border politics

What Is Latino?


In America, the term Latino is difficult to define as ethnically many Americans define themselves with various labels. Likewise, the term Hispanic is also difficult, not only because of how individuals label themselves but because whitewashing and the great replacement theory have distorted the meaning of the word Hispanic.

Hispanic is an ethnicity that can belong to white, Black and other races. Most Latinos belong to the white race. Newt Gingrich recently espoused another term commonly used to create the illusion that Hispanics are not part of America when he used the term to define the people who belong in America as “traditional, classic Americans.”

America’s leadership over the years has not tried to correct the framing of what it is to be a Latino in America by encouraging the term Hispanic officially to segment the population without allowing for the fact that Latinos can belong to any of the races. Thus, most Americans find it surprising to learn that most Latinos are white. That is not to say all are white, because Latinos are Native-American, Asian and Black. Although Hispanic is not a race – it is an ethnicity – for years many U.S. government forms gave the impression that Hispanic was a race.

The latest census notes that Latinos grew 23% over the last ten years, while whites, that are not Hispanic grew a modest 4.3% over the same period. Whether the growth disparity is due to actual population growth or how the latest census allowed for more inclusive self-identification or both is unknown as the two are not compatible for racial comparison.

However, it is highly likely that Latinos outpaced those who identify as white, non-Latinos.

Most interesting is that the latest census data shows that Americans who define themselves as multiracial grew at an astonishing rate of 276%, from 9 million on 2010 to 33.8 million. “America is much more multiracial and more diverse than” in the past says the United States Census Bureau in its 2020 Census Statistics Highlight Local Population Changes and Nation’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity report published on August 12, 2021.

Those who identify themselves as white alone or in combination, meaning white and multiracial, comprise 71% of America’s population according to the 2020 Census data. When you filter the data with the label Hispanic or Latino the result is 50.8%.

For Texas, those who identify as white alone or in combination make up 67% and when the Hispanic label is added, the result is 62.4%.

America is multiracial and Latino. How it will play out on the national narratives will be interesting to see in the coming years, especially in the 2021 mid-term national elections.

However, the fact remains that America is fundamentally multiracial and increasingly Latino making Newt Gingrich’s ideal of a “traditional, classic American” more colorful than Gingrich would like to believe.

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