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Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is what it looks like

Recently, I read a news story in which they were describing a robber who got away. They put up a sketch of the suspect.

Here is his description:
"He's described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds."

People in the comments laughed: "That's hilarious!!! Don't hispanic males have dark skin? The description fits 90% of the hispanic male population until they get to the weight. A 190 pound hispanic male???"


Twenty-one countries claim Spanish as their official language. Still, when people think "Hispanic," this is what they imagine for each of those countries:

Not this:
And, certainly, not this:

They think this is Hispanic music:

When it is also this:

Hispanic heroes are jokes:
But they are also iconic:

Though there are Hispanics who look like this:

And this:

People still imagine this:


I am Venezuelan:

But when people hear "Venezuelan" they think this:

Even though the reigning Miss Venezuela looks like this:

And the previous Miss Venezuela looks like this:


I do not negate that there are Hispanics who look like this:

But they also look like this:

Yes, Hispanics look like my sister and my nieces:

But they also look like my brothers and my mom:

Yes, Hispanics look like my sister-in-law, but they also look like my nephew.

I have been told I'm not Caucasian enough, and I have been told I'm not Hispanic enough. I suppose someone should tell that to my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. And while they're at it, my great great grandparents.

If the world you live in dictates that a Hispanic person is brown and up to no good, then turn off the TV and turn on your mind.

12 comments:

Sarah said...

My grandpa is Mexican. When my blond-haired blue-eyed sister told her boss that she was a quarter Mexican he laughed at her.
Some people are dumb.

Wendy said...

A girl I went to high school with was from Spain, blond, blue-eyed and a killer field hockey player. Any illusions I had about Spanish speakers was out the window upon meeting her. And, incidentally, I have a great great grandfather who was black. Can't you just tell by looking at me? :) Great post.

steelebjm said...

My sis-in-law is your "typical" Venezuelan, and my nephew has bright blue eyes and dirty blonde hair and fair skin. So, I totally believe you!

Honestly, I'm more concerned about how feminine that suspect looks...;)

Kristen said...

Any time I've read comments on news sites like ksl, I leave frustrated because they all seem to be crazy, critical people who have nothing better to do. Soooo contentious.

Is this a good time to mention that I know someone who looks like that picture and fits the description perfectly and he lives in that area? I'm a little afraid to find out... Will you give me a link to the news story? And by the way, he's not hispanic. Hmm.

Mariah said...

Very thoughtful photo essay, Adhis. Good job.

Ken said...

So Clarice was like, "I didn't know Cameron DIAZ was Hispanic!" Someone who didn't know how she looked like would simply find that comment ironically funny. My funny wife. :) OK, so I'm coming off of meds still and I keep wondering if what I'm going to say is offensive or not but I just think it's plain funny. So what you're saying, Adhis, is that we need to expand our racial profiling? So a Hispanic person could be "white" and up to no good? It's funny though cuz everytime a cop has pulled me over and those times I've gotten a ticket he always puts on there for my race "white." I wonder if that's something I could fight in court, "But Judge, it says here he pulled over a white guy name Ken Applegate. I'm an Asian guy named Ken Applegate." :)

Kristen said...

I'm of European descent and nobody cares. =o(

Amannda Ashby said...

The fact that you can make a homemade tortilla says it all. I have tried a couple of times and everytime I end up thinking "I am just NOT brown enough".

Jackie said...

Excellent post. I should do one about all of the racist comments that I've been exposed to, and about the reaction I get when I then tell people my son is black.

Its enjoyable.

Vanessa said...

Wow, I love this post! I'm Brazilian, and I too get the stereotypical looks from people, like I don't know what I'm talking about. Yes I have light hair and I'm so white I'll blind you... I'm still Brazilian. And I'm 1/8 black. Go figure...

Nathalie Smith said...

you said it right on sista!!!

tHe DaViS FaMiLY said...

Love This, Thanks!