To be or thought they'd be...

Lately I've been running across a similar question. It started with the LACMA "Phantom Sightings" discussions and today popped on my screen here.

It has to do with calling people Chicano or Latino or Raza whether or not they self identify with any of those terms.

For example:
-Artist 'A' is in an art show percieved to be a Chicano art show, yet artist 'A' doesnt' identify himself as a Chicano.

-Actor 'A' has a last name that is Latino, and they look Latino, despite the constant hair dye to look blonde. Some folks want her to call herself Latino. She doesn't.

-Artist 'B' looks Chicano, grew up in a Chicano neighborhood, talks like a Chicano, does art that reflects Chicano icons and roots, but he doesn't want his art to be called Chicano art.

-Actor 'B' was born in Spain or France, has a 'typical' Latino last name and wants to be called Latino to make himself more marketable to the US Latino movie-going hoardes. Some agree he is Latino, others say he's European.

The questions are:
Why do we need to call people out to claim Chicano or Latino if they don't want to? Do we need them on our side so badly?
Is it because they are 'successful' or in the spotlight that we want them to represent us? Even though they don't want to represent us?
Isn't claiming who you are and what you want to be identified as a basic right? Is this the basis of Self Determination?


Anonymous said...

Are you referring to the May 12th posting called "Today in Latino Hisotry"?

Anonymous said...

just use their names yo...

Pachuco 3000 said...

Yes I'm referring to Emilio Estevez note that it was his birthday. Does he call himself Latino?
On another blog someone mentioned Latinos and skateboarding and brought up Tony Alva as being a Latino. Does he call himself Latino?
As for the actors and artists not named in my blog, I did it because there are a few that fit that description. Can you name some?

cindylu said...

I think it's just easier for people to label. We name everything, and people are put in to categories too.

jerome said...


1. Who defines what you are yourself, others, or both?

2. Is racial definition propagated to benefit the individual or the community?

3. How is race quantified in terms of identity?