How Did You Get To Be Mexican: A White/Brown Mans Search for Identity

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Our gaze averted, we congratulate ourselves for how far we have come and ruthlessly blame those in the shadows for their plight in life. Our innocence secured, we feel no guilt in enjoying what we have earned by our own merit, in defending our right to educate our children in the best schools and in demanding that we be judged by our ability alone. In this illusion, Trump has to be seen as singular. Otherwise, he reveals something terrible about us. But not to see yourself in Trump is to continue the lie.

We must finally reject the lie. The longing for a time when matters were simpler, and the angst over lost superiority over people of other races and ethnicities, will not disappear on their own.

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By , America will be a majority minority nation. But something fundamental is changing. As a country, we have been at the crossroads before — the Civil War, Reconstruction, the New Deal, the civil rights movement — and found ourselves with a choice to be otherwise. In each moment, no matter the possibilities in front of us or the significant changes in our social imaginations, the country held tightly to its prejudices and its unseemly beliefs about the value of white people.

Trump broke the post—civil rights consensus that America would keep its racism quiet. He has unwittingly cracked a pernicious impediment — one we still hear in those who in one breath decry his explicit racism and then accept policies and positions that stoke the flames of white racial resentment. Surprisingly, though, Trump has provided us another choice, another chance. What has for so long been hidden — or willfully ignored — is now in the open. Americans will have to decide whether or not this country will remain racist.

To make that decision, we will have to avoid the trap of placing the burden of our national sins on the shoulders of Donald Trump.

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We must address not just the nasty words, but also the policies and the practices. We need to look inward. Trump is us or, better, you. How do we clear the space — Can we clear it? I am convinced that, if we are to imagine the country as a genuinely multiracial democracy, we have to tell ourselves a better story about who we are, how we ended up here and why we keep returning to this hell. No more Pollyannaish tales about the inherent greatness of America.

Donald Trump Is the First White President - The Atlantic

Ours is a history of not just obvious racist monsters but also of lily white communities with nice picket fences and good schools, of concerning comfort, of fits and starts and abject failure — rife with ordinary people doing horrific and, sometimes, courageous things. Ever failed. No matter. Try again.


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Fail again. Fail better. We go on — together. Contact us at editors time. By Eddie S.

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Glaude, Jr. September 6, This book looks not just at the question "Who is a Latino? Professor Johnson's mother was an ardent assimilationist who classified herself as "Spanish"; her failure to become a part o f middle America led her into depression and eventually mental illness. The son of a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father, Johnson ponders life as a ""mixed-race"" man in the racially charged atmosphere of America.

His mother preferred to describe herself as ""Spanish,"" rather than acknowledge her tree heritage; even so, his father, a blue-eyed blond, urged him to embrace his Mexican heritage. In an era of affirmative action, Johnson felt highly conflicted about ""checking the box"" on college and law school entrance and loan forms and thereby profiting from an ethnic heritage that he grew up freely embracing.

He felt just as uncomfortable with Anglos who didn't know his ethnicity as he did with militant Chicano activists who might doubt his bona fides. But Johnson regarded the painful plight of his mother--she was stricken by clinical depression and getting by on welfare after her two marriages had foundered--as a negative example of what can happen to people who are forced by racism to deny who they really are.

The bulk of the book is taken up with Johnson's intellectual autobiography, tracing his own uncertainties as questions of identity exacerbated the problems of adolescence and early adulthood, and then following his career as a lawyer and law professor more secure in his racial identity, though still not without self-doubt.


  1. Ideas of Race in Early America - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History.
  2. Mexican WhiteBoy?
  3. Temple University Press.
  4. HOW DID YOU GET TO BE MEXICAN? by Kevin R. Johnson | Kirkus Reviews;
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  6. Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft® Reader (MIT Press).
  7. Indeed, the most appealing aspect of the work is the author's candor about his insecurities and personal dilemmas. But bland writing fetters Johnson's intelligence. To put it bluntly, he writes like a lawyer. A thoughtful story, told somewhat indifferently.

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    Advanced Search. Afro-Latina identity is a topic that has been questioned repeatedly in the beauty space.

    But, Gosh, You Don’t Look Like a Latino

    A similar situation occurred when Love and Hip Hop Miami star Amara La Negra found herself having to defend her natural hair and brown skin after a music producer asked Amara if she "identifies as Afro-Latina because she's African or wears an Afro. Cardi also told the publication that European countries took over the Caribbean, but she still identifies with her African roots. By Lauren Rearick. By Gabe Bergado.