Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hispanic or not?

I would say I am at least 50% American Indian, 25% Spanish (not Mexican!), and the rest pure, Arkansas white. That being said, would I qualify as being a
Latina or Hispanic?
My real, born last name was Lopez. Call me CLo why don't you.

Why did I have a different name in school then? Let's just say I wanted to be part of my new family. My mom divorced my dad when I was very young and remarried a few years later. In an effort to "fit in" my mom and step-dad gave me the opportunity to use their much longer, weirder name for school purposes. My baby brother was gone (and had been for a few years) plus I had a new sister on the way. That being said, I would have been the only Lopez in the house. Sigh, divorce is extremely complicated!

Looking back, I wish I would not have made this choice! I am not even sure how (legally) I got away with using this name at school! Not to mention the added confusion, which I did not need. It's not like my future wasn't full of, yet, three more last names! We shall not go into that right now, hell, it's no wonder I have been struggling to find myself.

So back to my history. I suppose calling myself Latina or Hispanic would serve it's purposes for whatever fringe benefits might be out there for someone of that background.

Wouldn't it be kind of like someone who is half white, half negro? I mean, seriously, then would that person be black or white? There again, it depends on what that person would be trying to achieve. In reality, if being black affords more than being white, obviously, it would be smarter for someone to say they are black. In another situation, if it's better to be white that day, then white it is.

There is my dilemma. There are many forms that list choices for race, on which I always stop and think. Do I check the box that says
Technically, I am more American Indian than anything else, so do I check the box that says American Indian? It's not like I found my tribe and belong to it, afterall, doing so would really have tremendous benefits if I chose to seek it out. I look white, with the exception of brown hair and the ability to tan in the summer. And the muted freckles (which I hate, by the way). So, what gives? I could use any race selection to whatever extent necessary, but should I?

We shall see what happens. I recently enrolled at a university, and, yes, I checked Hispanic this time. I am not sure what good it will do. Maybe I will get first priority since the Hispanic community seems to be overtaking everything around here.

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