The Flip Side of Sandra Loh.

by Little Miss Attila on March 5, 2010

Okay: Sandra Tsing Loh. Happy, now? (In high school, we used to call her “S’Loh,” for reasons metaphorically aligned with those that led Eric Clapton’s friends to dub him “Slow Hand.”)

In one of her stage shows, S’Loh referred to the fact that she and her sister look “vaguely Hispanic,” and referred to the pair as “jackalopes.”

As for me, the race thing wasn’t a big deal, except that my brother’s ruddy complexion led my dad to suggest that he change his last name to Moreno and see if he could get more college scholarships that way. (You may laugh, but it might have worked, back in the 1970s. In fact, it might still have gotten him into Harvard.)

And, of course, because I’m lily-white, none of our teachers ever believed we were actually siblings, despite our unusual last name. After all, we were different races. Right? Right?

In Sandra’s case, she is biracial. But “hispanics” as a race? I’ve never really seen it that way, unless you want to use “race” to denote “ethnicity.” In which case The Irish are a race, and so are The Jews. (Excuse me: Joooooooos.) But since I don’t see Native Americans as a separate race, I certainly can’t regard “hispanics” that way. And Arabs? Come on. And Persians? Even more ridiculous.

It appears that anyone who tans easily is nonwhite these days, and that mindset might be even more severe in England.

After all, they are low on Euro-Asian jackalopes, and are latino-challenged.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TR March 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Hmm. I dunno. Your subject reminds me of a part white + part Latino woman who has a blog online, but has pale-ish “caucasian looking skin. And her question to herself, which is a question I ask myself sometimes is something like: do the boxes of “race and “color” define a little of who I am?
Grammar police, is it: whom I am? I’m not sure.

I have no record that proves it, but I am told that my makeup is mostly Caucasian people, and a distant great-grandmother who was Native American. I have a lot of snooty relatives, [so some people in my family, and me], being partly Native American doesn’t come up much, I guess. On usual days, I look mostly a Manila folder-like tan, I guess, and I think that my facial features have been seen as possibly Native American or Latino, so some people have mistaken me as being possibly a Latino man. But my complexion can look very pale somedays as well.

My family, and my upbringing, was sort of wasp-y I guess, so I guess I don’t really meet or experience non-traditional/non-euro American cultures or people that much. I’m in a mostly white area of the U.S. as well. It gets really cold here in the winter so probably it’s hard to get people of color, or white people, or any people to move to my area. That’s probably it.

For awhile in college, I roomed with a Man from Africa. He had skin darker than mine. He called himself a Black man. Not much to say. We got along ok.

I worked in a big chain store for a few years. Mostly was working in an entry level job with the other EL floor guys/people, and we would: put merchandise onto the sales floor, help the customers find things or any odd jobs that appeared.

In the store, race + ethnicity + colors didn’t matter to us workers much. If you did your fare share of the work, and you weren’t a pain to be around, we thought you were ok.
I don’t know if these thoughts add to the discussion, but ideas of groups of people or groups of people from a religion being thought of as a race, or similar idea, didn’t happen much at our store.
We just mostly cared if the worker in question did good work and tried to get along well with everyone working at the store.


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