Intra-Racial Discrimination

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Krystal LopezPage 1

Hispanics Vs. Hispanics: Inter-racial Discrimination

Many Americans believe that racial discrimination is no longer problematic in today's society.

Situations of interracial discrimination are often cited, but this does not to take into account that there

is often conflict within the race as well. This misconception stems from the fact that diversity amongst

the racial groups is often overlooked. Intra-racial discrimination is when a person or group of people

of the same race use factors including, but not limited to, socioeconomic background, appearance, and

skin color. Social or workplace hierarchies often develop under racial influence. Hostilities and

tensions can reside in every race of minority, but it is highly apparent in the Hispanic community.

Intra-racial discrimination has far reaching effects on not only the individual minority, but on

the race as a whole. The pressure of this type of discrimination affects how Hispanics collaborate

within a society of American superiority. For instance, people of Hispanic descent who do not speak

Spanish are often mistreated by people of their own, ethnic background. These people might be found

culturally lacking and treated differently from those that speak the language. The differences within a

specific race are nothing more than that. They are purely genetic or cultural, and do not hold any value.

It becomes a matter of cultural perception of what is expected rather than an actual cultural lack.

Typically among Hispanics and other ethnic minorities, discrimination is an increasing actuality

witnessed even in the workplace. With the Hispanic population growing rapidly, along with their

increasing numbers of employment, it is becoming more apparent that inter and intra-racial

discrimination will target them as both victims and perpetrators. A hierarchy, or pecking order between

races and within races, and biased management are some of prime examples of workplace inequalities.

Situations like these occur because of the lack of people's understanding of diversity.

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Discrimination is also prevalent within a race as seen in how some believe that varying skin

tones is cause for racial disparity. With a wide array of skin tones, Hispanics believe they are easily

targeted for ridicule and mistreatment. Even within their own race, some believe that lighter skin tones

provide them much more opportunities, and can help them to be more successful in a white dominated

community. More opportunities were provided for those with lighter skin.

Not only do Hispanics in America face more discrimination in regards to their outer

appearance, they also deal with the constant battle of being accused that they are not being ethnic

enough, or being too “Americanized” and not keeping their culture and traditions alive. Part of the

Hispanic population across the Mexican border feel that American Hispanics are “traitors” to their

ethnicity because they have denied themselves their rich, historical culture and thus abandoned their


Some Non-White Hispanics discriminate against their own race, not because of any

physical differences, but because of the similarities they share. Some identify with whites to such an

extent, that they believe they are white themselves. Ultimately, being discriminated against can lead to

the shameful denial of one's self and their heritage, in hopes of becoming a more easily accepted

member of a predominantly White America. Their wish is to assimilate into the culture and to “fit in”.

In the article, Raising the Status of the Cashier, Agius and Lee report on their findings while

observing the interaction between Hispanic cashiers born in another country and their white customers.

The results of their three month long observations...
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