As you may know, I have devoted several blog posts over the years to the issue of assigning or letting students choose “Spanish names” in the Spanish classroom. Now with many more teachers being more aware of what white privilege is and how our education system is already part of a white supremacist system, I wanted to bring this topic back up so that teachers who may continue to engage in this practice are able to reflect.
How does this practice fit into white privilege? White students who take on the name “Nacho” or “Margarita” only wear that identity for fun in their Spanish class. It does not come with the discrimination that Latinos who live with that name face on a regular basis in this country. Don’t think people are discriminated against because of their names?
“Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback.” – NBER
I encourage you to read the following blog posts, but more importantly, the comments section, where you will hear the perspectives of other teachers. I encourage you to engage in a civil discussion on these posts and be reflective.
Why giving “Spanish Names” in Spanish class has unintended consequences
Talking about the elephant in the classroom
Why I don’t give my students Spanish names
If you wish to comment on this topic, please do so in one of the above posts.
Here’s a recent news article about Trader Joe’s removing the “Trader José” label on its Mexican food products after backlash about it being racist.
Trader Joe’s removing ‘racist packaging’ after online petition – San Franciso Gate