She is an educated woman and the director of one of the largest school districts in Illinois and founder of a non-profit. It’s pretty much safe to say that Ivette Dubiel can speak articulately. So why are people surprised that she “sounds” smart. Because she’s also Puerto Rican.
When people say, “Wow, you are so articulate. You don’t talk like you’re Puerto Rican”, Ivette takes offense. “That has got to be one of the most insulting, pseudo-compliments that I receive too often,” she says in her blog for HuffPost Latino Voices.
In this post,Dubiel vents about the preconceived negative image of Puerto Ricans and asks valid questions. “What kind of images do they have in their own head regarding Puerto Ricans?” “Is that image negative?” “If so, why does it have to be negative?” And, “Where did the disassociation with articulation and Puerto Ricans even begin for that person?” Truthfully, we can’t believe we’re still asking these questions about Puerto Ricans or any other Latino person. Sigh…
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is the outgoing president of the National Lawyers Guild and her departure has taken a sudden turn. After years as an attorney, many are now accusing the attorney of posing as a Latina.
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is facing mounting scrutiny and backlash for her claims that she is Latina.
According to a post on Prism, Bannan has a history of claiming her Latinidad. The post points out several interviews the attorney has given over the years with different publications where she explicitly claims that she is part of the Latino community. In one YouTube video with ¡Voice Latina!, Bannan explicitly says that “as a woman, as an individual, as a Latina” she is inspired to do the work she does because of her hero Oscar López Rivera.
People are calling on others to do better about who they choose to represent various communities.
Representation matters, especially when it comes to the issues that are facing our various communities. It is important to make sure that the representation reflects those being represented. According to Prism, Bannan has been pushing a narrative that she is of Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade. She has even spoken out as a Puerto Rican woman that is fighting for the island’s statehood.
There are multiple media moments when Bannan claimed Latino heritage, according to reports.
Prism points to an interview conducted in 2007 where she allegedly told “El Diario” that her heritage was “a little bit Spanish, a little bit Colombian, and a Sephardic Jew.”
“I am racially white, and have always said that. However my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx,” Bannan wrote on Facebook Monday following the story. “My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.”
The story is garnering so much attention because of Hilaria Baldwin and her claims of being Spanish.
Baldwin misled people into believing that she was of Spanish descent when she was a white woman born in Boston. Prism was able to decipher that Bannan is a white woman born in Georgia whose family immigrated from Ireland, Italy, and Russia.
On December 21, 2020, journalist and podcaster Tracie Egan Morrissey opened a jar of worms that caused a massive stir. In a post shared to her Instagram Story, Morrissey shared a string of posts that examined the accent of author, and yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin (wife to Alec Baldwin), and her alleged claims of Spanish heritage. In her post, Morrisey questioned whether or not Baldwin has misrepresented her ethnic and cultural background.
Since, Baldwin, who was not born in Spain and does not come from a Spanish family, but one from Massachusetts, has been forced to explain herself.
In a post shared to Twitter, Morrissey commented on Baldwin’s “decade-long grift” of impersonating a Spanish person.
“You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade-long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person,” Twitter user @lenibriscoe remarked at the top of a long thread that quickly went viral.
According to Page Six, Baldwin’s bio on her agency’s site claims that “Baldwin was born in Mallorca, Spain and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.” In 2018, Hola! magazine described Hilaria as “born in Spain” and noting that Spanish is her native language. @lenibriscoe shared that in interviews from her earlier days of her marriage to actor Alec Baldwin Hilaria Baldwin spoke with a Spanish accent and, in one case, seemed to forget the English word for “cucumber.”
Users pointed out that in an April interview with Cat and Nat of the MomTruths podcast, Baldwin claimed to have “moved here when [she] was 19 to go to NYU.” When asked where she’d moved from, Baldwin noted From — my family lives in Spain, they live in Mallorca.”
After being called out for faking an accent, Hilaria has had to clarify previous assumptions about her heritage.
It is true in fact that Baldwin’s parents live in Mallorca, and according to “Page Six,” they have resided there since 2011. Before that, however, they lived in Massachusetts. According to CUT, Twitter investigators sleuths “dug up the following footage of Kathryn Hayward (‘formerly an internist at the Massachusetts General Hospital’) on what looks like her website, speaking about her upbringing in Longmeadow, as well as Baldwin’s paternal grandfather’s obituary, which states that the Thomas ‘family presence in … Vermont predated the American Revolution.’ Baldwin’s grandfather’s professional travel to Argentina reportedly inspired his children to ‘become proficient in the Spanish language.’”
Strangely, however, if you search “where was Hilaria Baldwin born” on Google it shows a map of Mallorca. Hilaria’s IMDb bio states that “Hilaria Baldwin was born on January 6, 1984 in Mallorca, Spain as Hilaria Lynn Thomas.” School mates of Hilaria have noted that when she was younger she went by the name Hilary.
Recently, Hilaria responded to the questions in a post shared to Instagram.
Hilaria admitted that “there’s some stuff that needs to be clarified,” but said that her words were twisted in previous media appearances. She admitted that she was “born in Boston” and claimed to be “a different kind of Bostonian” one who lived“some of [her] childhood in Spain… There was a lot of back-and-forth my entire life, and I’m really lucky that I grew up speaking two languages,” Hilaria explained that her accent changes depending on the language she speaks more often. “When I tried to work, I try to enunciate a little bit more, but when I get nervous or upset, then I start to mix the two.”
When it comes to her name, Baldwin says that she used the name Hillary in the U.S. and Hilaria in Spain. “My parents, they call me Hilaria, my whole family call me Hilaria,” she remarked. “It’s the same name, just a few letters different, so I think we shouldn’t be so upset about it,” she said. “And whatever you guys want to call me, I will respond to both.”
So far, fans have yet to determine if Baldwin’s claims actually hold water. We’ll see if her insistence that she is not to blame for the misconceptions about her heritage works for her moving forward.