Friday, September 21, 2018

Latinos Who Prejudge Blacks

Any one or all three of these men speak Spanish as a first or second language, 
but you will never know by simply looking at their outer appearance.

What is it with so many Latinos (and black folks) in the U.S. who feel that all Spanish speakers are of the same color as those you see on Univisión and Telemundo? During my travels through Latin-America, I met blacks, Asians, whites, and Middle Easterners, not to mention indigenous people, who speak their country's national languageSpanish. Yet when you read newspapers or watch TV in their respective countries, you see mainly whites and those of olive complexions. And if you see any blacks at all, they are usually entertainers, athletes, or criminals.

 I am posing with the owner of Mamainé restaurant in Guayabo, Perú where I dined on some good Peruvian soul food. She speaks only Spanish!

One day, I walked into a dental office in Harlem, New York City where there was a light-brown skinned African-American woman ahead of me who, in perfect English, asked to be registered. The dark brown-skinned woman who happens to be from the Dominican Republic assumed because of her color that she is Latina and responded in Spanish. The African-American woman snapped, "No Spanish!" The receptionist complied and continued the registration in English.

Former baseball manager Dusty Baker is fluent in Spanish

 When my turn came, LOL, I greeted the receptionist in Spanish saying, "good afternoon, I have an 11:00 appointment." Looking at my skin color, she instinctively answered me in English. I snapped in Spanish, “No English!” Being from the Dominican Republic, she should know first hand that people who speak her language come in all colors, including black. Why is she coming to the U.S. prejudging folks' ability to speak Spanish based solely on outer appearance, especially when there are so many U.S. Latinos who speak limited Spanish or none at all?

In The Bronx (New York), black immigrants from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their heritage. They speak Spanish, English, and their native tongue Garífuna.

I chuckle every time I think of an incident in San Francisco, California when I was walking with a lady-friend from India. Suddenly, a monolingual Spanish speaker who needed directions got right in her face and asked with a thick accent, "Spanish?" My Indian lady-friend does not speak Spanish, but my “black ass” do and gave him the directions he needed. As the woman and I continued on our way, the man appeared totally bewildered, and could not take his eyes off of me. LOL.

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