Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

I made a friend while in college. Her name is Gris and she is from Mexico.

I recall a white girl commenting on being a "gringa(o)." The way she explained it though made the history behind that explanation seem so wrong.

She explained it in this way, "I know what Gringo means. It means a white cracker."

That is when Gris stepped in and proudly explains the meaning behind such word. She said, "Let me tell you. Gringo is a derivative of the words "green" and "go." When the Americans were taking over the central and south americas."

I was in awe! Like, really? That is all to it. All this time I was getting harrassed because of my light skinned and ability to  talk both English and Spanish? Geez. I believe blogger, Aida Ramirez said it best. She says,

"Beatriz Varela wrote the chapter "Ethnic nicknames of Spanish origin in American English" in the book Spanish Loanwords in the English Language: A Tendency Towards Hegemony Reversal. Varela explains many of the myths surrounding the word, detailing the flaws in the theory that it comes from the words "green" and "go," with "green" being phonetically spelled as "grin" in Spanish. She also mentions the folklore that Mexicans coined the word in the 1800s. This particular story claims that the word was a reference to "Green Grow the Lilacs," a song the U.S. military sang while marching.

My sixth-grade Spanish teacher claimed that the word was coined by Central and South Americans during the U.S. military occupation of various Latin American countries. According to him, the word refers to the color of the U.S. dollar."

There is this curious need to discover, on my part, to figure out what Central and South americans think on this subject. What do they have to say about this? Do they also know where the word comes from or do they speak in such a way because of tradition?

 I am sure there is some people still alive who can answer my questions, right?

Frankly, I hate the word. It stands for such black and white thinking.

Like you're either Gringa(o) or Americana(o), when really Americana(o) means so much more than just a white race, for example. Not every white person is of European decent. Geez, if that was the case, we'd have so many inconsistencies in history.(Not what every "cracker" looks like.)

The US population of two or more races has doubled in the last four years. Such black and white thinking only limits us.

I think I may just ask the real Natives of South and Central America about their thoughts on this. Write an article perhaps?

Does anyone else agree that we should expand and further our investigation of such words?

There are many mixed race Latinas who've let me know that, "Being Latina doesnt necessarily mean being brown and speaking Spanish." I wrote an article on mixed race Latinas.

Let's squash the sterotypes and stop taking words for what they are. Let us research everything, keep asking and we might just find something new!



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