Grosfoguel-The Racialization of Latino Caribbean Migrants

Grosfoguel-The Racialization of Latino Caribbean Migrants -...

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Unformatted text preview: I CENTRO JOURNAL OF THE CENTER FOR PUERTO RICAN STUOIES, VOL. 8, 1&2/1996 Three recent autobiographical novels by authors from the Spanish Caribbean diaspora in the United States make reference to how new Latino immigrants were often confused with Puerto Ricans. In her memoir When I Was Puerto Rican, Esmeralda Santiago recalls translating for Spanish -speaking women at a welfare office in New York City: Often I would be asked to translate for the other women at the welfare office, since mami told everyone I spoke good English. Their stories were no different from mami's. They needed just a little help until they could find a job again . ...Women with accents that weren't Puerto Rican claimed they were so that they could reap the benefits of American citizenship. A woman I was translating for once said, "These gringo's don't know the difference anyway. To them we're all spiks." (1993:250) Julia Alvarez writes about a Dominican family's difficult adaptation to life in New York in How the Garcia Girls Lost TheirA.ccents. Alvarez describes how Carla, one of the four Garcia sisters, was mistreated in her new school: And as the months went by, she neglected to complain about an even scarier development. Every day on the playground and in the halls of her new school, a gang of boys chased after her, calling her names, some of which she had heard before from the old lady neighbor in the apartment they had rented in the city. Out of sight of the nuns, the boys pelted Carla with stones, aiming them at her feet so there would be no bruises. "Go back to where you came from, you dirty spicl" (1991: 153) In Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban, the spirit ofJorge del Pino advises his daughter, Lourdes Puente, to put her name on the sign of her bakery shop in the following manner: RAMON GROSFOGUEL is an assistant professor in the department of sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton. CHLOE S. GEORAS is a graduate student in the art history department at SUNY, Binghamton. Maximo R. ColOn I CENTRO JOURNAL OF THE CENTER FOR PUERTO RICAN STUOIES, VOL. 8, 1&2/1996 Three recent autobiographical novels by authors from the Spanish Caribbean diaspora in the United States make reference to how new Latino immigrants were often confused with Puerto Ricans. In her memoir When I Was Puerto Rican, Esmeralda Santiago recalls translating for Spanish -speaking women at a welfare office in New York City: Often I would be asked to translate for the other women at the welfare office, since mami told everyone I spoke good English. Their stories were no different from mami's. They needed just a little help until they could find a job again . ...Women with accents that weren't Puerto Rican claimed they were so that they could reap the benefits of American citizenship. A woman I was translating for once said, "These gringo's don't know the difference anyway. To them we're all spiks." (1993:250) Julia Alvarez writes about a Dominican family's difficult adaptation to life in New York...
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Grosfoguel-The Racialization of Latino Caribbean Migrants -...

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