|Great-grandfather Julio Castro|
Nowadays, I just kinda shrug my shoulders and think, "Yeah, I'll fill it out."
The box that I check is the one marked "Hispanic". Why do I do this? Well, 'cause I'm Hispanic. My great-grandparents, Julio and Teodora Castro, came to America from Spain. Their daughter, my grandmother, was 100% Spanish, which makes me 25% Spanish. That's Spanish enough to be Hispanic.
Still, I feel kinda funny checking off that box. I look like Joe White Guy. Isn't Hispanic something else? When I hear the word, I think of folks from Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, etc. While I realize that those are different cultures, and you always run into trouble when you go grouping large numbers of people into categories, they seem to have some commonalities which I do not. I mean, Benicio del Toro is Puerto Rican, but he played a Mexican cop in Traffic. Nobody would believe it if they hired me to play a Mexican cop. (And yes, I know that there are plenty of fair-skinned Mexicans out there. You know what kind of crap they often have to hear? "You don't LOOK Mexican!")
|Great-grandmother Teodora Castro|
I'm pretty sure that for the longest time, whenever I would actually identify what ethnic group I'm in, I'd never check "Hispanic" even though my dad had told me that's what I was. It's not that I doubted him, but see my reasons above for why I didn't feel right about identifying myself this way. I finally started doing it consistently when filling out the last U.S. Census form, where it clearly stated that "of Spanish descent" was part of the description for Hispanic.
Maria Sanchez Romero
I realize that there's a lot more to Hispanic/Latino culture than how some white people treat them like crap, but I feel like a bit of a phony by telling people I'm Hispanic. It's not like I know what any of those things are like.
But hey, maybe some Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Panamanians, etc. are reading this blog and thinking to themselves, "What's the big deal? You're Hispanic. Who cares if you look like you could be the spokesman for Gringos United?"