What makes someone Latino is an on-going debate in the Latino community. In recent years, celebrities like Camila Mendes and Gina Rodriguez have brought awareness to the issue by challenging the notion that they aren’t sufficiently Latina. Over Twitter last night, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui, who’s Cuban-American, became the latest star to wrangle with those who contest her right to claim Latin roots. She blasted a radio station based in Spain that aired an opinion piece questioning the legitimacy of American stars, who self-identify as Latino.
“Many point [their fingers] at Bella Thorne or Lauren Jauregui as examples of stars who have jumped ‘on the bandwagon’ of what is trending, which is the Latin market,” wrote the radio station on their website. “There are people who find that having a Latino relative doesn’t make you part of the community; that you are [a part of the community] when you were born in that country, you have defended your rights there and you may have even moved to the United States. Those who support this thought believe that if you weren’t born in the country, you can’t consider yourself Latina.”
Jauregui, who doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinions, clapped back at the station with not one, but numerous tweets. “An article based off of opinion. I feel Latina because I was born in a Latin family. I speak the language, I cook the food,” she tweeted. “I have been part of the Latino community in Miami since I was born; I have always had them around me. Anyone could tell you that.”
In another tweet, she added: “I know that when they see me, they see me as a little white girl that you cannot imagine being Latina. but NOBODY can tell me what MY roots are.”
The singer also asked the Spanish station, Happy FM, if they’d say the same thing about DACA recipients, who came to the U.S. as children with undocumented Latino parents.
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In response, the station said the item was just a conversation piece. “We totally agree that you feel proud of your roots,” they tweeted at Jauregui, “we only reflected on an unfortunate opinion.”
Last November, the Fifth Harmony member wrote an open letter to Donald Trump supporters on Billboard.com in which she came out as bisexual and spoke with pride about her Cuban background: “I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it,” she wrote. “I am proud to be the granddaughter and daughter of immigrants who were brave enough to leave their homes and come to a whole new world with a different language and culture and immerse themselves fearlessly to start a better life for themselves and their families.”