Census Bureau turning back the racial clock: FIVE CHECK-BOXES WON’T COVER LATINOS’ EXPANSIVE VIEW OF RACE
By Joe Rodriguez
When we were kids, our mother and father teased each other about race in a playful way that puts the Census Bureau about 500 years behind the times. Both of them were Mexican-Americans born in the United States.
Pop was big, tall and as bronze as an Indian from northern Mexico, where his family came from. A truck driver with morning rounds, he had to get to bed early on weekdays. That was impossible when our Mexican immigrant neighbors partied too loud. Furious, Pop would open the window.
“Muchachos, por favor! Let a man get his sleep.” Then he would turn to our light-skinned mother and proclaim, “I thank God he made me an Indian, and not a Mexican!”
We kids were darker than Mama, a trait that allowed her a comeback line whenever we misbehaved. She’d turn to him and yell at us, “Indios de mala clase!” Low-class Indians.
It IS a shameful double standard.
12/1/2004 2:14:18 PM PST
This guy excoriated me for promoting the “multiracial” identity and then he writes about the inadequacy of the current options for capturing his multiple “race” identity as a “Latino.” He is a total hypocrite.
Wed 12/1/2004 5:16 PM
Here is the ad absurdium of identity politics. I would be willing to collect a set of Bibles, set Rodriguez down on the stand and he would swear that there is no inconsistency in his stand. Why? Because he is thinking in terms of (Latino) identity politics.
12/2/2004 5:29:53 AM Pacific Standard Time
Why not try emailing Rodriguez, Latino to Latino, and see how he answers the question of why he supports an “other race” option for Latinos but wants to force “one drop” on the gringo mixed bloods?
Thu 12/2/2004 9:48 AM
So true, Javier.
Sat 12/4/2004 6:01 PM
— In OneDropRule@yahoogroups.com, Pt581@aol.com wrote:
“Well if you are Puerto Rican or Domonican and are of mixed race heritage how do you assimilate and not become something they wish they were not. Many Europeans from the south (Italians) came to this country. Learned English and even changed their name in order to become white Americans.
Most white Americans would look at a Dominican who does not speak Spanish and has an Anglo name and see just another black person. Hispanics and American blacks tend to dislike each other. Although that is changing. Frank P.”
Frank P may have a point, although I would add that certain groups of Hispanics and blacks dislike each other (namely Mexican-Americans and Blacks).
In Piri Thomas’ book, “Down These Mean Streats”, the author tells his father that he is black and his father is too. His father tells him that he personally did not associate with blacks (read non-Spanish speaking people of African descent).
He also did not consider himself to be black. He attributed his dark skin to Amerindian heritage not African heritage. He also admitted that he only associated with other Latinos and spoke Spanish specifically so he wouldn’t be confused as a black person.
Thu 12/2/2004 7:00 PM