Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hispanics to the fore

The Spanish language TV broadcasting network Univision created this video to sell advertising. I think it presents some simple demographic realities engagingly.

I am not the melting pot; I am the new American reality...

Where I live in California, the more usual term for this growing segment of the population is "Latino," both among people whose language-heritage is Spanish and in the media. But the federal government adopted "Hispanic" for the complicated ethnic/racial group they seek to count through the census. It seems more commonly used in the east and may eventually predominate.

The Mexican-American woman who helped the feds choose the "Hispanic" ethnic designation explains the choice in this article:

Let’s face it, the people in America of Spanish origin have been discriminated against because of the color of their skin and their Spanish sounding names, nothing can change that except laws but laws unfortunately don’t necessarily change hearts and minds.

So in order for people of Spanish origin to better share in the American dream, we should have in place an accurate accounting of their needs and accomplishments, and the only way to account for this, is to trace their origin beginning with the Spanish influence that has long been a blessing and a curse, to their rightful place in America.


Rain Trueax said...

Ironically I live where a lot of Hispanics/Latinos/Mexican-Americans live in both Oregon and Arizona. Tucson, of course, is heavily Mexican in its flavor but Oregon in my region has become a lot that due to agriculture and a friendly state police toward immigrants. Some that work in my region of Oregon regularly go back to Mexico (yes illegals too) and consider it their real home as they have family there. Some see themselves as Americans. Having a niece who married a man who came up from Mexico (Mayan region), I just use their names and don't try to identify an ethnicity. I had a good friend some years back who spoke with a heavy accent, was up from California and as native born as I am. She considered herself Spanish ;). It can get complicated and don't even get started on most Americans who are a touch of this and bit of that. (my nieces are half Klamath/Umatilla). See why labels don't work so well

Hattie said...

We do need some clarity,though. There is a battle going on. Latinos of mixed ancestry like George Zimmerman and Ted Cruz are on the right flank, defining themselves as "real Americans" as compared to darker skinned people than themselves. We are moving in the direction of a mestizo race hierarchy based on skin tone, with light skinned people on the top and dark skinned people on the bottom.

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