One Thing that Bothers Me

The George Zimmerman murder trial ended last night with an acquittal.  Without speaking of the outcome of the trial (yet), one thing that really bothers me about the discussion surrounding the trial is the seeming ignorance of race.  There are those who are saying that because Zimmerman is "hispanic" (although the correct term would be Latino) this murder trial has nothing to do with race.  This bothers me for two reasons:  1) It implies that it is no big deal if one minority murders another, and 2) "Hispanic" is not a race.

Zimmerman's ethnicity is Latino, but his race is white.  There are only 3 options when it comes to race:  White (Caucasian), Black (African), and Asian.  That's it.  Brown is not a race.  One can be Latino and white (like Zimmerman), Latino and black, or Latino and Asian or any combination of the previous options (see "mulatto" and "mestizo").

Latin Americans don't quite fit into the Census Bureau's neat little boxes.  Culture and heritage bear much more importance than race if you are Latino.  Even a person who is racially white and ethnically Latino (like my husband, who is Puerto Rican) do not see themselves as "white."  Although it is on his birth certificate, "white" is not a part of his identity.

Maybe as a non-Latino, I should not speak about this issue, I don't know.  All I know is that it really sets my teeth on edge when one believes that "Hispanic" is a race.  So please stop.


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