Entertainment

Why Are Some Latinos White? MTV Explains.

Chances are, no matter what you look like or how you identify, you’ve interacted with someone who was a bit confused about how this whole “Latinx” thing works.

“If you’re Latinx then… why are you white?”

“But you can’t be both Latinx and black. Right?”

“Wait, so you’re Asian and Latinx? How does that even work?”

Sigh. Fortunately, MTV’s “Decoded” host Franchesca Ramsey offered us an in-depth look on the differences between race and ethnicity when it comes to that age-old question: Are Hispanics white?

And she had a little help from our very own video producer extraordinaire, Kat Lazo.

Franchesca kicks things off by explaining how the census is currently set up in a pretty confusing way.

Especially if you’re Latinx and/or of Hispanic descent, namely because it strives to categorize people in neat little boxes according to both race and ethnicity, even though these labels can be, well. Pretty complex!

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

Adding to all this is the existing confusion between the terms “Hispanic” and “Latinx / Latin@ / Latino/a.”

Fortunately, Kat was able to clear up some misconceptions:

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

Breaking it down to its most basic level, it’s essentially a matter of language versus location. And, as Kat also points out, neither term refers to a racial identity.

In fact, Latinx can refer to people of any race.

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

As Kat explains, Latin American history includes colonization, slavery and global migration, and those have resulted in Latinx indigenous American, European, African and Asian descent. We’re a global phenomenon!

Ok, ready for things to get a little more complicated? Awesome, let’s go:

As Franchesca explains, the concept of race isn’t truly inherent. It’s a construct, and an ever-shifting one at that.

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

As for ethnicity, we can define it as a set of cultural practices, values and traditions that unite and define a group of people.

Like, for example, Latinx.

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

Making this even MORE COMPLICATED is the fact that even though Latinx isn’t a race, we’re racialized.

And popular Latinx representation in media hasn’t helped.

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

And, since so much of the U.S.’s understanding and discussion of race tends to fall into a black/white binary, it’s all the more important for us as Latinx to define ourselves.

Here’s how Kat identifies, for instance:

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Credit: YouTube / MTV News

So. Are Hispanics white?

Sure, some are! And some are black. And some are both. And some are mixed race with indigenous ancestry. And some are Japanese-Brazilian-Afro-Venezuelan-Taíno. And some simply identify as Chicanx.

Whew.

Watch the full video below:


READ: What Shall We Call Us? The Debate Around ‘Latinx’ Continues

So tell us: How do you identify?

Latinidad Is Being Cancelled By Afro And Indigenous People Who Do Not See Themselves Represented

Culture

Latinidad Is Being Cancelled By Afro And Indigenous People Who Do Not See Themselves Represented

indyamoore / Instagram

While we’re in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to note how the outdated term “Latinidad” excludes a large portion of the Latino community. We’re talking about the existence of indigenous and Black Latinos. The “Hispanic” label specifically includes those from Spain, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month feels completely weird if you’re Afro or indigenous. 

There’s been more of an uproar recently between Hispanic, Latinos, and Afro-Latinos after musical artist Rosalia got awards and praise for her music as a Latin artist. The thing is that she isn’t Latina, she’s Spanish. That entire debacle was just another nail in the coffin that proves how white-washed our society is, and it’s not just coming from Caucasians but Latinos as well. 

People on social media are using the hashtag #LatinidadIsCancelled to discuss anti-Blackness in the Latino community. Not to mention, how society, in general, discriminates against Black Latinos when referring to Latinos as a whole demographic.

Journalist Felice León did a brilliant segment for The Root titled, “Black and Indigenous Millennials Are Cancelling Latinidad” in which she discusses how Black Latinos are not included under the Latinidad umbrella.

“Latinidad just really just centers on the shared history and shared culture, but doesn’t necessarily, like, delve into all of those multifaceted identities,” writer Janel Martinez told León and added she’s straying from the term Latinidad. “And for me, Latinidad ultimately serves white cis-gendered, straight, wealthy men.” Martinez continued, “I am none of those things, so for me, I’m at the margins of this term.”

While we know Latinos are already excluded from significantly from TV and film, the ones that are visible are mostly white Latinos. 

Credit: @TheRoot / Twitter

You ever noticed how the most popular Latino celebs are light-skinned? We’re talking Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello, Gina Rodriguez, America Ferrera, Rosalia and that’s just when referring to the women.

The topic of canceling Latinidad shows how racist our own people are against Black Latinos. 

Credit: @EnLatinidad / Twitter

Ever notice how some Latinos praise a baby that is born with light skin and blue eyes? Or how they object to someone dating a Black man? It is a sentiment that has been part of the Latino community for a very long time.

Afro-Latinos face so much discrimination because of their ancestors, their dark skin, and their hair. 

Credit: @juni0r973 / Twitter

How can a group of Latinos fit nicely and perfectly under the Latinidad family if some people there clearly don’t want to include Black Latinos? It’s kind of sad how light-skinned Latinos favor their whiteness as superiority. Black is beautiful. When will the Latino community finally realize that? Thanks to the inclusion of Black Latinos in the media, we’re able to see the representation even though it’s still quite limited.

The exclusion of Black Latinos could also be seen in this year’s Latin Grammy nominations, which excluded a lot of reggaeton artists. 

Credit: @rosangelica4u / Twitter

Another hashtag making the rounds on the internet included #SinReggaetonNoHayLatinGrammy after several artists spoke out against the Grammy’s exclusion of reggaeton artists. The most nominations this year went to two Spanish artists, Rosalia and Alejandro Sanz

While we know some Latinos are racist against their own people, it’s important to know that colonized societies have been white-washed and that cycle continues to this day. 

Credit: @themermacorn / Twitter

How do we break a cycle of racism against our own people? By educating ourselves about the history of our diaspora, and not by closing our eyes to the reality of colonization. We’re not perfect people, but we can learn to be more inclusive by realizing our own hate and blindness. The blatant and longstanding practice of ignoring the Afro and indigenous identities within the Latino community has justifiably left so many people done with Latinidad.

It’s funny how Rosalia was beloved from day one until she starting owning her Latinidad on a public stage. 

Credit: @elliottraylassi / Twitter

During her acceptance speech at this year’s MTV VMAs, Rosalia said, “Wow. I wasn’t expecting this, honestly. Thank you, because it’s such an incredible honor. I come from Barcelona. I’m so happy to be here representing where I come from and representing my culture. … Thank you for allowing me to perform tonight singing in Spanish.”

So if she said she’s representing where she came from, which is Spain, she is certainly not Latina so why is she cradled into that group so openly?

As one person put it nicely on Twitter, @gacd86 writes, “Latinidad isn’t just for white Latinos though. Mestizos participate in the normalization of anti-blackness and the benefit of the exploitation of indigenous communities.” The rampant and dangerous anti-Blackness in the Latino community needs to stop now.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month.

READ: Spain Has Colonized The 2019 Latin Grammys And Latino Twitter Has Some Serious Thoughts

Indya Moore Told Reporters On The Red Carpet That They Do Not Identify As Latina And Here’s Why

Entertainment

Indya Moore Told Reporters On The Red Carpet That They Do Not Identify As Latina And Here’s Why

Indya Moore, who uses the pronouns they/them, was on Emmys purple carpet when they were asked about a comment they made previously. The comment was about Latinidad and how they don’t identify with that community. Here is why Moore says they are not Latina but Afro-Taíno.

“Pose” star Indya Moore has no time for the colonized identity of Latino.

Credit: @REMEZCLA / Twitter

Moore first spoke about their identity during a discussion at the Sundance Film Festival. Moore spoke with Buzzfeed’s Curly Velasquez as part of the Up Next Series Brunch and got candid about their identity on a racial and cultural level.

“I don’t understand why we have to be identified as ‘Latin’ or ‘Hispanic’ when most of us are not from Spain,” Moore said at the brunch. “Our language, the ways we identify with ourselves have been given to us.”

Moore further clarified their comment during the Emmys purple carpet.

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Moore was at the award show last night with their co-stars of “Pose,” which was nominated for an award. Their biggest moment came when Remezcla asked the star to clarify their remarks about not identifying as Latino.

“A lot of the culture was lost through imperialism and there’s still so much distance and disconnect with me,” Moore added at the Sundance brunch. “I did learn a lot about my gender variance, it was acknowledged through my ancestry. Something that was very important to me: that my ancestors loved me. And that I am my ancestors’ dreams.”

Their comments about their cultural heritage has angered at least one Twitter user.

Credit: @GirlGoneTravel / Twitter

The conversations about anti-blackness in the Latino community have intensified in recent years. Afro-Latinos are rightfully demanding their place at the table to demand representation within their community.

However, Moore’s comments speak to another sentiment within the Latino community, one of decolonizing our identities. From cookbooks to social media discussions, Latino people are searching for answers about their identity that does not tie back to the Spanish colonization and European oppression that led to our current understanding of our identity.

Moore was unapologetic at the Emmys about their complete identity.

“Black Latinos don’t necessarily have the same experience as Latinos who are not Black,” Moore told Remezcla. “I, personally, do not identify as Latino because Latino means Latin and Latin, it means white. And I’m not white, so I just call myself Afro-Taíno ’cause that’s what I am.”

The Taíno people are an indigenous population that lived in the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Lesser Antilles. They were the first group of First World people to encounter European colonizers in 1492 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Like other indigenous groups, European colonizers set about killing off indigenous communities to steal land and inject European ideals and culture in their place. This is the kind of history people are having to find for themselves since it is not taught in class. Labels like Latino, Hispanic, and Latin America have long been contentious because of their clear reference to the violent and forced colonization of indigenous people in the Americas.

Moore not only took on the blanket identity of Latino, but they also took on the beauty standards of female-presenting people.

Credit: @IndyaMoore / Twitter

Moore walked the purple carpet in a stunning dress that showed off their long and beautiful legs. However, some people are thrown by the appearance of leg hair on the star. When someone asked if there was hair on their leg, they responded with power.

“I grow hair on my legs. And I choose not to shave it cus I like it,” Morre tweeted back. “There are bigger issues being debated about my life in the supreme Court right now anyways. But yes, I have hair on my legs, and under my under arms too and in my ass. Have fun.”

Moore was referring to the Title VII case heading to the Supreme Court on Oct. 8.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a brief with the Supreme Court telling the justices that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender people. Laverne Cox brought attention to the coming case at the Supreme Court by bringing ACLU attorney Chase Strangio who spoke about the case on the purple carpet.

“Everyone should be aware that the administration is asking the Supreme Court to make it legal to fire workers just because they’re LGBTQ and this is actually going to transform the lives of LGBTQ people and people who are not LGBTQ,” Strangio said on the purple carpet. “Anyone who departs from sex stereotypes like all the fabulous people here for example so we really need to show up October 8 and pay attention because our lives are really on the line.”

READ: Indya Moore Is The First Trans Person To Grace An Elle Magazine Cover And Her Red Carpet Looks Prove Why