Bi-Racial: I’m not “Mexican” enough?

Santa Monica, CA

I grew up in Texas in a small town where the population is roughly half Mexican and half white (German, Polish, Irish, etc.). I myself am half Mexican and half Irish. Funny enough, a lot of my friends are also bi-racial. When I moved away from Texas, I was shocked by how many people thought I was white and never even considered that I was Mexican. I am curvy, dark brown thick hair, dark eyes but very light skinned.

So when I would correct people, they would usually reply with “You don’t act Latino.. You act white.” This puzzled me because I never knew you could act a certain race. Aren’t we all different? I am not the stereotype of a Latina girl who gets pregnant early, has an accent, has a lot of sass (although I have to admit, I am a bit sassy), and wears overly tacky clothing. But funny.. I know a lot of Latino girls who aren’t like that easier. I find it completely rude and ignorant because what people are REALLY saying is that you sound educated. It’s the same for someone is told they aren’t “black” enough. To say that only white people can sound articulate is unfair.

Another thing I always get is that I am not Mexican enough because I don’t speak Spanish very well. Yes, I am ashamed to say that my Spanish has never been good. My mother never spoke to me in Spanish and none of my family speaks Spanish to each other on a regular basis… It has only been now in my 20s that I have made more of an effort to learn Spanish so that I can practice with my grandmother. The funny thing people don’t seem to know is that just because you are Mexican, doesn’t mean that you’re family just crossed the border a generation ago. My family was actually living in what is now known as Texas for generations (4 generations that I can count including my Native American grandmother). So sadly, as generations go on, some things are lost. My hope is that I can learn Spanish and hopefully pass it down to my children so it’s not completely forgotten. But also important is letting people know that just because you may not fit a stereotype, doesn’t mean you aren’t who you are. I can never change the fact that I am Mexican and Irish and I never would. I act how I act because I am who I am. Would you ever chastise a person who was say for example German-American but doesn’t speak German? No, most people wouldn’t. Their excuse is that their family came to America generations ago.. so why is it not the same for minorities? America is a melting pot.. and it’s wonderful to see people of all combinations come together!

I want to know how other people see this “acting your race” idea? Agree, disagree.. what has your experience been?

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • cupcakes

    I have never understood why the Mexican women are so Mean They are so negative and Hateful

    • Jojo

      :( not cool.

    • Melinda Kaye

      U are an embarrassment.

    • chuen

      because you meet a Latina not a Mexican (native american),,lol. you know when anglo and black Americans tell me to go back i tell them you first, me i am home. lets get along its easy very one hates every one even there own, so the few left lets take it easy have fun, stop pharmacy and street drugs better..

    • chuen

      MExican people (Native Americans) has its bad seeds as do Crakers and Yankees. don’t forget that….

      • Courtney Saint Alexander Ellis

        You do know that the term Native American encompasses the entire northern and southern Americans including the islands don’t you?

  • Mary

    Being half white and half Mexican does not make you bi-racial, it makes you white. Mexicans are predominantly 1/2 Native American and 1/2 European.

    1/2 Mexican 1/2 Native American = Native American
    1/2 Mexican 1/2 European = White

    • Jojo

      I’m half Mexican and half white and I am biracial . I have both cultures to uphold and both sets of standard to live up to. It’s not up to anyone else to tell people who they think we “technically” are. It’s offensive.
      You wouldn’t go up to some one who was German and Asian and say ” because your half German your not considered German-asian. We are going to just say your German ” . It would be wrong not to honor the other race of culture as well.

    • Drea

      That’s an over simplification. Culturally they are not the same people.

  • Catherine Cisneros Bender

    I grew up in a small town in California. My cousin did family tree history and it turns out eight generations ago my grandfather traveled up through California with Junipero Seirra as a “hide soldier”. My parents met at a military fort called Fort Ord. My dad is from West Virginia and Scotch Irish. I do look like a lighter shade of my mother with dark hair and eyes. During the 1960s Mexicans we’re treated as second hand citizens. As a result my father did not allow my mother to teach us Spanish. This has always been a great sadness to me. But I stand strong in both my races. I make my own tortillas from scratch and I am very good Mexican cook. I follow many Mexican customs and have shared them with my children. It hurts when now I am the still treated second class from my Mexican brothers and sisters because I don’t speak Spanish. I hope this will change someday. Thank you so much for your blog! Us bi-racials need to share our stories whenever we can!
    Catherine Cisneros Bender

  • leo

    The problem is that people are ignorant and don’t understand the history of Hispanic people. We are not just Aztec. We are also Latino European. (SPAIN ITALY FRANCE AND EVEN GERMAN OR BRITISH) examples include Frida Khalo ect. Also funny thing they had the nerve to call you out for being Irish most mexicans have euro ancestry. Also in the Mexican American war Protestant Anglo America discriminated Irish Italian and Spanish in the US Army. Therfore this caused them while stationed in what is now TX to defect and join the Mexican side as Catholic St. Patrick’s batallion. That’s where we get saint Patrick’s day. Dumb Carlos menial can never understand this.

  • leo

    Typo correction on my last line in last comment menial. I meant to put Carlos Mencia

  • Beth

    Mexico is not a human subspecies, nor is it a race. Mexicans can be white, castizo (predominantly white), mestizo, or native American. People forget that it was colonized and then had large waves of immigrants from Europe as did other countries in the Americas. That being said, just because someone has one parent who is Mexican (mostly Spanish decent, some native american, some french) and another who is Anglo-American doesn’t mean their bi-racial. My mother is Mexican and my father is Dutch, and no I’m not “bi-racial”, I’m just white!

  • Melinda Kaye

    According to the census you are biracial — you are latino and european — as am I. P.S. who say you are just white are moronic === white is a color, not a nationality or race. toodle loo.

  • chuen

    Why white Mixed people say there total “White”? Back during Spanish and Portuguese “Indian” slave trade and killing native Selknam’s for sport in Patagonia. When arrange marrieage with the Tupi’s of Brazil and Raped conquered native women had first born Metis (Mestizo) the child was considered an “indian” slave (derogatory for mongrel people). Knowing this and growing up Native American food like: eating chocalate beans (cacao), corn meal, Maize, tomate, vanilla, potato, yucca, bananas, avocate/do, baffulo, deer steaks ect. and breathing the western atmosphere norther air I realize that the Mexica (Nahuas people) and all Pan American people (Latin, Mestizo, aborigal) are all native Americans still. “We” come in all colors now, Roman Spanish and German English is just the dialects of our conquistadors, now Pan American people are coming back to the mother land (north america) from the father land (central and sub america) to re conquest but in a educational way. Mi hente, don’t forget we are not a minority physically just mentally because “we” are confused of our identity, this is normal because it cost millions of dollars to complete genocide in the Americas so it was cheaper to confuse us. Let me break it down as a “indigenous reform” Act to all Mestizo Americans and Amerindians. Mexica Nahuas people came from the seven caves of salt lake Utah after the great flood, recorded in mexica codices. They romed around aztlan (great basin) for 400 years greating new tribes, mono of the sequoia trees, Tongva of Los Angeles California, Hopi of Arizona, Yaqui of Sonora, Ute’s of Utah, Shoshone and Comanche of the Rockies and prairies ect. When the Mexica settled in Mexico city they found native Zapotec and Mayan people who were native to Mexi-ko. Sacrificing people was a honored ritual of mourning, people that had no cure of an illness would ask for a sacrifice, a rapist and a murderer would be tortured yes and thrown down the temple steps as a shame. A captured warrior would have the option to join the clan, tribe and nation or to be sacrificed. During the Mayan states civil war and Teotihucan wars there were many honored warrior’s put to death just like in the samurai code, but never did natives see such genocide and dishored deaths in the time of the Christendom world war agains the Americas. When German-Latino chieftoms and monarchy, including the “black plague of America” (small pox) took over the lands, the following Marty’s were born: Tenamazte, Tabaskko 8 jaguars, Aj Matalbat’z Many Monkeys, Tecun Uman Quetzal, Prince Atonal, Sapa Inca Tupac Amaru II, Gonzalo Guerrero Mopan Mayan Belize, Tlatoani Cuatemoc, Ek Chan Black Sky Peten, Pope’s Puebloan defence, Young Crazy Horse, chief Seattle, Pontiac and Tecumseh Pan Indian movement for an “indian” State, Iroquois confederacy responsible for the first articles of the u.s.a Constitution the great Law of Peace wampum belts, Chief Tammany (u.s.a’s patron Saint) of the delaware treaty belt with Willian Penn. Paramount chiefsdoms: Massasoit Yellow feather massachusetts , Pawhatan of Jamestown, Caribbean Arawak-Taino’s and the Tupi Amazon kingdoms showed friendship of bother and sisterhood during first contact. During the time when these autochthonous Aboriginals where millions and have multiplied to millions once more. Even in hypothesis “we” can say that Celts where native Americans because of Creek nation haplogroup r1 blood or Mongolia can be claimed for its group Q. These groups can also be ancient american the other way around. There where once 13 main lengua francas In the Americas also known as turtle island and Abya Yala: Siouan-irouquois, Muskeegee, Uto Aztecan, Na Dene, Algonquian, Penutian-Hokan, Otomi-Zapotec, Mayan, Chibchan, Mapuche, Selknam, Andean and Amazonian. “We” lived with bearded “Navajo-Apaches” and “Columbian” Albinos for tens of thousands of years according to Puebla archaeological and Calico California artifacts of early human (250,000 BCE) and did not view them as gods as rumored. All animism and naturalist shamanism (priest/priestess) culture’s were monotheistic believers (one God). Even during the construction of Tiahuanaco being older then the Olmeca and Sumerian civilization the people worshipped the duality of one creator . Statues, tablets, hide skins and bark paper where used for writting and educating the generations just like Jerusalem , Tibet, Germany, Ethiopia ect. used for education of justice and liberty. Ancient Americans used alot of red paint because there was an abundance of achiote plant, oche rocks, red clays and cochineal insects this meant that the land was healthy to give to the people. Mayan blue paint was sacred because of the unique Indigo dye that only grew in central america. First Nations knew of the wheel but (search: Pipil toys) they were environmentalists and even prophecized of moving to quick can be dangerous. “My” lost tribesmen and tribeswomen take your identity back and re adopt yourself, thank The Creator for the sun and water, nature and breath (cross of knowlege/Medicine wheel) “you” are the center of the wheel the 5th point in were “you” stand, show the elegence and eloquence that the people have always had and be funny. Remember the savage is seen in the treatment of a formidable enemy during and after war. Ancient Americans were known to treat an enemy with respect and hospitality during negotiation. The faith of the “Red road, Red raindow, Red field path’s” were to relate yourself as One, from sun up to sun down (hence why the color red). Hiawatha, Quetzal of Tollan, Viracocha, Kukulcan, Bochica, Manitto of the Great Lakes, Moctezuma of hohokam, northwest Totem Raven all taught the people about peace and becoming one and they were not white. Messengers come in 5 colors of the “Maize”, Australian, African, Aryan indo euro, Asian and Abya Yalan (Pana Americana ect.). All the First Nation 500 tribes from the tip of Alaska to the tip of Argentina have always called and referred to themselves as: the people, we the people, the human beings, knowlegable people. Interpreters who spoke sign languages and a hand full of dialects helped build a unified new world by making promises corrupted by gold fever and homestead acts for whites only. Sacagaweax , Matoaka Pacahonta and Mallinali La Malinche were the representatives of both worlds. Even Joshua Emmanuel of the Juda tribe (Jesus) was tortured like an “indian” because he was a man of brown mix race. Rome killed brown baby’s in order to find him in Palistine (semitic Arab people). This represent to indigenous people that the peace maker has been slayed by human greed for rule over the homestead lands. Get educated because racism (terrorism) in ” America” is alive but to its very last bit. Even the treaty of Guadalupe 1848 was dishonored because Mexicanos were not considered full quantum blood spanish, Portuguese, English or french decent. Mexican empire was weak from using all there artillaries against the Spanish crown control, later Roosevelts Rough Riders finished of the Spanish Crown. American Spanish and English languade is a good way to communicate from Alaska to Argentina, it is a good trade languade to know because both “Americana” (American) lenguas are composed of manly Nahuatl, Mayan, Quechua, Cherokee, Lakota, ojibway, Navajo, Taino, germanic, Latin, Greek, Sandskipt and Nubien words. Inlakeck (namasta) oyasin (to all my relations) wakan ometeo (oh great mystery): Manuel Aquino Quitze-Chaak-Chuen (smiling red gorilla), Pipil-Nahuas tribe Uto Nation. Alla-lu-cha (to the struggle of women and man kind). All human race have contributed to the modern day world. Peace to the Ww2 vet souls that dont get credibility, Mexican jet fighters, Brazilian foot soldiers, American Indian code talkers, Pachuco zoot suiters (Pochteca people) and El Salvador who refuged thousands of Jews. They faught for justice and liberty for a nation inside a nation and continue to fight as the Inter-American Treaty still lives. R.i.p to the fallen “migrant troops” who see death in the migration of this great “Northern Expansion of a Aboriginal Manifest Destiny”.

  • Seda

    My goodness can I identify with this! My father was born in Cuba from Immigrant Spanish parents. My mother is from the States (Irish, Italian and possibly some native American). In reality I’m white but nonetheless for most Ignorant Americans bc my father was born in Cuba he is not considered white so therefore most of Us will Always be Half Breeds in their eyes.

  • Ally Fiesta

    I don’t like that phrase “acting your race” and it just seems like it is said to make sure people know their “place” as non-white people who are here to serve and should follow the stereotypes that the whites put on them. It’s haunting but a LOT of immigrants come to this country and keep their culture. Now I very much lost part of my culture because my father is German and when we moved to the states my parents both thought if I lost my accent and had an “American” sounding name I would have LESS of a problem. It is very difficult to want to be a part of the society i live in – YET TO VERY CLEARLY BE REJECTED BY MAINSTREAM WHITE CULTURE. Yes, I have bluntly treated told that I can do certain jobs because I “sound like a white girl” and it’s disgusting bc in losing my accent it means I have lost my other side of my culture. I’m not every sure on how to move forward and keep myself in tack. I do speak Spanish fluently. I have dated outside of my race and honestly – every single man acts just the same. I was to born in the USA so I’m not in this exact situation as you but understand that other pushing stereotypes is unthoughtful and is a way of putting who we are as human down. I am not a stereotype. I’m a real person.

  • Sean Hope

    I tell people that I am who I am … just as you described. I am a Cauxican (Caucasion and Mexican) myself. Both of my children are the same since their parents are both Cauxican. I have seen both sides of my family sterotype each other, usually incorrectly. There is a huge disparity between the generations of Mexicans and how “mexican” they act. A 2nd genertion mexican will see someone that is a 4rth or 5th generation mexican (one that has adopted the local cultures as much as they may still honor mexican customs) as white-washed. I am fourth generation Mexican-American and have been told that the Mexican side of my family was very “Americanized”. Here in Central California there are many many Cauxicans. Superior in intellect and looks equally. hehe Thank you for the article, it was interesting to see another person’s experience as a Cauxican. You are a particullar breed of Cauxican named “Carlos Murphy”.

  • Rae Coleman

    It would be so hard to start with a response to this. I’m half black,
    half white. Grew up in Houston at schools that were mostly all Hispanic
    & black. People always called me white girl because of how I talked
    & carried myself. Especially black boys always tried to “holla” at
    me because I was a “yellowbone.” But I wasn’t white either. I was
    insecure about that in college because I hung out with all of the
    hipsters. I was different & didn’t feel attractive. But I wasn’t
    black, I wasn’t white. Me & my brother were the only mixed kids in
    our family growing up–it was just uncomfortable. Now most of my cousins
    (on my dad’s side, the black side) are mixed. It makes me so happy!
    They have each other, they don’t feel isolated.

  • Courtney Saint Alexander Ellis

    Just watch the imitation of life and that will surely quall your thoughts. races and cultures are how we identify and if your mom was Asian but your dad was Black American then you would honor the cultural heritage of what ever country you lived in. Example you live in America you were born in America so you uphold those traditions along with your mom’s Asian cultural roots and vice versa depending on what country she was from. It was clear to the young lady in the film that though she passed for what she was half black and simply should have embraced both………

  • Lily Connally

    I love this article you wrote so much!

    I am the complete same as you (heritage-wise)! My mother’s parents were both half Mexican (her mom is Mexican/Navajo Indian and her dad was Mexican/German) and their family has lived in the US for generations. My dad is of mostly Irish descent. I completely relate to you on that and it is so fufilling to see that there is another person out there like me :) Usually when I look up about other mexican/white biracial kids it’s usually their latino side came from mexico and their family speaks spanish and all that and i can’t relate to it because my mexican side of the family doesn’t speak spanish at all (actually a lot of them married white people too lol) so basically nobody on my mexican side of the family speaks spanish fluently except for my grandmother and family members that have passed on a long time ago. And my grandparents didn’t teach it to my mom because they wanted them to learn english. Because of that the spanish language got lost. This is also why I felt like I couldn’t fit in with other latino/latina people at school.

    Aaah I just get you so much! Thank you for this article, it means the world to me there is someone out there with a very similar heritage as me (that also lives in Texas woohoo! REPRESENT! :) )


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