I think about this word and it makes me think about the segregation of dark and light Latinos. It makes me think about how I thought, for the longest time, that the word “Hispanic” described me. I am sure that most Latinos can, in some ways, trace back their roots to Spain. I would think that any one of us can do that very much the same way that many African Americans have traced their DNA to tribes in in Africa.
As I explained about Latino Sexuality, the Spanish settlers wanted to breed our people out. Perhaps even erase them from the history books. Thus, descendants of the Spanish and Indigenous or Africans accounts for many of current population that resides in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Last time I looked there was a lot of dark people in these places. But you would never know based on the Media. Hispanics are what you do generally see on Univision or Telemundo. These would be the Marc Anthonys and the Ricky Martins. The fair skinned Latinos with the blond Latinas on their arm. This is what Hispanic represents to me: The lack of any perception of African or Native roots on the people.
Latino represents what I have come to know of our people. A conglomeration of skin tones and dialects. To me, this incorporates the Chicanos from Chicago, the Cubans from Miami, the Dominicans from Washington Heights, and the Puerto Ricans from New York City (plus many more, of course).
There seems to be a fundamental failure with many “Hispanics” to really see past their own culture. One of the questions I opened this blog with many months ago was, Have you seen a Black Mexican? That is a question many people have told me no to. Would they fall under the realm of Hispanics? No, probably not because they are barely considered Mexican.
I know that not all Hispanics will ever consider themselves to be anything else. After all, Latino is still a relatively new term in the grand scheme of things. If you are wondering who comes up with all this stuff or who dictates what a group of people are called, that would be the US Census.
As long as they have been counting people, they are ones come up with the names. It was not to long ago that they still had Mulatto as a category for which people can pick. Quite frankly, this department does not want to have to count every last Ecuadorian or Panamanian. They would rather just group us all into one large group and be down with it. Which is why they fell Hispanic works. So you can pick your race as Black or White and have an ethnicity of Hispanic.
In the coming years it will not matter. Latinos are multiplying that rabbits (we can’t help it we are oversexed). Perhaps when we are 50% of the population we will be able to finally pick a term that defines who we are as a whole.