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.

One comment

  1. Why is it that someone who is half spanish and half white is considered white. But someone who is half black and half white is not considered white. And I don’t mean just skin color wise I mean racially wise. i know this guy who is half spanish and half white he is pretty dark. his sister is darker than me and I’m half black and half white. And this guy checks white. I don’t really get it?

    Comment by Lisa — 11/20/2005 @ 1:50 pm

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