Race X Nationality X Ethnicity (And What Am I?)

I was watching some YouTube videos last night and chatting Doom about them and at some point, I brought up the fact that interacting with North Americans on the internet has made me incredibly confused at times as to what… I am…

So let me start with the easy part, yes?

I am white. My family ancestry is mostly Italian and Portuguese. Although we do have some African genes in the family tree somewhere as most do around these parts, I am incredibly white. So when people go on about ancestor shaming and white privilege and things like that… They’re referring to me. I guess being a woman saves me from the evil ‘white male’ demographic, but nonetheless.

I am also Brazilian, however, and apparently to some American minds; and I will specify ‘American’ because literally every time I’ve encountered this the other person was from the United States of America… To some Americans, that makes me a ‘minority’.

This is extremely confusing to me in the sense that I’m not used to being seen or treated as a minority in my daily life. It doesn’t make sense to me in the slightest.

More than once I was having all out arguments with some SJW or feminist on some comment section somewhere and for some reason completely relevant to the point I was making, I brought up Brazil… And their tone changed completely because of that. One time this person actually stopped and apologized to me despite me having said nothing that would have warranted that change in attitude. So I sat there staring at my screen in utter shock thinking “did I just race card this bitch right now? WTF just happened?

See, guys, it’s very simple: my nationality is Brazilian and my race is caucasian; white, and these are in fact two completely separate things. Only that in the minds of some… I don’t want to say SJW’s, that’s the easy term… To some individuals out there, the fact I don’t speak English as my first language changes that. It’s not because I live in the Southern Hemisphere, is it? I mean, they don’t give Australians that same treatment. At most, they get some outdated ‘Crocodile Dundee’ jokes according to my friend.

As for ethnicity… Oh, brace yourselves, this is going to… Annoy me…

I did a little Googling for this one.  And I found a Huffington Post article called “8 Reasons Brazilians Totally Count as Latino” I’ll be addressing their ‘reasons’ one by one at the end, but first a little bit of my own two cents.

Whether or not Brazilians are considered ‘Latino’ is a thing of controversy even here.

Brazil was mostly colonized by Portugal while the rest of South America was colonized by Spain. We DO NOT speak Spanish, but is being of Hispanic descent the only thing that makes someone Latino? Well… Not really. Some people argue that geographic placement makes you Latino. We are part of Latin America, and our language; although not Spanish, is latin based… for the most part… Portuguese is also highly based on Greek, but let’s not get into that or I’ll be here all day. So that counts, right?

Honestly, I don’t fucking know for sure anymore. What I do know is that it doesn’t matter because “Latino” is not a race, it’s an ethnicity. =.=

The difference between ethnicity and race is that race speaks of one’s biological ancestry; one’s DNA, whilst ethnicity refers to a person’s cultural background and identity. And if someone argues “well, all Latinos are mixed-race; so are Brazilians”… So? So are amost of North Americans. Just because you only appear to be one race, doesn’t mean you’re not mixed-race, guys. So, does that make US residents who were colonized by England and whose language does not originate from Latin also Latinos by that definition alone? No.

Personally, I think that yes; we are Latin-American and I don’t mind being called “Latina”, but I get where people who want to dispute that are coming from. As is, census studies show that only around 4% of Brazilians consider themselves ‘latinos’ and in doubt, I did what I always do; I asked my mom. She said the same thing; we are not latinos. After I asked her why and we discussed the differences between ethnicity, race, and nationality, she just went “Oh, I guess by that definition we are Latin-Americans.” Well, I’ll be damned! People here don’t think we’re latinos because they adopted outside misconceptions of what being latino means.

So, what I do mind, is what the world considers “Latin-Americans” to be and the fact that being called that automatically places me into this stereotypical box to the eyes of the world for some reason, when the fact that we are so culturally different from most Spanish speaking countries around us makes it so those stereotypes, for the most part, make no fucking sense. I do certainly mind and am saddened by the fact that the majority of my country’s population has shunned its own ethnical background because the rest of the world has decided what it means. And the rest of the world is now debating whether or not we fit their definition of what we are.

Lemme show you what that Huffington Post list gave us for ‘reasons’ why Brazilians are Latinos:

Because Brazil Is In Latin America

Okay, sure, that’s… fair enough to say. What else?

Because They Dance Practically From Birth

I’m sorry what? I… Can’t dance for shit. More so; I don’t like dancing. I guess I’m not Brazilian after all. Fuck me.

Because They’re Awesome At Soccer

Again, I can’t play soccer. At least not in any decent level. And, also, you do realize that soccer is also extremely popular in White European countries, right? Even more so than here, I believe. Also, stop calling it ‘soccer’, it’s Football. I think it’s fair we keep that name seeing as there’s considerably less actual kicking in American Football, for what I understand. It should be called “Throwball”. >.>

Their National Drink Is Full Of Lime

“Mexico has the margarita, Cuba’s got the mojito, Peru’s got the pisco sour, and Brazil’s got the caipirinha. It’s not a coincidence.”

I have nothing to say to this. Apparently mixing lemons with alcohol defines your ethnicity now. Okay. Whatever you say internet… Ever have a Strawberry Caipirinha, by the way?  It’s fucking delicious.

Because They Treat Telenovelas As An Art Form

“Undisputedly Latino thing to do.”

Oy… I don’t know how to facepalm hard enough at this. First of all, kudos to us, because writing; in any way shape or form, should be viewed as an art form. And I’m actually proud to say our novelas kick ass sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. There have been some pretty cool ones throughout our history. That said… Despite being called ‘novelas’ they are more similar in style to things like oh… Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and stuff like that than actual Latin Novelas. Not because they are better; mind you, because the ways in which they are written and filmed are entirely different styles.

Because They Can Be Any Race

“Like all Latinos, Brazilians are a multi-racial country. With people of African, indigenous, European, Asian and Middle Eastern descent — most of whom have mixed with each other. So, like all U.S. Latinos, they have trouble filling out the neatly delineated boxes defining race on the U.S. census.”

ANYONE OF ANY NATIONALITY AND/OR ETHNICITY CAN BE OF MIXED RACE AND/OR ANY GIVEN RACE! Those are separate and unrelated fucking things. A white person born in the US and raised in Brazil their whole life is a) Caucasian and b) Brazilian and c) Latin-American. A white person born in Brazil and raised in Brazil their whole life is a) Caucasian, b) Brazilian and c) Latin-fucking-American! Exact some race, exact same nationality and exact same fucking ethnical background, damn it! This is not rocket science!

And in what delusional mindset is the United States not an equally, if not more, multi-racial country? I’m just saying guys. You were a colony originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, colonized by White Europeans who crammed it full of African slaves… Same as us and same as any country in the Americas.

Because Portuguese Is Practically Spanish

“Spanish speakers can usually understand a good chunk of it without even bothering to study the language.”

Haahahahahahahaha…. FUCK YOU!

I can’t understand Spanish for shit when it’s being spoken to me and have a real hard time reading it. And you know what? Vice-versa! It took almost a year for my Bolivian friend and I to admit we couldn’t understand each other for shit when we first met.

I picked up English on my own, by ear, as a child. I was reading and writing at an intermediate level, at least, by the time I was ten… And the most I can speak in Spanish is to ask to borrow a pen. =.=

Now, yes, Spanish and Portuguese are both Latin-based languages, but so is Italian, and European Portuguese which is a language so different from ours that I honestly think we should officially change our language’s name to Brazilian. Let’s tell people we speak Brazilian now.

Because They Know How To Throw An Amazing Party

“Every February hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world flock to Brazil for carnival. Some 850,000 went to Rio de Janeiro alone this year.”

*sigh*

I’m just gonna leave you guys with this picture of Dutch Carnival:

carnaval-590x310

This is 20 times the party we have in my town; which is a State Capital btw, every year.

World; RIO IS NOT THE WHOLE OF BRAZIL. Thank you.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I usually don’t mind stereotypes. I don’t care that people assume some things of us. I get a good laugh out of it. I don’t mind people asking me if I have a pet monkey or if I can teach them Samba (I can’t. I hate Samba. But whatever), just as much as my Australian friend is considerably cool with the Dundee jokes and me typing things like ‘noice’ to him from time to time just to poke fun. Just like I’m sure at one point or another I’ve poked fun of Canada to Doom and the US to Wifey. We’re friends, we can do that. It’s not racist. 😛

The problem is misrepresentation and how it has affected our ethnical identity. My country, as racially and culturally diverse as it is, in almost its entirety does not see itself represented in the ethnic group we are supposed to belong in. It’s sad that this is a reality and that we let it happen.

My issue with this fucking Huffington Post article is not that it calls us ‘Latinos’, but that it needs to compare us to other Latin-American countries and their culture in order to accept us as such.

I know that this turned out a bit long and ranty and I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So there it is. >.>

If anyone still has doubts: I am caucasian, Brazilian, and Latina. Those are NOT mutually exclusive things.

Later guys.

B.B

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3 thoughts on “Race X Nationality X Ethnicity (And What Am I?)

  1. Maybe it’s because I’m super white and Midwestern American, but that HuffPo list was, like, shockingly racist to me. I was reading your post, really interested and drawn in by your perspective, but it did not prepare me for that! Wow. I feel like it’d be like saying I must be fond of wearing berets and eating sauerkraut because I’m from French and German ancestry. (Although, to be fair, I really do love sauerkraut and I can rock a beret if I need to, but that’s not the point). And you really nailed it with why it was so troublesome, too. It’s not, “Brazilians are Latino because of these great things about their heritage.” It’s “Brazilians are Latino because look at all these very basic, marginal details they share with all the OTHER Latin countries.” Like, I have trouble believing someone actually thought, “This is totally an okay and legit thing to post!”

    “Because Portuguese Is Practically Spanish.” UM. WHAT. I still can’t get over that one. Just…no.

    Anyway, like I said, I’m super-white, racially, ethnically, and culturally, but that was a trip. Thank you for such a wild read, and for maintaining such a level-headed perspective on some pretty outrageous nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Berets kick ass. Sauerkraut… is not my thing, though. lol

      In all fairness, I have a deep down feeling (or maybe hope is a better word for it) that they were trying to be sarcastic about that list and yesterday, or the day before that, maybe I would have laughed it off, but… After really looking into it, people here are genuinely confused on what we ethnically are. And that’s far from humorous; it’s depressing, even. :/

      Ugh, the Spanish thing… I don’t mind the misconception that we speak Spanish; we’re the only country in here that doesn’t, I can forgive that. Knowing what our language is and then going “eh, same thing”, that’s very different. That just… No. No, you don’t. =.=

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. 😀

      Like

  2. Pingback: 24 Questions Black People Have For White People (Answered) | Blackbird's Nest

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