Mon. and Wed. 10:35-12:00 pm
Chicano Politics Ch.1
Latino is such a common word used by many, but what really defines someone to be called a Latino? To be defined as a Latino simply means to have some sort of Spanish origin. Most Latinos think of themselves in terms of their own national-origin group (Honduran, Cuban, Argentine etc.), and this subgroup identification is an important component of the core definition of community (Garcia, John A., Latino Politics in America pg.2). The US Government has defined people of the South and Central America, and other Spanish Cultures as Latinos or Hispanics to simplify the identification of people who are of Spanish-origin.
Rather than examining and assessing each national-origin group in terms of “its own political needs and status,” such labeling converts them from a diverse and complex mix of groups into a simplified and more manageable package of a new “ethnic group” (Garcia, John A., Latino Politics in America pg.4). There has been an ongoing discussion within the Latino community on whether Latinos comprise as an ethnic group or a racial group. The two are very distinct and consists of different factors. Racial groups are manly defined on physical appearance and biological factors. On the other hand ethnic groups define themselves more on cultural values and practices, language and a shared similar historical experience.
According to the 200 census over 13 million Americans checked the “some other race” option, and Latinos/Hispanics constituted more than 95 percent of this category (Garcia, John A., Latino Politics in America pg.4). This leaves us wondering if Latinos consider themselves as a racial group or an ethnic group. It seems to be a mixture of both which mainly depends on one’s self-identification. Although many Latinos seem to view themselves as a racial group rather than an ethnic group