Are Mexicans White?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why shouldn't we tell Mexicans to learn English?

DEAR MEXICAN: Although I'm familiar with your column, I don't read it regularly. But today, I was struck by something you said recently about how Mexicans can make Americans like Mexicans. "We called ourselves Spanish, we considered ourselves white." I'm Mexican, and I consider myself "white" because I'm not black or red or Asian. I understand what I'm made of. People from Spain are Caucasian. But in the U.S., educators don't teach you anything about Spain. They downplay Spain's impact on this country. Test questions in school always emphasized that the Spanish came here for "glory and gold," not to settle this land. So I took 15 trips to Spain over a period of 20 years to explore the country. I've written and researched for years to learn who the Spanish really are. And I am here to tell you that I am proud to have a drop of Spanish blood! Do you know where to find the towns of Laredo, Reynosa and Durango? Not only in Mexico, but also in the Basque Region of Spain! Yes. The conquistadores named New Spain areas after towns in Spain! So even if we are one-quarter Spanish, we are members of the white race.

The Anglo-Americans have succeeded in many ways of shaming Mexicans about their heritage and ancestry. But I am very proud of being Mexican. I know who we are, and I know who I am. The blood in my veins is Indian and Spanish; we are Caucasian as well. If we can't call ourselves white, why can others? Why is it that my friends from Iran, Egypt and Albania check off "white" when faced with a U.S. application or legal form? How do these groups end up being "white" and Mexicans don't? Why is it that even a mulatto calls himself "white" now? So please don't be so eager to dismiss us as non-white!

Proud Coconut

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DEAR BROWNIE: You don't regularly read my column? ¡No manches! I have no problem with Mexicans being proud of their Spanish ancestry as long as they don't ignore their nopal en la frente, just as I don't mind Mexicans being proud of their indigenous blood as long as they don't try to pass themselves off as the pure-blooded heirs of Cuauhtémoc. But news flash, chula: Mexicans no son white. Nor are Spaniards. "White" is a construct, not a race. And the only legitimate Caucasians come from the Caucasus, ancestral home of the Boston Marathon bombers. (Quick aside for Mexicans: don't the Tsarnaev brothers look like at least one of your cousins, just as Saddam Hussein looks like everyone's tío?) Finally, do better research—Laredo and Reinosa are in Cantabria, which is about as Basque as you are white.

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DEAR MEXICAN: As a student of history, I believe Mexicans should be more attuned to speaking English. The Spanish did nothing but enslave and subjugate everybody on this continent. Speaking their language only gives them credit they don't deserve. For all the faults of the USA (and there are many, as you know), at least speaking and writing English can open some doors for you here and give you a chance in life. Every immigrant group that ever came over on a boat or crossed the border has had it tough in this country. The ones who couldn't speak fluent English had it tougher. So, as a certified advice columnist, whether or not you're really an hombre, you should be advising everyone to at least sign up for the program here. If they don't like what's happening, they can always swear at their boss in Spanish, and he or she will never know the difference. But ask for a big fat raise in English.

White Sox Winner!

DEAR GABACHO: I'm not certified by any organization I'm aware of besides the National Organization for DESMADRE, but I won't pass along your advice to my readers. Repeating your consejo to them is akin to me telling Mexicans they should use salsa to spice up their food—they'd laugh me back to Cantabria.

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74 comments
Reading1
Reading1

My abuelito sailed from Cantabria, Espana to Mexico in this century (much like many of his relatives who colonized Mexico and "Californita" aboard their Armadas in the 1500s) There are many Spaniards "Espanoles" living in the Spanish community of Vera Cruz, MX. Mi familia is a blend of Espana y Mejico. My Spanish culture is very evident, as well as is my Mexican culture, which includes French. I must say, that looking around in Mexico, the Mexicans are just like my Spanish side, including the accentuated speech.--and no, my Spanish did Not subjugate my Aztec. It's just not that way in Mexico in modern day. As I just explained, the people are now a complete blend of bloods and they like their Spanish as well as their Mexican, Frances, Aleman , Sephardic or what other blood they may be-and what I like-is that they are very beautiful and humble people. The Spanish absolutely love Mexico and its culture and continue to come to Mexico. You see, the climate and views and people in Mexico are very much like Cantabria. I absolutely love food and dance a la Espanola and always thank God for blessing me with such an Alive, wonderful history, people and Food! on both sides. As for race, like anything else, no two people on Earth are the same race. Just as no one is exactly like anyone else. Much less then should we call anyone a "color".

codylopez213
codylopez213

And some Mexicans ask me if im Mexican y do I look like a gringo I say it's BC I'm made like this I am Mexican and Spaniard even tho I look white

codylopez213
codylopez213

I'm Mexican and Spaniard and I'm olive complexed

havoth1
havoth1

" The Spanish did nothing but enslave and subjugate everybody on this continent. Speaking their language only gives them credit they don't deserve."- White Sox Winner... WAIT WTF? And the English didn't? So lemme get this logic - anyone who suppressed or subjugated a people should now have to speak the language(s) of the people who were subjugated/enslaved? Hmmm...now don't take this the wrong way - I think the more languages we speak the smarter we are - but don't the winners of the conquest get to choose the primary language of the land? Even India - with it's 100+ languages and dialects - chose English as it's primary language, along with Hindi. But it recognizes 50+ others and so their gov't forms are myriad in their variety.  But your logic fails my sniff test.

elvagotrago
elvagotrago

It depends on the situation.  When it is advantageous to claim whiteness, mexica will so so.  When there is ground to be gained by playing the carta raza, asi sigue.  One thing for sure, if light skinned folk have any comment or opinion, it shall be deemed racist.

itchy
itchy

i am nordic and translucent

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

""White" is a construct, not a race. "

Sure, keep telling yourself that. Every Spaniard I know considers him or herself white. 

Jose Amaro
Jose Amaro

It's stupid to argue about race. Race has generally been a way to differentiate people based on physical characteristics but the genes that control those traits are very minor; translation, there is no genetic or biological basis for race as we try to define it. Ethnicity is a different thing; we are not white and we are not Spanish because the traditions, customs, habits, colloquilisms (sp?), and un chingo de other isms that we are familiar with is uniquely Mexican. The problem comes in how much do we differentiate? My Guatemalen wife has many similar but some different customs from my own. Is Guatemalen a different ethnicity? As Don Cheadle (in Crash) said. "...then who the hell taught all those different cultures to park their cars on the front lawn!". :-)

Ronnie
Ronnie

Excellent reply, but I would also add that it's also used fr the purpose of divide and conquer within the borders of ones own country, such as the U.S.A., Australia, Britain, South Africa, Middle Eastern countries, etc. Federal office clerks right here in Houston, TX , for the purpose of signing up for social security cards, and citizenship process(?) is imposing on people to declare themselves "white" when they refuse to, but would forcibly check in "white" for them when they refuse to. Example was a guy who said he wasn't white when she insisted he was, because he's of Arab decent , but couldn't find it there, but knew that his country technically is Asian in the Arab Gulf States. He hated the idea anyhow to be classified or racially divided. This goes back to US. History of trying to make "white" a majority for political and/or monetary, etc incentives as we know it. Besides a legal document for the client to fill out and sign, in this case, she illegally filled in the information for him. The happens all the time, even since the days of Ellis Island immigrant admissions (impressing). This is in my opinion part of why our beloved USA is still messed up in regards to being disrespectful of people just because of origins whether in or out of the country. This is partly why our economy is failing because of this domino effect of ignorance.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

What do you have against Gustavo?

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Email the Mexican at themexican at askamexican dot net and he'll answer it!

Frank Preciado
Frank Preciado

You have to learn English, but you don't have to be fluent to be successful. Para prueba estå George W. Arbusto.

Armando Jr Solis
Armando Jr Solis

rephrase the question.. shouldn't it be: are there white Mexicans?...blah blah.. and it's obvious that this topic is gonna create nasty, racist discussions.. just sayin

Ray Man Wut
Ray Man Wut

Funny thing is you actually tried putting words in my mouth in attempt to paint me as a bigot when in reality it's you who is an asshole for rejecting another persons thought cause your little feeling got hurt

Ray Man Wut
Ray Man Wut

Well favian I am a friendly amd enjoy speaking with all.kinds of people. Sometimes they ask me this when out and about or even when they comr into my work. I never once said I was better than them or anyone. The attitude you just exhibited is EXACTLY the attitude that leads them to look down on me for not speaking spanish....projecting hatred on me to cover up their own inaquedacies. My point is we are all "hispanic" regardless of what language we speak, and instead of crearing division within our own community we need to discuss theses sorts of issues. Im sorry my attempt at creating an open dialogue left you angry and offended. But really, that's on you not me.

Kaulana NaPua
Kaulana NaPua

Why TF do people say Mexicans don't learn English? Where is the evidence. I hear people say there are (fill in the blank) kids born and raised in L.A. Who can't speak English. Really ? You actually met one ?

Favian Orozco
Favian Orozco

@Ray Man Wut - where do they pester you? If you're so much better than them, how come you're working along side them. Shouldn't you have had a better education, or did you waste your time being a mediocre POS and ended up working with Pancho and his buddies? You hate them for being ignorant and not having a proper education, why not look in the mirror?

Dennis Sam S
Dennis Sam S

saw the author of the article and lost my interest

Ray Man Wut
Ray Man Wut

I have a question. Why do mexican immigrants constantly pester me for not speaking spanish and how do I politely tell them to shut the fuck up, you came here and we speak english here.

Manny Quintero
Manny Quintero

there is a lot of white mexicans specially in mexico,they are usually rich tho

Josue Cervantes
Josue Cervantes

One word, "cosmic race", ok that's two but enough said

Diana Perea
Diana Perea

None of us are white by the white's "one drop rule". Happy to be rich of many different drops.

Isis Oisis
Isis Oisis

there's so much violence going on against the poor people trying to get here;and still;they get descriminated with OUR OWN !!!!

Laura González
Laura González

omg the Basque/Cantabria debate is killing me. "they're next to each other. That's like saying the United States is part of Mexico—oh, wait..." LOL

Jose Cuetlachtli Bermudez
Jose Cuetlachtli Bermudez

We can get technical or we can get contextual. Technically, some of us are white. But, since many make it a cultural distinction for Anglo (in this country white pretty much means anglo) you temo de decir que soy blanco porque la distincion es hijo de anglo sajon.

Marco Medina
Marco Medina

Some are some aren't. Some are indigenous. Some are black even. Mexican is not a race. Its a nationality

Mary Serrato
Mary Serrato

I'm Mexican and I speak three languages soy perrona no ??

Erk Audelo Leon
Erk Audelo Leon

Pablo: I understand where you are coming from and I agree that we were influenced A LOT by the Spaniards, heck, we have incredibly beautiful works of art in Mexico--iglesias. You find SPanish influence all around Mexico, but why go to all the trouble to classify yourself. Just me a Mexican Lol Ser Mexicano es Chido.

Crystal Diaz
Crystal Diaz

Lets ALL learn the language of the native americans and shut the f. up. Jo-ji's.

Pablo DiMaria
Pablo DiMaria

Erk Audelo, you're right the Spanish did conquer many nations. But I truly believe we Mexicans have more Spanish blood than any other nation. As you know Mexico was actually named New Spain because of all the Spanish that were in Mexico. I am proud of my Indiginious blood, Spanish, German and Italian. In other words I am a mud.

Marie Angelus
Marie Angelus

Yeah they should learn some English of curse,pero es mejor decirle al patrón en Español,que chingue a su mother por abusivo hahaha.

Erk Audelo Leon
Erk Audelo Leon

Andre Serna: I think he is not advising that because this has been advised a trillion times, maybe? I think he was being sarcastic. This is no new information. If he tells them, doesn't make a difference.

Erk Audelo Leon
Erk Audelo Leon

Jajajajaja desde la infancia nos condicionan con lo de "tenemos sangre Española" pero yo digo, si naciste en México, eres Mexicano, para qué la hacen a la ma....da. Si naces en Estados Unidos, eres Estadounidense. No se compliquen la vida. Sientanse orgullosos de lo que que sea que se consideren. Pinches españoles sabemos que conquistaron medio mundo...

Andrea Serna
Andrea Serna

Did I understand your column correctly? You would not advise people to learn English?

Coco Farias
Coco Farias

Wait William, what? Who has more identity with Spain? You or us? Because that makes a big difference.

Mario Trujillo
Mario Trujillo

Of course they should learn english! Especially if they come to the U. S. for the dollar!

Alex Garcia de Aztlan
Alex Garcia de Aztlan

as ive argued time and time again: most "latinos" can simply mark off hispanic and american indian to identify our often indian and white ancestry. heres an interesting fact: according to the us census, hispanics have no problem identifying as white. an estimated 60% of hispanics identify as hispanic whites, the remaining hispanics often mark off "other." so what im sayin is, as the first question points out, there seems to be strong affiliation or preference for identifying as white (or caucasian) and little to no claim of our native roots when it comes to the census, anyway...

Deb Chasteen
Deb Chasteen

Nice circling technique—Excellent to turn it back to Cantabria as you get the last word, as my mom would say.

Ari Gonzalez
Ari Gonzalez

God, that first person's tone is offensive. Like they're in the Qué Qué Qué.

Will Webb
Will Webb

The influence of Spain In California is prominent... Look at the Missions... There is an entire system of Missions Throughout California, who were in charge of evangelizing the local natives back in the Conquista... Then look at pretty much all of the towns, street names, etc... California is like a little Spanish Colony, that still to this day, has more identity with Espana, than with Eastern United States settlers.

Gilberto Vera
Gilberto Vera

National Organization for DESMADRE, how do I join?

 
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