Friday, April 14, 2006

Don't Call Me Latino.

I'm fed up with hearing the word Latino, and all the different cognotations it carries. Just recently I was called Latino by a friend who was trying to tell me that I wasn't white. I freaking exploded.

And now that I am calm and collected, I would like clarify some things online:

1) White is NOT a culture it is a race.

2) Latino is not a race nor a culture, it means that you speak a Romance language. Hence, Brazilians, the French and Italians are Latino's too. Latino, is not an attitude, and Latino is not specific to AIAN's who speak Spanish.

3) Anglo (which is another word I grow tired of hearing) is NOT a Race either. It either can be a culture (if you're from England) or an ethnicity (if you're ancestry is specifically from England). Hence, Irish (who are Celts), Germans (who are Germanics), Polish (who are Slavs or Bohemian), etc..., are not Anglos.

4) There are THREE DOMINATE races that belong to the Americas (North AND South): White, Black, and "AIAN"(American Indian/Native American).

5) Hispanic is not a race but an ethinicity. It is a specific reference to the physical characteristics that come from Spain. An Afro-Cuban is thus not a Hispanic, neither is a Chinese-Cuban, they would be African and Asian respectively.

6) Nationality is whatever nation you identify with, IE: France, Ireland, USA, Germany, etc.... hispanic, latino, anglo, black, and white are NOT nationalities.

7) One's heritage is the culture that a person inherits via family.

8) Ethinicity is the inherited physical characteristics that are common from a specific region. Eye, nose, ear, and face shape for instance can define ones ethinicity. Now, can an ethnicity be Cuban? I would say yes so long as the individual has at least two of all three major races from Cuba (white, black, Asian) in their genetic ancestry. This mix would then be a physical make-up unique to Cuban demographics, unique to the location, inherited via genes and thus an ethinicity.

9) Culture is the customs, practices, and views that a person inherits via the environment/land. A person who is Bi-cultural, is one who grew up in two different cultures simultaneously. This is usually assigned a generation and two names: mis padres for instance are 1st generation Cuban-American because they lived in both countries and carry pieces of each culture. I am 2nd generation Cuban-American because I was the first to be born outside of a country whose customs I have learned and practice simultaneously with the customs of my place of birth. There are about three generations before one culture assimliates the other. However, two cultures can produce a hybrid like the Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana. Moreover, there is a hybrid phenomina that is happening in Florida, Texas, California and NY. There are those (mainly Liberal politicians) who wish to call this hybrid "Latino" and boast that it is the 2nd largest minority. However, a "Cubiche", a "Newyorican", a "Tejano", and a "Pocho" are so DIFFERENT, that to cluster them is not only an injustice to the richness one's culture, but a slap and an insult to one's identity. The word Latino should be banned until a proper definition can be given to it.

With that I'm going to define myself right here, right now, and you're invited to do the same.

Nationality: USA (I am a citizen and I live here)
Race: White (but as the saying goes: "Y tu Abuela donde esta"!)
Culture: 2nd generation Cuban-American (might I add from Miami, Florida)
Heritage: Cuban (Got Congri?)
Ethnicity: Hispanic (those who know think I'm from Catalunya, or Galecia.)

So where does Latino fit? It doesn't, and there you have it.


AmandaDufau said...

Bien dicho, my friend! =)

Marc said...

Nationality: USA
Race: White
Culture: 1st generation Cuban American
Heritage: Cuban and Texan
Ethnicity: Hispanic

Orlando said...

Very well explained. I took my mother to the doctor just a couple of days ago and they made me fill out a form, which actually had "latino" and "hispanic" as well a race as separate check boxes. A little enlightned I would say.

Robert said...

Ditto on all counts.

Anonymous said...

Where does "intransgient" and "repellent" fit in?

Well stated, Henry.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Actually I didn't write this post. My partner, songuacassal did.

CubanPete said...

I have explained the same a million times to people and a minute later they go back to the same bullcrap,I give up. All I know that I was once Cuban and as soon as I came to the US I became a latino from the mythical country of Latinia.

Boli-Nica said...

Good post. Cuts through a lot of BS, and makes a lot of sense.