In order to clarify the above writer, the Hispanic name is actually given to a person that identifies herself/himself as such and is not base on color of skin or other physical aspects. See email above.
The Editor for the PARHF, Inc.
I am a descendant of first generation Portuguese heritage. Some time around the mid '90's I received (as a supervisor) notification that Portuguese is now considered "Hispanic". I have tried since that time to verify this as needed when filling out a job application etc. Is there such a law? I would appreciate any help you can give. L Sharp
José Mauricio Gonzales Praxedes of Brazil - Portuguese speaking people are NOT Hispanic. I am from Brazil and I do NOT consider myself Hispanic, but I believe in a certain "relativeness" between Hispanics and Lusofonos, because we're certainly still Latin American, but I believe that, because of Ignorance, USA doesn't recognize Portuguese speaking people as "a unique form of Latinidade" as I see Brazilian people, we're still Latinos, but in a Very Unique way .I have great respect and admiration for all the Hispanic culture and language, I consider Portuguese related and Hispanic related culture as cousin brother cultures and I am proud of having such wonderful cultures like Mexican or Chilean on the same big umbrella of the Latin American Culture, but We, Portuguese speaking people are not Hispanic. We're Lusófonos, From the Great Unified Portuguese Speaking Latin America called Brazil.
I agree with the position put forth on this website regarding who is Hispanic and who is not. Portuguese people should definitely check "white" on census forms as should Europeans from Spain. Hispanic refers to the Spanish and Portuguese speaking, largely mixed race people of the Americas and the Caribbean. Even so, I notice the media lumps all people who speak Portuguese or Spanish into one group: Hispanics or Latinos, which is just ridiculous. I have a friend who is of Portuguese ancestry, with a Portuguese surname (Mendonça), but she is actually of mixed race (East Indian and African). She could consider herself a Latino, but the point is she did not come from Europe.
I am second generation Portuguese-American with both sides of my family having roots in the Azores. My children's father was born in Mexico. His parents are Basque. We have had this discussion about being Iberian forever, but here we are considered Mexican and I no longer bother to debate it with the well meaning officials who look at our names and send us forms in Spanish or point me into the non English speaking lines. Oh, and try talking about the exploration of the New World with teachers who do not know the difference between Spanish and Portuguese, where Catholics are a minority and sometimes even referred to as "the cult of Mary". -I check Latino when possible even crossing out Hispanic as we are not historically Spanish. Theresa Echeverria -
The similarities of the Spanish language and culture and our own cannot be denied, after all, we have a very similar past; culturally, as well as ethnically. But, what the US Census presumes is "Hispanic" does not define the European whites of Spain & Portugal. Like the Italians, Irish, Greeks and others, we have had to endure the American "Nordic" perceptions of what a "white" person should look like. We may have many dark-skinned people in our homogeneous population, but we are still European, and we are still White. The question of whether we are Hispanics is just ridiculous -- it has no merit. Portuguese people should check in "White" on the question of race, not "other" or "Latino/Hispanic". The reason is simply because the US government is attempting to count the Spanish speaking minorities -- not us. This is offensive to many Latin Americans, and rightly so, because many of them are from pure white racial lines -- especially people of Uruguay, Argentina; and to a lesser extent, Brazil. Indeed, many are from northern European roots and have fair complexion. But that's not for the Portuguese to argue. Yes we're Latin, from Hispania (Iberian Peninsula) -- but, we're not Latinos or Hispanics (Latin America). The "Latin vs. Latino" argument is simply too confusing (and boring to most) to attempt to explain, so please just check "White" and save yourself the aggravation. Thanks, Mike Costa -
Hello, I just finished reading the "Hispanic or Portuguese?"debate, which I found extremely interesting. However, I have a question of my own.
What led me to your website was a google search containing the words "Luso-American" and "definition". I am the product of a Swedish mother and an Azorean Portuguese father. I am clearly not "Luso-American" because I am of mixed blood. I do not, however, consider myself "white" or simply "American".
In the past, persons of mixed blood have been called "mestiço"---but that term usually refers to persons of mixed European (particularly Spanish) and Amerindian blood. The term "creole/crioulo"---"A person of European heritage born in America" comes to mind, although, if I am not mistaken, the term "creole" also has its roots in Spanish colonization of the Americas.
One Portuguese dictionary provides the following definitions of "mestiço" and "crioulo":
crioulo adjectivo aborígene; autóctone; diz-se do dialecto português falado na América e em alguns pontos da África, nomeadamente em Cabo Verde; substantivo masculino indivíduo descendente de europeu nascido na América; dialecto dos crioulos; negro nascido no Brasil; (De cria+-olo, ou do cast. criollo, «id.») mestiço adjectivo e substantivo masculino que ou aquele que é proveniente de pais de raças, variedades ou subespécies diferentes; o m. q. Misto híbrido; mulato; (Do lat. tard. mixticîu-, de mixtu-, «misturado»)
According to these definitions I *could* be considered either a "mestiço"---"misto"---a "mixture" or a "crioulo"---"indivíduo descendente de europeu nascido na América". I might even be considered both.
Please know that I am not writing this email merely for the sake of posing this question. I am doing a research paper and I urgently need to know: what am I? Is there a name for someone like me, someone who is "half" Portuguese?
Is this even taken into consideration or would I simply be deemed "American"? Any information or answers you may provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Valéria Souza-
-As a Portuguese-American I have mixed feelings about being termed "Hispanic." To me, I think of a person of Spanish and Native or of Spanish and Black blood that came from South America or the islands of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
However, I do consider myself a Latina and feel that the U.S. needs to ratify the term Latino to include Portuguese people and to make the term Hispanic refers to people of South America that are of mixed ancestry. I do think this forum needs to stay open and we need more Portuguese to recognize the fact that by pure definition we are Latinos, not Hispanics, Puerto Ricans and others of mixed ancestry are Hispanic, but the Portuguese and the Spaniards own the term LATINO.
Most importantly, the Portuguese people must recognize that we are not plain old white people, we have a rich lineage that includes Arabic and in such islands as Madeira it includes blacks that were brought over as Slaves. Hence, why I am so adamant in not being called white or plainly European, I am Latin.
p.s. I check off Latino, if the term Hispanic is the only choice I check off Other and write in Latino. Maria Clara-