The New York Times publishes a lot of strange op-eds today. Yesterday I saw one titled “The Spectacle of Latinx Colorism”. The use of the term “Latinx” is a cue that something is “up,” as I know that The New York Times seems to leave it up the author. The author in this case is Ecuadorian in origin…so part of the tiny minority of Latinos who prefer Latinx.
The reality of colorism and to be frank pro-white and pro-European sentiments among Latinos is a real phenomenon. But this section jumped out at me:
I cherish being a mixed-race person. Some of my mestizo family’s most ingrained traditions come from the Black Caribbean, like the salsa from Joe Arroyo, whose songs kept my head held high when I felt shame as an undocumented student at Harvard. We sometimes speak Quechua at home, especially to describe good or bad feelings in the body that don’t have words in English or Spanish. But I am not Black and I am not native. I have had to decide for myself what is a respectful enactment of my culture and what might be romanticization of ancestors I don’t know. What is an authentic expression of my culture and what is appropriation? It takes deep personal reflection. It takes education.
The premise here seems to be that one’s culture is conditional on one’s biology. And who gets to decide “authentic” expression?
If you are a person of mixed racial background does it take more education to figure out your culture? Is life harder for you? All these things are arguments against people mixing then, and this is another way in which strands of “woke” racial thought converge with sorts of racial nationalism.