Emma Alvarez Gibson, San Pedro, CA. My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about [...]
Amy Hueitt Gastonia, NC I am black and white. My children are black and white! Genetics play an important role in how we appear. My son looks Mexican because his dad was Mexican! My daughter looks Mexican white because her dad was white! God truly has a sense of humor and He makes no mistakes, [...]
Jesus Castro Menifee, CA California Baptist University CBU HIS311 I was born in Mexico and am the first person in my family to have a career with retirement benefits. Proud to be in this country and served in the Military. I now have a family and I am teaching my 2 year old son the [...]
Mark Cooper Lafayette, IN In elementary school, my best friend turned to me and said, “Mark, I don’t even think of you as asian anymore!” I knew he meant that our friendship had stepped beyond perceived race, but the phrasing could not be anymore alienating. I have family that trace back to the Mayflower, to [...]
Guadalupe Madrigal Riverside, CA I am first generation born in the U.S. proud of heritage and of the U.S. both. When I was growing I had to be careful when and where to say I was Mexican. It was a matter of being humiliated, bullied, or accepted. I was so insecure that i kept to [...]
Gianna Gonzalez Roland, OK ………………excuse me? I was talking to a guy I liked when he asked me if I was Native American. I told him that I’m actually Mexican, White, Italian, and Philippino but I could only get the first one out before he interrupted and said “oh you’re Mexican? That’s ok I’d still [...]
Cynthia Deras GA Are you hispanic? Why dont you speak spanish? What part of Mexico are your parents from? Say something in Spanish! Your not really Mexican if you dont speak spanish. Basically thats the reaction I get from the latino community when someone finds out I dont speak Spanish. I lost Spanish as a [...]
Blake Coffey Van Nuys, CA In a world where being mixed is supposed to be looked at as beautiful, it’s not as easy when you are. People automatically assume that all mixed people are supposed to look mixed just like they assume all Mexicans are brown. I’m born to a mixed black/white father who looks [...]
Jameson Magdaleno Sacramento, CA This is my personal observation as a Mexican American regarding the plight of families with illegal immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. today and their struggle to stay united. – Jameson Magdaleno
Daniel A. Rodriguez Philadelphia, PA Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many [...]
Douglas Rule Colorado Springs, CO 1904 Sopris, CO, killed in a shoot out. Only reason situation not dismissed is that my grandmother’s sister Laura was not just a Mexican.
Bessie King Boston, MA I don’t think I have been offended by being asked “Where are you from?” before. I was raised to know that I am a Mexican with an American passport in a country where everyone is from somewhere. Until the USA truly embraces diversity and it’s own history, there will be no [...]
Andrea Cordero Salt Lake City, UT I no longer wan to be viewed just by the color of my skin or my gender. I am ready for this world to see me for my abilities and streangths and not just catagorize me as a “minority”. If we want to see each other as equals we [...]
Renee Lewin Asutin, TX My mother is Mexican-American from the Rio Grande Valley, my father is white from Orange, NJ. I was raised in a home where English was primarily spoken, but Spanish was still commonly heard. As I was growing up I viewed myself primarily as Mexican. I spent most of my time with [...]
Briana Almeida Savannah, GA Everybody has problems. Instead of moving forward, equalizing and acknowledging everyone, we are squashing and devaluing. We are hashtagging #noRacism2014, and yet putting nooses on Black statues. We are allowing sororities to host “Mexican” parties in sombreros, and accusing the poor of food stamp fraud. Help, not hinder.
Em New York, NY Born in Mexico, to mexican parents, crossed the border to find a better life, learning english on tv, grew up in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the US, with Colombians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, two brothers many shades darker than I, my mother “the help,” always having too [...]
Charon Winterson Tucson, AZ I’ve always had a fear and hatred of Mexicans and I feel bad for it.
Mayra Gutierrez Northfield, MN Sometime my friends make Mexican jokes around me and I laugh with them, but sometimes those jokes are truly hurtful and diminishing, I am Mexican they are not
Mariel Oak Hill, VA Most people assume that just because I speak Spanish i’m Mexican or Spanish–no, I’m Peruvian.
J St. Louis, MO I work at a country club’s kitchen, there we have a great many Mexican men. They always seem far too friendly. They are more touchy-feely than I am used to. Since then, I have been uncomfortable in the presence of any mexican males.
Marcus Garcia Moses Lake, WA I’m Mexican but people pretty much never get it right like i get asked if I’m white,greek,persian,middle easter,black(shocked about that one),dominican,italian,jewish,etc. and i get called slurs that i don’t even know what they are or mean. when i was younger this would make me upset because i know what i [...]
Anna Council Bluffs, IA My dad has a thick accent and looks very Mexican, but can’t speak Spanish. I look and pass as white, but I can speak Spanish.
Natalie Perez Sacramento, CA
Tricia Redlands, CA I am a Mexican American that grew up in a home that did not speak Spanish. Both my mother and father were Mexican Americans born in California and their parents didn’t speak Spanish in the home as well. One time I asked my grandfather why he didn’t teach his children Spanish. His [...]
JS CA Brought up to believe my Mexican heritage was secondary to my white heritage. Didn’t learn Spanish, didn’t learn culture. As a young woman I identify with being Mexican only when I am allowed to. For example, on a jury questionnaire, I check “white” because I fear I don’t have “enough” Mexican ancestry to [...]
Alisha Partlow Eugene, OR My mother is red haired, blue eyed Danish/German. My father, dark haired, brown eyed Mexican. I married a man whose biological mother was a 6foot blonde of Swedish decent, and we assume his father was African american. Our offspring consists of a 22 year old, red haired, green eyed freckled face [...]
Maria Fuentes San Francisco, CA The beauty about living in San Francisco is that every ethnicity group you can think of has its own community. Latinos, especially Mexicans live in the Mission, Blacks live in the projects on third and in the Western Addition. Asians live in the Sunset and whites live in pretty Victorian [...]
Skyler MI I come from a small town that is heavily populated by Mexicans so I was never really exposed to other races like Caucasians, Blacks, Asians, or any other race besides Mexican. It was very rare to see any other race and if I did see other races it was when I would go [...]
Jose Cabrera San Francisco, CA Can you not tell that I am different? From looking at me you would not be able to tell that I am vegetarian, that I care about the environment, and my grades. You would assume that I am Mexican, but then again aren’t all Latinos Mexican? You would assume that [...]
Cristian Amaya Mountain View, CA Most of the time people in general assume I’m Mexican because of my brownish skin color and because i speak Spanish. I never get offended by it because Mexico is a great country, but I fell is somewhat stereotypical that people assume you’re from there just because of your appearance. [...]
Roberto Union City, CA Just because your Mexican u didn’t cross the border.
Jasper LaFortune Corvallis, OR I don’t know what it’s like to be black, or Mexican, or mixed race, or anything but the collection of molecules that makes up me. But I know what it’s like to be hurt. So do you. Can we be friends?
Bea Melnarowicz Chicago, IL My daughter is bi-racial: her father is Spanish-French-Mexican, and I am Eastern European Caucasian. I am often told she looks ‘nothing’ like me, even jokingly by some of my friends. I am surprised each time I hear this considering the age and time we live in. The tone is rarely friendly, [...]
Elena Rodrigues Houghton, MA Living in a small town in the UP of Michigan and having a fairly Hispanic name can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Sometimes it shows how some people view a person from a different background in a negative way and other times it can be positive. I have been [...]
Amanda Kotyuk San Jacinto, CA My father was a cowboy, born and raised on the horse ranches of Melrose New Mexico. He was a mix of Irish, Italian and Cherokee. My mother on the other hand was Puerto Rican. Her parents and grandparents were born on the island, as was she. My skin is tan, [...]
Ninfa Pena-Purcell College Station, TX This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve [...]
Jacqueline Reyna Oceanside, CA
Patricia Paquette Seattle, WA I grew up in Southern California where half of my classmates and neighbors were Mexican and so were my best friends and eventually, boyfriends. Even though my parents knew and liked these guys, they forbade me to date them or call them boyfriends. They gave no explanation — probably felt they [...]
Roberto Contreras Mexico I’m a redheaded Mexican-american. I self identify as Mexican, having grown up in Mexico, but whenever I say my heritage is Mexican the next question is always “Are you sure you are not half-spanish or something?”. No, parents are Mexican, grandparents are Mexican, so it’s interesting to see specific heritage being such [...]
Claudia Vero Beach, FL Scary but enlightening’s
Nayeli G. Velez Los Angeles, CA I didn’t understand how to take this comment growing up. Now, I cringe when people say it. I see now it’s a comment on my race and culture. A racist comment disguised as a complement.
John Matlock Long Beach, CA This is the answer when I’m asked what my background is. I used to just say “Mexican” but the question and subsequent answer has become increasingly complicated in today’s multicultural landscape.
SLTR Seattle, WA I was raised in a white protestant homogenous family. From the time I was young, my curiosity led me to friends of other colors, races, personalities…anything new. In my 40′s I find myself with a Mexican husband, in a profession where I constantly learn and teach in a petri dish of races, [...]
Rachel Allocco Phoenix, AZ My boyfriend is Mexican and grew up in Southern Arizona near the Mexico border. His father, a successful doctor and US Army veteran, is from Mexico. His mother is from a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles. People assume that because he grew up immersed in his Mexican heritage, the future [...]
Christopher Saldaña Seattle, WA While I was helping my ex’s father move from California (my home state, from which I have since moved), he took a break to talk to some neighbors. He then decided to say the new state he was moving to was better because it “didn’t have as many Mexicans”. While I [...]
Omero Lara Lubbock, CA I am humble. I am privileged. I am determined. I am expected to do great things. I will make a difference.
Sherley Bedore Lubbock, TX Texas Tech grad student. 2013 OTC Symposium. American. I speak very fluent spanish and english. I’m half american(white) and half mexican-descent. Mom was born in Chihuahua state in Mexico. But, I get asked if my dad is my step dad.
Rebecca Rodriguez Baltimore, MD This is a picture of my brother and I. Constantly he gets accused of being Arab, Mexican or Italian from Caucasians, “White guy” from African Americans, and Persian from Iranians. My story falls somewhere along the same line. We both grew up Latino (Guatemalan to be specific), and even then – [...]
Ricardo Oakland, CA I was recently asked at a garden store if I did landscaping. I am a Mexican-American male, who is also a sergeant for a medium sized city police force in the Bay Area. I must say I was dressed shabbily, driving a small pick up, a lime tree in the cab, a [...]
Juan De Rada Los Angeles, CA There are 20 other countries that speak Spanish, just saying.
Philippe Nassif Houston, TX A blessing and a curse growing up mixed racial in the deep south. Born to a Mexican mother and Lebanese father, I have successfully learned to identify with all of my heritages while feeling like an outsider at the same time. When you are with Arabs, there is always your “other [...]
Chris Ingram West Covina, CA I grew up with Latinos all my life, I feel more comfortable around a Hispanic person than any other person. But unfortunately to some kids I hung around, I was considered different, I was the “Guero” or the “Gringo”. But on the inside I was Brown as dirt. I talked [...]
Sarah Willis Portland, OR My dad is a half Mexican half German man who married a European mutt and had seven children. I am the only one of the seven that he marked the box on my birth certificate as Hispanic instead of white, making me the only mexican in my family.
Tom Denver, CO Plus also French, Welsh, German, Dutch, Scottish and Swiss. My family first came to Virginia in 1700. My grandbabies are now also part Mexican, and they are beautiful!
Tammie Cordova Eugene, OR People think because I have olive colored skin, brown eyes, and brown hair that I’m Mexican. Not that there is anything wrong with being Mexican but that is not my ethnicity. I am Navajo, Portuguese, and some Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee and probably some other but I look more Navajo and [...]
Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am [...]
Alejandra Garcia Virginia Beach, VA
Matthew Pastrone Dunwoody, GA
Mark Sundermann Holt, MI This morning’s story about Mixed Heritage gave me hope. How does one pick from the following? German, Mexican, Dutch, Zapotec, Irish and (possibly) Menomini? I’m a MUTT.
Jeannie Graves Seattle, WA This was my first realization that I held prejudices. Once I knew that, I could work on it. I hope I’m (a lot) better now.
Beth Secor Houston, TX This situation I am going to describe happens to me relatively frequently. Another white person, more often than not a stranger or someone I know in passing, will make the assumption that because I also am white, that I too share their racist views. This other white person will lean toward [...]
Josie Villanueva Washington, DC “… pick our melons on my Daddy’s farm.” she said to me, with wide eyes, on one of the first days at Hoosier Girls State. I was one of the very few Latinas in the program, a delegate chosen for my academic excellence and leadership at my high school. I think [...]
Barb Cohan-Saavedra Philadelphia, PA I am of eastern European ancestry. My husband is Mexican. We live in a large city where racism is a bit less overt than in less urban areas. While visiting friends in Arizona, we went to a party where we knew only the couple that had brought us. I was helping [...]
Mary Josephine Huntsman Glendale, CA I have always worked in an office and have had to answer phone calls, so when people come to our office and I meet some of the people I have had to call, they look surprised to see me.
I am a white woman married to a Mexican American.
Michelle Martinez Tempe, AZ As a mixed child of divorced parents, a White mom and Mexican dad, I overheard a lot of racist talk in my mother’s family. Even though I never heard her say anything, she never disagreed, either. She sat quietly through it, not promoting it, yet not speaking against it. I often [...]
Rachel Gonzales Pottstown, PA I’m the whitest woman who ever lived (except in the summer, when I’m the sunburniest woman who ever lived). He’s half-Mexican by way of California and half-German by way of WWII. Our adopted daughter is part African American, part Italian, part “Caucasian mix” (that’s what it ACTUALLY SAYS in her medical [...]
Jessica Laursen San Diego, CA to New Orleans, LA When moving from San Diego to New Orleans as a teenager I realized the jobs held predominantly by Mexican-Americans in Southern California were performed by African-Americans in the south. Jobs such as janitor, yard maintenance, cook. I began to realize how incredibly complex social “status” is. [...]
Roberta Leichnitz Montevallo, AL The events in Florida have brought back so many memories of the things that would happen to my son and his friends in San Antonio when he was in high school. Stopped for “driving while Mexican” in the “wrong” neighborhood, among others. The icing on the cake was when he was [...]
Clarissa Galindo Richardson, TX Growing up in small town Texas, most people expected me to act a certain way just because of my heritage. I was nearly the exact opposite of the living stereotype that was most of the other Mexicans in my high school, including the ones I was related to. It wasn’t until [...]
Lisa Craig Washington, DC It’s a bit complicated. My father’s family consists of Scottish, Swedish, French, German, English, Mexican, and two different Native American tribes. My mother’s family consists of French-Canadian, English, Inquit (Alaskan Native Americans), and some other ethnicities that I am not aware of (I am not close to them). All of my [...]
Czarina Tucson, AZ My family migrated here legally through the Braceros Program. I am 2nd generation Mexican/American. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracero_Program
Edmundo de la Garza Seattle, WA I was born in Chicago to fair skinned parents, one with green eyes and the other with hazel eyes. Mexico, especially in the larger urban areas, is quite cosmopolitan; although it was controled by several European empires, peoples from many countries emmigrated to Mexico for economic opportunities, and these [...]
Anonymous Sacramento, CA I am mixed Filipina and Mexican. Parents divorced when I was young, both my parents remarried to racist people who felt the need to share their negative opinions, one against any other race but Caucasian (white step-father) and the other against any other race but Mexican (Fair skinned Mexican step-mother).
Linda Starry Houston, TX I have been a teacher since 1974. My first year teaching was the first year of forced busing in Houston. My first class was mostly Black and Mexican. There were two white kids, and one Creole child whose parents said he was French. The children thought I was Mexican, because I [...]
S. Belinda Rubio Lexington, KY I was at a gas station when the guy working the cash register asked me if I was half? His question caught me by surprise and made me laugh, but I knew what he was trying to ask and sensed that he was trying to bond. He happened to be [...]
Mrs. Lopez Phoenix, AZ As an adult, I reflect on things my mother has taught me. There’s a handful of “advice” that sticks out in my mind. Her advice is meaningful to me now and I believe it has molded me into who I am, for better or worse. As a teacher, I find myself [...]
John Heath Olguin West Orange, NJ Before you get all worked up about my 6 words. Let me explain. I watched a little boy of Mexican-American decent sing our national anthem and thought nothing of it. The next day I read about all the negative comments that came about of his performance (see link) and [...]
Deborah Torres Saint Paul, MN This has two meanings for me. First, I honor both my paternal (Mexican) and maternal (English, French & more) heritage. Second, because race is a socially constructed concept, the idea of whether or not Mexican is White evolved throughout the 20th Century. For example, on my paternal Grandfather Bedardo Torres’ [...]
Sarah Naomi Burnett Norristown, PA Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where [...]
Elizabeth Norris Taylor Fernandina Beach, FL I have lived my entire life with people coming up to me and asking, “what are you?” For a while in college, I had some very clever comebacks… now days I simply shrug and say, “American, and you?” I have had people come up to me and speak Spanish [...]
Carmen Bunkers Velazquez Pomona, CA I have always loved being with my mom’s side of the family, the Velazquez family. I think they have always felt safe because I identify myself through my mom’s racial and ethnic identity, Mexican American, and so with them I feel that I can be who I really am. Knowing [...]
Mina Perez Holland, MI A lot of people think that “soccer” is just for Mexicans. But in reality soccer is for anyone to play, it doesn’t matter what color of your skin you are. People shouldn’t get judged because of their skin, because anyone who’s any color can play soccer. People don’t understand the fact [...]
Valerie Grajeda Rountree San Jose, CA I grew up not speaking Spanish in a very Mexican neighborhood. My mother sent me to schools out of my area to prevent me getting involved with the local gang population. I grew up with other nationalities and met my future husband in high school. He is white. Our [...]
Alex Armstrong San Diego, CA For some of us, we don’t quite fit here or there.
Sandra Aguilar-Rodríguez Bethlehem, PA I am Mexican, I speak English, French and Spanish. I have a PhD in History, but still I find it difficult to understand why in the United States being bilingual or trilingual is not appreciated. I want my children to speak, read and write at least in another language, and if [...]
Ronald Hill Grove Hill, PA My biological father was Mexican and split before I was born. The man I call my dad is white. My mother is Native American (Indian), but doesn’t know any of her culture, as my grandmother moved off of the reservation when she was 18. I was raised to look past [...]
Rocio Tapia Forest Park, GA Being from Mexico, I do not have any sense of race. I know what I am and do not identify with any of the categories listed when I am asked about my race or ethnicity, so I often leave it blank or choose “Other” if I am pressed to select [...]
James Eliot Griffith Stillwater, OK It’s irritating how in this day and age if I just tell someone I’m Mexican (which is the side of my family I identify with a bit more since I grew up on the border in South Texas) everyone is perfectly fine and its all cool. But if I happen [...]
Luis David Garcia Huntsville, TX I am Mexican, my wife is Pacific Islander and our girls were born in Virginia and Texas. My girls are the minority among minorities and yet are lumped together with the largest population in the planet (Asian/Pacific Islander). Now try to tell my Chamorro wife that she is Chinese and [...]
Michael Decker Austin, TX In Texas, the dominant ethnicities are German and Mexican. Over the past two hundred years, these two have mixed greatly — along with the other ethnicities. It surprises me that more people are not open to the idea that your last name does not define your complete heritage. My last name [...]
Josh Smith Sacramento, CA My son is 3 years old, and the son of a white male with no real cultural identity (myself) and a Mexican woman (my wife Yadira) who is the first-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, with a large family that celebrates its culture and traditions often. I frequently wonder which ethnicity he’ll [...]
Patricia Johnston Walpole, MA On behalf of my children, who are indeed Mexican.
Jose Caceres San Antonio, TX I am from Peru, living in Texas for the last 9 years. It is quite common around here to call Hispanics “Mexican”. Even though it might sound silly or irrelevant, to some of us it DOES matter. It hurts.
Elysha O’Brien Las Vegas, NV Whites see me as Mexican, Mexicans view me as White because I don’t speak Spanish. I find it interesting that we don’t qualify other ethnic identities on the basis of language. Featured on NPR’s Morning Edition Segment: Living in Two Worlds but with Just One Language http://www.npr.org/2013/05/23/185839159/living-in-two-worlds-but-with-just-one-language