Sure, it makes things a little messy for the moment, but thing’s always get messy before they get better. Take for instance this dust-up having to do with Latino identity: the recent Pew Hispanic Center survey that found that a majority of Latinos prefer to identify by familial national origin, and not by imposed terms such as Latino or Hispanic.
This was a great revelation to non-Latinos. But to those of us within the community it was nothing new. We’ve been having this discussion among ourselves for many years.
Still, we comply with the official boxes, because those are the choices given. But the truth is that no one asked us if we agreed with the choices to begin with. And, let’s face it, knowing ourselves as we do, we’re glad they didn’t – we’d never finish the argument.
But now there’s a coalition of sorts, of advocacy groups, that says it has a solution to the Latino identity conundrum – in fact it says it’s had one for a while, even suggested it to the proper authorities, but to no avail so far. According to a report in America Global News:
“In late May of this year, we and other Central American activists will meet with Census officials to demand they add each of the Central American countries to the 2020 Census form,” Francisco Rivera, president of the National Central American Roundtable, told Efe.
That’s a lot of choices. But isn’t that how the Pew study said Latinos self-identified?
The idea behind this request is that if Latinos are given proper choices there will be a more accurate count of Latinos in the U.S. And that makes sense given the Pew survey results. But – isn’t there always a but? – isn’t the problem caused by choices to begin with?
Why aren’t Caucasians given those choices? Italy, Ireland, Germany?
See, Latinos are criticized for hyphenating their American identity – as in Mexican-American – but we’re given that identity as a choice in official forms. Other cultural/ethnic groups who don’t hyphenate their identity are never asked to make a similar choice. Why is that? And how would expanding those choices help?
I don’t know that it would or that it wouldn’t, I only know that we’ve shaken the snow globe and kicked-up some dust. And I’m comfortable with that because I know it leads, eventually, to a settling.
[Photo By Comedy_nose]