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Is the Term Whitexican Racist?

Published October 22, 2021 in Mexico - 2 Comments

Despite living over 4 years in Mexico, I can’t remember, off the top of my head, anyone using the term “whitexican.”

The term for, as you can guess, white looking Mexicans.

I have been calling guero or gringo before.

Most of the time, I find the use of the term to be normal.

As an American, I do always find Latinos usage of nicknames to be a little bit weird though.

Like when I asked for directions one time and this one dude asked his friend for help locating the place by first calling him “ey gordo.”

To one time in Copilco area, I remember walking outside and some random homeless dude stared at me for a few minutes as we walked towards we other.

As he passed me, he yelled out “GUERO!!!”

And I yelled back out in a smart ass way “MORENO!!!”

“Huh?” I heard.

That was weird.

Who the fuck stares at someone and yells out the race of them like that?

Moments like that do make me question just how severely autistic the average Mexican is.

Yet, despite having a complete stranger on the severe end of the spectrum yell out “WHITE GUY!!!”

I have never heard, at least from what I can remember, anyone use the term “whitexican” in real life.

Granted, I’m not a Mexican so maybe that’s why.

Though I have had the rare few people confuse me for one until they heard my accent…

Still, just a few days ago, I saw this tweet here that caught my attention.

And it made me wonder?

Is this term racist?

Or offensive in anyway?

Well, though I have never seen it used in real life, I have seen it used a lot on social media.

So I have seen some context for how it’s used but let’s get to my thoughts on the matter.

Breaking the Mestizaje Narrative

Right away, there is one thing I do like about the term “whitexican” from a foreigner white person perspective.

Which is that, at least from my perspective, I do think it helps punch a hole into “mestizaje” narrative that exists in Mexico.

For example, I remember walking around some part of Mexico City a few years ago and some dude said to someone else within ear shot about how “in Mexico, we are all mestizos.”

I obviously wasn’t part of the conversation and kept walking away with this chick I was on a date with.

But I never did like the narrative of Mexico being “just mestizos.”

Mestizos being those of mixed race between European and indigenous ancestry.

As I wrote here, I feel that narrative isn’t uncommon in Mexico but it isn’t helpful.

Most countries on the planet do try to construct a national identity of what it means to be American, Mexican, Chinese, Argentine, etc.

For example, it was not too long ago that the Argentine President remarked how Argentines come form boats, Brazilians from the jungle and so on as you can see here.

What this narrative does though, in my opinion, is it washes over the history, existence and contribution of groups that DO EXIST in your country but don’t fit within your narrow minded and ignorant belief about who is part of your country.

As a result, the locals who believe this horseshit might have a harder time seeing someone who doesn’t fit the racial description as truly being a local or part of the country.

In Mexico, you have indigenous people who don’t have any real indigenous history and who don’t identify as mestizo.

You have black Mexicans and Asian Mexicans who don’t identify as Mestizo.

And yes, despite those who dislike white people, you even have White Mexicans.

Not all Mexicans are brown?

So, in a way, I almost feel that the usage of the term "whitexican” at least popularizes a little more this idea that they do exist?

However, as we’ll see, it is often used in a condescending way towards White Mexicans that do exist and not in a helpful way really.

Just a term for many (not all) who wish to vent out their racism and, at times, envy towards the whiter looking part of the population that can make up as big of a percentage as 23% as you can read here.

Though, to be fair, there’s different studies out there regarding how many “White Mexicans” exist with some going as low at 18% to 48% as you can see here.

And 48% does seem pretty damn liberal. The percentage of the population that is white isn’t that high.

Anyway, let’s move on.

Spanish Doesn’t Work?

Next, why would you say “whitexican” when there’s already a term for white people in Mexico.

Guero.

You don’t need to take and modify an English phrase “White Mexican” and apply it to a group of people in a Spanish speaking country like Mexico.

Which, as a side point, I always found weird how Mexicans have invented this term using English words.

Is it because they want to sound more educated or sophisticated by saying something in English?

That’s something that some Mexicans do and it wouldn’t surprise me.

So, right off the bat, the person who wants to sound sophisticated while potentially being racist just comes across like a cultural cuck to me.

Can’t even respect their own roots to just use a term that works already in the Spanish language.

Granted, every language adopts words from other languages but it doesn’t make any sense to me to modify the words “White Mexican” in this case.

There doesn’t seem to be any practical reason to do that.

Guero doesn’t work?

And, on that point mentioned about the racism, let’s go there next.

We’ll discuss various points related to the idea of it being a racist term or not.

Content Using the Term Whitexican

Like with anything, I feel like it depends on the context.

For example, you have videos like this one below discussing "whitexican.”

Is the video below racist?

I wouldn’t say so.

It just seems like they are using a popularized term that’ll likely get more clicks but they aren’t talking about the group (White Mexicans) in a condescending or racist way.

So you do have content online like that which uses the term but not in a derogatory or offensive manner.

You also have other videos as you can see below here that seem to use the term normally.

White Mexicans Using the Term?

And, to be fair, you got White Mexicans who accept the term using it describe themselves.

For example, I went to Twitter and found some folks using the term “whitexican” in their Twitter handle as you can see here.

And the people in question seem to be Mexican from their profiles and are white looking.

So that’s a good sign that not everyone finds the term racist if some in the group that the term is meant for as OK identifying with it.

Of course, it’d be nice to get some real statistics on how many “White Mexicans” identify with the term or find it OK.

Since these few examples obviously don’t represent how most feel about it.

If I had to guess though based on my experience with whiter looking Mexicans, I’d say not many care THAT MUCH about this issue?

Because I haven’t heard any complain about it in real life.

But not caring about it THAT MUCH is possible while still finding the term in poor taste.

And, as I said, I don’t know how many White Mexicans statistically find the term in poor taste as I couldn’t find statistics on that.

Because it is my opinion the group that any term is meant for should get the last say on if it’s offensive or not.

It’s just common sense.

In the same way that some gringos HATE the term gringo and others don’t.

Anyway, let’s move on by covering certain jokes or humor brought out on Twitter and Instagram when applying the term “whitexican.”

Because it seems to me, from my outsider perspective, that the term is used more commonly among jokes and shit.

Only the White Mexicans Enjoy a Good Life?

Let’s go to Twitter again to find some examples.

And I feel these Tweets are pretty representative of what I was coming across usually so let’s break them down.

The first Tweet here is typical of the “whitexican” talk online where a White Mexican posts something and someone says “cosas de White Mexican.”

Implying that only a White Mexican would do such a thing or have the privilege of enjoying something as nice as a spa.

A spa really?

We aren't talking about a lamborghini or being the President of Mexico, motherfucker. 

Which I disagree with a little bit.

Unless the Mexican comes from strong indigenous roots and lives in a village of Chiapas, then just because they are not AS WHITE as the girl in that Tweet above doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying a privileged life socioeconomically.

There’s plenty of non-white people in Mexico who have good lives or can afford luxuries.

Yes, White Mexicans are statistically more likely to have good lives and are more likely to reach very high positions like the presidency or work in the news or an as an actor…

But they don’t make up the majority of Mexico’s population and you got plenty of non-white folks who live very good lives economically.

I got a friend named Angie who is brown as fuck and is a computer programmer. She travels to Europe and other areas for EDM concerts.

A chick I’ve been fucking named Jovi isn’t super rich but she’s an accountant and has a decent life overall.

An ex of mine named Brenda is an aspiring doctor and also has it good.

Among many other non-white Mexican folks who have a decent life.

So let’s not pretend enjoying nicer shit like a vacation or going to a spa as a woman is only for white folks in Mexico.

To me, it sounds more like envy from poor people who just want to excuse why they aren’t doing well socioeconomically by saying “oh, it’s just the white Latinos who do well. I could never be like that.”

Yes, you have racial inequality in Mexico and white people are much more likely to reach the very top of society or just be born into it.

But most Mexicans aren’t aspiring to be the President (though they should be able to if they want and that’s worthy of discussion) and many can have an OK or good life without being white.

Appropriation by the White Mexicans

Next, we have this Tweet here.

It’s the same stuff we see elsewhere in the world.

“Oh, you’re White? HOW DARE YOU ENGAGE IN THE CULTURE OF ANOTHER GROUP?!?”

I do sometimes find this narrative a bit hypocritical because it seems to me that people who get mad here never get mad when non-white people engage in cultural practices from other groups.

Just seems to me to be a stick to hit white people with so you can express whatever racist angry, insecurity or envy you have against them.

Still, I won’t completely disregard whatever merit they might have on the topic of “gentrification.”

Mostly I just usually see a double standard here.

And, when it comes to this specifically, I’m not entirely sure I’d agree with gentrification of food being an issue here.

I looked at the article in this tweet and I don’t know the life story of the chef that they are talking about.

Yeah – he’s white but he’s also Mexican.

How do we know he didn’t eat some of the foods he cooks when growing up?

Do Other White Latinos Exist?

Then we have this Tweet here.

I’ll keep it simple.

Had no idea “White Peruvian” existed also.

Do we have “White Argentine” also?

No, that’d be redundant.

They came from the boats, after all!

Not that jungle that the Mexicans came from, right?

Or were that the Brazilians?

Haha jeje haha jeje haha jeje….

Pretty Fly for a White Guy?

Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) -- The Offspring

Next, we have this Tweet here.

The basic sentiment being that it’s not “very cool” to be a White Mexican.

Which implies at least some negative connotation with the word for some people.

Then we have this Tweet here that also implies something negative with at least how “White Mexicans” cook.

With both of the Tweets above, I feel they show a bit of a belief that “White Mexicans” aren’t very cultured.

It’s a typical insult that is sometimes thrown at White people in other parts of the world like the US.

And that was a sentiment I saw among other Tweets I saw so I feel like bringing it up here.

A bit ironic though for any Mexican to say that the “White Mexicans” aren’t cultured (for being White) when they have to express that idea in Spanish (a language that comes from a country with plenty of White people, not to mention the other cultural influences Spain and the US has had around the world).

Unrelatable White Mexicans

Finally, I found this Instagram page while going through Twitter that is dedicated to making posts that try to mimic or mock really what “White Mexicans” are supposed to be like with a website it has here.

The Instagram page itself has 222,000 followers as of this writing so it certainly has popularity.

The guy who runs it also seems kinda white looking also.

Anyway, here’s a few of his posts on Instagram for those curious.

As you can see in these first three posts, the joke (at least from what I can tell) being in part how the White Mexican is out of touch. Has an easy life. Something unrelatable to others and lives in his own world. Be it being given a phone to planning a trip to Texas.

Again, there’s plenty of non-white Mexicans who do the same and the joke reeks of envy honestly.

Anyway, we already covered this so let’s move on.

English Only from the White Mexicans, No?

Then we have this one here.

I only brought this up because it starts with English words “approaches girl.”

For something to make fun of White Mexicans, it’s funny how it begins the joke in English. Something that a White Mexican would stereotypically do.

Political Discourse

Next, we have this one here.

I wanted to bring this one up because there’s a separate point to be made that I haven’t touched on much yet.

That being how you have some folks who disregard the opinions of “White Mexicans” because they are white.

In this case, the White Mexican is assumingly critical of AMLO. Many of whom (not just white folks) who are critical of his “hugs, not bullets” idea.

And you do have some people – populists, envious poor people and whoever else – who literally support everyone AMLO does with no critical thought.

So if your White Mexican self says something critical, they just disregard what you have to say because they see you as “part of the elite.”

To be fair, that’s just how I’ve seen the dialogue go among some folks. Not everyone is like that but it’s something to bring up.

Only White Mexicans Do This?

We should also mention how not all of the jokes seemed to be in touch with reality from what I’ve seen in Mexico.

Where certain behaviors made fun of in the online jokes are also common among other racial groups.

For example, I saw one post online making fun of how often White Mexicans drink and act degenerate.

When I can fairly well remember living in Pedregal de Santo Domingo where the landlord lived in the same building upstairs and would act as stereotypically naco as you can get.

Yelling on top of his lungs all the time at any hour of the day to night or always drinking tonayan.

Whatever the hell else.

To also this joke here on that Instagram page mentioned above.

This one being critical of the White Mexican’s concern for the vaccine, pandemic, etc.

When, having lived in various parts of Mexico City, I’ve often seen poorer neighborhoods with less white people wearing less masks and doing less social distancing.

Not that I give a shit if you do wear a mask or social distance. I don’t usually wear a mask being honest and don’t judge others for how they want to live their lives.

Whereas, from what I’ve seen, the wealthier areas of the city (with more white people) do tend to be more conscious of the Covid shit.

So sometimes I felt the jokes were out of place with reality or failed to recognize it’s not just a “White Mexican” thing.

To be fair, I’ve been guilty of this too.

When, while living in Mexico, I say shit about Mexicans and the dumb shit they do while, if we’re being honest, plenty of Americans do the same stupid shit also.

Sometimes we think tribally and look critically on another group (nationality, race, gender, etc) while failing to remember that our own group does the same stupid shit also.

But, having said all of that, is this racial humor about the “White Mexicans” really all that bad?

Is All Racial Humor Bad?

Honestly, most of the stuff I saw on Twitter and Instagram wasn’t that bad.

There were some things that maybe you could say were racist.

But it didn’t get under my skin that much?

I didn’t care that much about what I saw.

It wasn’t like they were calling White Mexicans a bunch of crackers or whatever else. 

And with those last two posts I published?

I felt those were representative of a certain type of joke I could get behind with White Mexicans.

That being light jokes that poke fun at reality.

I have seen some White Mexicans behave like the following above.

Or like among some of the other jokes mentioned already.

So I’m not against racial humor.

You do have certain practices or behaviors that are typical of certain racial groups.

Of course, if we were to make similar jokes about black or indigenous people, I’m sure the ones laughing at “White Mexican” jokes would shit themselves in anger.

You usually need a non-white person like Russel Peters to do a good job at jokes like that with these here.

Or this bit here by Eddie Murphy. 

Eddie Murphy -- Chinese

All of which I find cool.

And some of those “White Mexican” jokes?

Some of them weren’t bad!

As I said, some racial groups have certain behaviors that are more common than in others and poking fun at that isn’t a terrible thing.

We all do need to lighten up a bit.

So I’m not entirely against some of the humor regarding “White Mexicans” but do find some of the people online to maybe actually be racist.

Final Verdict: Is the Term “Whitexican” Racist?

As I said in the beginning, it highly depends on the context of who is saying it and in what sentence.

For example, as I was going through the White Mexican Instagram page, some chick tagged a friend saying “hahaa this is youuuu” and the joke wasn’t bad.

The friend responded positively and went along with it.

And, as I said, I don’t think all forms of racial humor are bad.

Just depends on the joke.

As long as we all get that no racial group is immune to a good joke or too (you can’t make jokes and be a little bitch if people shoot back).

Finally, you do have some people who use the term with what feels like a more racist sentiment or some racial envy at least against the people they are describing (White Mexicans).

And, above all, I feel it’s a little bit dumb to use the term in English words.

I always do find it a little weird when Mexicans or Latinos in Latin America feel the need to use English to maybe come across as more sophisticated in what they’re saying?

Anyway, that’s all I got to say.

As I said before, I’m not that much of an expert on this term and simply made my judgement on the spot based on what I saw online.

Drop any comments below in the comment section.

Follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,

Matt

2 comments

Dazza - October 23, 2021 Reply

Probably the default word for a white Mexican is ‘fresa’ maybe? I think in Peru, the equivalent there is ‘pituco/a’ which is more or less a default word for a posh person who is probably white or light skinned – I don’t think an indigenous Peruvian however rich would be termed as such or maybe they would! I suppose if you picture a ‘fresa’ you picture a white (ish) person wearing Zara with a pair of sunglasses hoisted on his forehead and a pullover wrapped around his shoulders.

One of the most famous Mexicans these days is Canelo Alvarez – doubt he’s a fresa though he fucking looks like one! Haha!

    Matt - October 23, 2021 Reply

    Fresas tend to be white looking. Though I wouldn’t say they are the same. I guess if the white Mexican was always supposed to act like the jokes showed in the article, then it’d be accurate. However, there are plenty of “white Mexicans” or light skinned Mexicans who don’t act like fresas and nothing like that. Some who come from poorer backgrounds even. I’d imagine it would be the same for pituco but I’m not as familiar with Peru or how many white Peruvians exist that don’t fit the description in the jokes above.

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