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Hollywood’s Favorite Latino Stereotypes

There are quite a few people out there that rail against the rise of political correctness. While we admit that sometimes it can go too far, the people who really have a problem with it are usually just mad because they can’t make racist jokes at the office. These same people will usually tell you that stereotypes exist because they are basically true. Well, let us tell you that if you believe in stereotypes you are being racist. Sorry, but it’s true. Maybe we’re all a little racist. That doesn’t make it OK. Unfortunately, we sometimes play into these stereotypes, which validates them to these racist folks. Still, we can laugh at their absurdity. Here is a list of the top 5 biggest Latino stereotypes.

The Bandito

This classic bit o’ racism, came out of westerns in the 1960’s. Early westerns hated on Native Americans, having John Wayne shoot as many Indians in the face as possible. In the 60’s the cowboy’s enemy became the Mexican bandito. We’re not sure why this happened. Maybe because of rising immigration? Around that same time, the Frito Lay company came out with a mascot called the Frito Bandito, who loved to steal him some corn chips. This made the bandito a household stereotype. The bandito wears a gay porn star mustache, bandoleros of bullets, a sombrero, and talks like the, “We don’t need no stinking badges!” guy from “Blazing Saddles”.

The Lowrider

This gem is concerned with the cholo culture of Los Angeles. Button down shirts with only the top button fastened, sunglasses, (once again) a porn star mustache, and a bucket hat. The lowrider spends all of his welfare check putting hydraulic lifts on a 57 Chevy, while his little shorties go hungry. They have a tear drop tattoo on their cheek from their time in the pen. Their girlfriends have names like “Shy Girl” or “Mamasita Big Juggs”. They all say “Orale”, “Homes”, and “Pinche Buey” every other word. The lowrider is as classic as his car. There’s even a song:

The Colombian/Cuban Drug Lord

In the 80’s, the cocaine trade in the United States hit the big time. There is no doubt that Colombian, Mexican, and Cuban cartels exist. But the trope of the drug dealer has far reaching power. Suddenly, every Colombian and Cuban becomes somehow involved in the cocaine trade. As a Cuban-American growing up in the years following “Scarface“, I was often asked if my family were cocaine dealers. I’d say, “Dude, my mom is your pediatrician”. For a while there in the late 80’s and early 90’s, lots of action heroes took on Colombian drug lords. Even Crocodile Dundee defeated one of these baddies with his big kniiiife.

This one goes back to the 1950’s, when Puerto Rican immigrants started immigrating en masse to New York. “West Side Story” is a classic musical about the Puerto Rican gangbanger. The girls all wear big hoop earrings, tight spandex clothes, and talk like Rosie Perez. The guys all wear baggie pants and jerseys with Puerto Rican flags or pictures of Scarface on them. The national sport of these Nuyoricans is stealing car stereos. Oh boy, do they love stealing car stereos. If they could set up a college that taught car stereo thievery 101 they’d do it. How else are they going to feed their 16 kids? Get a job? Ha! This stereotype is unfair and totally discounts the rich Nuyorican culture that gave us salsa, slam poetry, and Luis Guzman.

The Sexually Promiscuous Don Juan

This oldie but a goodie goes back centuries. While it is true that we Latinos are passionate and we like to knock boots, not all of us our lecherous. The first Don Juan book was published in 1630 for crying out loud! Even old Wolfie Mozart wrote an opera about Don Juan called “Don Giovanni”. Johnny Depp made took a turn as the great lover in “Don Juan De Marco”. Basically, every Hispanic man is a walking erection that wants only to seduce your wife or daughter. If he can’t seal the deal by being slimy, he gets a bit rapie. Somewhere along the way, a female equivalent to Don Juan came about. This is the Latina temptress, that seeks to entrap and exploit every man through the power of her cleavage. You still see the Latina temptress all the time. If a Latina is in a movie and is under 35, she is probably going to be the sexy Latina temptress. Unless she’s Michelle Rodriguez. Then she’s a sassy kick ass Latina with an attitude.

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