Rebuttal: Fordham Professor Says Latinos Can 'Achieve Whiteness' to Exhibit Racism

(Joerg Carstensen/dpa via AP)

There is something going on in Los Angeles. RedState has covered extensively the leaked audio footage where Latina City Council President, Nury Martinez, goes on a racist tangent calling Councilmember Mike Bonin’s two-year-old adopted black son “a little monkey” and saying she would like to give him a “beatdown,” citing that they were “raising him like a little white kid.” Since the leaked remarks, Martinez has resigned, and a new president was elected by the council in her place, although local BLM leadership protested it. 


Referencing these current events provides context for the statements of Fordham professor Tanya Hernández on “Latinos achieving whiteness.” What I can tell you about LA is that there are racially-driven proxy wars and consolidation of powers occurring. And, I think they are all racists, in the initial meaning of the word as well as the woke-washed theory that racism is contingent on institutionalized power. I promise all of the racists involved in that situation were Democrats and progressives in positions of power or influence. 

This is the article I am refuting: Fordham professor: Latinos can ‘achieve whiteness’ and exhibit racism

Firstly, anyone can exhibit racism. I don’t care what mental gymnastics academia comes up with, I’ll never agree that you can’t treat other people like crap based on their race, just because you meet some ever-evolving criteria that exempt you from the accountability of basic ethics. Moving on.

The most confusing part about the article to me is the Hispanic name of the professor, Tanya Hernández, along with the fact she calls herself a “race law expert.” It’s astounding she can be so out of touch, then. After a few years of Latinos having to fight the nonsensical term “Latinx,” now we have to explain race to the race experts, of course. Not only do they wish our language was malleable to their imposition and preference, although the word “Latino” is already inclusive of… all Latinos, they want race to be a fluid concept as well. 


Here are Hernández’s comments made in an MSNBC interview:

“Well, I actually think there is another layer to this, some people within the Latino community do achieve whiteness, one, because they are white appearing, they favor more our European ancestors, and depending on their accent, their educational level, whether they actually have a recognizable Hispanic surname, all of those things enable a person to, I wouldn’t call it passing, but seemingly and seamlessly being able to pass into whiteness, or white Anglo-whiteness, just as they have whiteness within and Latin America and the Caribbean.

So, I guess what I want to say is despite this idea of all Latinos being brown, you know, some browns are browner or than others and some whites are whiter than others.There are Latinos who are white, whether they have that personal identity or not, that is their socially ascribed race from others outside, and they get to live in that privilege as well.”

Race is not “socially ascribed,” it’s genetically ascribed. I categorically reject that race, or being in the likeness of your race (as Hernández would have it) is dependent on features, accent, education, or your name. It’s based on DNA. This is not a photo of Ruby Bridges on her way to “achieving whiteness”; she’s on her way to school, toward achieving equality in education. She’s not photographed here, becoming “more white,” thus advancing toward racism. Quite the opposite, frankly.

FILE - U.S. Deputy Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, in this November 1960, file photo. On Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 54 years la

Ideas like racial-cultural fluidity are the basis of racist tropes, phrases like “Uncle Tom’ or “have your black card revoked.” They steal and silence identities and heritage based on how they seek to qualify or value your existence. You can have your race taken away if someone else says you do not deserve or qualify to be… yourself.


Black people are always black regardless of their ideas, upbringing, status, education, dialect, nation of origin, or income bracket. This isn’t a hard concept. You can apply that to any race. Except for Hispanic/ Latino because those descriptors do not depict a race. Hispanic/Latino describes an ethnicity. The fact is that most Hispanics are Caucasian unless they are Black, Asian, or another race. This is because Spain is in Europe, last I checked, and the word “Hispanic” means originating from a Spanish-speaking region. Latino is a geographical term, indicating… yep, from Latin America. 

Taking those concepts together, that race is determined by genes and Hispanic and Latino are not words that describe what race someone is, but what their language and geographical origins may be, you can understand how someone can be any race and also be Hispanic/Latino.

This is always easy for me to understand from the Cuban perspective, given that my mother was an immigrant. Cuba has a lot of black people, because of the island’s 400-year history of Spanish colonialism and slave trade. There are more black people per capita in Cuba than in the United States. And you’ve seen black Cubans through American sports, in professional baseball, boxing matches, or other entertainment. Celia Cruz may be a black Cuban you are familiar with. Black is their race — no matter where they were born or what language they speak, they would be black. There are Asians in Cuba too, mostly Chinese. They are known as chino-cubano. Similarly, they are Hispanic/Latino and Asian. 


Saying someone can’t be black and Latino, or white and Latino sounds as stupid as saying you can’t be American and black, or Canadian and Asian. It’s just nonsense. 

Another point Hernández makes is that there is an idea that all Latinos are brown, and that some browns are more brown and some whites are more white. That part is just word-salad to demonize various levels of melanin and set cultural expectations of others. She’s saying there are white-blacks and brown-whites. Whatever, lady. That’s just called people. 

There is a point I nearly agree with which is “passing,” but Hernández specifically pulled back and wouldn’t call it that. Passing means that you don’t appear as or look like your race or ethnicity so the racists don’t notice you. That’s a real thing. Instead, she insists that you morph into an entire existence of privilege and inherent whitey-ness… whatever that means. Still, it doesn’t make a Latino’s “race” or culture “brown”… or oppressed.

For all her years of education, she was factually correct once in saying that racial social structures existed in Latin America and the Caribbean (and, everywhere). I did mention the 400 years of Euro-colonial slavery, right? Still, lamenting against Latino “whiteness” disregards the racial makeup of any Latino, and feeds Marxist classism within an ethnicity encompassing many races. This is devaluing Latino voices in America by using arbitrary criteria. They care not for what our family histories are, and the experiences of those nations. They don’t know what our beliefs are, what our obstacles are, or what our greatest personal contributions to society can be. They fail to see the humanity in humans.


You are either the right kind of Latino, not considered too white, or your misconceived “race” (actually ethnicity) is taken from you, and your ideas and contributions are devalued. That is racism. 

To say that Nury Martinez “achieved whiteness” when she was revealed to be a whole bigot is incorrect. And if the leftist professors had not redefined all the words to be fluid concepts instead of objective definitions, nobody would need to get on TV to explain how a Latino can become a racist through “achieving whiteness.” No, people can “achieve racism” by holding beliefs, saying words, and taking actions… because they don’t like someone’s race. 

Making “whiteness” synonymous with racism requires such a small worldview. By that definition, there is no racism in China; meanwhile, the genocide of minority groups is a humanitarian concern. Has the Chinese government achieved whiteness or achieved Marxism?

So yeah, black means you’re black, white means you’re white, and you can be mixed race– but brown isn’t a race and neither is Latino. I didn’t have to “achieve whiteness”; I was born Hispanic and white. Ta-da! Yet, through all my guilt-free heritage of white-Irish plight, I still manage to notice that everything going on in LA is wildly racist, Marxist, and insane. Academia is looking for any answer except the obvious one: Anyone can be racist, duh. 


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