Green Room

The folly of “HispanicLatino”

posted at 11:04 pm on April 30, 2012 by

I’ve always thought that the whole idea of “Hispanic” or “Latino” identity was never anything more than an identity politics construct, and this goofy new “HispanicLatino” meme confirms it.  After watching a couple of its proponents try to pitch the label on yesterday’s Al Punto (Univision’s Sunday political talking-head show), I am certain of it.

For starters, I admire the transparency of the label’s pitchmen, HispanicLatino founder Jesse Treviño, and Texas Representative Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) .  They have no qualms with stating that “HispanicLatino” was born out of a need to carve out a new ethno-political identity for those who traditionally identified themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino” (more on the difference here).  According to Treviño and Peña Raymond, there is an ongoing war on Hispanics/Latinos, which can only be solved via the creation of a new artificial ethnoracial umbrella.

Never mind that, according to the most recent Pew Hispanic poll, the labels are rejected by a majority of people who would much rather identify by their country of national origin.  Read through the entire poll findings, and you will find that they demolish every one of the premises thay underlie the supposed need for an all-encompassing label.

No wonder, then, that Al Punto anchor Jorge Ramos (who never passes up an opportunity to advance racial grievance in furtherance of the immigration agenda) struggled to keep a straight face during the segment.  When faced with the reality of the Pew poll, Treviño and Peña Raymond had no other choice than to be transparent about the aims of the “HispanicLatino” label.  Ramos went to the Pew poll so many times, that I half expected him to reprise Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s instant classic “…it’s not selling very well“.

If you follow the Pew link and go deeper into the poll, you’ll find that left to their own devices…Hispanics, Latinos, or “ethnic identity to be named later” are just like any of the many ethnic groups that came into this country before them.  The great truth behind the Pew poll is that Hispanics/Latinos have largely resisted the Institutional Left’s attempts to herd them into the uniquely American Hispanic/Latino construct.  Individual Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, et. al are free to assimilate into the mainstream when they do not get sucked into the “Latino” identity, and the Left knows it (as do media institutions that depend on a steady influx of non-English-speaking, non-assimilated individuals for survival).

HispanicLatino is, ultimately, nothing more than yet another naked attempt at herding individuals from all over Latin America into a single monoblock identity for the purposes of political manipulation.  As such, it should be laughed out of the room.

 

This article is cross-posted at El Tercer Riel (The Third Rail), and a Spanish-language version is available here.

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I can’t speak for every Spanish-speaking country, but the moniker of “Puerto Rican” encompasses people of every color, lots of ethnicities (from “typical Spanish” to Chinese, to Dominican black, to Haitan, to white Americans) who have all mixed up here in Puerto Rico. The Miss Puerto Rico Universe this year was born in Holland of a Dominican mother and a Dutch father. She has cafe con leche skin and blue eyes, and speaks Spanish, English, Dutch, and German. Exactly what “Puerto Rican” ethnicity is she?

JoseQuinones on May 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM

The great truth behind the Pew poll is that Hispanics/Latinos have largely resisted the Institutional Left’s attempts to herd them into the uniquely American Hispanic/Latino construct.

That’s a lesson that the Left hasn’t learned yet. But they will.

cicerone on May 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Little known fact: Here in New Mexico people refer to themselves as “Spanish” due to pride in their heritage,many families trace their lineage back to Spain.Most of them don’t like the term Hispanic or Latino & don’t EVER refer to them as Mexican,unless they’re actually from Mexico.
Also,”Anglo” isn’t an insult here,it’s simply descriptive.

Frantic Freddie on May 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM

OMG — I hadn’t seen a pitch for “HispanicLatino.” Seriously???

Gee, how about “Hispanino”?

“Latispanic”?

This is idiotic. IdioticStupid. Idiotipid. Stupiotic.

Speaking as an Anglopictohiberniteutonic-American, I can only say — well, I can’t really think of anything to say. Surely racial-ethno-baiting has finally jumped the shark.

J.E. Dyer on May 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Exactly what “Puerto Rican” ethnicity is she?

JoseQuinones on May 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Jose, I remember asking guys in the Navy that spoke Spanish what a particular word meant. Any word at any time, I’d get the same answer. It usually went like this:

“We (whoever it might have been) use it to mean XXX. Dominicans use it as YYY, I knew a Peruvian that said it meant ZZZ.”

However, most Spanish speaking people I met that weren’t Columbian, almost always said that Columbians thought that they spoke the best Spanish of anyone. Who knows?

But in regards to this article, Democrats are mostly only concerned about Puerto Ricans in the 5 boroughs and New Jersey. (that’s including those already passed on, but still have a name available for a ballot)

TugboatPhil on May 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Surely racial-ethno-baiting has finally jumped the shark.

J.E. Dyer on May 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Sharks are usually quite good at quickly jumping on the bait.

The first clue they should have that they are creating a solution for a non-existent problem is when the bait jumps the shark.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on May 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I caught the end of the segment on Sunday, but didn’t know what they were selling. Good to know.

El_Terrible on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

This is idiotic. IdioticStupid. Idiotipid. Stupiotic…

J.E. Dyer

Indeed.

Olo_Burrows on May 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Weren’t there questions raised (on the left, of course) several years ago about whether Cubans should be counted as members of La Raza, because they don’t hold to the plantation estancia?

PKO Strany on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 AM

The great truth behind the Pew poll is that Hispanics/Latinos have largely resisted the Institutional Left’s attempts to herd them into the uniquely American Hispanic/Latino construct. Individual Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, et. al are free to assimilate into the mainstream when they do not get sucked into the “Latino” identity, and the Left knows it (as do media institutions that depend on a steady influx of non-English-speaking, non-assimilated individuals for survival).

HispanicLatino is, ultimately, nothing more than yet another naked attempt at herding individuals from all over Latin America into a single monoblock identity for the purposes of political manipulation. As such, it should be laughed out of the room.

I can’t thank you enough for publishing this opinion. It is so accurate as to make more than a few Leftwinger’s hubris explode.

Lourdes on May 2, 2012 at 4:20 AM