I have a friend that is half Mexican but looks white and has a white last name. She was telling me that for certain things she feels the need to include her mothers maiden name and for other things, she feels the need not to include it. She shared with me she feels like she is not being honest when she does either one. I told her I felt horrible for her. If it is not bad enough she lives in a society where she isn’t white enough or Mexican enough, and now she even condemns herself. It is unfortunate there is the white privilege but it is what it is; it exists. My friend uses it when she needs to and that is fine with me. I asked some of my friends what there thoughts were on this. This is what they had to say:
Beverly Brooks: Whitest Mexican ever right here! To be honest, I’ve never felt anything less than Hispanic, but I embrace that I have more diversity than others. I usually lean on the “white” part only if I’m cracking a joke. I’m technically 25% white I can get away with it
Just dont ask me to roll my R’s… We’ll be here all day.John Santos-Estella Griffith: I have had to deal with these issues my whole life also Honestly, I use it to my advantage every chance I get.
Dana Quinones: I am white as you know but have been married to my husband (who is Hispanic) for over 16 years now. We own a Mexican & American Restaurant for 15 years. I have taught myself Spanish. I would say I understand 80% (wish it was 100%). What’s weird is I don’t really classify myself as white or Hispanic….more like a human being equal to each and everyone of all Gods children. I don’t know how other people see me???? I don’t really try and “fit” in I am me. I can see where ethnicity might come into play if you are applying for a job or something that you need to be “white” or “Hispanic.” Tell your friend to use it to her advantage and feel proud to be both! Love who she is and never feel shame or guilt for being who she is. Put whatever last name she wants. Her NAME will NOT DEFINE who she is. I am truly proud to be a Quinones and a King (my maiden name.) Just treat everyone as you want to be treated and let God handle the rest.
Kirk Otto: I was looking for my privilege in Jr High, when I got my ass kicked every day for being white.I was looking for that privilege when I was working for the city of San Antonio and had no friends, because I was the only white guy. I was looking for that privilege when I was the only one who’s lunch was stolen, or who’s car was damaged in the parking lot.
Mary Svetlik Watkins: Everyday from 6th grade until I left high school, I was ghost or leche. I had a great circle of friends but everyday for six years I was too white. I also had a counselor tell me that I maybe in the vast minority at school butthat was ok; I was smart and funny. In many ways, it made me who I am. I have zero cares what people think of me. I had to learn to like me. Yes, I was the super white kid with bad skin but I worked hard to be kind to everyone.
Jazmin D Zuñiga: Well friend recently because people assume my boys are African American . I had started checking the African American box on paper work but I decided I will be checking “Other” from now on. There is nothing wrong I have two Hatiacanos(Haitian & Mexicanos). I was talking about it with a with them being called black; I date a Lovely Handsome Black Man, but I want my kids to love their culture first, to know where they come from. I don’t want them to say Black because of their color! I know ALOT of Biracial children specially (black) that LEAN more to their African American Culture & define themselves as Black never talking about the other parents race.. When my kids are old enough it’s up to them to decide but for now, I make sure to tell them they are Mexican & Haitian (Latinos). They understand Spanish. Their dad also speaks to them in French & Creole but they speak English! Of course, they are Americans!
Vanessa McBryde: My real maiden name is Morin. My mom changed it to Schuchardt when we moved from Laredo to Boerne because she was afraid I wouldn’t fit in. To this day, I still use Schuchardt because I never got around to legally changing my name to McBryde when I got married. I’m very proud of my culture and I don’t deny it or hide it but it was engrained into me that people are more accepting when they believe you’re white. This idealogy was confirmed when I was called a “mutt” as a child.
Dana Quinones: Just treat everyone as you want to be treated and let God handle the rest.