Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > White parents increasingly christening children with “Latino” names in an effort to seize future opportunities in a changing nation

White parents increasingly christening children with “Latino” names in an effort to seize future opportunities in a changing nation

LatinaLista — Over the years, the speed of how elements of Latino culture have crossed over into the mainstream has both marveled and puzzled people. From salsa replacing ketchup as the popular condiment to Dia de los Muertos now overshadowing Halloween, Latino culture has been seeping into the collective consciousness.

The latest area highlighting this trend is one that many thought would never be infiltrated — children’s names.

It used to be most parents would choose a name of a relative or a favorite actor but most times someone within their ‘ethnic’ circle.

Not anymore.

A new study of baby names by the social media baby naming website, Belly Ballot, found that White parents are increasingly foregoing naming their first, second, etc. -born children after grandpa or grandma and choosing such names as Ernesto, Diego, Lola and Maria.

The most common reason given by some parents was that, because of the shift in demographics in their respective states, they felt their children’s future would be far easier if their kids ‘fit in’ with their multicultural peers.

Tiffany Wilson, a mom in Millersville, Tennessee from Irish-German descent, wants her daughter to more easily relate with her peers. “We want our child to fit in,” says Tiffany. “Hispanic culture is growing rapidly here in Tennessee. Her friends are Hispanic, her future bosses will be Hispanic…we just don’t want her to be different. I think having a Latino name has helped her make friends.”

A far cry when Latino baby names were routinely changed on their birth certificate because the registrars registering the child either couldn’t understand and spell the birth name or didn’t care to try.

This newly revealed trend among White parents isn’t totally to help tomorrow’s adults get along better with one another. There’s another reason — a much more selfish one.

Shaina Heimpel, a Caucasian mom from Colorado Springs feels giving her daughter the Latino name of Isabella definitely opens up more opportunity for her child in the U.S. “I did well in school with a 3.5 GPA…but doors didn’t open, there were no scholarships for someone like me. My Hispanic friends on the other hand got scholarships and grants. Isabella will now have every opportunity available to her, and not go through what I did. Although she’s already a quarter Hispanic, that name is the only thing I can do for her that will pave the way for her life.”

According to Belly Ballot, the top trending Latino/a names for babies are:


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  • lily
    October 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Thats stupid unless you also have a Hispanic last name.

  • Lex
    October 13, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    A lot of Latin@ people have English names tho. What with Europeans colonizing our countries and all.

  • Soul
    October 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Shouldn’t this be the time where someone points out reverse racism or naa? *kicks up feet* I’ll wait.

  • Nathaniel
    October 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    That is absurd, a Spanish first name with an English last name will make employers think the individal is Balck

  • Nathaniel
    October 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    furthermore, names like Maria and Lola have always been sed, Santo is Portuguese, and indivduals seeming more White will ALWAYS have more opportunity, the White woman with the 3.5 had a 3.5, did she consider that perhaps her friends had higher GPAs, that she will NEVER know what it is to be a Minority on America? Ignorant people abound, this is a sad reality of life

  • Min
    October 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Um… this is a joke… right?… I have no words for how silly this is.

  • M
    October 15, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Hmmm..I find it funny how White society wanted to erase minorities cultures now they want to be them. Wow! This is classic case of people wanting to be a minority when it’s convient .

  • Lisa Posey
    October 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I agree, that is crazy, there they go conforming and giving away their rights?
    No wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket!!!!!

  • Brandy
    October 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

    That’s true Lex, my husband is Hispanic with the last name Carley. Only one of my children has the first name Isabel, which was her great grandmothers name (fathers side). I think this article is leaving out some information. My children are also 1/4 Hispanic and her name was given to her so that she understands her roots from both sides of her families culture.

  • Judy Carrasco
    October 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

    My daughter is Mexican and I named her Danielle Michelle Castro. Simply because I like the name, need there be another reason?

  • Mark
    October 15, 2013 at 10:06 am

    This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, seen or heard.

    Tiffany Wilson, wants her child to fit in? Her bosses will be Hispanic? So naming your kid Lola instead of Lindsey is going to help her fit in, is going to make her future pre determined Hispanic bosses like her because she is a fake Hispanic. I am sorry, a white girl name Lola Wilson is not going to make a damn bit of difference in weather she is liked, favored or fits in. Maybe you should be a little more concerned with your child’s education, upbringing, attitude and insuring they become a proper, contributing part of society and not a sponge, leech or bum.

    Shaina Heimpel, she was already screwed up, from her name sounds like her mother had the same idea of trying to get her to “fit in” with the African American population. So because your white daughter has a Hispanic name she qualifies for a scholarship? Umm…no. Are you going to promote her to lie and abandon her heritage and ethnic background and check the Hispanic box on her college application? Maybe your resentment for your lack of success as driven you to become a racist race traitor. You would rather lie, alienate your own race, and take advantage of a system that is broken and extremely over due for updates, than teach your child to become something, to learn, to strive for success. If your kids become failures, you are the reason. Your child is part of this countries future and if you have this sponge off the system attitude, hers will likely be more so, and in turn you and your kids are part of the reason this country is failing.

    My point is this, name your kid whatever you want, but don’t make it about race. If you are naming your kid after a different race because you think there is an advantage, that is racism. Anything that is demeaning, degrading or used to take advantage of another race, because of their race or skin color is racism. REGARDLESS of the color or race of either party. Racism is racism and it is ugly, disgusting and part of what is tearing this country apart.

    and “Soul” there is no such thing as reverse racism, regardless of what color you are or what color your hatred is aimed at, it is called racism.

  • Alyssa Torres
    October 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    This is stupid. I understand if your part hispanic, but being white and having a hispanic name is just ridiculous. People are giving their children the wrong mentality. You should be proud of your heritage no matter what nationality/race you are. White, black, mexican, chinese, indian. Doesn’t matter. No one should ever try to make their child think they should have to fit in, or for that matter be something they’re not. Personally, I would have liked my parents to have named me with a hispanic name. I am very proud of my Mexican heritage.

  • john
    October 16, 2013 at 12:23 am

    In my school there were Anglo students with over 3.8 and were active in school and got nothing in scholarships while quite a few Hispanics with 3.3’s and 3.4’s got full scholarships (I also do know for a fact because i personally know them and this was recent). Minority status gets you a lot more scholarship opportunities and also schools will pick a non-Anglo person over an Anglo that are equal a lot of the time because of diversity requirements. It’s called affirmative action. Also specifically when there are many scholarships that require you be of some race that is inherently unfair and quite racist. They should be awarded upon merits mainly as well as need not something you can not control. You right in one aspect though; ignorance is definitely abound.

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