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Minority Report

What does it mean to be Latino?
Author: Sandra C. Rodriguez

How are Latinos really supposed to look? Latinos come 
in different colors and sizes. No one knows what a 
Latino is really supposed to look like. For example, 
I’m a Latina with green eyes and light skin.  My dad 
is a Latino with brown eyes and dark skin. Just 
because a person is light or dark doesn’t necessarily 
mean they have to be a certain race. I sometimes get 
remarks that neither my dad nor I look like we’re 
Sometimes the issue of being Latino becomes a big deal 
in school. I know how that goes—people aren’t that 
nice. They think that just because they speak better 
English or look the way they think their race is 
supposed to look, that they’re the best. I think 
that’s wrong. To me everybody is equal, no matter what 
race or color. Teenagers of other nationalities from 
different places all over the world tend to give 
Latinos a hard time in school. They have no reason to 
treat us differently. Some people say Latinos have a 
high percent of criminal activity, but that’s just a 
stereotype. Not all Latinos are bad. Just like anybody 
else we have hopes and dreams, and that’s 
no crime. 
Although people wish they were a different race 
sometimes, they’re always going to be what they are. 
It’s like the saying, “You want what you can’t have 
but when you have it you don’t want it.” There are 
lots of Latinos that do our best and show everybody 
that we’re just the same as them, and we can do 
anything they can do, maybe even better. Well, that’s 
my personal opinion.
What does it mean to be a Latino to you? There are 
many different answers to that question. I went out 
and gave a sheet of questions to some Latinos and 
asked them to fill it out. It was great when I got 
them back because there were a lot of answers that 
were very funny. I personally think that the only 
thing that makes you Latino is yourself. Here are some 
of those questions and answers:
1. What does it mean to be Latino? “Be Mexican, speak 
Spanish, and have lots of pretty girls with pretty 
eyes after you.”
2. How do you feel about discrimination against 
Latinos in schools? “People who discriminate against 
Latinos need to get a life and find a new job.”
 - Andrew Casillas, 18 years old, Luna Park School, 
3. Does the street make you Latino? “No, your race 
does.  The streets are for you to drive on.”
4. Do you feel that Latinos get the same treatment 
from teachers of different races? “No, but when we do 
get teachers that treat Latinos different just because 
they are a different race, I’ve got one word, BYE.”
 - Manuel Aguirre, 17 years old, Del Rio High School, 
5. What responsibilities do you have to your race? “Do 
well and succeed in life so people of other races can 
see that we’re good too, and can succeed.”
 - Alice Esquvel, 15 years old, Del Rio High School, 
6. What do you think is the difference between all 
races? “Todos son iguales.”
 - Veronica Lopez, 20 years old, Watsonville. 
7. To you, what is a Latino supposed to look 
like? “Extra Crispy—just kidding. Being Latino has no 
color, or appearance. It’s all about the culture and 
the Heritage.”
 - Fernando, 19 years old, Watsonville 
8. If you weren’t Latino, what race would you like to 
be? “Not to be mean, but anything but white.”
 - Bianca Garcia, 16 years old, Del Rio High School, 
9. How do you feel about other races? “Black people 
are awesome. Latinos ROCK! White people are cool. 
Everybody is pretty nice.”
10. What do you want people to know about Latinos? “We 
can do anything you can do better!”
 - Crystal Rodriguez, 17 years old, San Antonio High, 
So you see, Latinos are all DIFFERENT!