Let’s talk about identity! We’ve noticed something interesting lately: some young Latinos would rather identify as white, Gen X, etc. Back in the day, in my generation, some Mexican Americans would rather pass for white and wanted to identify as white, WASP. What do you think about young Latinos choosing to identify as white, Gen X, or other identities? Do you see it as a positive thing, a negative thing, or just a natural part of evolving identities? Let’s talk about it…

John Saint John: “I see it as wanting to not be in a labeling situation. What I’ve seen for myself in regards to Hispanics was extremely negative and racist treatment towards me by Hispanics. I experienced a lot of crappy Mexicans and very bad things from Mexicans, enough so that I don’t like most Mexicans even if I don’t know them. Yep it was that bad and I’m being nice about this subject.. It caused me to not marry a Mexican / Hispanic female. I won’t even go to places where there’s too many Mexicans because I am not comfortable. It sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? Yeah well it was pretty bad and that’s why I’m like this. I’ve been treated worse from people of my own kind even to the point of racism towards me. My personal experience is I have better treatment from Anglo-Saxon Americans. I know how it may sound but everyone has different life experiences. You know as well as I do how Hispanic Mexicans are.”

Erik Painter: “This is something that has happened to many many immigrant groups in the US. The word “white” has never stayed the same. It is a constantly changing and completely made up construction. In 1915 Jews, Greeks, Poles, Italians, Spanish, Slavs and Middle easterners and many others were absolutely not “white”. Not even a little. Earlier in the 19th century Irish and Germans were not “white”. This same thing will happen to many Latinos. Many East Indians are starting to be treated as “white” too. Once Latinos are three generations in the US most do not speak much Spanish or have much connection to home countries. The rates of intermarriage are extremely high too. 26% of new marriages by Latinos are to a non Latino. Their kids often feel just as white as Latino and often are perceived as such. Given the way the US perceives these things those Nations who are a larger part black or larger part Native American will have a harder time. But most will be seen as and see themselves as “white”. It is happening among Asians too. Among newlywed American born Asian American women, 50.8% are getting married to a white American. Her kids and grandkids will identify less and less as Asian.”

Eugene Borisenko: “I think it depends on the country of origin and background. Latino is a pretty broad cultural construct, open to interpretation. If someone from Argentina, with Italo-Spanish background, identifies as White, it makes sense. Someone from Paraguay, of mostly Native American descent, may choose Latino or even Native American, depending on what culture they feel closer to. I have a friend who is from Chile, living in the US. His father’s family is from Catalonia; his mom’s background is Ashkenazi Jewish, from Hungary. He has never understood the whole concept of Hispanic/Latino and picks whatever check-box he feels on a given day.”

Sofia Delacruz: “I look white, and I know that my distant ancestry is Spanish (European), and I’m not saying that to be high and mighty or whatever but just saying it is what it is. But I also don’t call myself ‘Spanish’ because I’m not from Spain. I feel that if I had to say racially I am white. But culturally I am Hispanic because I was born on a Spanish speaking island and spoke Span-glish at home and so on. What we have to really get through about this topic is that it’s not a race, it’s not even one nationality since there’s several nations that are in the category. Some Americans seem to think the word automatically = mestizo, as we say in Spanish. Not so. There’s whites, blacks, mixed, all kinds.”

Jerry Rowray: “That’s what happens when we start to put labels on everything and everyone. Throughout history people want to be different than what they are. Brunettes want to be blond…blacks want to be white…brown people want to be lighter. The list goes on. It’s nothing new. We just can’t be happy with what God gave us. I personally don’t see any harm in it as long as we don’t force our wants on anyone else. Walter Mitty wanted to be someone else. Kids play as if they are superheros. No harm. We should quit analyzing everything and enjoy who we are ..or…who we want to be.”

Loretta B. DeLoggio: “I claim five ethnicities, and I get minorities into school.Once upon a time, in a place that James Michener called Iberia, there was a peninsula of sorts that included Spain, Portugal, and a few other countries in bygone centuries. The people on the Iberian Peninsula are European. They are approximately as white as Italians and French. (You may judge for yourself how white that is.)Some of these people, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, became the Spanish conquistadores who overran, destroyed, pillaged, and raped most of South and Central America. Some of these people raped or married the native Indios — Inca, Maya, Aztec, Hopi, Pueblo, and probably more that I don’t know about. Others married women from Spain and stayed primarily European in their genetic makeup.Those who are primarily European look white and generally deserve to be called white; those who intermarried (or genetically intermingled) with the native cultures are the people that we think of as Hispanic or Latino, and their genetic mix would probably be very different.”

Ramon Chapa Jr.: “God made me tall, dark and extremely handsome! That’s what I identify myself as! Yo Soy Chicano! Si Senor!”

J.Carbonell: “To put immigrants into the non-white category is a very old American tradition. Even Irish, Italians and Germans were put into the non-white category at some point.About ten years ago, I had this argument with an American girl who claimed Italians were not white. Surely, this ain’t true. But, it comes from an American tradition of putting immigrants into the non-white category. The idea behind it is to degrade the other person into a non-white inferior race while you get to be an educated white person.German Nazis were famous for this. They created an Aryan race where they self-proclaimed themselves the perfect white race. I always find it funny how people self-proclaim themselves superior at something over others. What the U.S government has been doing towards white latinos is kind of the same mentality.”

Robert Vasquez: “We are all Americans regardless of race, religion or genders. If you’re happy I’m happy for you. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with that person’s choices. Their choices do not affect the way I live my life. When people get so caught up on what others are doing they lose focus on their personal well being.”

Naty Rosado: “Why do a large portion of multiracial Puerto Ricans identify as white?
As a Puerto Rican I am part Taino Indian, Black, and White. However, I identify as White because I have green eyes, my skin is white and when young I had to identify as White, Black, Asian, or Other. When I put Other there was no place to explain the mixture of races that I am composed of. So you see it really doesn’t matter as I could identify as Taino, or Black instead of White but society nowadays looks at the color of your skin instead of the DNA of the person. Because my skin is white people assume I am 100 percent White.”

Sana Da Saint: “I think people should embrace their heritage, unfortunately society made it either cool or comfortable to not.. I’d suggest learning your background and knowing where you come from in order to be all you can be. We must first understand what and why we are .. God bless all.”