Hispanic or Latino: Who Are We?

There seems to be a debate raging over whether the term Latino(a) or Hispanic is the proper term for people who were born in, or descended from, the 22 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. 

I use the term Hispanic and Latina interchangeably.  Growing up it was always Hispanic, but the term Latina seems to be in fashion now.  For me, it’s no biggie. I identify with both. However, my Casa Latina partner and cousin, Marlene, is adamant about being called Latina.  She – and many others I have talked to – considers the term Hispanic insulting.  Her now famous line – in our family anyway – is “I don’t ‘hiss’ and I don’t ‘panic’ so I’m not ‘Hispanic’.”  She feels Latina is empowering and Hispanic is derogatory.

Then, of course, there is this issue: which of the 22 Spanish-speaking countries you came from?  If it is Mexico, do you consider yourself more Mexican-America than Latino(a) or Hispanic?  While we recognize the possibility of identifying more with a subcategory than with the more general term, for the purposes of this survey we will stick to Hispanic vs. Latino(a).  Why complicate an already complicated debate?

Casa Latina fans, can we put this debate to an end once and for all?  Do you identify as Latino(a) or Hispanic? Or does it really matter in the end?

[polldaddy poll=3613270]

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3 Responses

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  1. mike
    Aug 13, 2010 - 01:11 PM

    I’ve noticed a shifting pattern here. 10 years ago Hispanic was preferred on the east coast while Latino was preferred on the west coast and south eastern united states. Recently, I’ve seen a greater use of Latino everywhere or both terms used interchangeably. Each term has some connotations tied to it, but I think perhaps those have taken a less prominent role in deciding which term to use.

  2. Heidy
    Aug 13, 2010 - 01:22 PM

    I prefer to be called latino, I identify more.. :))))))
    Latinos del mundo..” ya tu sabe”
    C&C Music Factory And El General – Boricua

  3. Luis Facundo
    Aug 17, 2010 - 03:49 PM

    The real definition to our cultural and ethnic label is: –We will be more powerful if we keep our understanding of who we are. Meaning, —Our ethnicity has being blessed by diversity; since the northern cultures landed in what we call today “The American Continent” and mix-up with native and the African culture was spurs. Nevertheless, we are diverse by nature, accepting several definitions to describe who we are will be wise. We leave in a complex world and an interchangeably society. I take pride that in Anglo-Saxon America people from the Dominican Republic blend a every level some with good outcome and some with bad. At the end the conscience of our heritage make our present predominantly among all others.with good aucome and some with bad. At the end the concient that we like our geritage make our present predominant to all others.


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