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For Many Latinos, Racial Identity Is More Culture Than Color {NYTimes}

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

“Believe me, I am not a confused person. I know who I am, but I don’t necessarily fit the categories well,” said Erica Lubliner, a medical school graduate of Mexican and Jewish heritage.

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A friend sent me this great article from the New York Times about how 1/3 of U.S. Latinos don’t identify with a single race and checked “other” on their 2010 U.S. Census.  I think this story is very telling of the complexity of Latino identity.  The woman in the photo above is of Mexican and Jewish ancestry and her mixed identity is nothing new, but somehow, it’s news to many.

It’s great to hear more and more conversations about Latino identity and especially to hear articles that acknowledge the significance of mixed identity for Latinos. Many times, I’ve heard individuals insist that Latinos don’t identify as mixed, that Latinos only identify one way and they’re not aware of any Latinos who would claim mixed identity. I’m glad to see that more and more awareness is being built on this topic and that more Latinos are taking a stand and identifying on their terms.

 

From the New York Times:

Every decade, the Census Bureau spends billions of dollars and deploys hundreds of thousands of workers to get an accurate portrait of the American population. Among the questions on the census form is one about race, with 15 choices, including “some other race.”

More than 18 million Latinos checked this “other” box in the 2010 census, up from 14.9 million in 2000. It was an indicator of the sharp disconnect between how Latinos view themselves and how the government wants to count them. Many Latinos argue that the country’s race categories — indeed, the government’s very conception of identity — do not fit them.

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  • Maria Adcock
    January 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

    So true, for those of mixed identity, fitting into one box doesn't quite work. With the U.S. population becoming more and more mixed, it will be harder for the government to neatly categorize who is who because it's not that clear cut any more.

  • Maria Adcock
    January 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    So true, for those of mixed identity, fitting into one box doesn’t quite work. With the U.S. population becoming more and more mixed, it will be harder for the government to neatly categorize who is who because it’s not that clear cut any more.