Yesterday, while I was pursuing the Internet I ran across an interesting article about Latinos and race. In his piece, “What Race is a Latino? Some Mexican-Americans in California Aren’t Even Sure (Neither Are We),” Dennis Romero discussed the difficulty some Latinos face when they are forced to fill out forms that ask about race.
Because Latino isn’t a designated racial category and, as Romero points out, “Latinos can chose a race from white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander or Native American/Alaska Native — but not ‘Latino,’ because it’s not a race,” Hispanics further illustrate the trickiness of how people are classified.
Although race is socially, not biologically, constructed and there are more biological differences between men and women than between the races, some people still want to align themselves (and others) along certain racial lines.
But what about Latinos?
Like many, they can run the gambit from fair-skinned and blue-eyed to deep brown and kinky-haired, and as Latinos continue to become the largest minority group in the U.S., increasing not only in numbers but also political and economic power, some are wondering if Hispanics could be the first ever post-racial ethnic group.
Despite their diversity, however, many Latino countries and communities suffer from the same isms—racism and colorism–that plague others. However, it is their inherent differences that give some hope that with their varied skin tones, cultures, and customs, Latinos can help us all transcend the boundaries and constraints of race.
What do you think? Can Latinos help us reach the ‘Post Racial Promised Land?’ Sound Off!