The Times podcast: Why Latinos hide their identities

Three men stand in a park  overlooking Dodger Stadium and the L.A. skyline
Herbert Siguenza, left, Ric Salinas and Richard Montoya are the performance group Culture Clash. Siguenza and Salinas also currently star in “The Salvi Chronicles,” a digital play about the Salvadoran experience in the United States.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Latinos have long hidden in plain sight in U.S. society. Some do it to lessen the racism they might face from non-Latinos. But there’s another type of whitewashing that’s even more disturbing. It’s when Latinos downplay their distinct identities among themselves or suppress the visibility of fellow Latinos.

Today we talk about the phenomenon of Latino erasure, who does it, why it happens and how it persists. We’ll focus on Culture Clash, the pioneering Chicano comedy troupe. This summer, two of its members “came out” as Salvadoran.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times arts columnist Carolina A. Miranda and Culture Clash members Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza

More reading:

Watch “The Salvi Chronicles”

For me, being Latino means living between two worlds

Op-Ed: Why did so few Latinos identify themselves as white in the 2020 census?

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña, Melissa Kaplan and Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.