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The Hilaria Baldwin scandal is not funny. It's offensive to immigrants everywhere

By benefiting from a culture that isn't her own, Hilaria Baldwin is sending a clear message to American immigrants

The Hilaria Baldwin scandal is not funny. It's offensive to immigrants everywhere

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 01: Hilaria Baldwin attends the "The Public" New York Premiere at New York Public Library - A Schwartzman Building on April 01, 2019 in New York City.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Hollywood is no stranger to scandal. What do you expect from an industry that profits off drama? This time around, the person at the epicenter of a newfound scandal is none other than author and podcaster, Hilaria Baldwin.

Yes, the woman marred to Alec.

As if there wasn't enough actual news occurring within the world, Twitter was abuzz last week with allegations Hilaria had been lying about her Spanish roots, after admitting to being born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. On Sunday, Hilaria, who's real name is Hillary, addressed the allegations about her background in two videos posted to her Instagram page.

"I've seen chatter online questioning my identity and culture. This is something I take very seriously, and for those who are asking — I'll reiterate my story, as I've done many times before," Hilaria wrote in a post that contained a seven-minute video. "I was born in Boston and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain. My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the U.S.A."

Hilaria stating she was born in Boston doesn't align with her Creative Artists Agency profile, which clearly states she was born in Mallorca, Spain. In addition, during an April appearance on the #MomTruths podcast, Hilaria mentions how she relocated to the U.S. from Spain at the age of 19 to attend New York University. To add fuel to the controversy, throughout many interviews and television appearances, Hilaria continuously spoke with a pronounced Spanish accent. However, during recent interviews Hilaria's accent has majestically disappeared.

Hilaria explains why that is, mentioning how her accent occasionally fluctuates based on whether she's speaking Spanish or English for a duration of time. Whether that's true or not, one thing is certain, Hilaria is benefiting from a culture that isn't hers. This is yet another example of racial impersonation, one the media has witnessed several times before. In 2020, there was Jessica Krug, a renowned professor of Black studies at George Washington University, who spent years impersonating a Black woman. In 2015, there was the discovery of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman identifying as the Black head of the local NAACP.

This trend of cultural imitation is not only wrong, it's offensive to many Americans imigrants. Numerous immigrants - especially immigrants of color - are continuously denied opportunities based upon the same heritage Hilaria has impersonated and profited from. And what's worse, Hilaria appears to suffer no remorse from her actions, creating another persona for herself as a victim. In addition, Hilaria has deliberately used the Latin community to build a foundation for her own platform.

Countless immigrants are ridiculed and marginalized on a daily basis just for being themselves. However, Hilaria seems to have found success within their disadvantages by adopting their culture. This hits close to home for me because my grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.

They worked tirelessly to provide for my mom and her siblings, continuously overcoming adversity around every corner. Because Spanish was the primary language spoken in their household, my mom inherited a Latin accent, despite growing up in the U.S. As a result, my mom was mocked throughout her childhood, and into adulthood, for speaking differently.

I recall an incident three years ago, when a man called my mom a "spic" and told her to "go back to where she came from" while we were riding the Metro together. Not only was I angered by this man's behavior, I was saddened for my mom.

But nevertheless, my mom persevered despite her adversity. So when I see individuals taking advantage of a culture that isn't theirs, it infuriates me. How is this kind of behavior acceptable? I'm not entirely certain what Hilaria's endgame was, but one thing is certain, Hilaria Baldwin is sending a clear message to American immigrants everywhere. A message that reads, as long as your white, rich and famous, your actions suffer no consequences.

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