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Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:16 PM

Calling George Zimmerman a "white Hispanic" means what, exactly?

Has anyone else noticed the references to him as a white Hispanic?

Is this a phrase that is commonly used? Are there a lot of situations where a distinction has been made between white and non-white Hispanics? What exactly puts a person in the latter rather than the former category? Is it commonly used when one parent is white and the other is Latino?

And is the race or ethnicity of the shooter relevant at all in this case? If so, how? Would the reaction be different if he was white and non-Hispanic, or Hispanic and non-white?

I just was wondering about these questions as I saw the "white Hispanic" label pop up fairly frequently in relation to George Zimmerman.

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Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply Calling George Zimmerman a "white Hispanic" means what, exactly? (Original post)
oberliner Mar 2012 OP
orpupilofnature57 Mar 2012 #1
oberliner Mar 2012 #2
orpupilofnature57 Mar 2012 #16
snagglepuss Mar 2012 #3
EFerrari Mar 2012 #7
uppityperson Mar 2012 #54
HockeyMom Mar 2012 #4
EFerrari Mar 2012 #5
oberliner Mar 2012 #8
EFerrari Mar 2012 #17
oberliner Mar 2012 #18
EFerrari Mar 2012 #24
mzteris Mar 2012 #31
oberliner Mar 2012 #34
butterfly77 Mar 2012 #29
X_Digger Mar 2012 #30
mzteris Mar 2012 #32
Solomon Mar 2012 #33
arcane1 Mar 2012 #6
oberliner Mar 2012 #10
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #9
oberliner Mar 2012 #13
Vattel Mar 2012 #11
oberliner Mar 2012 #12
EFerrari Mar 2012 #20
Enrique Mar 2012 #14
EFerrari Mar 2012 #21
oberliner Mar 2012 #23
EFerrari Mar 2012 #25
oberliner Mar 2012 #36
EFerrari Mar 2012 #44
Snake Alchemist Mar 2012 #50
EFerrari Mar 2012 #51
Snake Alchemist Mar 2012 #52
etherealtruth Mar 2012 #15
eShirl Mar 2012 #19
cherokeeprogressive Mar 2012 #22
Seeking Serenity Mar 2012 #41
Obamanaut Mar 2012 #26
babylonsister Mar 2012 #27
arely staircase Mar 2012 #28
oberliner Mar 2012 #35
arely staircase Mar 2012 #37
Bluerthanblue Mar 2012 #38
SoCalDem Mar 2012 #39
mathematic Mar 2012 #40
Cleita Mar 2012 #42
oberliner Mar 2012 #43
Cleita Mar 2012 #46
JonLP24 Mar 2012 #45
nadinbrzezinski Mar 2012 #47
Post removed Mar 2012 #48
MD20 Mar 2012 #55
just1voice Mar 2012 #49
oberliner Mar 2012 #53

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:21 PM

1. Nothing

 

It's About usurping athority, that a PERSON hasn't the training or capacity to do.

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Response to orpupilofnature57 (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:25 PM

2. Your point is taken - I just wonder about the nomenclature

The labeling of "white Hispanic" seems curious to me.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:46 PM

16. Oh I'm sure part of their agenda is

 

distancing him from the WASP.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:28 PM

3. I have and I think it is bizarre. His dark complection suggests his mother

is non-white. The bottom line is that he looks mixed. I wonder if the odd nomenclature is due to non-Mexican latino Americans not wanting to be lumped in with Mexican Americans.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:31 PM

7. Um, something like 90% of the African slave trade landed

in Latin America. You may think of Mexicans as "not white" but in reality, that African DNA went all over the continent, not just to Mexico.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 12:31 PM

54. His mom was Peruvian.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:29 PM

4. Zimmerman is a Germanic name

It sounds like he may be multi-ethnic.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:29 PM

5. One parent being white and the other Latino can mean you have

two white parents. The census makes that distinction, too, iirc.

Latinos come in every shade of the human rainbow.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:32 PM

8. Is it a self-identification choice?

I am just wondering why news outlets are using this phrase. Is this a term that Zimmerman has used to describe himself or did the news media just select it on their own? Not sure that I've seen it used in too many other contexts in the media.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:48 PM

17. The Census uses "white non-Hispanic".

For a lot of Latinos, yes, it is a matter of self-identification. If you saw me on the street, you wouldn't assume I was a Latina or guess that I identified as a woman of color.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:50 PM

18. What differentiates a "white Hispanic" from a "person of color" ?

Can a person be both?

And getting back to this particular topic, do you think there is any significance to the media using the "white Hispanic" label with relation to Zimmerman?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:02 PM

24. I have no idea what the corporate media is doing, except maybe to

fan some kind of racial tension flame.

Latinos can be lily white and blonde and blue eyed and they can be black and dark eyed. "Latino" or "Hispanic" doesn't describe appearance.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:24 PM

31. there are "white" Hispanics

and Hispanics whose skin color is black.

They don't identify as black, they identify as Hispanic.

Which is one of the reasons I chose a Spanish immersion program for my African American son. So that he would understand that the color of one's skin had nothing to do with one's identity.

Of course it has almost everything to do with how OTHERS may perceive you, but that is another very ugly story.

(FYI - or FWIW - The original school into which he was enrolled had several "black" Hispanics teaching in the school. They were proud to be Dominican or whatever other Country nationality they were. They did NOT segregate or identify based on the color of their skin. Which is something this country should embrace.)

And yeah, I think Zimmerman's racism played a large role in his actions. That and his paranoid delusions of grandeur and power. He carried a GUN so he was important and powerful. uh-huh.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:51 PM

34. Thanks for the info!

Much appreciated.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:11 PM

29. The media is trying to get..

 

some conflict between Hispanics and Blacks,hoping this will help Zimmerman get off the hook. They have been doing this for years anytime some conflict happens betweens blacks and any other race or culture. Blacks are to be considered as the other no matter what the circumstances. What the media can't seem to understand is that every race has some one black in their family,it's and republicons having been using this for decades to get away with murder.

They get in congress and make laws that discriminate against blacks in housing,education,jobs,etc.. and after their plans work on a large majority of blacks they point and say see,see,they don't are criminals who don't want to work when,they set up situations where some do end up committing crimes but,now it is affecting every race,creed and color and their lies can't work...

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Response to butterfly77 (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:13 PM

30. Or crank up the viewership numbers..

Story getting cold? Find the first grade teacher of the guy who knows Zimmerman because he went to summer camp with him and interview him..

Any added drama adds eyeballs.

Yeah, I'm cynical about the media, if you couldn't tell. Hehe.

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Response to butterfly77 (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:31 PM

32. the media doesn't have to "get some conflict

between Hispanics and Blacks" going.

There IS one in this country, unfortunately. It's a struggle for hierarchical dominance. The dominant culture is WHITE. Those who can assimilate gain more dominance than those who cannot.

Hispanics who can't speak English fare less well than Blacks. White Hispanics who can, are higher up on the social construct ladder. It's a struggle between Blacks and Hispancs who gain the better paying positions and positions of power in a company.

I've seen it first hand played out in quite disturbing ways.

Unfortunately, the darker the color of your skin, the harder it is to assimilate into the dominant culture. You can learn the language and lose the accent, but you can't change what color you are.

White supremacist patriarchal capitalism is alive and well in America.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:39 PM

33. well done

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:30 PM

6. Today is the first time I have ever heard the term

 

about half an hour ago, after reading an article here on DU.


Your guess is as good as mine

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:34 PM

10. NY Times, Reuters, CNN have all used that phrase in relation to Zimmerman

And like you I hadn't remembered seeing it used this way before.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:33 PM

9. Hispanic is a cultural term, not a racial one.

Most upper-class Latin-Americans are of mostly European ancestry and are often quite racist against Hispanics of Amerindian or Black ancestry.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:41 PM

13. Interestingly the dispatcher asked if he was "white, black, or Hispanic"

According to the transcript of Zimmerman's 9/11 call - the dispatcher asked him the above question with respect to the person he was suspicious of.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:34 PM

11. I suspect that it's a bullshit category.

 

Some Hispanic racists think they are better because they are "white" or more European rather than "brown" or more Indian. I overheard a Latino politician call some of his fellow Mexican-Americans "fucking indios" because of their darker skin. Some cubans prefer not to be distinguished from "whites" and so refer to non-Cuban whites as "Anglos." But I've never heard anyone refer to "white Hispanics." I suspect it is a term that is being introduced in this case for political reasons. I'd be interested to know if I am wrong and the term already has common usage.

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Response to Vattel (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:38 PM

12. What do you think are the political reasons?

You wrote that you suspect it is a term that is being introduced in this case for political reasons.

What do you think those reasons are?

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Response to Vattel (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:55 PM

20. You haven't heard the term "white Hispanic' because white is the default.

There are white Latinos and black ones and everything in between. As I said in some other post, the US Census differentiates between white people and white non-Hispanic people. Just in case, I guess.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:41 PM

14. they have to call him white because the story has a racial aspect

identifying him as hispanic makes less sense to me the more I think about it. I dont see the relevance, other than maybe placating non-hispanic whites who might look at him and say "that guy aint white". Not a good reason, imo.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:57 PM

21. That these outlets use "Hispanic" and not "Latino" is already a giveaway. n/t

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:00 PM

23. What does that giveaway?

Not sure I take your meaning here.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:05 PM

25. "Hispanic" is a term white people use because it references Spain

where "Latino" and other similar terms is a term used by people who are not invested in being connected to Spain or to European whiteness.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:53 PM

36. Interesting

So if I understand correctly, someone from Spain would be Hispanic but not Latino, whereas someone from Brazil would be Latino but not Hispanic?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #36)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 08:44 PM

44. Technically, yes. n/t


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Response to EFerrari (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:40 AM

50. And Latino is a term used by people who want to reference Latin and Caesar of course. nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #50)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:40 AM

51. No. n/t

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #51)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:41 AM

52. Sorry, I meant Augustus. nt

 

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:42 PM

15. I'm not exactly sure what "white" ...

..."black" or any other designation means ...

I know i threw up after a long night of interaction with "white Russians" ~ 30 years ago ... I chose never to interact with a white Russian again

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 04:52 PM

19. It means people tie themselves in knots trying to figure out

a person's genetic heritage.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:00 PM

22. There is a need to vilify Zimmerman beyond just being angry at him for what he did.

 

Adding "white" to the mix makes it easier to do. There is more weight in "white on black crime" than there is in "hispanic on black crime". It's harder to label him a racist murderer without the white label. Otherwise he's just a murderer, and this isn't news that incites fury around the nation.

I'd bet money there was at least ONE person in the media who was disappointed to find out Zimmerman wasn't 100% white european, as his name implies. So, if it's necesssary to label him as being Hispanic, the answer is to amend that to be "White-Hispanic". That way, people can still maintain their hatred.

It seems that these days, adding white to anything one dislikes gives that dislike more credibility. Think republican... what's that associated with? White men. Religious fanatics? Yup. White men. Hunters? I could do this all day...

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 07:35 PM

41. Ding, ding, ding!

We have a winner! That is absolutely the reason. I'm surprised it took so long for anyone to point that out.

Well done.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)


Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:07 PM

27. Here's what I thought was a thoughtful article on 'white privilege' by Leonard Pitts...

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:10 PM

28. that his race is white and his ethnicity is hispanic

we come in all colors, not just the brown/mestizo one normally imagines. Though the various shades of that are the most common

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:51 PM

35. Why mention both?

Why not just say he is white - why throw in Hispanic as well? Is that relevant?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 05:58 PM

37. his father brought it into the mix

Nt

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Response to oberliner (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 06:00 PM

38. he was initially identified by the media as simply 'white'

my own personal opinion is that some people believe that somehow race can't play into what happened if Mr.Zimmerman is also part of a 'minority'.

I don't share that belief.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 06:04 PM

39. It means he is probably untattooed, rather tall-ish and is light skinned

and "passes" with a "non-hispanic" name.

If he were Jorge Vazquez, 5'3", and swarthy he would be referred to differently.

The whole deal about HIM, is just to minimize what he did..

Arrest him already, put him on trial ,and let a jury sort it out..

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 06:49 PM

40. Zimmerman is not a white hispanic

As has been described by previous posters, hispanic or latino refers to people with origins from latin america regardless of race.

Zimmerman's mother is peruvian which means Zimmerman is hispanic (as long as he self-identifies as one, which seems likely as he is a spanish speaking catholic).

Race is a trickier. He's technically multi-racial, like many hispanics. Certainly many multi-racial people consider themselves white but race in america is more than just self-identification. Who "white america" considered white has always been a complicated issue. Things like the one drop rule (as a law and as a cultural convention) are why multi-racial black/white people are usually considered black. Historically, the only multi-racial people that would be considered white where the ones that could pass as white. While no longer law, this is still very much a cultural convention and I have no doubt that Zimmerman is considered a person of color by people that he meets.

I would describe him as a multi-racial hispanic, unless he self-identified some other way.

To address some of the questions raised in the OP, I suspect that "white hispanic" is used because Zimmerman is not a hispanic name and editors are trying to convey the information that Zimmerman is hispanic. I don't think the term "white hispanic" is particularly common but the term "white non-hispanic" is the official way to refer to white people. So those same editors probably think that just dropping the "non-" is a good way to describe Zimmerman's origins.

And yes, the race or ethnicity of the shooter is relevant in this case because it sure as heck seems like this was a racially motivated shooting. It should be plain as day that the reactions would differ based on the race or ethnicity of the shooter due to the different relationship between the black and white communities and the black and hispanic communities.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 07:43 PM

42. He's of mixed parentage, like myself.

My mother was Chilean of Spanish and Indian ancestry and my father a white American of northern European ancestry. Maybe the German surname is why they call him white. I was often called a German Chilean because of my Germanic surname, but it wasn't accurate. A real German Chilean is 100% German from German immigrant parents but born in Chile. I would call Zimmerman an American of mixed parentage of northern European ancestry and Hispanic ancestry. Actually, he's probably a variety of ethnicities on both sides of his family as often happens here in America.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 08:26 PM

43. But does "white Hispanic" necessarily suggest mixed parentage?

It seems from other posts that one can be entirely of, let's say, Chilean parentage, and still call oneself "white Hispanic" - it's just odd, I think, that this term is being applied here in news articles when generally no such nomenclature is used.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #43)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 09:56 PM

46. It is odd and actually inaccurate.

However, trying to label people by race who are of mixed parentage is really a slippery slope. I mean you can be South American and still be of European ethnicity mostly of Southern European ancestry, but most are of mixed native American and European ethnicity either northern or southern or both. Peruvians and Bolivians are more native American in mixture than Chileans or Argentineans but most of us are part Native American.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 08:47 PM

45. I'm not sure

but I heard CHarlie Sheen called a "White Hispanic". Also when I do surveys they ask if I'm Hispanic then with several categories underneath with one asking "white" or another term with same meaning.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 10:00 PM

47. By place of origin I am

 

And if you saw me in the street your guess would be European or American Caucasian.

In places like Mexico (apart of the US census) it actually matters. It is something less talked about than here, but darker the skin, the less likely you will succeed in things like high politics.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #48)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 12:31 PM

55. The Black population is heavily mixed due to slavery...

 

You might not notice but there are many "black" Americans who could physically pass for "white." Evidence of admixture is everywhere.

Race, though, is a fallacy. All living humans today are thought to be products of Homo Sapiens Sapiens genes that originated in Africa.
Skin color, though, has caused those who conquered the world to look at themselves as the divine emissaries of God. All the characters in the Jewish bible, including Jesus, have been usurped by so called "white" people.

Being white came to be synonymous with goodness and everything desired in the material world. Darker folk were the legions of darkness; godless primitives and heathens who needed to be kept at bay so as to "conserve" the "white ideology... even when some of them turned to Christianity.

But with "white"skin so pervasive in the life forms on earth, why do some humans place such a value on it. If most animals are shaved, the underlying epidermis is fair and the hair/fur is relaxed or straight. These are not just MY observations. An excellent read on the illusion of "whiteness" is The Fallacy of Race: Man's most dangerous myth, by Ashley Montagu







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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:32 AM

49. The "media" is all about obfuscation for their own profit

 

They act like torture is a debatable topic.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #49)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 12:00 PM

53. What are they trying to obfuscate in this case?

Not sure I get what you are saying here.

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