Today, I received an email with an interesting question: “How can you be Hispanic with a Non-Spanish Last Name?” Well, the answer is quite simple: our Hispanic heritage is a mosaic of diverse cultures and experiences, making it perfectly possible to be Hispanic with a non-Spanish last name. Have you personally encountered this inquiry in your own life, or do you have any valuable insights or experiences to share on this topic? Let’s talk about it..

Stacie Orsagh: “Yesssss … .at first I was uncomfortable. Especially as a child I was told I wasn’t a real Mexican. I was also told I had dirty blood. Honestly, I didn’t feel “safe” to claim my heritage until a few years ago. Sad, as I will be 51 next month.”

Beverly Brooks: “That’s the epitome of ignorance. My maiden name is Brooks. Someone, somewhere up the food chain married someone who might’ve been partially caucasian lol. I can relate to hispanics because that was my upbringing and I can relate to other minorities because my upbringing has always been somewhat diversified; and yes, I can relate to caucasians because frankly it’s a part of me and I choose to. There are beautiful customs and traditions in every race and ethnicity, and an equally proportionate amount of bad things/people within all of our blended cultures. I can barely roll my r’s and I often call myself the “whitest mexican” in the room, so I don’t mind laughing at my own shortcomings. It sounds like this person needs to take a deep dive into why he or she even feels compelled to ask such a moronic question- or why it matters.”

Clair Bower: “I’m Hispanic and my last name is Bauer too! But I was born with this name… I think my paternal grandfather had some German ancestors from way back when.”

Carl Jacobson: “I’ve met plenty of people from Mexico with non-Spanish surnames. So, it’s not uncommon – just like many hispanics with blond hair and blue eyes.”

Vanessa Hogan: “My last name is Hogan yet I am Mexican. Yes, when I meet people, they automatically expect to see a gringo woman. Imagine their surprise.”

Carolyn Brewer: “Hi there! As a Hispanic woman I would like to answer your question with a History context and you can explain why it is possible to have a similar surname to a Hispanic. Hispanic means originated from the Iberia peninsula ( Spain & Portugal). By the 15 & 16 century, South, central & some parts of North America were conquered by the Spanish Empire. Spain, like many European countries, was conquered by the Romans for more than 4 centuries. After Germanic tribes like the Alans, Visigoths, and the fall of The Roman Empire, and the Muslim invasion, Spain developed its own language that is considered a Romance language ( common Latin). Why don’t you have this history in your question, because Hispanic like every other culture is a mixture of many other cultures including French, German, Italian & North African surnames derived from different backgrounds. Like I said, many Germanic tribes invaded Spain, and many of Spanish Surnames derived from those Tribes.”

Jose Luis Guillot: “Hispanic is not a race and is not a look. Hispanic comes from Spain, and could be considered a culture. But we have black hispanic, american natives hispanic or white spanish hispanic. All of us carry the same culture but different looks: black, white or anything in between; tall, short, blonde, blue eyed or black eyed, and black hair. Hispanic is not a race, it is a culture. And it is not in a name, that is for sure. You cannot tell if someone is from hispanic heritage or culture by his looks, or hers.”

Nichole aka Shroom Frog: “My last name is Cardon and I look white but I’m mixed race because my mom is Mexican and my dad is European and I get really annoyed when people call me racist for saying that I’m half Mexican half European. But it’s because my moms family is from the part of Mexico where they have very light skin. Very good question.”

Rosa Cascabel: “Pues ser hispano y no hablar español es una estúpida contradicción, amigo. Hispanic is used by U.S Guys and is the most silly and racist invention I’ve ever heard. There shouldn’t be any Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, African Americans and all those stupid labels.You have a citizenship (or several, if possible). Tagging people from their background is the first step for segregation and racial conflict, even if it’s meant for positive discrimination.”

Oscar Garza: “I get, ‘well you don’t look Hispanic’.”