently disagree. It of course depends on where you live and your community but living in Georgia being a fairskinned latino does not afford any privilege. If anything you are marginalized by everyone. Your reasoning sounds honest and I will take it that way but I feel that some latinos identify as white latinos to align themselves with whites as a form of supremacy. That perpetuates white “supremacy” and divides latinos. I will never identify as “white” and how can anyone when color is a spectrum. In Georgia at least, there is no such thing as a “white” latino.
I find this article contradicting as some of the posts above had said. It’s stated that the idea of race changes geographically and looks different in the US but then says that all nonblack latinos are white? It makes the assumption that there are only black and white Latinx peoples. As if skin tones aren’t on a spectrum. There are also Latinos living in this country that do not pass as white and are brown like my grandmother but aren’t necessarily black. Trust me, I acknowledge that I personally can benefit from white passing privilege (but it gets dicey when I don’t pass since it seems I have a bit of racial ambiguity). But some of my Brown skinned cousins who are NOT black on my mothers side are NOT white. They do not benefit from white privilege bc they don’t look white European. I find this article very problematic because it ignores the fact that a lot of our ancestry is in fact mixed and not all Latinos are white passing. You wouldn’t call someone who has a black mother and white father ONLY white racially bc they are white passing, right? They are bi-racial or of mixed racial background.
Wow this made me laugh I will definitely share this article. I’d like to order another course of mental gymnastics / I’m half mexicano (not latinx) and half white. I get told I look white by about 60% of people. Everyone else tells me I do look Mexican. So… Am I white? Should I feel 40% guilty? Should I throw in a couple Spanish sentences to show off my Latino street cred? (Although if you wanted to really represent la raza, you’d speak dialecto from somewhere like,idk, the Guatemalan Highlands or the Rarámuri’s barrancas del cobre) anyway good luck with your self loathing, I’ll be watching the beautiful Mexiwhites of Telemundo
This article is complete BS. ANYTIME I see someone trying to justify the incredibly offensive term White Passing Latinx I can already tell they were not raised in the United States or live in the Northern part of the U.S. Let me tell you this, being raised in Texas as a fair skinned Mexican American did not give me any privileges. White people still treated all of us like dirt no matter what our skin tone was like. Cops profiled us like crazy. White Parents did not want their children dating us.The racism I’ve endured and still do now living in LA has shaped me, held me back, have had white women ask me “who I’m cleaning for” just when I’m taking out my own trash. It’s non stop. I was raised in a town full of white supremacist rednecks and half the population Mexican American, and no Black people or Asian people. So who do you think all the racism was aimed at? That’s right Mexican-Americans no matter what color their skin tone are still treated like shit in the United States and trying to create this online terminology of White Passing Latinx is trying to erase the struggles of Brown people. How do you think it shaped me as a child to be called dirty wetback or dirty Mexican, or told I’m not allowed to hang out with other kids cause their parents found out I’m Mexican-American? The person that wrote this article was raised entirely among her own race, NOT among WHITE SUPREMACIST in the United States Like the rest of us. I would like to see her go to an ICE concentration camp and try to justify why a light skinned Mexican is being held captive because according to her, they have some sort of invisible privilege. We Mexican-Americans are Mestizo with 50% indigenous blood in us. The other 50% of our blood is not White, it is a mixture of various races making our indigenous side the dominant race of our DNA, yet you want to call us White and erase our genocide. Would you call a Cherokee person White Passing? No you would not cuz to you they are Native American, but the thing is SO ARE MESTIZOS. Native Americans were colonized by the English, French, Portuguese and Spain. The Natives colonized by Spain are called Mestizo and are NATIVE and are no different than a Cherokee person racially, only culturally and that has to do with tribal culture, not race. Look at the Nahuatl Native Americans of Mexico as an example that we ARE NATIVE AMERICANS TOO. Look at an old map of Mexico for God’s sake, it’s the entire Western half of of the U.S. and Texas. Who do you think lived there? NATIVES! We are still here. We are still treated like crap by White people, only now we have to add being treated like crap from all races who want to erase our struggles with this new ONLINE-INVENTED term called White Passing Latinx. It’s offensive and colorist and based on a false reality that does not exist.
Stop calling us Latinx! The only Latinos who use Latinx are white washed sellouts!
I think this article makes some good points about white Latinx people and the need for them to admit to white privilege. I’ve met a few who have and are seen as white Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc. The issue I have though is that it’s a bit generalizing to an extent. What about Peruvians, Mexicans, or Puerto Ricans who are light skinned but still share indigenous features? What if they experience racism? If they’ve been racially profiled? And if they cannot readily identify as indigenous, white, or black but mixed the article suggests they are white? Despite what I’ve just mentioned? This has been my experience being of Puerto Rican and Peruvian descent. It’s just lacking because it doesn’t highlight these conflicts and the fact that labeling me white erases my very real lived experiences. Checking that white box feels wrong because it feels like I’m invalidating everything that I’ve been through.
Lol Latino females are the worst. White latinx isn’t even real. I bet you’re not even white and your little “white latinx” meetup didn’t have 1 single white person lmao. Keep crying, self hating and pandering to blacks. LOOL