A little bit of a cultural rant on my part for tonight, which shouldn't matter in this supposedly educated and racially open-minded country of ours:
I have this argument with friends of mine all the time. The term Hispanic/Latino does not designate a race. It’s an ethnicity. Hispanic people come in all races. YES. We do. I tell them, "I am Hispanic, but my race is white." They always seem to look at me in disbelief, even though I am as pale as ghost for God’s sake. We happen to come in all kinds of colors and from different backgrounds, which is something I often find people are not aware of.
The traditional view is that a Hispanic/Latino is brown, and that we can be spotted a mile away when we look like J Lo or George López. While it’s true that a lot of Latinos do look this way, there are many of us who don’t fit the mold. Many of us have strong European, black, Jewish, Arab and even Asian roots! Like the United States, the countries south of our border have seen immigrants settle in from all over the world. The Native American Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas were joined by those raping and pillaging Spaniards (who themselves had strong Arab and Jewish blood), who in turn brought over African slaves, intermixed, and then other immigrant groups came after.
All those baseball players you see playing in the big leagues have strong native Caribbean and African genes, which is why many of them are so dark. An actress like Cameron Diaz is very white due to her Cuban/Spanish roots. Shakira and Salma Hayek have strong Arab genes, but are Hispanic ethnically because they were born in Spanish-speaking countries. Geraldo Rivera comes from a Puerto Rican father and a Jewish mother of all things! The president of Peru at one time was of Japanese descent. It was kinda funny to watch this very Asian-looking man (another crooked politician of course) speaking perfect Spanish. The typical Spanish last names like González, López, and Hernández are dead giveaways, but you’d be surprised how many Latinos actually have last names that don’t fit that mold, whether by birth, or as they used to do in Hollywood so often, which was to change their last names to sound more Caucasian.
So basically, I’m a mutt like most of us in existence today. An ethnically Hispanic white boy of Spanish, Mayan, and German descent born in the USA. The next time ya think you know what a Hispanic looks like, think again. I’m often confused as being just another white dude who couldn’t possibly know a word of español.
You’d be surprised.