It’s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. After trying to fit in a mostly white corporate culture in the 1980s, Jim Huerta’s boss challenged him about whether he was “being Latino enough.”
Huerta spent the first 12 years of his corporate life working in the mining industry, where most employees were white. People regularly butchered his name, so he pronounced it without a Spanish accent. Huerta developed a relationship with a white-male mentor, who, upon hearing Huerta say his last name without the Spanish accent, corrected him, using the Spanish pronunciation of his name.
Following that interaction, Huerta regularly used the proper Spanish pronunciation of his name and “the response became immediate. It was a look or a question asking, ‘Where are you from'”