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Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors

This comment was written by Javier Cienfuegos on 2 Oct 2014.

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Whiteness in the History of Latinidad

While Migra's earlier chapters dealt with Border Patrol agents that called themselves "Spanish" and shunned their Mexicanness in favor of a European narrative, the Slate article seems to ignore historical notions of Latinos as white. It's interesting that the author would go so far as to cite a historical book on whiteness without ever engaging with the possibility that at some point in time, Latinos may have been considered white. In fact, the author doesn't even really mention the fact that in current demographics data, Latinos are for all intents and purposes considered a kind of white. Sure, non-hispanic white is considered a separate demographic category, but the demarcation asking Latinos to choose black or white is still very much a part of statistical and demographic analysis in contemporary America. As for racial hierarchies being complex in the nineteenth century, we've done a fair bit of discussing as to how that worked in California, but in other parts of the country it really was that black and white, and Latinos could have been considered white. All in all a fascinating article, but with that strange historical gap.
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