HISPANIC OR LATINO?

During the recent Political Conventions and Debates, the question came up frequently as to what to call people. Living in South Florida, we have a microcosm of people (including many friends, co-workers and former clients) who immigrated from many other countries, but, mainly from the Caribbean, or Central or South America. Some are Citizens, Permanent Residents or Visitors. So, Who are They? My question is, do we really have to categorize them, as to being some monolith?

Also, in reality, it is not just a question of Hispanic or Latino. Blacks from the Caribbean prefer to be referred to as Jamaican or Bahamian. People from Brazil, which traces its heritage back to Portugal–not Spain–would not be Hispanic, but perhaps Latino. My wife, from the Philippines, corrects me that she is Asian, not Oriental. To top it all off, I once met a blond, blue-eyed Caucasian Lady from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), who claimed that she was truly African-American–and rightfully so!

For the most part, people prefer to be referred to by their Home Country–Mexican or Mexican-American, Columbian or Columbian-American, Cuban or Cuban-American, etc. Well, similarly, you cannot categorize them politically either. Or economically. But, the real issues goes beyond a name.

Cuban-Americans tend to vote Republican; however, there is starting to be an age differentiation there. The first and second generations of immigrants overwhelmingly vote Republican, because they feel that President Kennedy didn’t adequately support the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961. Keep in mind that, by then, although I have no proof of this, the U.S. might have already been working on (or analyzing) the Missile Stand-Off, with Russia deploying ICBMs to Cuba, which came to a head in 1962. Republicans have certainly played-up to this situation, seeking Cuban-American support

Younger Cuban-Americans don’t tend to fear the two Castro Dinosaurs, and they have their families, careers and roots buried deeply in the U.S. So the younger generations tend to vote pretty much, based on the current issues, rather than Ancient History.

Most others in this discussion, Nationwide, tend to vote somewhat in favor of Democratic Candidates, however many do not feel locked-in, one way or the other. Contrary to popular belief, however, Hispanics/Latinos voted in favor of President Obama in 2008, and recent polls show a reoccurrence of that this coming November, as well.

This situation merely points-out a major problem with the Republican Party, perhaps since they appear to have given control to Evangelical Christians and Tea Party (Backers). The Hispanic/Latino Population currently represents one-in-six Americans; however, their birth rate is higher (one-of-every four) than other Demographic Groups. So, the potential Political Clout of this Group is increasing.

Republicans have done very little to recruit from Hispanic/Latino Demographic Group. Voting against the DREAM Act, making it harder for people to vote, Diabolic Immigration Laws, vowing to de-fund Planned Parenthood* (which provides a wide range of Women’s Health Care, especially in poor and rural areas), are just a few of the ways they are working against this Group.

Jeb Bush, among other prominent Republicans, has encouraged an abrupt change in strategy, rather than have the Party become less and less relevant. But, perhaps the real strength behind the Party–the Super-PACs–are simply not interested.

* Approximately just three percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities involve Abortions, and they are not performed from Federal Funding.  Whether or not you believe in Abortion,  would you fel comfortable in condemning some Woman’s Right to Choose?

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  1. #1 by Marissa Huber on October 17, 2012 - 7:54 PM

    Maybe we just call everyone “American” to avoid all the differences, as we’re all becoming mutts like me anyhow. I do however cringe when I hear Asians referred to as “Oriental”. I find that degrading and a very archaic term with a negative connotation.

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