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Author Topic: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...  (Read 2524 times)

Denny Crane

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2005, 09:48:33 PM »
This is a very tough situation.  I know a girl who is white (both parents are white, not hispanic), and was born in the states, but at a very young age (before she was 1) moved to Ecuador (her dad is in the oil industry, and his job required a move to South America), so she was raised in Ecuador until college.  She speaks both english and spanish fluently, and by all means was raised in a hispanic culture, but she identifies herself as strictly white.  I think among many non-white hispanics, there is a feeling that there is a racial component to it, though a very small, almost insignificant one.  Within hispanic communities you would probably not be considered a hispanic.  You would more likely be considered to be a white person who happens to know a lot about Puerto Rican culture.  However, you should probably check the box and send in a diversity statement so that law schools don't think you're lying or trying to mislead them.  Full disclosure is always a good strategy (law schools have a way of figuring out someone's lies eventually).  Best of luck.  (BTW, I'm a non-white hispanic.  Again, full disclosure).
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J D

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2005, 10:16:47 PM »
This is a very tough situation.  I know a girl who is white (both parents are white, not hispanic), and was born in the states, but at a very young age (before she was 1) moved to Ecuador (her dad is in the oil industry, and his job required a move to South America), so she was raised in Ecuador until college.  She speaks both english and spanish fluently, and by all means was raised in a hispanic culture, but she identifies herself as strictly white.  I think among many non-white hispanics, there is a feeling that there is a racial component to it, though a very small, almost insignificant one.  Within hispanic communities you would probably not be considered a hispanic.  You would more likely be considered to be a white person who happens to know a lot about Puerto Rican culture.  However, you should probably check the box and send in a diversity statement so that law schools don't think you're lying or trying to mislead them.  Full disclosure is always a good strategy (law schools have a way of figuring out someone's lies eventually).  Best of luck.  (BTW, I'm a non-white hispanic.  Again, full disclosure).

But what I'm saying is that there are literally millions of people who are UNDENIABLY Hispanic (natives of Latin American countries whose families can trace their roots their back several generations) who are as white (if not whiter) than, say, Glenn Close.  I have personally met MANY, MANY Cubans who are just as white as I am, some of which even have blonde hair (though that could be from a bottle; I didn't notice any roots, myself) and blue eyes.  Many of these are the older exiles, the oens who came here back in the fifties and sixties.  I have also metmany Argentines and Chileans and Venezuelans and others (even Mexicans, though to my knowledge most of the population there is non-white) fitting this description.  Yes, it is quite possible to be both white and Hispanic.  These are not just "white people who know a lot about Hispanic culture(s)"; these people are WHITE HISPANICS.  As I have been saying (because it seems to bear repeating), Hispanics may be of any race, including but not limited to White, Black, Native American, Asian, or any mix of these.
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Denny Crane

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2005, 10:28:41 PM »
I wholeheartedly agree with you that Hispanics can be of any race (although asian hispanics are more likely to identify themselves as asians from latin american country-X rather than as hispanics).  Anyway, my point isn't that you are not hispanic, or that you are white and only white.  I'm saying that it's a call that can't really be made unless you accept a single definition of what a hispanic is.  My friend (the white girl from Ecuador) does not identify herself as hispanic because her heritage is not hispanic (I believe her parents are Anglo-Saxon).  If someone is hispanic from heritage (ie: their parents are undeniably hispanic, etc.), then you would not qualify as hispanic.  However, that does not seem to be your definition of hispanic.  If it were, you wouldn't have even asked this question.  Your definition of hispanic seems to be anyone who can claim at least some blood relation to an undeniable hispanic (ie: your puerto rican grandmother) AND who adheres to some form of hispanic culture.  If this is your definition, then yes, you can consider yourself hispanic.  However, while you may be fully knowledgeable of puerto rican culture, it seems as if you do not self-identify as hispanic (ie: introduce yourself to others as a puerto rican, etc.).  Again, if you did, you would not be asking this question.  Knowing a lot about a culture does not in and of itself make you a part of that culture.  While in strict terms "Hispanic" is not a race category, it is generally treated as a race category by adcoms (even by the census, but that's a whole other story).  Because of this, you would probably not qualify as hispanic in the eyes of an adcom.  But it really boils down to how you self identify.  Even if you want to take advantage of the affirmative action benefits that being a puerto rican confers, it would probably not be appropriate to do so if you have never unquestionably identified yourself as hispanic (or part hispanic).  This is your call though.  I think identifying yourself as hispanic and including an addendum/diversity statement would be a good course of action, that way an adcomm can make their decision based on all relevant info).
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J D

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2005, 10:36:28 PM »
I wholeheartedly agree with you that Hispanics can be of any race (although asian hispanics are more likely to identify themselves as asians from latin american country-X rather than as hispanics).  Anyway, my point isn't that you are not hispanic, or that you are white and only white.  I'm saying that it's a call that can't really be made unless you accept a single definition of what a hispanic is.  My friend (the white girl from Ecuador) does not identify herself as hispanic because her heritage is not hispanic (I believe her parents are Anglo-Saxon).  If someone is hispanic from heritage (ie: their parents are undeniably hispanic, etc.), then you would not qualify as hispanic.  However, that does not seem to be your definition of hispanic.  If it were, you wouldn't have even asked this question.  Your definition of hispanic seems to be anyone who can claim at least some blood relation to an undeniable hispanic (ie: your puerto rican grandmother) AND who adheres to some form of hispanic culture.  If this is your definition, then yes, you can consider yourself hispanic.  However, while you may be fully knowledgeable of puerto rican culture, it seems as if you do not self-identify as hispanic (ie: introduce yourself to others as a puerto rican, etc.).  Again, if you did, you would not be asking this question.  Knowing a lot about a culture does not in and of itself make you a part of that culture.  While in strict terms "Hispanic" is not a race category, it is generally treated as a race category by adcoms (even by the census, but that's a whole other story).  Because of this, you would probably not qualify as hispanic in the eyes of an adcom.  But it really boils down to how you self identify.  Even if you want to take advantage of the affirmative action benefits that being a puerto rican confers, it would probably not be appropriate to do so if you have never unquestionably identified yourself as hispanic (or part hispanic).  This is your call though.  I think identifying yourself as hispanic and including an addendum/diversity statement would be a good course of action, that way an adcomm can make their decision based on all relevant info).

You should note that my question specifically stated, "Why are there so many people (both on this message board and elsewhere) cluelessly blathering on about people being "biologically Hispanic," as if being Hispanic had anything to do with biology?  Why don't more people know that you can no more be "biologically Hispanic" than you can be "biologically French?""  Such would seem to imply that my definition has nothing to do with blood or patrimony, either.  It is the same definition that you use (and for that matter that the schools and the ABA use): self-identification.  I was just questioning why there seem to be so many clueless jokers on this and other sites who are under the impression that Hispanidad has ANYTHING whatever to do with biology.  I have read too many posts that speak of "biologically Hispanic," or "Hispanic by blood," or of "not looking Hispanic (whatever that means!)" and all that darn.  It's actually quite sad.  My point is that Hispanidad has nothing whatsoever to do with race or blood or looks.

EDIT:  You also seem to be confusing me with the OP.  I am not s/he.  And I don't think the census treats Hispanic as a race; in fact, I think I remember reading that they specifically mention that it is not a racial, but an ethnic, category, and that Hispanics may be of any race.
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Denny Crane

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2005, 10:56:23 PM »
Indeed I did mistake you for the OP.  Sorry for the mistake.  But everything I said still stands.  The OP needs to examine how she self identifies.  That's the key to this dilemma. 
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J D

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2005, 07:46:47 AM »
Agreed.  :)
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pop_tort

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2005, 09:37:51 PM »
Do you plan on joining the Latino/ Hispanic Law Students Assoc. once you skate your way into law shcool after "claiming" this heritage???

If no, then mark white.
If yes, then mark Hispanic/ Latino.

Easy enough.

ThePerfectSoldier

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2005, 09:51:43 PM »
I wholeheartedly agree with you that Hispanics can be of any race (although asian hispanics are more likely to identify themselves as asians from latin american country-X rather than as hispanics).  Anyway, my point isn't that you are not hispanic, or that you are white and only white.  I'm saying that it's a call that can't really be made unless you accept a single definition of what a hispanic is.  My friend (the white girl from Ecuador) does not identify herself as hispanic because her heritage is not hispanic (I believe her parents are Anglo-Saxon).  If someone is hispanic from heritage (ie: their parents are undeniably hispanic, etc.), then you would not qualify as hispanic.  However, that does not seem to be your definition of hispanic.  If it were, you wouldn't have even asked this question.  Your definition of hispanic seems to be anyone who can claim at least some blood relation to an undeniable hispanic (ie: your puerto rican grandmother) AND who adheres to some form of hispanic culture.  If this is your definition, then yes, you can consider yourself hispanic.  However, while you may be fully knowledgeable of puerto rican culture, it seems as if you do not self-identify as hispanic (ie: introduce yourself to others as a puerto rican, etc.).  Again, if you did, you would not be asking this question.  Knowing a lot about a culture does not in and of itself make you a part of that culture.  While in strict terms "Hispanic" is not a race category, it is generally treated as a race category by adcoms (even by the census, but that's a whole other story).  Because of this, you would probably not qualify as hispanic in the eyes of an adcom.  But it really boils down to how you self identify.  Even if you want to take advantage of the affirmative action benefits that being a puerto rican confers, it would probably not be appropriate to do so if you have never unquestionably identified yourself as hispanic (or part hispanic).  This is your call though.  I think identifying yourself as hispanic and including an addendum/diversity statement would be a good course of action, that way an adcomm can make their decision based on all relevant info).

You should note that my question specifically stated, "Why are there so many people (both on this message board and elsewhere) cluelessly blathering on about people being "biologically Hispanic," as if being Hispanic had anything to do with biology?  Why don't more people know that you can no more be "biologically Hispanic" than you can be "biologically French?""  Such would seem to imply that my definition has nothing to do with blood or patrimony, either.  It is the same definition that you use (and for that matter that the schools and the ABA use): self-identification.  I was just questioning why there seem to be so many clueless jokers on this and other sites who are under the impression that Hispanidad has ANYTHING whatever to do with biology.  I have read too many posts that speak of "biologically Hispanic," or "Hispanic by blood," or of "not looking Hispanic (whatever that means!)" and all that darn.  It's actually quite sad.  My point is that Hispanidad has nothing whatsoever to do with race or blood or looks.

EDIT:  You also seem to be confusing me with the OP.  I am not s/he.  And I don't think the census treats Hispanic as a race; in fact, I think I remember reading that they specifically mention that it is not a racial, but an ethnic, category, and that Hispanics may be of any race.

Is it that important to track whether one uses Latino as opposed to Hispanic in every post?

J D

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Re: Trying to decide whether to say Hispanic or white...
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2005, 10:06:49 PM »
I guess not.  The major difference (in my mind, at least) is that "Latino" is a broader term, in that it also includes Brazilians; Hispanic does not, I don't think.
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