An Open Apology to HerCampus Readers More Woke Than I

A few months ago, I wrote an article originally called “Top 10 Struggles of Dating a Latinx as a Gringa.” In the article, I posted a disclaimer to explain that what I said was only representative of my own lived experience, and that I did not have any intention of propagating stereotypes. All the quotes I provided were taken verbatim from real people I know and with whom I am close.

But, latinx people on campus voiced their concerns about it, and a lot of it was valid criticism. Even if I didn’t intend to propagate stereotypes, some of the real experiences I mentioned did line up with existing stereotypes of latinx families.

The other main criticism was that the article homogenized different latinx cultures. And that is also legitimate. In retrospect, I wonder whether I should have titled the article “10 Struggles This Gringa Faced Meeting Her Honduran Boyfriend's Family” so as not to generalize in any way. It’s true; dating one catracho (the honduran term for "honduran man") is not like dating any other catracho, because every person and every family is unique.

I chose the more general title because I thought it would attract a broader audience. Who cares about my relationship with my boyfriend? No one except me and him, and maybe some of our family members. So, I went with the broader description, “10 Struggles of Dating a Latinx as a Gringa” and it made it seem like I was trying to encapsulate all latinx-gringx relationships in my list. Bad move.

I decided not to take the original article down, because I don’t want to erase all record of my mistake. I want people to know that this happened, and also know that I am deeply sorry for it. I edited the description at the top of the article slightly because I wanted it to be more clear that it does not represent all latinidad or gringura. I also changed the title to "10 Struggles This Gringa is Facing as She Meets Her Boyfriend's Family."

Most importantly, I want to apologize to everyone who read that article, because I didn’t navigate the situation well at all. Race can be a tricky subject to discuss well, because we all have different stakes in it. And it is clear to me now that at the time, I was not prepared to handle the topic fairly. I still have a lot to learn, and have an enormous desire to learn.

I don’t want to contribute to racism or white supremacist narratives, and I recognize that my previous article (which I have revised thoroughly) did contribute to those narratives. For that, I am deeply sorry.

This issue only recently came to my attention, because no one said anything to HerCampus or to myself until last night, when someone sent an email to Editor-in-chief Claire Biggerstaff. I wish whoever sent that email would have spoken up sooner, but I am glad they spoke up now.

I am glad I live in a community where people are not afraid to call out problematic rhetoric when they see it. I am glad there are people in this community who will hold each other accountable, even when it’s uncomfortable. I hope this apology will encourage everyone in the Davidson community to approach me directly in the future with any concerns. Remember, it is hard to fix a problem when you do not realize that you have created a problem.

I want to thank whoever came forward for standing up against what’s wrong. I also want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to learn from this mistake.

 

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