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Help - Need Tactful Answer

BlueTurtleBlueTurtle Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited May 2009 in Hispanic Students
Here's my problem. I'm a Cuban female, but according to other kids, I don't look like a "steriotypical Hispanic". Actually, I'm only half - my mom is white. I am getting bigotry from white kids when I mention that I will apply to colleges as a Hispanic. It's happened now several times where people really challenge whether it's fair that I should get an advantage because I don't look Hispanic. Or apparently act like one -- whatever that means.

How would you respond? It really offends me on a couple of different levels. I would appreciate some good advice.
Post edited by BlueTurtle on

Replies to: Help - Need Tactful Answer

  • twomulestwomules - Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    Ask them what does a Hispanic look like and expose their own racism and stereotypes.

    Forget tact. They have.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    That's similar to the question I asked recently. Judging by your name (color + turtle) and your recent joindate, you already saw my question.

    I get the impression that looks are not important in this respect.
  • jessiehljessiehl Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
    Most Cuban-Americans are light.

    As I've said in other threads, there is no such thing as a Hispanic look. What the other kids are thinking of is the mixed White/Amerindian look that is common (though not universal) among Mexicans and some Central and South Americans.

    They are being idiotic and bigoted on several levels and their comments really don't even deserve an answer. You are unlikely to get through to them no matter how rational you are.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,790 Senior Member
    Don't worry, I get that too. I have light skin and blue eyes and a very Irish name (dad's side). But I am 50% hispanic from my mum's side. I didn't apply to college as Hispanic because I didn't answer race at all.

    However, when I mention that I applied for Hispanic scholarships I often get nasty responses from other kids :(. So you are not alone, and it is unfortunate.
  • BlueTurtleBlueTurtle Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thanks everyone for the replies. My parents always tell me use these situations to "educate and enlighten" but this is kind of new and I just don't know how to handle myself. I'm going to try to just ignore it and keep working hard. But I have another question. Once I'm in college am I going to have to constantly have to defend my look to everyone. It makes me think twice about applying to some universities because I don't want to be in such a minority. And btw I never ever get this from other Hispanics. They seem happy to accdept me for what I am. sigh

    I like your name Silverturtle! I haven't read your post but I will look for it and I just started looking at this website. I know I'm not the only person with this problem. I guess as I'm typing this I'm realizing that looks really don't matter and I am what I am. I think I've lived a pretty sheltered life and if this is the worst I'm pretty lucky. Thx
  • jessiehljessiehl Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
    Once I'm in college am I going to have to constantly have to defend my look to everyone.

    My experience was that once you actually get to college, as opposed to high school (where everyone is paranoid about everyone else allegedly "gaming" the system, for their own self-serving definition of "gaming"), people really don't care.

    I knew a number of URMs with what I'd call "passing privilege" or "white-skinned privilege" at MIT. All of the Native Americans that I knew could pass for white. I knew a blond-haired, blue-eyed, mixed White/Mexican guy, a mixed White/Afro-Caribbean guy that most people assumed was white, and a blond-haired, blue-eyed, half-Inuit.

    And you know what? People just didn't care. People didn't ask them what boxes they checked off on their applications. People didn't dispute their claim to their identity. It was a non-issue.
  • TapOutTapOut Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    If you have a hispanic surname it does not matter how white you look.
    You stand do be discriminated against by people just from your last name.
    So if you have a hispanic surname then go for it.
  • TapOutTapOut Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Tell your friends that the next job application they fill out to put Martinez or Gomez as their last name on the application.
    That may shut them up.
  • gmailblows31gmailblows31 Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Tell them to take a peek at Mark Sanchez. The 5th pick overall by the Jets. He's hispanic (mexican) and he doesnt look it a bit.

    "because I don't look Hispanic. Or apparently act like one -- whatever that means."
    Tell them that:
    a)- Hispanic isnt a race. No one has to "look hispanic"
    b)- ask them how hispanics are supposed to act.
    and then quickly
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,041 Senior Member
    I'd ignore these people. They're stupid. You don't need to explain yourself to them.
  • kiterunner18kiterunner18 Registered User Posts: 1,394 Senior Member
    Echoing what was said above. . . I know how you feel! I have dark hair and hazel eyes, but I don't look "Latina/Hispanic." People tell me the same things at school, too. Just go with the flow, and do your own thing. All that matters is the truth. Good luck with everything!
This discussion has been closed.