Is latino a race?

Latina/o/x communities have historically occupied an imagined “exceptional” position in the racial
and ethnic hierarchy of the United States. It is important to assess how Latinxs have been racialized
over time and the various ways that they have complicated how we think about race here and in the
rest of the Americas. In the United States, Spanish-speaking communities throughout this nation have
had a long and complex history that dates back to at least the middle of the nineteenth century when
the United States empire conquered control of the U.S. Southwest through the U.S.-Mexico Wat of
1846-48. For example, it was principally as a result of the annexation of the Southwest that the
Mexican population was formally granted U.S. citizenship and, in effect, deemed an “honorary white”
population. However, as we have read closely and discussed in class sessions, this was a second-citizen
status that was bestowed onto Mexicans and later onto Puerto Ricans for the imperial benefits of the
United States.
In this midterm essay, I want you to piece together an analytical argument that does not summarize
the readings but puts them into conversation with each other. The task at hand is to not simply
regurgitate class notes or highlighted quotes from the readings, but to deeply think about the history
of race and racialization that Latinxs communities have historically and continue to experience in this
country. Your essay question is as follows:
Spanish-speaking communities have existed in what we know to be present-day United States in St. Augustine, Florida
(1565), decades before the first British colonial settlement of Jamestown, Virginia (1607): why does U.S. society
imagine, construct, and believe that Latinxs peoples are aliens, foreigners, always in arrival
to this country? What are the racial logics forming this notion of Latinxs always in arrival?
How does this racialized notion of Latinxs as always in arrival mean for their histories in this
country and in larger civil rights and social justice issues? Lastly, how does this the notion of
Otherness, foreignness, never American enough shape the ways Latinx peoples politically and
socially mobilize around issues that impact their communities?
Please refer to your course syllabus for specific writing instructions, no late papers will be accepted, no
exceptions. You select the readings you want to engage in
your response, but you must cite at least five readings from the course syllabus that we have
already read and lectured on. You are welcomed to use any other outside readings, with appropriate
citations. (Chicago Style citation).

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