The categorization of Hispanics is kind of an interesting concept to me. For whatever reason it was decided Hispanic was a label of heritage as opposed to other categories that were a label for race, but the problem is there is no label for race for Latin Americans or South Americans because of it. It’s the same way we seem to label Middle Easterners as Caucasian - they’re clearly distinct in appearance, culture, regional origins, and ethnicity, but we still categorize them this way.
How we define and judge race in this country is absurd in a lot of ways. I still get a little bothered by categorizing “black” and “white” as it is, because neither adequately describe a persons actual ancestry. People who we define as black and white literally come from every corner of the world. Same with anything which groups an entire continent together. But that’s almost always what we do. People complain when Native American tribes are not recognized as individual cultures but we do this with every culture. We categorize them based strictly on appearance, which is not only very Western-centric but doesn’t even recognize the cultures within our own country that are derived from peoples’ heritages.
The Hispanic label is one of the strangest examples, since it basically means someone who is Hispanic must self-identify as a separate race, none of which adequately define a Latin American or South American. You basically have to be Spanish (or biracial) to have a direct link to any of the races to choose from. But aside from the root language, Latin and South America are both very far removed from Spain, to linking them all together through that common heritage is about as foolish as having all Americans identify as British or all Canadians as French.
But, that’s just my little rant on the subject. Either we need to diversify how we measure diversity in this country (what a novel concept there…) or we at least need to revise it so it isn’t as limiting and so we aren’t feeding into this continuing concept of “black vs. white”, putting people who don’t fall on either side of the color spectrum in positions like what you described.
- Mod Dawes Sr.
Hispanic isn’t meant to be a race though! It’s an ethnicity. Latin Americas that are considered Hispanic are called so because of their shared history of colonization with Spain. Spain influenced those countries longer than Britain did America. Additionally, the effects of Spain on Latin America are far stronger than those of Britain in the US.