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Charlotte Reader / Her Campus
Culture

Latinx White Privilege…Does it Exist?

One of the first Latinx social media accounts I ever followed is Mitú: the account and website that serves as a community for many Hispanics and those who simply want to learn more about the culture. From the hilarious insider Hispanic memes (the “happy Hispanic Heritage Month” ones crack me up) to the updates on current events in the community, this account was one of the first experiences I had that fostered a sentiment of overbrimming pride to be Latina. 

Scrolling through my feed, I stumbled across a Mitú video titled “Can Latinos benefit from white privilege?” If you are curious like me, the short answer is yes. Yet simultaneously, it’s complicated.

The speaker in the video, Kat Lazo, explains the complexity of the Hispanic ethnicity’s background. (*Note* Hispanic refers to those with a background from Spanish-speaking countries, which includes Spain, while Latinx refers to those from or having descent from Latin American countries, which were colonized by Spain and Portugal.) We have a culture made up of many different backgrounds, and there is no specific skin color that distinguishes the Hispanic people. Rather, we are a group of people of all different shades.

As a result of the wide variation in skin color in the Hispanic community, there are Hispanic people who can be considered “white-passing,” or are often assumed to be Caucasian by others. Thus, Latinx people can benefit from white privilege. Lazo explains that this should be used as an opportunity for Latinx people with privilege to advocate for acceptance of our ethnicity and culture. Additionally, those with privilege must uplift the voices of our marginalized groups, especially considering the issue of colorism within the Latinx community.

As a Latina who is often considered Caucasian by those who do not know my background, this video was a profound realization for me. It was true, after all; I do not face the discrimination that many Latinx people do, such as my own mother. It is of the utmost importance to use my privilege to dismantle white privilege itself, as well as uplift the powerful yet underrepresented voices in the Latinx community.

Lover of pumpkin pie and curiosity. IUP Nursing 2024
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