America 's Perception Of Me And My Self Identification

Decent Essays

Christina Saenz-Alcántara, an author for Latino Rebels, does not believe a person can be White and Mexican. In one article she posed the question, “who and what the hell is a White Mexican?”

I am. I was born into a dual world, one constructed by society. I am a diverse individual. Yeah, you heard me right. I am racially and culturally diverse. And I believe it is time for America to ditch its monolithic treatment of race that discredits self-identification; it is time that we acknowledge multiracial and multicultural individuals.

Yo soy un mexicano blanco, and this a story of how I overcame the dilemma between society’s perception of me and my self-identification.

I am a product of illegal immigration: a second generation Mexican American. My mother traveled to the United States at the age of twelve, born in Mexico to a family of farm hands. Poles apart, my father is a third generation White American Jew.

The combination of my race and ethnicity is what the U.S. Census calls “other.” I do not fit any category. I identify as a White Latino. More specifically, I identify as a White Mexican. Yet, according to the U.S. Census I cannot be these two things at once, because to be White means to be non-Latino. As a matter of fact, to be White means to be non-anything else. The attitude that society holds, and that the mainstream media supports, is that whiteness is the ideal. So, anything mixed with White becomes anything except White.

The idea of race as an identifier is

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