Latino Idenity: As We See It

Joseph Eziri

Reading Race

Ms. Maitland

24 January 2017

                                                         Latino Identity: As We See

Throughout history, there has been a major connection of Latino and U.S relations. However, in recent years Latino’s have been apart of controversial topics, like illegal immigrants, crime, job security and wages etc. Race and gender have greatly impacted Latino identity, representation, and race relations in the U.S.

Race has impacted Latino in U.S in many forms. First, Latino identity has been hugely impacted by race. According to ‘Unequal Freedom’ by Evelyn Glenn, “Throughout the debate the delegates seemed to define “white” in opposition to “black “ and “Indian,” leaving Mexicans in an ambiguous position.” (Glenn). In America to be black or white, most of the time can easily be defined, but for Hispanics. Many don’t know where they fall in the race category. Also, race affects representation and what represents Latino’s because some don’t know if to be represented as a Latino or Hispanic. According to ‘Hispanic or Latino? Why their identity is so complicated’, by Laura Hernandez, “Because of the confusion surrounding what to call people whose ethnic background is from Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries.” (para 2, Hernandez). Lastly, race shapes race relations because it can create bits of resentment between two races. According to ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’ by Gloria Anzaldua, “Pocho, cultural traitor, you’re speaking the oppressor’s language by speaking English, you’re ruining the Spanish language,” (Anzaldua). This shows that the Latino want seperate themselves with the English identity because the many years of tensions between latinos and whites.

Also, gender shapes drastically in Latino identity, representation, and race relations. Gender impacts identity in the Latino community because many Latino girls have low self-esteem about themselves. According to ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’, “To be close to another Chicana is like looking into the mirror. We are afraid of what we’ll see there. Pena. Shame. Low estimation of self” (Anzaldua). Secondly, gender affects representation of Latinos too. Many Latinas assimilate the the stereotype of what a Latina is “supposed” to be working as. For example, on the show ‘Devious Maids’, all the characters are Latinas and they are all maids. This badly represents Latina women as maids and servants to other people. Thirdly, gender impacts race relations because it often compares how latino/a to whites or blacks. According to ‘The Workforce is Even more Divided by Race Thank you Think’, “Hispanic men work more often than white men, who consistently work more than black men. Among women, … Black women have consistently worked more often than white women, who have consistently worked more often than Hispanic women.” (para 2, Thompson).

Race and gender are an important deal within the Latino community. Especially in current events, problems have face the Latino community. It is just the representation of the long history of the Latino community in America.

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