View Poll Results: Is Hispanic/Latino a Race
Yes 12 34.29%
No 23 65.71%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

Hispanic/Latino

Okay, this term is one of my pet-hates. I just wanted to see what you guys think.

So not to taint the poll, I will leave my opinion out for a while…..


And to make this fun, the first person who knows where the original term "Latin America" came from you get a surprise! :P
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

And to make this fun, the first person who knows where the original term "Latin America" came from you get a surprise! :P
Originally Posted by Cehua
From what I recall in my geography studies, there is no black and white answer to this question. The origins of the phrase "Latin America" have been widely debated for years in the geographic community and to the best of my knowledge, even experts in the field still squabble over where the phrase came from.
Madonna getting upset with her daughter for dressing too slutty is like Mr. T getting upset with his son for pitying too many fools.
And to make this fun, the first person who knows where the original term "Latin America" came from you get a surprise! :P
Originally Posted by Cehua
From what I recall in my geography studies, there is no black and white answer to this question. The origins of the phrase "Latin America" have been widely debated for years in the geographic community and to the best of my knowledge, even experts in the field still squabble over where the phrase came from.
Originally Posted by mazey
There is an origin of the term and most geographers learn this during the first cultural geography class they take (at least all of the geographers I know who entered the field since the late 1990s and not only the ones at my school).

Hint: Cinco de Mayo
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

I thought the term Latin America was coined by Napoleon to empahasize that the region spoke a Romance language (Spanish, Portuguese and French are all Romance languages) as opposed to the mainly anglo roots of North America, and he knew the term Franco America would not be accepted. Napoleon was attempting to take over this region.
I guess the Cinco de Mayo reference has to do with the fact that the Mexicans defeated Napoleon.
Am I right?

I don't think Latino/Latina or Hispanic are races anymore than North American is a race - the region is highly mixed with African, European, Asian and aboriginal blood. It has always been understood primarily as a linguistic/cultural category in terms of the census, etc. However, there are many commonalities between people from Latin American countries (and also many differences - like Africa, it is a huge, diverse region) and I think most people have a stereotype of what a Latino looks like. For me, I will sometimes say I am mixed race Latina/African because in my mind they are two separate things and both my parents look very different, though both are from the Caribbean which is in L. America.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I thought the term Latin America was coined by Napoleon to empahasize that the region spoke a Romance language (Spanish, Portuguese and French are all Romance languages) as opposed to the mainly anglo roots of North America, and he knew the term Franco America would not be accepted. Napoleon was attempting to take over this region.
I guess the Cinco de Mayo reference has to do with the fact that the Mexicans defeated Napoleon.
Am I right?

I don't think Latino/Latina or Hispanic are races anymore than North American is a race - the region is highly mixed with African, European, Asian and aboriginal blood. It has always been understood primarily as a linguistic/cultural category to my mind. However, there are many commonalities between people from Latin American countries (and also many differences - like Africa, it is a huge, diverse region) and I think most people have a stereotype of what a Latino looks like. For me, I will sometimes say I am mixed race Latina/African because in my mind they are two separate things, though both parents are from the Caribbean which is in L. America.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Minha querida you get the prize!

A cyber beijo from me :kisses:kisses.gif (what more could you expect from a poor graduate student )
We're all born mad. Some remain so.


Minha querida you get the prize!

A cyber beijo from me :kisses:kisses.gif (what more could you expect from a poor graduate student )
Originally Posted by "Cehua[/quote
Beijinhos from me too, gatinha!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











This is an interesting write up I found.

Though often used interchangeably in American English, Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. Hispanic, from the Latin word for “Spain,” has the broader reference, potentially encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples in both hemispheres and emphasizing the common denominator of language among communities that sometimes have little else in common. Latino—which in Spanish means "Latin" but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word latinoamericano—refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. Of the two, only Hispanic can be used in referring to Spain and its history and culture; a native of Spain residing in the United States is a Hispanic, not a Latino, and one cannot substitute Latino in the phrase the Hispanic influence on native Mexican cultures without garbling the meaning. In practice, however, this distinction is of little significance when referring to residents of the United States, most of whom are of Latin American origin and can theoretically be called by either word. •A more important distinction concerns the sociopolitical rift that has opened between Latino and Hispanic in American usage. For a certain segment of the Spanish-speaking population, Latino is a term of ethnic pride and Hispanic a label that borders on the offensive. According to this view, Hispanic lacks the authenticity and cultural resonance of Latino, with its Spanish sound and its ability to show the feminine form Latina when used of women. Furthermore, Hispanic—the term used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies—is said to bear the stamp of an Anglo establishment far removed from the concerns of the Spanish-speaking community. While these views are strongly held by some, they are by no means universal, and the division in usage seems as related to geography as it is to politics, with Latino widely preferred in California and Hispanic the more usual term in Florida and Texas. Even in these regions, however, usage is often mixed, and it is not uncommon to find both terms used by the same writer or speaker
~Two friends, one soul inspired~ anonymous
For me Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity/cultural/linguistic group.

Hispanic to me means someone who speaks Spanish (e.g., Spain) and that excludes Portuguese and French speakers. Many people from Latin America that I know do not use Hispanic when referring to themselves *especially* if they live on the West Coast of the US. On the East Coast, it is more likely to be used interchangeably with Latino.

I have friends from Romania and Italy and they too refer to themselves as Latin meaning that they speak a Latin language. I never think twice about their usage because it is true.

If someone says he is “Latino” then I immediately think he are from a Latin American country.

None of these terms refers to a race as people from these countries can be of any arbitrary race.


As Amneris said, calling Latino or Hispanic a race is like calling North Americans a racial group. The same race and ethnicities that immigrated to the US also immigrated to Latin America. For example, there are people of Japanese descent in Brasil. To me they are Brasilian and Latin and I would not exclude them. A friend of mine who is Japanese Brasilian studied abroad in Utah (have not explanation for why she choose Utah LOL) and the people at her school did not believe her when she said she was Brasilian and Latina. She was hurt by this because Brasilian, not Japanese, is all of the culture she knew. BTW the people who said this to her were American (usually White or Black) or Mexican.

Another friend of mine is Jewish and she was born in Brasil to Polish parents. She is offended when people look at her blond hair and blue eyes and Jewish culture and tell her that she is not Latina enough (whatever that means) because she is not Catholic and she does not have the stereotypical features of a Latin person . And many of these people who say this *are* from Latin America!


I actually do not say I am Latina. I say that I have Brasilian heritage. I sometimes say that I am from a Latin culture but never say I am of Latin/Latino/Hispanic race because LATIN/LATINO/HISPANIC ARE NOT RACES. Just wanted to put that out there for the people who think it is......




Many people (especially North Americans but also other people) forget that Latinos have different customs, food, language/use of language, skin color, and hair color and texture. Even within the same country, we are different. Yet, this eclectic blend makes us special and unique.
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

According to the US government there are 5 main races:

American Indian or Alaskan Indian
Asian
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
White

and 2 main ethnicities:

Hispanic/Latino
Non Hispanic/Latino

The ethnicity question should always be asked first, then the race question.

(I work in public health, and have to deal with this stuff ALL the time.)
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
OOps. When I put in my vote, I didn't even read what the title was. I thought it was asking if I was Latina and I voted yes. I didn't know the post was asking if one thought being a Latino/a was a race until I started reading what you very smart curlies were saying. You are absolutely right, being Latino/Latina is not a race, as anyone who has picked up a history book can discern. Very cool discussion.
"It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done."- Harriet Beecher Stowe
According to the US government there are 5 main races:

American Indian or Alaskan Indian
Asian
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
White

and 2 main ethnicities:

Hispanic/Latino
Non Hispanic/Latino

The ethnicity question should always be asked first, then the race question.

(I work in public health, and have to deal with this stuff ALL the time.)
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Exactly. I used to work for the BOC so although I did not do enumerations this stuff was common knowledge for the people who worked there. Sadly, so many people actually think it is a "race."
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

I know it's not a racial classification but sometimes it makes things easier.

Technically I am hispanic (and that's the term I use other than dominican) because I'm from the island of Hispanola. However, I've always thought of everyone but Brazil & Belize being included in the hispanic classification and Latin being the umbrella term. I think latino is very much a west coast, mexican thing.
I think latino is very much a west coast, mexican thing.
Originally Posted by marielle448
I agree. No one in San Antonio/south Texas ever self-identifies as "Latino/a". If they have to somehow identify their ethnicity, they say "Hispanic".
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rock on with your bad self.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
For me Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity/cultural/linguistic group.

Hispanic to me means someone who speaks Spanish (e.g., Spain) and that excludes Portuguese and French speakers. Many people from Latin America that I know do not use Hispanic when referring to themselves *especially* if they live on the West Coast of the US. On the East Coast, it is more likely to be used interchangeably with Latino.

I have friends from Romania and Italy and they too refer to themselves as Latin meaning that they speak a Latin language. I never think twice about their usage because it is true.

If someone says he is “Latino” then I immediately think he are from a Latin American country.

None of these terms refers to a race as people from these countries can be of any arbitrary race.


As Amneris said, calling Latino or Hispanic a race is like calling North Americans a racial group. The same race and ethnicities that immigrated to the US also immigrated to Latin America. For example, there are people of Japanese descent in Brasil. To me they are Brasilian and Latin and I would not exclude them. A friend of mine who is Japanese Brasilian studied abroad in Utah (have not explanation for why she choose Utah LOL) and the people at her school did not believe her when she said she was Brasilian and Latina. She was hurt by this because Brasilian, not Japanese, is all of the culture she knew. BTW the people who said this to her were American (usually White or Black) or Mexican.

Another friend of mine is Jewish and she was born in Brasil to Polish parents. She is offended when people look at her blond hair and blue eyes and Jewish culture and tell her that she is not Latina enough (whatever that means) because she is not Catholic and she does not have the stereotypical features of a Latin person . And many of these people who say this *are* from Latin America!


I actually do not say I am Latina. I say that I have Brasilian heritage. I sometimes say that I am from a Latin culture but never say I am of Latin/Latino/Hispanic race because LATIN/LATINO/HISPANIC ARE NOT RACES. Just wanted to put that out there for the people who think it is......




Many people (especially North Americans but also other people) forget that Latinos have different customs, food, language/use of language, skin color, and hair color and texture. Even within the same country, we are different. Yet, this eclectic blend makes us special and unique.
Originally Posted by Cehua

We all make assumptions. Just this past fall, I was super-embarassed! I was at a musical theatre audition and a good friend was with me, and we met this woman who was a very recent immigrant from Argentina (where my grandfather is from) who my friend had met previously, and I was speaking to her in Spanish. My friend is Italian-Canadian and could basically understand us as she speaks Italian. Anyway, the conversation ended where she was saying she'd like to meet more Latin Americans and I invited her to come to the Spnaish mass at my church if church was her thing (assuming all Latin Americans are Catholic, as the vast majority are.) She got kind of uncomfortable and said it wasn't her thing. When she left, my friend told me I had made a huge faux pas... she was Jewish! I am embarassed to say the thought never crossed my mind. I haven't seen the woman since, but I really hope she doesn't think I was trying to convert her or disparaging her faith!!!!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











We all make assumptions. Just this past fall, I was super-embarassed! I was at a musical theatre audition and a good friend was with me, and we met this woman who was a very recent immigrant from Argentina (where my grandfather is from) who my friend had met previously, and I was speaking to her in Spanish. My friend is Italian-Canadian and could basically understand us as she speaks Italian. Anyway, the conversation ended where she was saying she'd like to meet more Latin Americans and I invited her to come to the Spnaish mass at my church if church was her thing (assuming all Latin Americans are Catholic, as the vast majority are.) She got kind of uncomfortable and said it wasn't her thing. When she left, my friend told me I had made a huge faux pas... she was Jewish! I am embarassed to say the thought never crossed my mind. I haven't seen the woman since, but I really hope she doesn't think I was trying to convert her or disparaging her faith!!!!
Originally Posted by Amneris
I am sure she would not think that .

I was not talking about the person who makes assumptions because we all do that. I am talking about the people who tell the people that if they do not look or act a certain way then they are not true Latinos. You were not doing that when you invited the person to Misa.
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

I know it's not a racial classification but sometimes it makes things easier.

Technically I am hispanic (and that's the term I use other than dominican) because I'm from the island of Hispanola. However, I've always thought of everyone but Brazil & Belize being included in the hispanic classification and Latin being the umbrella term. I think latino is very much a west coast, mexican thing.
Originally Posted by marielle448
Yep, the library of Congress groups them together as Hispanic because I think it is easier for them to organize that way.

Being Brasilian we NEVER say Hispanic to describe ourselves and hardly say Latino (but that is for another reason as many of you know. <ducking from the apples being thrown at me>)
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

According to the US government there are 5 main races:

American Indian or Alaskan Indian
Asian
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
White

and 2 main ethnicities:

Hispanic/Latino
Non Hispanic/Latino

The ethnicity question should always be asked first, then the race question.

(I work in public health, and have to deal with this stuff ALL the time.)
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Exactly. I used to work for the BOC so although I did not do enumerations this stuff was common knowledge for the people who worked there. Sadly, so many people actually think it is a "race."
Originally Posted by Cehua
I would have to check on this, but I thought that it WAS considered a race until fairly recently.
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
I would have to check on this, but I thought that it WAS considered a race until fairly recently.
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Perhaps in the US but if you actually go to Latin America NO ONE calls their race Latin/Latina/Hispanic. Everyone I know goes by Black, White, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or a combination of two or all of the above.

It is the same as calling North Americans a race and I doubt anyone would do that. And obviously that North American is not a race but like Latin America, Europe, etc. it does have a culture in common.

The US only uses it to separate Hispanics from North American. It was not a category until there was a huge influx of people from Latin America. No one cared when a few Costa Ricans, Brasilians, Argentineans, etc. immigrated to the US.

It is more of a political (and social) than a scientific thing……

I am not sure if the term is used in Europe.

ETA: Race is such an arbitrary term anyway. During the 19th Century, Italians and Irish were each considered a separate race.

The idea of race changes with politics and society.
We're all born mad. Some remain so.

my hubby is mexican. when i talked to the cencus lady she ask what race my hubby was. then she gave me a list and he was not on it. so she marked him as other.
thought the term Latin America was coined by Napoleon to empahasize that the region spoke a Romance language (Spanish, Portuguese and French are all Romance languages) as opposed to the mainly anglo roots of North America, and he knew the term Franco America would not be accepted.
Originally Posted by Amneris
He was probably right. Because when I hear Franco America my mind wanders and I start thinking about SpaghettiO's

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.

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