The Complexities of Being Latino
Civil Rights in America is usually portrayed as a Black and White issue, but Latinos have engaged and transformed Civil Rights in ways not known to the general public. But even though Latinos have a rich history of creating change in our nation, why is it not widely known or celebrated? Why can't we name off several prominent leaders of the Latino community like we can in regards to the African-American community? And where is the unity at compared to other cultures? The question lies in the many barriers and complexities of what it actually means in being considered "Latino."
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THE LATINO CULTURE
The history of Latinos in America is multilayered and rich; however, the Latino image is often portrayed as a “homogenized population,” negating the different linguistic, racial and ethnic distinctions within the Latino population.  For example, Latinos with “brown-skin,” prompt many Whites to think of Latinos as "members of the Mexican race," but being called “Mexican” is equivalent to calling someone an “American.” However, the misconception of Latinos does not apply to just Whites, even Latino Americans themselves have failed to understand their own cultural and ethnic background. In America, roughly 52% of Mexican-Americans have identified as White, whereas in Mexico, only 9% identify as White. The majority in Mexico identify as Mestizo—meaning that they are of European and Native American descent. However, genetic studies performed in the general Mexican-American and Mexican populations have shown that Mexicans residing in Mexico consistently have a higher European admixture in average than Mexican Americans. Clearly, the identity of Latinos has created confusion among the general population—Latinos included—and as a result, has inhibited the growth of the culture in America.
Many of the issues surrounding identity have came down to determining if “being Latino” is a cultural, racial, or national origin distinction. For example, there have been calls to action to eliminate racial classifications because the classification destroys the distinction between race and national origin. Overall, some have argued that the terms “Latino” or “Hispanic” creates a category that is too broad, in which the legal system and its actors “conceptualize race.” To elaborate, Latino discrimination has not been clearly identified among the general population on a large scale, partly because the media, courts, and politicians have framed civil rights as an almost exclusively black and white issue. For example, the Texas Supreme Court declared in 1951, that the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to Mexican-Americans, but only to Blacks and Whites. Further, the African-American community has experience more success because their interethnic relations has not diminished their movement. Nonetheless, the complex racial identity—in conjunction within a legal system comprised of actors that marginalize Latino’s rights—has continued to downplay discrimination among the general population.
As a result of these identity issues and the lack of understanding of what it means to be "Latino", the general population is more likely aware of African-American literature and its movements rather than that of Latinos.
 Gloria Sandrino-Glasser, Los Confundidos: De-Conflating Latinos/as’ Race and Ethnicity, 19 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 69, 71, 150, (1998).
 See Salinas, supra note 7, at 286. “Mexican” is a nationality like “American,” and not a race, there are different races in the Mexican nationality.
 U.S. Census Bureau, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, Table 2 (2010); Id. at 286 n.16, the Mexican population is currently listed as being sixty percent mestizo citing The World Almanac and Book of Facts 538 (Erik C. Gopel ed., World Almanac 2005).
 Jeffrey C. Long, et al, Genetic variation in Arizona Mexican Americans: estimation and interpretation of admixture proportions, 84 Am. J. of Physical Anthropology 2, 141, 144 (1991); see also Joke Beuten, et al, Wide Disparity in Genetic Admixture Among Mexican Americans from San Antonio, TX., 75 Annals of Hum. Stud. 4, 529, 535 (2011). Genetic studies performed in the general Mexican-American and Mexican populations have shown that Mexicans residing in Mexico consistently have a higher European admixture in average (with results ranging from 37% to 78.5%) than Mexican Americans (whose results, range from 50% to 68%).
 See Sandrino-Glasser, supra note 19, at 75-76.
 . Ian F. Haney Lopez Race, Ethnicity, Erasure: The Salience of Race to LatCrit Theory, 85 Calif. L. Rev. 1143, 1149 (1997).
 Id. at 1145-47.
 Id. at 1143-1145. In 1954, lawyers with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), took up a case where a Mexican-American (Pete Hernandez) was convicted by an all-white jury. The Texas Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed the protection of only the White and Black class. The case was taken to the United States Supreme Court where the court delivered a unanimous opinion in extending equal protection to Pete Hernandez and reversing his conviction. The reasoning was not based on race alone, but that Hernandez belonged to a class distinguishable on some basis "other than race or color" that nevertheless suffered discrimination as measured by "the attitude of the community."
 Kevin R. Johnson, Civil Rights and Immigration: Challenges for the Latino Community in the Twenty-First Century, 8 La Raza L.J. 42, 64 (1995).
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