DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There is a growing debate in North Texas about the person selected by a Dallas concert venue to pay tribute to Selena. The late Tejano singer still has a large following, especially in the Hispanic community, and a show honoring Selena at The Rustic on Thursday night was sold out.

An estimated 2,000 people came to hear Selena’s songs at the show, but some are questioning how and why The Rustic picked singer Suzanna Choffel to perform. The musician from Austin has been receiving plenty of criticism and heat online for her covers of Selena’s songs — because of her ethnicity.

screen shot 2018 06 13 at 10 17 44 pm White Singer To Perform Selena Tribute At Dallas Concert Venue

(credit: Suzanna Choffel)

As Selena fan Eva Arreguin explained, “Since that was a big part of what Selena’s legacy was, was representing the Latino community that wasn’t often represented, it felt a little bit off to have someone that was not [Latino].”

Another fan added, “If you’re going to have a blonde Caucasian woman try to do her justice, I think that’s pretty sad.”

When it was announced that Choffel would be participating in the Selena tribute, she identified as white. Now, she has said that she is actually 1/16 Mexican. “The reason that I didn’t come right out and say something about it,” Choffel said, “I don’t identify… obviously, I look very white. I look like a white girl. And I didn’t want people thinking that I grew up with the same identity as them.”

Some of the anger is also being directed at The Rustic, which said that it hired a well-known (and Hispanic) Selena tribute band for a show at its San Antonio location on the same night. Choffel has previously performed her music at The Rustic in Dallas, and that was also part of the reason that she was hired.

Choffel has gotten support from some members of the Hispanic community.

“Selena’s music is so amazing, powerful, that it broke through so many borders and walls,” Choffel said. She invited anyone who is upset to come and see her perform. Perhaps she can change their minds.

Comments (51)
  1. Chip Nelson says:

    So, isn’t the reaction text book racism? Let’s not judge her on her merits, but on the color of her skin.

  2. So each race and ethnicity needs to make their own Earth and country? Laughing.

  3. Eskyman says:

    OK, I’m officially sick of all this divisive racism. Don’t pay any tribute at all, if Selena’s fans are such jerks. Maybe the tribute ought to be done in Mexico, with only Mexicans!

      1. Bill Cope says:

        Then she should be portrayed by a Texan. Is Choffel a Texan?

      2. Apparently that has nothing to do with it. Race is all that matters to these people who only pretend to be anti racist as long as it benefits them!

  4. I for one am so glad that we live in a just world where we look beyond the superficiality of race or ethnicity and instead look to things like talent and character. Oh wait – wrong decade? I guess we’re back to judging people based on race and ethnicity.

  5. Beth Norton says:

    so why are people upset? I don’t see them faulting Hamilton for casting blacks and Latinos as our founding fathers.

    1. That’s so the liberals in the audience have something to masturbate over.

  6. MK Boyce says:

    This is both sad and pathetic. It’s a tribute. Not an exact replica, down to the genetics, of Selena.

  7. If an African-American can play MacBeth, a blonde white singer can give a loving tribute to Selena. At the end of her career, she was “crossing-over”. Were she alive today, she’d be as assimilated into American culture as Selena Gomez (whom I like).

  8. Does this mean no Beatles nor Bob Dylan covers for blacks & latinos?

  9. We need to reinstall segregation.
    The mongrels are getting out of control.

  10. Grow up and get a life. It’s about talent, not skin color.

  11. “I have a dream. I have a dream that my four little children will live in a nation where they are judged not by the color of their skin but by the nature of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., who was not a racist.

    Since when are people of one race not allowed to pay tribute to people of another race?

    Methinks since racial division and hostility, and isolation of blacks from whites, became a key strategy of those who would divide and conquer. Such people need to be rejected and denounced for the hate-filled racists that they are. It would not hurt to take a look at the “conquer” part of their agenca either.

  12. I see Haters and Racists everywhere.

  13. Alison Milne says:

    Notice how no one commented on the performance itself? Was Ms. Choffel good or awful? I’m guessing that since no one is criticizing are the performance then it was good.

  14. Tony Konte says:

    Racist much! liberals!! geesh

  15. Just another example of the systematic white supremacy of the United States. White people are better at being Mexican than the Mexicans are.

  16. Jay Barbieri says:

    So those complaining are racists?
    Who would have guessed?

  17. John Bryan says:

    Hmmm? Who is playing that old white man Hamilton on Broadway??? Lin-Manuel Miranda a Puerto Rican!!! Say it ain’t so!!! How dare they portray one of our founding fathers this way. Wait, wait, that’s a different story. Whites can be played by anyone but vice-versa isn’t allowed. It ‘s called diversity and if you don’t agree, you are a racist!

  18. Cam Kirmser says:

    Seems racism isn’t a problem, if the discriminated individual is white.

    1. Racism IS allowed, acceptable, tolerated AND encouraged IF the target is straight or white…or male for that matter…and ESPECIALLY encouraged AND celebrated if all three. This young lady is only getting 2/3 the racism.

  19. Selena’s ancestry was Spanish. Spanish people are from Spain. Spain is part of Europe. Europeans are white. Therefore, Selena was white. She was not Amerindian at all.

  20. David Barber says:

    Could it be she sings better than anyone else they considered?

  21. Whatever happened to the idea that everyone can be united through music. To those that complain about what this singer looks like welcome to the club of bigots.

  22. Selena’s dream beyond Latino music and dream of people puttin aside ethnic and race. Selena crossover if she would have lived she would have been the greatest Crossover/ POP star. Lets not ruin her dream and love for music no matter who sings it. Nate King Cole sang Latino music and so did Debbie Reynolds sung many Latino classic tunes. Come on people rise up than the division.

  23. What about Latinos who changed their names and pretended to be non-latino … Martin Sheen comes to mind…. Decades ago changing his name from Estevez ….. wasn’t that cultural appropriation?

  24. Mike Burns says:

    And these are the people demanding diversity and special treatment for enrolment in schools ,free college,and all the free benefits ?


  26. Brien Murphy says:

    Just goes to prove, you don’t have to be white to be a racist!

  27. Bigots protest again. Racial bigotry against a talented singer chose for her talent in tribute to the incomparable Selena. Silence the bigot by ignoring their hate.

  28. Carter Stamm says:

    John Legend (African American) plays Jesus (A Middle East Jew,not an African) in Jesus Christ Superstar and no one says a word, but God forbid a Whitey plays an Hispanic born in Texas.

  29. Brian Sparks says:

    I don’t know that much about Selena but I doubt that the first thing she thought about when she got out of bed was how she was a representative of the Latino community. She was a performer so I bet the first thing she thought about was her music. I doubt she made a point of wondering what percentage of her fans were Latino. Cultural representative is a label other people stuck on her whether she wanted it or not.

  30. if your there to see the ethnicity of the singer and not the songs, that means you are the racists not the venue or the singer singing the songs. Simple as that

  31. Racists are a dime a dozen. And they’re all from the alt-left.

  32. People who are upset that a white woman was chosen to perform at a Selena tribute need to contact the Federal Office Against Discrimination (FOAD).

  33. MLK Jr is rolling over in his grave…

  34. She’s just doing work that Hispanics won’t do.

  35. She doesn’t look white to me, and it turns out that her last name “Arreguin” is a Spanish spelling of a French Surname, so I would guess, judging by her dark Latino looks and her Spanish Surname that her ancestors were raped by Moors, and that would make her NON-WHITE! So just relax, she’s not white she’s just a light-skinned Latina, and stop calling Latio’s white it isn’t fair to real whites.

  36. mjazzguitar says:

    If you don’t think they discriminate, try being one of the few whites in a latino majority workplace, with latino bosses.

  37. Latino is not a valid ethnic group. It has as much validity as Kwanza.

  38. Racist Hispanics…can the woman sing or not? Liberals are such hypocrites.

  39. Music is universal. The folks complaining are bigots.

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