BROWN: What's in an ethnic name? (6:00) PRI's The World
How do Mexican Americans (among other Latinos/Hispanics) see themselves? And why is this significant in the discussion of color, race and the question of what it means to be Latino? The writer Richard Rodriquez sees contemporary Mexican-American identity symbolized by the color "Brown". But while this self-identification may resonate for many Chicanos, how is "brown-ness" viewed by Mexicans on the other side of the border? Reporter Philip Martin explores how Mexican-Americans see themselves today.
LUZ GONZALEZ, dean of the School of Social Sciences, California State University at Fresno:
Mexicans have no clue what we go through in this country to defend our rights. They have no clue. In Mexico they deal with their own issues. See, their issues there are among Indians and themselves and Mesticos. They deal with social status, so you’re not going to get this brownness, cause it doesn’t mean anything to them over there.
A shop keeper named Geraldo says he never hears Mexicans refer to each other as brown – even if he says he's open to the idea.
GERALDO IN MEXICO: The actual word brown says a lot by itself. REPORTER—HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT YOURSELF AS BROWN? Actually, yes, because even though I’m not that brown. I know that I have half-Indian and half Spaniard, the blood running through my veins.
The Color Initiative is funded by the Ford Foundation, with additional resources provided by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the Funding Exchange (Paul Robeson Fund).