She Even Says Hot Things
Predictably, Jessica Alba is under fire for saying she doesn’t consider herself a latina:
Alba is my last name and I’m proud of that. But that’s it. My grandparents were born in California, the same as my parents, and though I may be proud of my last name, I’m American…I had a very American upbringing, I feel American, and I don’t speak Spanish. So, to say that I’m a Latin actress, OK, but it’s not fitting; it would be insincere.
I fail to see what’s wrong with that. Personally, I’m darned proud of my heritage. But I had a very American upbringing. I consider myself at least as much American as I am Indian, but if one day I’m famous enough to be in countless news articles and press releases, I hope they don’t preface my name with ‘Indian’ like they seem to do all too often with her. But it sounds like she wasn’t raised in hispanic culture, as I was raised Indian. So why should she identify as a latina?
As Mary Katherine Ham detailed:
One blog post on the comments remarks, â€œGuess sell-outs come in all races and sizes.â€ Another calls it a â€œdisturbing hoard of quotes.â€ Another claims she â€œhates Mexicans.â€
Comments about Albaâ€™s comments include, â€œF**K YOU THEN, JESSICAâ€¦VIVA LA RAZA!!!,â€ â€œShe should just change her last name to White, then,â€ and â€œI thought she could be a good role model for Latinas, but she is a fake, tryinâ€™ to be white.â€
Personally I would’ve called her a sellout if, given her generic American upbringing and lack of facility in Spanish, she insisted on calling herself latina. She would’ve been fake if she wore the latina badge with pride, given that as she says herself it says nothing about her but her genetic origins…
But maybe I’m just crazy.
I’ve said since high school that the bigger deal you make about race, the bigger deal it becomes. It doesn’t matter if its white people making a big deal about black people or if its hispanics making a big deal about themselves. Either way, you make race a larger part of your external identity than it need be.
What this whole ruckus demonstrates is the continued and distressing trend of American minorities to define themselves in terms of their skin color and distant geographic origin. And more importantly to see people of other ethnicities as outsiders.
It seems obvious that you can’t create a colorblind society if you keep making a big deal about your own color, but I probably lack the ‘nuance’ and ‘erudition’ that allow progressives to see things otherwise.
Ms. Alba, if you’re reading this I want you to know that when I look at you I don’t see a Latina. I just see a really hot chick.