Hispanics and racial identity

Hispanics and racial identity
The Seattle Times
by Jerry Large

A reader called the other day to complain about a phrase I’d used.

I had written about census statistics for non-Hispanic whites, and the caller, who is white, didn’t like being defined by what he isn’t.

I understand. Racial classifications are troublesome – a legacy of determined efforts to assign people a place in an economic and social hierarchy.

The reality of people’s identity is always more complicated than the words suggest. We struggle with being defined by race.

There seems to be a gentleman’s agreement not to mention Hispanic and Anglo people of mixed racial lineage in the same article or speech. Certainly, no one dares point out that Hispanics openly defy the supposed “one drop” rule. They also claim the right to be “white” and “minority” at the same time and are never challenged on this point.

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