Local Chicano decides to start calling himself ‘Hispanic’

by María Purísima on August 19, 2014 in El Now, Pocho Ñews Service

hispanicguy(PNS reporting from IRVINE, CA) Roland Vega, 33, formerly known as “Rolando,” has come to an important moment in his life: He’s transitioned from a “Chicano” to a “Hispanic.”

The decision to change the way he self-identifies came as somewhat of a shock to his family and his homeboys, but not necessarily to Vega’s former Hispanic fraternity brothers.

He made the announcement on Facebook Sunday night.

“You know, Roli — er, I mean, Roland — was always the most radical Chicano in the fraternity, but c’mon man, he was studying accounting. I kinda always knew he was going to end up a Hispanic,” said Ed Taboada, Vega’s college roommate.

One of Vega’s strongest detractors is his cousin Pepe Castillo, who at 19, is in the full swing of his Chicano pride phase. Castillo told PNS that it was Vega who initiated him into Chicanismo in the first place, and that he’s become what he always said he wouldn’t be: A sellout.

“Look man, I’m not sayng you can’t make a good living and move up and all that, but when you start saying ‘Hispanic this’ and “Hispanic that,’ it showed me that your priorities have changed,” Castillo said.

“The movimiento was all good when you were using it to get chicks and weed, but as soon as you feel like you don’t need that anymore, your people aren’t important to you anymore? Fuck that, ese,” Castillo said.

Vega doesn’t think the transition to being Hispanic was such a big deal, and he can’t understand why people had to be “hating on me just because I’m respectable now.”

As an accountant for BioSystems Inc., Vega is responsible for managing a team of seven accountants and oversees millions of dollars annually. He said his job gave him a newfound sense of pride that replaced what he once felt about his Chicanismo.

“It’s not that the movimiento isn’t important to me anymore, it’s just that I have a lot of responsibility now — I can’t be spending my time out at marchas when we have audits due on Monday at 10:30 AM,” he told PNS.

“Someone has to be the adult here.”

Photo by GDC Graphics. Some rights reserved.



Fernando Labrada August 19, 2014 at 8:47 AM

You want an identity be kind to others.., bad enough we all have to fill in the box to somehow take a place in society when that your place is predestined…, focus kindly on others.., be lifted by your good deeds.., rather be remembered by a few than recognized foolishly by other.., brown & proud baby.., brown & proud;)

Linda Lopez de Roman August 21, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Gracias, Fernando. THOSE are adult words. I am Chicana… and there is no block to fill in with that title.
Our true sense of identity should lie in how we treat each other and the example we are for our young ones.
Your words are wise and comforting… “focus kindly on others.., be lifted by your good deeds.., rather be remembered by a few than recognized foolishly by other.., brown & proud baby.., brown & proud”

Perfecto August 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Well Roli, if you were African-American, you would be called an “Uncle Tom”. But because you are a Hispanic now!, I’ll just call you “Tio Tomas”! I live in New Mexico and the Chicanos who call themselves “Hispanic” do so because they want to let people know that they are connected to Spain in some way, so is that what you want Roli? Lost you Homie Brown Pride and now that you have no use for it, like to keep you from getting your ass kicked in the hood, you don’t need it? It seems that now that you have some respectability in your new hood, because you didn’t have the pelotas to earn it in your ” old Hood”, you are afraid to loose your new respectability, so you change to suit your needs. You are quite the camilian.

Bender Rodriguez August 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Who the hell is this guy, and why should anyone care what he calls himself? Not knowing the back story, all I can say is that I’ve always referred to myself as hispanic. My family’s lineage can be traced back to Spain, and my nose just seals the deal. So to me that word describes my heritage perfectly. I personally have never been proud about being called hispanic. I was born this way, I had no choice in the matter. my actions and my accomplishments are the only things that I’m proud of.

lem August 19, 2014 at 3:45 PM

um, ppl this is a fake and hilarious but sadly truthful account of some former brothers, um ok let me go back to my job at a multi million dollar conglomerate. lol viva la cause but don’t tell anyone… shhhhh

Lupe Diaz August 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

I have a respectable as a masters prepared nurse midwife, and a Chicana. I guess the crux of the matter or the meda medulla is what do people think of what it means to be a Chicano? For me it defines the moment of standing up to be heard and not be taken advantage of, my constitutional right to be treated as a human being. I marched with Ceasar Chavez. That’s how old I am. I have the same discussion with my 20 yr old son who thinks Chicanismo is s sham. I tell him “dude you wouldn’t be where you’re at if it weren’t for the Chicano movement just like any civil rights movement of the time. It should be passed on I feel even now with the example in Ferguson Misouri. Quit being a pendejo!

James Vato August 19, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I knew that punk in college. When we did sit-ins for Chican@ Studies, that dude would always leave and say he had to go do homework. Doesn’t surprise me. I knew he was a punk-ss leva the whole time. He’s a piss-colored spineless jellyfish floating in a sea of white. We don’t need lames like him.

P. Salas August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I’m an old Chicano who marched in the 60’s. I’m cool with how ever one chooses to identify but as far as I’m concerned, if he ever was a Chicano he left his Chicanismo behind when he joined a fraternity. I don’t believe any self respecting Chicano would ever join a college fraternity.

Pepe Juarez August 21, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Who wants to be a mediocre for the rest of their Life. ~ change is means step out of your comfort zone!? Be a better You!!!

Helen Sanchez August 22, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Sad to see that a younger generation of Chicanos is still arguing about identity. I would have hoped everybody had moved on from this. You are all very talented and I’m sure you can find something truly funny to write about. Let everybody define themselves and decide how they want to contribute to society. After all there is no Chicano Grand Pubah who sets the standards, so let it go.

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