People are surprised when I say I am Hispanic. I don't look or speak like a Mexican, yet this is what I am by heritage. I can say that stereotyping has been a part of my life for so long that I've had to really think about it to notice it. …
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People are surprised when I say I am Hispanic. I don't look or speak like a Mexican, yet this is what I am by heritage. I can say that stereotyping has been a part of my life for so long that I've had to really think about it to notice it. After all, if your birth certificate says that you are "Caucasian," it doesn't really matter, right Wrong.Mexican stereotyping has run for three generations in my family. My grandparents were Mexican immigrants; when my father was born, "Caucasian" was on his birth certificate too. Yet he spoke no English until he was 15 years old, when he learned English from a neighbor and was told that in order to have a good life in the United States, he must know English.Upon close inspection I would have to say that I have been stereotyped positively since my heritage has been a non-issue. Yet I can see that I am living a dual stereotype since I only loosely engage in cultural activities that are exclusively Mexican. When I am around other Mexicans I understand what and why something is being celebrated, yet this occurs in my country of birth, not my country of heritage.My father would not allow us to practice Mexican culture or Spanish at home. The American stereotype of Mexicans was too negative and we were raised as American as much as possible. Over the course of my life I have learned more about the history of my parents and grandparents and rather than call myself "White American" I choose to call myself "Hispanic."I have engaged in the exploration of both sides of the Mexican/American stereotype. I have often heard that native Mexicans don't like Hispanics (The strictly American tag for people of Mexican descent) because they think that we think we are better than them (Hilton, Ronald).
Since the Mexican/American war in the mid-1800's, continued strained relations exist in the border regions of the United States. Mexicans who were caught in the crossfire and could not return back home to Mexico officially became U.S. citizens and since have become "Hispanics."
It appears that these early Hispanics were able to carve out better lives for themselves as new Americans; it is only speculation as to why the people of their native homeland would begin to think the Hispanics thought themselves of higher ranking; as all stereotypes have an origin, one can only assume that incidents occurred that supported the native Mexicans opinions of Hispanics.
In order to discover more about this still pervasive stereotyping, one doesn't need to look beyond the U.S. border. Many anecdotal incidents occur every day, where Mexican citizens applying for a visa to enter the U.S. find Hispanic workers scornfully turn them down without any reason. This occurs across the social spectrum of Mexicans from every walk of life.
The Mexican stereotype against Hispanics is also brought about by years of American television shows featuring Hispanics as middle-class pranksters and gang members; this, to the native Mexicans, is a disgrace.
According to the stories I've heard, native Mexicans also feel that Hispanics give them a "bad name," in the form of destructive gang behavior on one hand and thinking that because they have more, they are more. Native Mexicans often have the idea that if a Hispanic doesn't know Spanish, they have completely turned away from their original people in favor of the "gringo" lifestyle. And often this is true, due to the way families are raised.
There is an interesting Mexican term referring to a "pocho," who is a Mexican that moves to the United States and after having lived there a while, returns for a visit and speaks "Spanglish." The word "pocho" is a derogatory term.
Another term that is used is "coconut," where one is brown on the outside and white on the
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