Latino Americans – or Hispanics – occupy a stigmatized status in America alongside blacks. For some, that is cause for activism, social change, lobbying for legislative action, or preservation of their ethnic heritage. For others, it is a reason to deny their own heritage and abandon their genetic makeup. Sadly, the number of folks who choose the latter option seems to be growing.
According to a recent Pew Research study, more than one million Americans who previously identified as Hispanic and “some other race” on the 2000 US Census checked Hispanic and white on the 2010 census form. While the number of people who change their race on the federal form varies every decade, this is the first time these statistics have been analyzed on such a large scale.
The study went on to note that most people who identified as white, black or Asian on the 2000 census remained in the same category in 2010. So, it is truly confounding that so many Latino Americans changed their ethnic identity over the course of ten years. One writer noted that much the same trend occurred for Germans, Italians, and the Irish when they first immigrated here. He notes that the arc of change for many immigrant populations is relatively identical. New generations are predominantly English speaking, children attain more education than their parents, and wealth increases intergenerationally. On its face, this seems to be an ethnic Cinderella Story.
Sadly, it’s not.
Read more at WCC.