“White Hispanic” is one of mainstream media’s hottest new buzzwords, a term that has leaped off of old census forms and job applications to join the ranks of “twerking,” “3-D printing,” and “Death to Edward Snowden!”
The mainstream media needs to distinguish between different colors of Latinos because it was too polite to ask “Why is Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, so… DARK for his name? And isn’t Aaron Hernandez, that allegedly trigger-happy New England Patriots player, a little… LIGHT for his?”
I guess I could be called a “White Hispanic,” as my dad’s from Colombia and my Yiddishe momme reps Brooklyn. I really wish it didn’t take two high-profile killings to bring Latino-and-white people into the public eye, but Linda Ronstadt (photo) and Joan Baez aren’t making new albums and Little Ricky’s been off TV for a while.
So before Cameron Diaz beats me to the punch, let me share with you a few insights into my own life, so that gringos won’t keep thinking that “White Hispanic” is just a typo.
- I am not a Spaniard and I am not a gabacho. Given my last name and complexion, some people assume I speak Spanish with a lisp. Other times, I will talk to Latinos in Spanish and they answer me in English. In either case, I wish people heard what I had to say before they had a response ready.
- I do not belong to a neighborhood watch group. I never thought that the “gun-happy White Hispanic” would be a potential media stereotype. I’m a calm, rational person and only rarely do I shoot at my house guests.
- My family does not act in a telenovela. Latino TV networks earn their pan y mantequilla showing light-skinned güeros committing wild crimes of passion. Let me assure you, I live a normal life, running a modeling agency and a rancho while my fiancee cheats on me with my twin brother and my best friend sleeps with my sister while stealing diamonds from a high-security bank vault when suddenly a mysterious gunshot fires from off-camera. Or as it’s known at my house, “Saturday.”
- I wish people would stop unbuttoning my shirt. Ladies, I appreciate the attention. I know you hope under the buttons and zippers lie the pecs and abs of a William Levy or the nalgas of an Antonio Banderas, but I just don’t have that kind of time or energy.
- And finally, I hate the term “white Hispanic.” My relatives on my dad’s side have a wide range of skin tones. Why do I have to be the “white” Hispanic, separated from the rest of mis primos? That’s just the mainstream media patting my head like the creepy great aunt who said my wavy locks are “pelo bueno” — “good hair.” C’mon, mainstream media, I know you have more pressing concerns than the misplaced compliments from my slightly racist great aunt. You know that in a police lineup of white dudes, I’m still gonna be Hispanic Male Suspect #1.
Edward Rueda wants you to visit “Rajbhog Streetz,” his Latino-and-Desi-themed Tumblr: http://rajbhogstreetz.tumblr.com/