Spaniards aren’t Latinx? Every time I think I have this down I get confused again. (I’m Puerto Rican, Spanish-by-way-of-actual-Span [whatever that is] & Italian. And I’m perpetually confused.)
It’s okay, it’s confusing. And complicated. Hence, this got long, while by no means being comprehensive.
First things first, for clarity’s sake:
To answer your question, Latinx/Latinos, as the name implies, refers exclusively to people from Latin America. This includes Central and South America as well as the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. Hence, Spaniards are no more Latino than the British are Bahamian. They have some loose linguistic and cultural ties and a shared history of colonialism, but aren’t the same ethnic group. I hope that makes some sense, but feel free to hit me up if you’re still confused. :)
The population of Spain statistically isn’t as racially/ethnically diverse as, say, the population of England, but there are still a lot of POC there, so I’m specifically going to talk about Spaniards of predominantly Anglo-Saxon/Caucasian descent, who are the overwhelming majority.
The problem you encounter when you start trying to parse the racial makeup(s) of various established European populations is that if you did one of those Ancestry.com DNA tests on most of the people that can trace their families back many generations there, you will inevitably find that many if not most Southern and Eastern Europeans have a significant percentage of non-Caucasoid DNA. In the case of eastern Europeans, it’ll be predominantly Asian; in the case of southern/Mediterranean people, it’ll be north African. (The part of my own family that’s from southernmost Catalunya can trace fairly recent Moroccan/Arabic ancestry, for example.)
There is an excellent reason why many Italians, Albanians, etc. are often “mistaken” for/cast as biracial or multiracial - because, genetically speaking, they very likely are. (This is a fact that causes Neo-Nazis a great deal of consternation, debate and angst, since their entire movement hinges on the increasingly elusive and fragile ideal of Caucasoid genetic homogeneity.)
But here’s the thing: none of this has anything to do with what most Western people really mean when they talk about whether someone is white or not, because the concept of whiteness doesn’t actually have a real biological or genetic correlation; it’s an arbitrary social construct that has changed and mutated many times over the years according to the needs of the dominant socioeconomic subculture. White means whatever the dominant paradigm needs whiteness to mean.
So, as @desiree-rodriguez discusses in her original post, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things whether many southern Spaniards have non-white ancestry, because in America, Spaniards are categorically treated as though they are white - unless they are mistaken (due to linguistic ties and that Mediterranean perma-tan) for belonging to the more racially ambiguous/less racially definitive populations of Latin America.
TL;DR: Race and whiteness are absolutely fabricated bullshit, but Western cultures have treated it as a de facto truth/reality for centuries, so it might as well be a real thing.
In this system, for all practical purposes, most Spaniards are just another flavor of white Europeans. And that’s why, when a Spaniard is cast in a Latinx role in Hollywood, it’s going to count as white-washing.
Why am I not seeing more people upset by what Donald Trump said about the Mexican people? Not only did he call everyone rapists and drug dealers but he called all Latinxs drug dealers and rapists.
This is someone who is running for president.
Univision has said they will no longer be associated with anything that has to do with Donald Trump organization. They will not be covering the Miss USA and Miss Universe.
Rosalyn Sanchez has decided to not be cohost of Miss Universe because of what Trump said about the Mexican people and Latinxs.
Cristian de la Fuente has also decided to not cohost.
J Balvin, a Colombian singer, has declined participation in Miss Universe, a chance to be known in the American community, because of what Trump said.
Where are my people who are upset by this?
It’s really obvious that Trump had no idea the power and influence that Jorge Ramos has as a journalist. To those who may not know he’s pretty much the equivalent of Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, or Brian Williams (before he was fired) in the Spanish news world. Trump became pretty docile pretty fast when other (WHITE) journalists immediately started asking about Ramos being thrown out instead of political questions. Jorge Ramos has interviewed presidents and other world leaders, he even hosted a Presidential Debate, yet Trump thought he was just throwing some Mexican out of the building the way he wants to throw us out of the country!