White Latino-Hispanic, Nonwhite Latino-Hispanic

Christina Curiel,
Fallbrook, CA.

In the early years of my life, I always saw myself as a very ‘lucky’ person. When I became older and learned about institutions, and methodology, and racial diversity, is when I learned that racism is indeed real, and still exists in this culture through conditioning as well as many other means. White neo-liberalism contains within itself an awareness of intersectionality in which social issues such as racism have become a staple of social awareness and change. I never thought of myself as privileged until I learned these things. Middle Eastern people used to be considered white. Now they are not. Does that make me half white? I don’t think so; I am a different ‘type’ of white. In white America, there is privileged white. But in a Latino community, if you are thought of as a white Mexican American, you have the privilege of a thousand Greek Gods. Having naturally blonde hair, dark skin and eyes, and a 100% Catholic Latino name has taught me more about racism than any other experience. Why? Because there is a lacking of white-neo liberalism in my community. If you are perceived as a white Latino, you are seen as the ‘top of the caste system.’ The racism of the white US Americans is minuscule compared to the racism of white Latinos. There is an option, in the racial checkboxes on government, medical, and educational forms… [Latino-Hispanic – White] and [Latino-Hispanic – Other]. The immigrants from Central and South America are predominantly native indigenous peoples, and are treated like garbage by the Latino-Hispanic ‘whites.’ As a person who appears to be from the Latino-Hispanic ‘white’ community where white neo-liberalism does not prevail, I am surrounded by blatant racism, constantly. And it sucks bigtime. As some people pointed out earlier, the way we talk about racism is primarily from a white-cultural standpoint, and ignores and erases people from other cultures by excluding their most efficient form of communication. Is it racist to prefer the white-neo liberal fight against racism in my Mexican American community where I am seen as a Mexican American (although I am not)? How can the people who are suffering the most, and whose ancestors have suffered the most get the relief that they need, when most of white America groups all ‘latino’ people into one category? I am physically disabled, so there are many things that I am not able to do like a regular able bodied adult human. I do my best to speak up for these people who have escaped oppression only to experience erasure due to the methodology of white neo-liberalism. The indigenous people here do not have a voice or a belonging because they are escaping racial violence and oppression from the colonizers of their countries. They come here for a better life, only to be confronted with more racism that often goes ignored by those in power and those who can make necessary changes. I wish there was a way other than this predominantly white-neo liberal way of communicating to give these people a voice, and a place of belonging. I want to do what I can as a person of privilege, but it seems like all of these things are coming from white neo-liberalism. This website seems like white neo-liberalism. There is a lot of erasure in the posts in the ‘race card.’ Many people want to see people as all ‘equal’ but that does well in erasing the experiences of marginalized people… being ‘colorblind’ may deny blatant vocal racism, but more importantly it denies the people their right to feel injustice at the hands of a system that prides itself in ‘equality’ yet fails to see how conditioning leaves it with subliminal racist ideologies that hurt others and hold them back from equality.

“I see no color” may mean to you that you do not feel like your race is above anyone else’s, but it will ignore the potential struggle that person had today at the DMV, or the grocery store harassment, or applying for loan, or a job, or medical insurance. Much of their lives contain these obstacles and when a white person says ‘I see no color’ it may make the person who has suffered through subliminal racism feel as though you are erasing their experiences of injustice.

Being a victim of injustice that is ‘erased’ or goes ‘ignored’ or becomes ‘silenced’ is a leading cause of post traumatic stress disorder. And to pair that with the continuing discrimination, is another thing white-neo liberalism needs to address. Context is the key: it is important to see things like racism as the complex behaviors that they are and address how it effects our communities.

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