Stop Saying That You're More Hispanic Than Me

January 12, 2017


You are far from the first person to be surprised to find out that I am Hispanic.
I know that I "look white" with my (slightly fake) blonde hair and blue-ish eyes, but Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race.
"What does that mean?" Well, I'm glad that I forced you to ask!
Race describes your physical characteristics — if you're white, black, Asian, etc. Yes, I am very obviously white.
Ethnicity describes cultural influences, including language, ancestry, etc. This is why Brazil is such a cool country in my (not so) humble opinion, because Brazilians who describe themselves as Hispanic or Latino can be white, black, brown, or purple (probably, but don't quote me on that).
Returned missionaries who served Spanish speaking — I know that you think you're cool and funny when you say "I'm more Hispanic than McKay is" just because I don't speak Spanish, but no no no that is not an okay thing to say.
Lemme tell you why: My mom was born and raised in South America. This year, she will have lived in America as long as she lived in Uruguay. English was not her first language. Although I don't speak Spanish (@ my brother, it's your fault basically but I digress), I was raised with an entirely different culture in my home than you probably were. The TV was always on in Spanish. We ate empanadas and my mom drinks mate — which, by the way, is super gross, so I don't believe RMs that say they like it. We celebrated holidays that you have no idea about (and I'm not talking about Cinco de Mayo). We used Spanish words for embarrassing things like "underwear." If you got yelled at in Spanish, you were really in trouble. Half of my family still lives in South America, and I can't even really communicate with some of them because my Spanish is so horrible.
Yes, I am white. No, I don't speak Spanish. But don't for a second tell me that I am not Hispanic.

Yours truly,
McKay

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