Dear Isabelle Maria,

You are right. People should not be labeled, much less stereotyped. All it does is divide people and prejudge them. We should all try to treat people as individuals. But it's so hard in this crazy society and world.

As far as South Americans not having their own identity: Do you mean racially or ethnically? Well...they are not the only people on this earth who are not so-called "pure" (whatever that means...again, there we go again with dividing and labeling):

Russians were conquered by Genghis Khan, a Mongolian, many years ago. The blood flows in their veins. There is an old Russian saying, "scratch a Russian and you'll find a Tatar". Most African Americans have European ancestry (whether the United States wants to admit it or not). We know about the "mixing" that happened in Latin America, courtesy of Spain and Portugal, etc. Even the Portuguese and Spaniard are mixed: Moors, Romans, Celtics, Germanic, Jewish, etc., passed through the Iberian Peninsula. Where do you think Nuno Bettencourt and Antonio Banderas got their gorgeous, dark looks from?

No one is pure. If you go way, way back, everyone, even the most blondest, blue-eyed person from Iceland, originated from Africa. Any anthropologist, scientist and biologist will back that up.

There is only one race. The human race. So all this division among people is just a plain waste of time.

Take care.

Diana Castro

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I am from Lisbon, portugal. I am 35 years old and I think that people in the states are super confused about ethnicity. What do the real latins (Romanian, French, Portuguese , Italians and Spanish) have in common with South americans. Not much really.
I feel bad for South American people it is like they cant have their own ethnicity. They are always trying to find a new name for them.

Off course the portuguese are not hispanic the kingdom of Portugal was established before the kingdom of Spain. I don't even think that Spaniards are Hispanic, they are just Spanish.

One cannot take people from different continents and group them all into a group. Latin is merelly a language root not a race.

Although I think people from South America are wonderful people with such rich culture what do I a girl from Lisbon have to do with for example " Mexico"

Hispanic can only meen latin when refering to the peoples of countries conquered by Spain.

And if hispanic meens brown skin then the blonde people in Argentina would then be non-white. And most children from Spain are blonde anyway when they are little and their hair becomes darker later so then are they born white and become brown later?

Another thing we don't call any of the original peoples of Africa that speak French or Portuguese Latins. Why? Because they are African.
It would be wiser to group people by country and then Continent. Actually, we should not group people at all.

Isabelle Maria Fernandes Tomas Mcfadden, Seal Beach, California

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I would just like to clear something up so people will not make this mistake in the future. Hispanic is a word made by the United States government for the census. It has nothing to do with the word "hispana". The word hispanic means you are a person from a country that speaks Spanish. So if you are of Portuguese decent and you put on a peace of paper that you are hispanic you are lying.
Marcelo Aguilar

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Wow. I've enjoyed reading these entries. I am not of Portuguese descent but my father is southern Italian and my mother is mostly Anglo-saxon.I guess that makes me "Anglo-Latin'?

If I were Portuguese, I would not want to call myself 'Hispanic' as Portugal is not/never was a colony of Spain and the Portuguese language is quite distinct from Castellano spoken in Spain. Suffice to say that even though Caucasian is the 'White' race, not all Caucasians are really that white. People from India or North Africa can be quite dark but are still Caucasians. I remember back in high school, one of my teachers said that she needed to take a count of all 'non-white' kids. There were no blacks in my class but the teacher asked for kids who were Asian or Spanish or Italian. I immediately became embarrased. Having blondish hair and blue eyes, I always thought that I was white. It seems ridiculous that a person with my complexion would be considered non-white based on some idiotic governmental classification system but there are plenty of Italians, Greeks, Spanish or Turkish Americans that are quite dark and appear to be visually quite different from Northern Europeans.

I agree that they should have a 'Mediterranean' category or something on forms to break down the white race into subgroups. Why should an Italian or Portuguese-American be lumped into the same group as a Norwegian? I read that in Brazil, they have a panel that judges your race/ethnicity by appearance. You may be called 'white' even if you have Black African ancestry-it all depends on your appearance. I mean, isn't it ridiculous that someone like Cameron Diaz or Emilio Estevez can claim to be 'non-white' or Multiracial when they have blond hair and blue eyes and fair skin? Also, let's be historically AND politically correct. Italians are more Latin than probably anybody else in the world today. They occupy the same space [Italy, Rome] as the original Latins and the language is closer to pure Latin than Spanish, French, Portuguese or Romanian [In Italian, as in Latin, the plural of most words is designated by use of an 'e' at the end of the word as opposed to an 's' as in French or Spanish]. That said, Italy has been occupied by Greeks, French, Spaniards, Moors, Vikings and various other people over the centuries. I may not be 'Latino' as in 'LatinoAmericano' (often a mestizo or mullato person from Latin America) but I am definitely 'Latin-American' as an American of Italian descent.

Rick Pavia or Riccardo Prospero Pavia

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Portuguese-Americans and Hispanic by George Perry, Ph. D.

 

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  • Updated:
    November 18, 2011