Response to Castro’s “Americans Don’t Know Who Latinos Are” New Yorker Podcast

Mr. Castro was interviewed on the “New Yorker” podcast the other day. This title was very provocative to me, so I gave it a listen as I exercised. It’s only 20min long.

The main charge he makes to prove his thesis is, “Can you name three latinos who had had a significant impact in American history?” He explains that he asked this to a very high placed school administrator.

The problem with the exchange, as described in the interview, is that Castro doesn’t account for the current political climate as he reveals that the administrator sheepishly admitted that he couldn’t.

Conversation 101: Whoever is asking the question has the power. Read your Bible if you don’t believe me. If you are in an important conversation and asked a question, answer with a question. If it’s a good question, the momentum will shift in your favor.

The administrator, by answering the question, already loses. Instead, he need have—and this can be done charismatically if need be—only flipped the question on Castro and asked, “Can you?” And then when Mr. Castro posits the name, the administrator (or you or me) interrupts as he takes notes slowly, to say, “Excuse me, but could you go slower. What did he do? Uh-huh. Got it. Yeah. Funny how I never heard of him. Must’ve been some genius.”

On this specific topic, the truth is—and all Americans know this deep down—Latinos don’t know who Americans are. And most Latinos probably never will.

Americans do not care about skin color. Americans do not care about ancestry. Americans do not care about how much hardship you overcame. Americans do not care about your current struggles. Americans do not care about your hopes and dreams. Americans do not care about Hollywood representation. Americans do not care about Latinos. Americans do not care about Blacks. Americans do not care about Whites.

Americans are not superficial. Americans are not trendy, and they are not trending. Americans cannot be cancelled. Americans cannot give up. Americans do not have DNA. Americans do not have an accent, they do not have a dialect.

Americans do not have mothers. Americans do not have fathers. Humans cannot create an American anymore than we can create purple mountain majesty.

Americans don’t know who Latinos are? Wrong, Sir. Wrong.

You want me to name three Latinos who had a significant impact on America? While I’m thinking, can you name three Americans who you don’t consider as your personal heroes?

The only people who have a significant impact on America are Americans. Next question.

2 comments

  1. Harolene Leguizamon

    I like that. AMERICA has been known as the melting pot of the nations. Not so melted I’d say. When I was a child people would ask my dad, “What are you?” (He was first generation American from parents immigrated from Armenia) His answer was always the same, “I’m an American!” Period!

    Liked by 1 person

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