Recently Professor Hector Cordero-Guzman brought attention to an important issue regarding the racial classification of Latinos in the U.S. Census. I briefly looked around for a map of the U.S. that showed where Latinos lived, that were classified as white, at the county level. Most of the maps on the web, showed percent Latino. (See Below)
Given that I could not find the map that I was looking for on the internet, I decided to take a few minutes and make two maps that showed the spatial distribution of Latinos that were classified as white and Latinos that were classified as other, using data from the 2010 Census.
To be honest, the maps raised more questions for me. For example, why is there a cluster of white Latinos along the Mexico-U.S. border? Does whiteness translate into the some meaning for a Latino living in Texas compared to a Latino living in Georgia, or a Latino living in the Central Valley of California? Not only is there a question about measurement, regarding Latinos and racial classification, but I think there is a legitimate question about the regional and historical understanding of what whiteness means for Latinos living in different parts of the U.S.