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Anti-Spanish Discrimination?
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Ronzalez



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Anti-Spanish Discrimination? Reply with quote

Am I the only one with a Spanish surname who has felt "shut out" of important parts of American life because of that last name?

I have had the experience countless times during my life where my interactions with new people and organizations seems to be going swimmingly, and then right at the moment where I supply my last name, their interest in me completely reverses direction, to outright avoidance.

This has applied to my forays into school, the work world, and especially my attempts at a love life. Have I been imagining things all my life, or is America really a very, very WASP-supremacist nation?

I've been giving some thought to legally changing my last name, to something more Anglo-sounding. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been considering "Pariah" -- ironically enough, I have a feeling it would be more acceptable than "Gonzalez".
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1727
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can honestly say that I've never experienced such discrimination, but I've lived in the northeast or California most of my life. All of the women in my life have been WASPs, so never a problem in that area. And Martinez is one of the most common names in the US these days.

I'll have to admit, however, that I am fairly good at giving off dominance signals although I'm really a teddy bear, so no one has ever messed with me since that barfight in my late teens (I'm 66), and he was pretty drunk.

The critical thing, I think, is to take pride in your name and your ethnic background and to find ways to communicate that to others. Remember that we were in Florida before the anglos.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4476
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was certainly strong prejudice in previous generations. I'm not sure about now, though.

I wonder if Florida is different from other areas of the US? There are so many Cubans and other hispanics that there may be more prejudice by non hispanics. And I've heard stories of prejudice between different Spanish speaking groups.

I should add that my last names are not Spanish, so I haven't had this problem, but there are lots of reasons for prejudice, and I've faced it in other ways.

-------------------

Ciertamente, hubo fuertes prejuicios en generaciones anteriores. Pero no estoy seguro acerca de ahora.

Me pregunto se La Florida es distinta de otras regiones de los EE.UU.? Hay tantos cubanos y otros hispanos que es posible que haya más prejuicio por parte de los no hispanos. Y he oído de prejuicio entre distintos grupos de habla española.

Debo añadir que mis apellidos no son españoles, así que no he tenido este problema, pero hay muchos motivos para el prejuicio, y me he enfrentado en otras formas.
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Discrimination in Tampa????? Reply with quote

Are you living in Tampa and you are feeling discriminated?
I am sorry, but you need to know what kind of people are around you...
My daughter just married a Gonzalez and she is very happy using her
husband last name!
We live in Miami, Florida, so you might consider to come down here for
a visit....here we are like a fruit salad, we are people from different
backgrounds but at the time of the crisis, we are just Miamians.

Esta usted viviendo en Tampa y usted se siente discriminado?
Lo siento, pero usted tiene que ver que clase de gente esta con usted.
Mi hija se acaba de casar con un Gonzalez y ella esta muy feliz usando
el apellido de su esposo!
Nosotros vivimos en Miami, Florida, usted puede considerar venir para
aca de visita....nosotros aqui somos como una ensalada de frutas, somos
personas de diferentes partes pero a la hora de los problemas, nosotros
todos somos de Miami.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is one thing that life has taught me, it is that some people will never like you regardless of your surname . As a kid in an Asturian community, I was called everything in the book by those of so called "American" ancestry. Yes, it did make me mad, and yes we did fight, but that was then and now is now. Small people are easy to look over. You, me, we are better than that. I always tell them that if your name is Falling Rock or Moon Star, or Three Feathers, you are a true American, if not then at some point in history your ancestors came here on a boat. Remember who you are. That's all that is important; be proud.
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cando91



Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have lived most of my life in Tampa (-8 years in New Orleans and Boston) and have never experienced discrimination, although having the last name "Varon" it seems only spanish people recognize that as a spanish surname. I am part of that second generation of my family born in the US and English is my first language. I believe my parents probably may have experienced a little discrimination when they ventured out of Ybor City 50 or 60 years ago and I know they spoke spanish when they started school and had great difficulty (that's why I'm spending a fortune to learn spanish as an adult). I think my "Florida cracker" friends thought we were a little different when they saw what kind of food we ate and some of our traditions, but I know they love it now. I kind of feel like we're the majority here. I'm surprised and sorry that you've had that experience here.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4476
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cando91 wrote:
.... my parents probably may have experienced a little discrimination when they ventured out of Ybor City 50 or 60 years ago and I know they spoke spanish when they started school and had great difficulty (that's why I'm spending a fortune to learn spanish as an adult). ....

Boy, that's the truth!

Experiencing discrimination > leads to > wanting to fit in > leads to > not teaching your mother tongue to your kids > leads to > your kids having to take classes to learn the language!

But learning the language opens may doors professionally and personally, so it's really worthwhile.

-------------------

¡Sí, home, es la verdad!

Sufrir la discriminación > lleva a> querer ser aceptado > lleva a > no enseñar tu lengua materna a tus hijos > lleva a> tus niños tienen que hacer clases para aprender el idioma!

Pero aprender el idioma puede abrir puertas profesionalmente y personalmente, así que realmente vale la pena.
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject: Spanish only!!!! Espanol solamente Reply with quote

Spanish only in my home!!!! That's the way my children speak Spanish.
The more languages you learn, more doors will be opened.

Espanol solamente en mi casa!!! Por eso es que mis hijos hablan Espanol.
Mientras mas idiomas se aprendan, mas puertas se le abriran.


Last edited by Raquel M on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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cando91



Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They say hindsight is 20/20. My parents and I both realize now the benefits of being bilingual, but when my grandparents came to this country, they wanted to be "Americans" they wanted a better education for their children and grandchildren and that meant learning to speak English. They didn't deny their heritage, they just began to adopt a new Spanish American heritage for their descendents. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until my daughter was grown but maybe I'll be fluent enough by the time I have grandchildren to teach them. I definitely appreciate how amazing my grandparents were to leave their home and family and come to a new country, not speak a word of English and make a life for themselves and my parents. I don't think I could do that- certainly not as a teenager and there's no doubt they must have endured prejudice and discrimination. It's been about 90 years since they came here and as I stated before, I don't think I have been the victim of discrimination but maybe Ive been "Americanized" to the point that my ethnicity isn't obvious.

In any case, I'm still surprised that he is experiencing this discrimination in Tampa where there are so many hispanics. Maybe things haven't changed in 90 years.
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1727
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Tampa/St. Pete's in early November, and there were castellanohablantes everywhere. The tour of the Dali Museaum was entirely in Spanish. I found the accent different from what I am used to, but clear and easy to understand. Meredythe understands no Spanish whatsoever, but still found the time there delightful (There were signs in English to be read).
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Jovita



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 10
Location: Monaca, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember my mother talking about discrimination when she was in grade school in Langeloth, PA. As a school kid, there was some but I never knew it until I was much older and my school peers told me they were hesitant to talk to me because of my nationality. Now I could care less if people do not like me because of my ancestry. I don't give those people permission to upset me. I get along without them quite well.
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Celtica



Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being born and raised in Miami, and then subsequently relocating to northern Florida nearly decade ago, I can tell you that I never encountered any real prejudice on account of my ethnic identity. In the spirit of full disclosure, however, I would have to note that most people are unaware of my ancestry, even when becoming acquainted with my surname. [It's not conspicuously Spanish-sounding without the ñ; which I must admit, I have come to omit from time to time out of sheer habit.]

Generally, when I explain that of I am of Spanish heritage, I am treated with an overall sense of bafflement. Unfortunately, the lay American hasn't a clear understanding of the difference between various Spanish-speaking populations, irrespective of how profound the distinctions may be. If you take the time to explain what an Iberian actually is, you will come to see how it perplexes many of them.

I therefore think that certain instances of prejudice being applied by to Iberians is, in actuality, a misapplied bigotry that is intended to be applied towards Latin Americans.

I am, however, familiar with instances of fringe elements in society applying nordocentric stereotypes -leftover from the pseudoscience of the nineteenth/early twentieth-century- towards southern Europeans in general. The degree to which this continues to shape people's thinking is marginal, but still apparent from time to time. This was, however, commonplace throughout the anglosphere and Western Europe during the aforementioned time period. My grandmother encountered it in her youth, on account of her Spanish/Portuguese grandparents. Even Karl Marx, the great 'internationalist', had some unbelievably inflammatory things to say about Spaniards -as well as other non-Germanic peoples.

I recall a lecture I attended last semester, in which a Dr. Mormino -one of the foremost experts on the history of Florida- showed the audience a copy of a poll that was taken during the Second World War, in which Americans were asked to rank -in over of favorite to least favorite- a series of ethnic groups. Expectantly, northwestern Europeans were ranked at the top, whilst southern Europeans were ranked so low, that several non-European groups actually were viewed more favorably. To be fair though, I have to assert that political questions likely played a significant part in this.

One must remember that Italy was an axis power and Spain both had some ties -albeit somewhat indirect in nature- to the Axis powers and had been engaged in a war with the U.S. that was not yet a distant memory in the minds of many Americans. [Nevertheless, Spain was ranked above Italy, as were nations such as Mexico.] To further contextualize the results of the poll, the Greeks came out incredibly high on the list.
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Ronzalez



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Ronzalez on Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: I can't believe it! No lo puedo creer !!!! Reply with quote

Siento mucho que un grupo de personas racistas le hayan hecho tomar
esa decision, sigo insistiendo que todo tiene que ver con el grupo de
personas con que usted este relacionado. Existen leyes muy fuertes en
los USA en contra de la discriminacion no comprendo como usted no haya
hecho valer sus derechos.Yo no soy Mexicana, pero no permito que nadie
haga ningun comentario en contra de los Mexicanos delante de mi, eso es
discriminacion.
Mis amistades de apellido Gonzalez y mi propia hija que usa ahora el apellido Gonzalez jamas han tenido problemas, quizas porque nosotros
somos nacidos en Cuba y los Cubanos en general hemos sufrido en carne
propia discriminacion en la misma Cuba y hemos sobrevivido a muchas
cosas y aqui en los USA sabemos que existen leyes que protegen en contra de los abusos y la discriminacion.
Hay artistas como Andres Garcia, Jennifer Lopez, Daisy Fuentes, que han
triunfado sin importar el apellido que llevan.
Yo le deseo suerte, quizas deberia usted visitar a un un sicologo antes de tomar tan drastica decision.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very sorry that you feel need to change your name

Last edited by Ron Gonzalez on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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