Who and What the Hell Is a White Hispanic?

Who and What the Hell Is a White Hispanic?

Latino Rebels

Christina Saenz-Alcántara

Since The New York Times’ ridiculous piece in May claiming that more Latinos are identifying as “white” between the 2000 and 2010 Census, Latino and non-Latino commentators alike have been weighing in on the many shades of color within the Latino community and the role of the “white Hispanic” within it. An intense discussion about race also continues on social media. This is not a discussion of Afro-Latinos against white Latinos or the white Spanish against the indigenous. It is more about how Latinos are making sense of the confusing label of the “white Hispanic.” What does it mean to be labeled or take on the label of a “white Hispanic?” Some in our own social media community have attempted to make sense of the term “white Hispanic” as a role within and on behalf of our community. Others have seen it as a product of confusion, while even others have dismissed the identity altogether. In this post, I will go through each of the different ways that the social media community has attempted to understand the question: who and what the hell is a “white Hispanic?”…

…For example, in the U.S., there is the one-drop rule. If you have even one ancestor who is African, Asian, or indigenous, you’re automatically non-white. In Puerto Rico, the one-drop rule is that you are considered white if you have even one white ancestor in the previous four generations (known as the Regla del Sacar or Gracias al Sacar laws). In the U.S., a Latino historically is not white since Latinos by definition are a mixture of Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian blood. Yet in Puerto Rico, a Latino is white if they have just one white ancestor. For academics like Cordero-Guzmán, the  “white Hispanic” is a negotiation between two conflicting racial classifications…

Read the entire article here.

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