We will be at the center of the discussion now that the political campaign is in full gear. Sometimes they will refer to us as Latinos and others, as Hispanic. But, what are we?
The question has haunted us for decades. First off, a few points on the subject:
The term Hispanic refers to regions, not race. For example, it's used to refer to any person, regardless of race, color or creed, whose origins come from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America.
Other definitions point out to Hispanic as someone related to a Spanish speaking culture, rather than race or region.
And listen to this: Latino is often refered to countries or cultures that were under the Roman dominion. And here we include France, Italy and Spain. Brazilians are considered Latinos but not Hispanic, because they don't speak Spanish.
We can add, on this aspect, that the term Hispanic refers to folks or cultures from countries that were under the rule of Spain, like Mexico, Central and South America.
Here in the US, it seems that the term Latino has more political clout while the term Hispanic has less of a punch.
Political candidates, like Obama and Romney, like to use the word Latino as well as activists.
What is the politically correct way of describing us? I incline myself with the term Hispanic although Latino is fine too.
One last thing. Watch out when you use the word immigrant. You may be Hispanic but if you were born, let's say, in Puerto Rico, you are not an immigrant because you are a US citizen.
Best way to refer to us? Be especific. If you came from Guatemala, you are a Guatemalan, a Guatemalan immigrant, that is.
In the end, we are all human, with our different accents, cultures and traditions.
Source: Eduardo Orbea