Rey Rodarte

Professor Ramos 

English 101

16 December 2019

Portrayal of Hispanics

The Hispanic population constitutes the fastest growing population in America. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, two years ago the Hispanic population was at 54 million, 17% of the nation’s population, making it the nation’s largest ethnic minority. By the year 2060, the hispanic race will increase to 128.8 million, becoming 31% of the United States population. Although the Hispanic race as a whole makes up a great percentage of the United States population, it has also become one of the most stereotyped minorities. People’s perceptions and opinions of Hispanic minorities sway greatly through the influence of media.

seems easy to manipulate others with a negative view of someone or something when that negative representation gets constantly portrayed on tv, social media, movies, or even magazines. Throughout the years, we have seen rising discrimination against Hispanics culturally, socially, economically because this particular group presents a significant challenge to what constitutes to the American Dream. 

In “Living in Color: Race and American Culture” by Michael Omi, he argues that “racism is a perverse feature in our lives…” Omi believes that over the years the way we view one based on their race has evolved and reinforced through newspapers, magazines, and now entering the twentieth century more dramatic racial images are being reproduced. Film and television are a huge aspect of how groups behave and give us a notion of “who they are”. Directors assume that it is okay to give the audience a “familiar” perception of a character but in most cases they leads racial characteristics. In example, giving the African American male a souther accent and making him a basketball star over 6 feet or making the Asian girl the valedictorian of her high school with the prettiest silkiest hair. Throughout the years we are constantly given a perception of the Hispanic race being a short dark skinned, with a big mustache, and a huge ranchero hat on their head, and drinking a few beers. Looking at the social aspect of Latino stereotypes, it is an undeniable fact that this race has been demeaned of their true characters and are being grouped as a whole from the way media portrays them. A study conducted by the Nation Hispanic Media Coalition shows that non Hispanic Americas believe that most of the Nations 50 million Hispanics are illegal immigrants, with little to no education. This study also showed that many Americans believe the media has given them the vision that the Hispanic race is mostly made up of maids, gardeners, dropouts, and criminals. Hollywood media is a huge role in why so many are deceived to think of Hispanics as a whole who all have heavy accents and can barley speak or understand English. The New York Times has shown a study that many years ago when there were only first generation Mexicans in America only 23% of them were able to speak English but now in 2019 when we have over third generations of Mexicans were 94% of them speak english and are bilingual. According to the U.S. Census in 2012, 38.3 million U.S. Mexican residents from the age of five and older, spoke Spanish and more than 60% of them all also spoke English very well. 

The media has also shun a great light on the gender roles of the hispanic race. There are many TV shows and movies that portray Latinas as housekeepers and nannies. The men are usually viewed as gardeners, farmers, or drug lords. The show from 1987, “I Married Dora” is about a man who marries his Latina housekeeper to help her from being deported. Just from the slight description of the show there are already so many stereotypes to be analyzed. To begin with, the title alone, the women’s name is Dora. Then the women’s role was a maid and she was an immigrant forced into a marriage in order to not be deported. Looking at the bigger picture of how thees stereotypes came to be, there is no denying that these things did once exist. During 1910, America experienced the first huge wave of Latino migrating to the United States to seek better job opportunities. American’s immediately became worried that all their jobs would be at risk to the new immigrants. Although most of the Latinos did not have the same opportunities as the whites did so they were forced to take low wage jobs that most were not willing to do. Some of these jobs included working in construction, coal mines, farms, and railroads. This is how the stereotype of Latinos only being good for low paying jobs but in reality it was the only opportunities they had and would not pass by anything that would provide a meal on the table for their families. 

The question is why are these stereotypes onto the Latino culture? The fact is, the Latino culture is growing and growing as each year passes by and rapidly changing the demographic face of America. The popularity of Mexican food and music, the Spanish language, and the culture itself is becoming more diffused into society. Everywhere one turns, Spanish is around them. From ride instructions and pamphlets being translated in Spanish and even Spanish speaking translators at most every job. Reason being is that the Spanish culture is having such a dominant take over in the United States that society is accommodating to the changes the Latinos are making and this scares many Americans. The increase of Latinos is not going to slow down any time soon either.

In conclusion, the Latino race is a fast growing race and they are without a doubt stereotyped very harsh. Though some of it may have to do with racial actions, most of it is of fear that the white American patriotic face of America is coming to a fast change. The Latino race is a great melting pot in America and they are blending and accommodating to American society so well that the goal is not have Latinos be inferior but bring great diversity and change to America. Media portrays the typical Latino to be incapable of what the average American can do but statistics are proving this theory wrong. The face of America is changing and the Latino culture is pushing to be that positive change. 

Work Cited:

Chappel, Sharon; Faitis, Christrian. Childrens Literature in Education, v38 n4 p253-262 Dec 2007. 10 pp.

Plotts, Courtney. Latino/a Cultural Perspectives of Social Presence: A Case Study. International Journal of Educational Technology, p29-36 2018. 8 pp.

Anderson, Tre’vell. 4 Latino stereotypes in TV and film that need to go, LAtimes 2017,