Late last night, my father and I talked about how the ethnic term Latino mislabels Indigenous and mixed-Indigenous Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Puerto Rican, etc.. For a long time, he and I believed Latino and Hispanic correctly defined the Spanish-speaking mixed-Indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. His argument was, “We speak Spanish. We dance to Spanish music. We have Spanish names. We live in Spanish towns. That’s what makes us Latinos.”
As we crossed the George Washington Bridge, I looked at the Hudson River and wondered, Why is this so? Why would this make sense to us? I mean, it is true. We speak Spanish and practice Spanish culture fused with Indigenous and African elements. But my family is also Indigenous. We have Indigenous ties that should not be overlooked. I thought hard about how to politely counter argue his belief. His opinion. His Latino identity.
“So I guess that means Filipinos…
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