Social Question

latifajanae's avatar

How do you feel when people pretend to be a different race?

Asked by latifajanae (31points) May 14th, 2010

im doing a research project and the question im searching is why do people pretend to be hispanic? im hispanic and it really actually offends me and i want to know how it affects people not personally involved but if you have an answer then puleeeease help!!!

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31 Answers

tedibear's avatar

I hope this doesn’t get moderated, but I’m curious to know who does this? Specifically, who is pretending to be hispanic when they aren’t? And why? I’m not doubting that it happens, I just have never heard of it and can’t imagine why.

Aster's avatar

how do I feel? It just looks dumb to me. I am not aware of kids acting like they’re Hispanic, though.
I have been informed that it’s “the style” for white kids to pretend to be black.
Don’t they realize how silly they look with blue eyes and blonde
hair wearing SouthPole clothes that look 3 sizes too large and
they have to hold their pants up while they walk? Whats with the, “say, Bro!” “Watsup?” I don’t get it. I’m outta touch. Are they ashamed to be German? They might as well get used to it.

MissA's avatar

If I would experience seeing this, I may think it is silly or sad, but it wouldn’t bother me to the point of steeling time out of my day.

BAD behavior bothers me…behavior that does not cause others harm…not really.

I could speculate as to the why people might do this, but it would be JUST that, as I’ve never known anyone to pretend to be a different race. Perhaps they are attention seekers…or, maybe they truly feel a bond with folks of that culture.

Why does it bother you so?

Aster's avatar

@MissA I’m not sure why it bothers me. Maybe it reminds me of old women in mini skirts and tall black leather boots. Dunno.

deni's avatar

well i once convinced on seperate occassions, a group of my close friends and an entire class my senior year of high school that i was a quarter black. why? because people are gullible and i thought it was hilarious that anyone would believe me….i am clearly not black. i don’t look black. half these people knew my parents…neither of them are black. there was no bad intentions and no one should have been offended by anything.

im not sure what other reasons someone would pretend to be a different race for, especially seriously….i’ve never heard of such a thing.

MissA's avatar

@Aster Perhaps you can’t understand why anyone would want to claim something that’s not theirs. In any event, I hope you find the answer…I wasn’t much help, I’m afraid.

Aster's avatar

Say, what? Maybe it’s just an American phenomenon. I see it often. And hear it.
Later, bro!

Aster's avatar

It seems pathological to think of myself wanting to appear to be
a Wall Street stockbroker. My kids would say I need counseling.
I don high heels, a black pin-striped suit and briefcase and go to the grocery store? When previously I’ve worn slacks, sandals and a golf shirt. I think it would be scary for the parents but as usual I’m looking like the nutty one. lol

Seek's avatar

How does one “act” Hispanic? You’re either born Hispanic, or you’re not.

I’m very obviously northern European, but had I been born in, say, Puerto Rico, I might have an accent, and speak fluent Spanish. Would I be “acting Hispanic”? or would I have to hang a Puerto Rican flag in my car window and only drink Dos Equis?

It really bugs me when someone says that kid is “dressing like he’s black”. I don’t look at a black boy wearing pants that wouldn’t fit three of him and say “oh, he’s just dressing black”. I think “What a fracking idiot.” Does that mean the friend standing next to him with pants secured at the waist and a shirt that fits him is “dressing white”? So anyone that wears clothes that fit them and operates their jaw while they speak is “acting white”? That seems to be incredibly offensive, on every side of the issue.

Aster's avatar

I have no idea how one would act Hispanic. They don’t seem to me to have any differentiating clothing or body movements to imitate.
Far as your ‘being bugged” you’ll have to be bugged because people are going to keep saying it. Do you ever watch, “Kendra?” Her brother , who is rarely shown, wears super baggy clothes and a baseball cap turned around backwards. I dont get the ‘operates their jaw’ part. Explain?
I can see how you’d feel it was “incredibly offensive” though, to be making these crazy value judgments. Something else that
bugs ME is the new, “Pimp My Ride” tv show title or anything
“pimped.” There’s the “pimp my profile” too that offends me.

Seek's avatar

Sorry, it might be a regional thing, but there’s a trend among the “urban” kids in my area to talk without actually moving their mouths. I don’t think I could explain it any better than that. It’s like enunciating their words is too time-consuming.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Oh,that’s a great one. The ventriloquist.
Well, pimp my lips. (practicing)

Seek's avatar

Here is a perfect example of the “talking without moving your jaw” thing.

iphigeneia's avatar

Honestly, I don’t know. You might also want to look into the weeaboo phenomenon. People who are obsessed with Japanese pop culture and drop random Japanese words into conversation like they know what they mean.

I could hazard a guess and say that it’s related to feeling a lack of belonging in their community, so they seek their identity in another one. What they don’t realise is that cultural appropriation can be seen as disrespectful. That’s just a theory I came up with just then.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr omg. Is he the latest Presidential candidate?
That gentleman is Not speaking English!! I refuse to believe it!!
Anyway, it’s getting forwarded.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Did I hear him say, “no she-shayin?” No; probably not.
Seems like I saw him on MSNBC recently but on there, he didn’t say a word about putting KY Jelly up your nose.

Seek's avatar

I don’t bother with translations. Communication is a two-way street, and these idiots aren’t even starting the car.

bob_'s avatar

@deni Did you know ‘gullible’ is written all over your ceiling?

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t know how one pretends to be a different race.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’ve never really witnessed other people pretending to be another race. How would you do that anyway?

alive's avatar

i have never heard of people pretending to be hispanic….

as a guera (“wetta” i.e. white looking hispanic) and coyote (person with mixed white and hispanic heritage) i understand that “race” is a pretty fluid type of thing… so what does “acting hispanic” entail exactly?

Aster's avatar

@alive that is what I want to know!

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

The style of white kids supposedly acting black (whatever that behavior is) is really a matter of urban life. As a teacher in an urban school for over 10 years, some kids act like that and some don’t. Some white kids do; some don’t. Some black and Hispanic kids do; some don’t. It’s usually a function of the parents’ level of education and sometimes the neighborhood. Not necessarily race.

iphigeneia's avatar

I suppose that part of acting Hispanic would be using Spanish phrases (No me digas!) that haven’t entered the English lexicon because they sound cool, especially when they don’t know any other Spanish. It would also involve listening to Hispanic music, celebrating Hispanic festivals, probably dressing like a cool Hispanic urbanite, however that is…

I don’t think that there’s much wrong with this, but like I said above, cultural appropriation can be seen as disrespectful, though it depends a lot on the attitude with which it is carried out. People will be offended if you take something that is important to them and incorporate it into your identity without appreciating how it is deeply involved in and linked to the rest of their culture and history.

latifajanae's avatar

when i said acting hispanic i mean poeple saying oh no girl dont mess with me im hispanic.or anything else that is racist.i meant that they speak words they have no knowledege of the meaning.thts what i meant.nd then other people think men like only hispanic women and they dont!!!i wasnt asking about people who dress black b.c theres no way to dress black thts not wht i was saying!!!!!!im saying people spaeking “spanlglish” thinking that its funny.nd people tryna talk spanish which in fact there isnt a way to speak spanish.either you do or you dont.i wasnt asking abt birthplaces you cant help where youre born and i wasnt saying anything abt accents.i mean when you see someone whois clearly not hispanic carrying a flag and saying “no ese” and stupid stuff like tht.i just wanted to know how it makes you feel when people pretend to be a different race and theyre not!!!!!!1

Seek's avatar


I think a lot of what you are saying is incredibly racist. Who are you to judge whether someone knows how to speak Spanish or Spanglish. There are 21 countries in the world that have Spanish as an official language. There are many different Spanish dialects even within those countries. Just because you don’t understand one person’s dialect doesn’t mean they’re not speaking Spanish correctly. And no one is born speaking any language. It’s all learned. I can learn Spanish just as you can learn English. Are you “acting American” if you do? No.

Also, who are you to judge who is or is not Hispanic? My Spanish teacher in High School was as blonde as I am, pale skinned, etc. She was from Spain. I think if you look at someone and determine they’re not Hispanic just by how they look, you are the racist.

Response moderated
Seek's avatar

You posted the question, so you obviously are seeking opinions. Welcome to the real world – not everyone is going to share yours.

Response moderated
alive's avatar

@latifajanae i don’t see anything wrong with speaking spanglish (no matter who you are). i guess if people are making fun of spanish that is a different story, but where im from speaking spanglish is a legitimate way to communicate

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@deni half these people knew my parents…neither of them are black. there was no bad intentions and no one should have been offended by anything. Even if you did not mean offence it could still come off as that given how people of color get treated openly and latently. If you were an actual minority and you didn’t have the option to turn it off when it was not going to be beneficial to turn it on for a chuckle can seem somewhat disingenuous.

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