Experiencing Racism as a Latinx

Racism, Social Issues, Prejudice, Hispanic. Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Racist, Hate, Latino, Latin American, Immigration
Curated By
Nayely Gonzalez

Nayely Gonzalez is a doctoral student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Counseling Psychology. Nayely graduated with her Bachelor's degree from Ripon College in 2016, double majoring in Psychology and English. Her research interests include human sexuality, Latinx mental health, sexual assault prevention strategies among college students, and clinical practice with LGBTQ populations.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • I am tired of having to educate other people about Latinx concerns. 
  • It’s things like this that make me AFRAID for myself and/or other Latinos/as. 
  • I am ANGRY that no one notices when people say racist/discriminatory comments about me. 
  • I am insulted and this is unacceptable.
  • Am I too sensitive?
  • I feel like no one understands what I go through as a Latino/a. 
  • Even if I try to speak up for myself, my voice will not be heard. 
  • I have worked very hard to get to where I am, and it upsets me that people think I only got these opportunities because of my race. 
  • I hate it that others think I am inferior to them. 
  • I wish I could go shopping without people thinking I am about to steal something. 
  • All the racial violence I see in the media worries me. 
  • It is exhausting and infuriating having discussions with ignorant people about race. 

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • Wow, I’m sorry you had to go through that. It sounds awful. 
  • I want you to know that I am here for you if you want someone to listen to you and talk about your experiences. 
  • Thank you for sharing with me what you have been through. I can tell you are a very resilient individual. 
  • I understand this is a difficult topic to discuss. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it with me, I completely respect your decision. If you change your mind, I will listen. 
  • I can see how this is impacting you. What would be best for you at the moment?
  • I am proud of who you are. You are a courageous/strong/intelligent individual. 
  • Wow, I have never had to go through what you have experienced. How can I support you?
  • [Educate yourself. Make an effort to learn the history and current issues that are relevant to the Latinx community. Learn about the ways that power, privilege, and oppression have impacted others’ lives, as well as your own.].
  • I care about you, and I care that this hurts you. 
  • I believe you. 
  • I will never know what’s it’s like to be Latino/a, and I am open and willing to hear what it is like for you, if that is something you want. 
  • I will continue to support you and be by your side.

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • Are you sure that’s what happened? 
  • I think you’re imagining things. 
  • Good thing you’re a light-skinned Latino/a. It’d be a lot worse for you if you were darker. 
  • But you can’t even tell you’re Latino/a. How could you have experienced racism? 
  • Just ignore it and don’t pay any attention to what others are saying about you. 
  • I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes, I wish I was Latino/a. 
  • I’m sure there is a better explanation for what happened.
  • You’re so paranoid!
  • I know what that’s like because I’m gay/a woman/poor/differently abled, etc. 
  • You don’t act/seem Latino/a. I’m sure they didn’t even realize you’re Latino/a. 
  • Tell me about what’s going on with DACA. [Instead, educate yourself (see above).]
  • Just go back to your home country. Things will be a lot better for you there. 
  • Why does everything always have to be about race with you?
  • If you just obey the law and the commands of the police, you’ll be okay. 
  • Why are you mad at me? I’m on your side!
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