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Nadra Kareem Nittle

More Hispanics Identifying as White

By October 2, 2011

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A recent analysis of data from the 2010 census has found that more Hispanics are identifying as white. Since 1980 the U.S. Census bureau has classified Hispanics as an ethnic group who can belong to any race--white, black, Native American, etc. But for decades the bulk of Latinos chose to identify as "other." The 2010 census form, however, directed Hispanics to choose a specific racial category.

The outcome has been a 6 percent rise in the U.S. white population, with the amount of Hispanics identifying as white jumping from 48 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2010. Most of the Latinos who self-categorized as white lived in California, Texas, Florida and New York. Meanwhile, the amount of Hispanics who checked the "some other race" box declined from 42 to 37 percent. Of these shifts, the Census Bureau noted:

"The white population has become more diverse as evidenced by the growth of the Hispanic white population and the multiple-race white population."

The Census Bureau is contemplating changing its questionnaire to allow individuals with Latin American heritage to categorize themselves exclusively as Hispanic, the Great Falls Tribune reported. I'm not sure if this is the solution. Hispanics are a very diverse group. The term includes everyone from Argentine Jews with mostly European lineage to black Cubans who practice Santeria. Moreover, many Latinos are of mixed European and Native American heritage, with those who have Caribbean ties descended from West African slaves. Given this, it's difficult to see how categorizing all Latinos as the same would be more accurate. Then again, some of the Latinos who are self-identifying exclusively as white may be overlooking their indigenous heritage. Unfortunately, being an "indio" is still a source of shame in Latin American countries.

Some Latinos check the white category because they feel the only choices they have are white Hispanic and black Hispanic. Such was the case of a Latina acquaintance of mine who said she categorized herself as white simply because she wasn't black. With her black hair and skin tone the deep brown of George Lopez's, she admittedly looks far from "white." But she checked that category because she didn't know the alternatives. One alternative would be to select the Native American category, which I've known other Latinos with pronounced indigenous features to do.

The New York Times reported earlier this year that there's been a spike in the percentage of Latinos identifying as Native American, an indication that more Hispanics are celebrating their indigenous heritage. On the flip side, not every Latino who claims indigenous heritage actually has a significant amount of it. Actress Eva Longoria grew up in Texas thinking of herself as an Aztec princess, but when she had her DNA analyzed in 2010 for the show "Faces of America," she discovered that she was 70 percent European, 27 percent indigenous, and 3 percent African.

More than any other U.S. ethnic group, Hispanics show how arbitrary racial categories are.


October 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm
(1) Hans says:

Is it not time that the USA stops this foolish division of people by skin colors? With all the mixing that is going on, soon most people will have a brownish color. Most latinos have that already. Stop categorizing people. The only benefit of that might be for medical reasons. There are other solutions for that, then having to make stupid choices in a census.

October 4, 2011 at 9:40 am
(2) Larry says:

“Actress Eva Longoria grew up in Texas thinking of herself as an Aztec princess, but when she had her DNA analyzed in 2010 for the show “Faces of America,” she discovered that she was 70 percent European, 27 percent indigenous, and 3 percent African”.

On the above may be it will be more appropriate and sensible for USGovernment Census Bureau to perform DNA on all her citizens to determine their actual ethinicity for accurate census democgraphy if only that the DNA will not be muddled or poorly collected for authenticity as it is in some celebrated cases such as Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson.

To this poor collection of evidences I am confused and lost with the judicial system as it appears to me that with money for good lawyers you can overturned justice in your favor at the peril of less priviledged such as Kercher family and Troy Davis family. Then where is the justice? If the most exalted evidence of DNA could be overturned or proved not to be sufficient evidence by the Judges. As a Muslim only Allah is the most high, the Supreme and the best Judge ever! NO OTHER SUPREME ABOVE HIM AND NO KING AS HE, ALLAH! ONLY GOD KNOWS HOW TO JUDGE! LK

October 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(3) Orville says:

As a Caribbean black I would’nt mind calling myself white, because there are benefits for being white in America and the world. The vast world population are ignorant.

October 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm
(4) Lorrie says:

I am not sure why this topic is so shocking, it has been going on for centuries. I live in Southern California. The “Hispanics” here of course would rather identify with being white because white is the color of priviledge. These categories were developed for granting and funding purposes however at the same time divide and decisively dillute the true count of ethinic categories. Ask yourself how America can accept self reported and admittedly manipulated statistics as fact? and for what purpose? I am African American and I do not like the category that was created for me anymore than the Latinos like Hispanic, Chicano, Mexican or any other category that is created with stigmas.

October 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm
(5) tomas rivera says:

Great article. I think it’s important to note citing “The “Hispanics” here of course would rather identify with being white because white is the color of priviledge.” that this tactic is largley used to skew numbers of minorities in the PENAL system.

January 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm
(6) Mel says:

To start, I am Hispanic but my race is 100% white from Costa Rica, blond hair, blue eyes. When I used to live In Costa Rica, most of my friends at school were 100 % white, others were black and a few Indian looking. They are all from Costa Rica and I guess that will categorize us as Hispanics, but Hispanic is not a race at all, it’s just a classification invented by the U.S government. We don’t even call ourselves Hispanic, you never hear that word in Costa Rica, we are just Costarican and if someone ask our race most of us are going to say White, others black and others mulatos or indigenous. Also in many countries like Argentina, Chile, etc. the majority of its population it’s white or places like Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba has a lot of Black population and they are all categorized as “Hispanic”.
However, this is what confuses Americans. ”For many decades, there has been a wave of illegal immigrants from Mexico that come from small towns where the majority of its population is either Indian, indigenous or mixed, since Mexico is a big country and about 70 % of its population is “Indian looking” and that’s the majority of

October 30, 2012 at 2:28 am
(7) Adrian says:

In response to Mel from Costa Rica. You are politically and statistically incorrect. It is politically incorrect to refer to Native Americans as Indians. Your statistics about Mexico’s ethnic breakdown are horribly wrong as well. Most Mexicans are actually not Native American looking believe it or not. Mexico’s ethnic breakdown varies from source to source but most sources say the following: White (20%) Mestizo (60%) Indigenous (15%) Asian (2%) African (2%) Other (1%). The sources are: CIA World Factbook, Britannica Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Mexican Census and Ethnic Studies. Also keep in mind that most Mexican Mestizos are of more European descent than Indigenous descent. Most of Mexico’s Indigenous population was wiped out by the arrival of Europeans. I am a White Mexican and some of my family members are White while others are Mestizo. What confuses Americans is that the media mostly portrays Latinos as being always brown, tan, with dark hair which is not true. In addition to this is the stereotype in the United States that all Hispanics are Mexican which is not true. Because Americans don’t distinguish between Central Americans, South Americans, and Mexicans. A lot of Central Americans are mostly Indigenous but Americans will say they are Mexican because they don’t know any better. Mexicans carry all the stereotypes for Hispanics in the United States since they are the majority among Hispanics. Also the idiocy that some White Americans portray when it comes to race confuses them even more. They assume that anyone who is tan looking cannot possibly be White when in Southern Europe some people are so dark that they are almost Black. Therefore most White Americans rule out some White Hispanics as White merely by skin tone. Most White Hispanics trace back their lineage to Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France so it’s no wonder some of them have darker features and can tan much easier than Northern Europeans.

October 30, 2012 at 2:37 am
(8) Adrian says:

Most White Americans will rarely run into White Mexicans because White Mexicans are affluent in Mexico and therefore have no reason to leave Mexico. White Mexicans are not only rich but they are filthy rich by international standards. Take for example Carlos Slim the richest man in the world who is Mexican. White Mexicans are also very elite and only do business with other White Mexicans and rarely mix with Mestizos, Indigenous of course are out of the question. There are pockets of these White Mexican communities all over Mexico. Most illegal immigrants are either Mestizo or Indigenous because they are not at the top of the racial hierarchy in Mexico which sadly still rules Mexico. They immigrate because they are poor and want to break away from the racial hierarchy system.

February 4, 2013 at 4:57 am
(9) Johnny7 says:

How many races are there? Not ethinic groups! There are four (4) “races.” 1, The whiter race (cauc) 2. The black rwce (negroid) 3. The red race (indians) and the yellow race (asians) The hispanics belong to the white race. We are all not black or dark. Gueros!

I1. Am not from a Latin country. There for not Latino! 2. Am not from espanola or hispanea. There for not Hispanic. 3. Am not from Chihuahua. Therefore not Chicano. Born in Riverside, CA. to a awesom lady from Durango, MX and a Dad from Morenci AZ. Mexican on one side and Apache on the other. Half/Breed! When race is asked on employment applications. I always mark “Cau”

March 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm
(10) Lourdes says:

Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?

There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

April 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(11) visit says:

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something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message
home a little bit, but instead of that, this is
fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

April 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(12) the Original source says:

Can I just say what a relief to discover somebody who really knows
what they are discussing online. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and
make it important. A lot more people must check this
out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.

April 24, 2013 at 1:06 am
(13) Jackie says:

Hispanic is such a useless word to be honest. fact is many Latinos do not have a Spanish ancestor and don’t like to be associated with Spain. Its not that there is still a grudge against them but simply because its the truth. The only true Hispanics are the Spaniards and yet sometimes they aren’t included as one, LOL.

April 27, 2013 at 6:15 am
(14) Mccormick says:

Eva is considered pale in ALL cultures! she is white as hell!
like all celbs she bronzes!
in America the white race encompasses people of north africa,middle east,and Europe
I dont know why african americans tedn to get mad! go to argentina where the population is 10005 white, even the nazis live there!
I bet if they said they were black you would be happy to up your numbers. they do look white. I cant tell them apart from Europeans!
also, the largest concentration of europeans outside europe is in south/central america

June 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm
(15) Vidal says:

It’s amazing how Alot of Mexicans will mark the “white” box… It’s also a damned shame that most Mexicans don’t know the history of their country. A quick and short history lesson regarding It’s amazing how Alot of Mexicans will mark the “white” box… It’s also a damned shame that most Mexicans don’t know the history of their country. A quick and short history lesson regarding Mexico’s confusion of the “white” box that they so ignorantly check. When the U.S. acquired Ca. Tx. Az. and Co. the Mexican gov. feared that the remaining Mexicans of those states would be treated harshly by white Americans so the U.S. agreed to sign a treaty known as the Guadalupe/Hidalgo treaty which gauranteed the remaning Mexicans of those states equal rights and during those times the only people gauranteed equal rights were white people. In order for the remaining Mexicans of those states to receive equal rights the U.S. had to legally consider all Mexicans as white… Ha,ha !!! I’m sure the pendejo who wrote that Mexicans are not black nor dark but instead “guero” must realize that “Mexican” is a nationality just as American is a nationality. Within a nation people can vary in color /phenotype… The U.S. convinced Mexicans and other Latin groups that they are all “white”… Not true! As a matter of fact, Mexico’s so called “white” population is not able to trace their roots back to colonial Mexico as they arrived in Mexico a few decades after the colonial period. These white Mexicans celebrate Mexican Independence but they were not there to help in the struggle for independence. The man responsible for leading the war of independence was an Afro Mestizo named Vicente Guerrero AKA “ElNegro”.. realized are some Mexicans that are truely white but those are the ones that arrived after independence was won (3 decades later) AKA german Mexicans, italian Mexicans, irish Mexicans and middle eastern Mexicans. Example; that joke of a president named vincent fox

July 13, 2013 at 9:01 am
(16) carol says:

We need to get to the point that ALL have equal rights (2013). But blacks want to be able to scream predjustice. Example Martin vs Zimmerman. This case would have gotten no where if this was white vs black. President, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King, Jr, and atty Ben Crump man powered the media and the justice system, Zimmerman is being abused but her is a example how BLACK POWER GETS WHAT THEY WANT. President became president in yet he is also screaming black rights…..I WANT EQUAL RIGHTS not selective rights. I have been abused by a black woman and had to leave my employment due to the extreme abuse and I could get no protectioon I AM WHITE. He comment as to why she abused ne ” BECAUSE I CAN”.
My husband was abused 1975-76 gov’t paying companies to increase blacks. So my husband was downgraded to allow 3 black women into his position…gov’t pay these salaries. My husbans died of cancer because of this extreme depression. WHITES HAVE NO PROTECTION, ONLY BLACKS…AND SOME HISPANICS…..equal should be equal…zimmerman is being abused.. the breakins have been proven by black men but they say we are profiling..no it was black man that were breaking in. Muslims are saying the same thing about profiling… No look at the situations.. If a white is breaking in then profile

March 23, 2014 at 2:40 am
(17) Franklin says:

That was a riveting tale, Carol. I love your level of creativity. Usually though when you want to fabricate a story and try to pass it off as the truth, you can’t go all in and try to dump in as many stereotypes/skinhead talking points as possible.

Last time I checked btw, Martin Luther King Jr. has been dead for quite some time.

March 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm
(18) JetBlack says:

Carol, your husband was a failure. He wouldn’t be replaced if he wasn’t replaceable so get over it.

April 11, 2014 at 6:58 am
(19) mobile games says:

When some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she wishes to
be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

April 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm
(20) Hector says:

Carlos Slim is Arab.

May 5, 2014 at 9:34 am
(21) Joseph Xavier says:

I am mexican. I know what mexicans are: admixed. Most of us are admixed. Even the majority of “indios” (allow me to use the historic word), have some negro, or white, in them; tiny, maybe, but it’s there! nearly 5 centuries we are talking, people! We as a people and country (descendants of indians, negros and europeans who SETTLED there) exist long before the USA was not even a wet dream in England! We, mexicans have a problem when going outside our country: a “supposedly” homogeneous country like the USA, you say? Nay! Truth is, we are all mixed, even europeans are admixed: we can see western europeans, eastern europeans, etc. But the point I want to say is this: BIOLOGICALLY, we mexicans are mostly admixed, of european ancestry; mestizos (50-White:50-Indian), castizos (75:25), albinos (>88:<12), coyotes (25:75), mulatos etc. But CULTURALLY, we are ALL White-Occidental, even the indians! That’s right. We use an european language, Spanish; We are Christians (Baptists, protestants, catholics, etc.; all those who sacrified humans are long dead), and by the way, we inherited Christianity or learned it from OUR EUROPEAN ANCESTORS; we dress like occidental people (we don’t put feathers on our heads, not even the indians!). If all this is not enough to regard a Mexican who has undeniably European roots, both genetically and culturally, then what can we say! Therefore, I conclude, in the absence of the useful “castas” that were used to classify people in the New Spain: all mexicans with some european links (biological/cultural) should righteously consider himself/herself WHITE! Period.

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