Kat Lazo, a social justice activist, explained why she believes Latinos, particularly light-skin Latinos, benefit from white privilege. As a means to remain gender-neutral, Lazo uses the term ‘Latinx’ rather than ‘Latino,’ which refers to anyone with origins in Latin America. Kat begins by claiming that she is marginalized by the media and society for being a woman and Latinx. However, she argues that not all Latinx are marginalized to the same degree.
Lazo believes that Latinx can be marginalized in different ways, including their immigration status, English proficiency, socioeconomic status, sexual preference, and gender identity. She continues by explaining that Latinx is an ethnicity, not a race, meaning that Latinx can be part of any racial category. According to Kat, the racial identity of individual Latinx dictates their level of marginalization in American society.
Kat asserts that light-skin Latinx benefit from white privilege based on their proximity to whiteness, also known as light-skin privilege. In fact, Lazo believes that as a light-skin Latina, she benefits from light-skin privilege. However, she declares that light-skin privilege is a result of colorism, not racism, because racism requires power and prejudice.
To support her argument, Lazo claims that Latinx who prefer to date light-skin Latinx are complicit in colorism. According to Kat, white Latinx earn approximately $5000 more per year than black Latinx. However, like the so-called gender wage gap, that figure likely does not consider differences in education, experience, position, etc. In addition, Lazo also cites the higher poverty and unemployment rates of black Latinx.
Lazo concludes by reminding other Latinx to check their own privilege.
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