White-Race Problems: White Hispanic, White Black, Geraldo Rivera

White-Race Problems: White Hispanic, White Black, Geraldo Rivera

Living Anthropologically: Anthropology – Understanding – Possibility

Jason Antrosio, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York

A strange meme circulates, apparently fueled by Geraldo Rivera’s White Hispanic, Yellow Journalism. It goes like this: George Zimmerman is not really white, he’s Hispanic, and so the [liberal, race-baiting] Main Stream Media [MSM] invented “White Hispanic.” And if Zimmerman’s White Hispanic, does that make President Obama a White Black? Hahaha. #LiberalLogic Gotcha!

Rivera’s account is not completely inaccurate, it’s just a bit twisted and incorrect. First, the claim that “White Hispanic” is a completely made-up term for the Zimmerman trial should be news to the more than 26 million people who in 2010 marked in as White Hispanic on the US Census form–the categories for Hispanic yes/no and race are both separate and both mandatory, as they have been since at least the 1980 Census. Second, as of 2000, people like Obama could indeed check in as White Black on the US Census–however, understanding this issue means knowing about the traditional US framework of hypodescent. Finally, Rivera’s claim that the Hispanic immigrant experience is different from the Irish and Italian one–that Latinos will transform the US racial landscape–is intriguing but unsupported. If anything, the move seems to be toward a Hispanic White/Black bifurcation…

Read the entire article here.

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