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2010 US Census




7 members have voted

  1. 1. What should I put as my race for the US Census?

    • White
    • Black, African Am., or Negro
    • American Indian or Alaskan Native
    • Chinese
    • Korean
    • "Reply Hazy, ask again later"

I'm at a bit of a loss. For those that don't quite understand why their Chicano and Latino friends are a bit bemused this week, Hispanic is no longer considered a race by the census. It's an ethnicity. I'm not entirely certain of the difference, or why the various Chinese races were lumped together but Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean were separated out.


As I mentioned in one of my first entries, I am racially mixed. A Mestizo, which is culturally and traditionally it's own catagory as opposed to White or Native. That this is not an option on the census is interesting, to say the least.


My parents have put White on theirs. I will probably do the same, though the last option is a strong temptation. A friend of mine put, "I don't know. You tell me."


Edit: BTW, I didn't explicitly say, but if you go far enough back, there is representation of all the above choices in my family's geneology.


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There are three basic groups. Hispanic is the most general term, used for people that trace their heritage to one of the Spanish speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. This includes people still currently living in those countries. Latino is an American term, refering to people that live in the United States but either immigrated themselves or are descended from immigrants from a Latin American country. Finally, Chicano is for people that were born in the United States but are culturally Latino. Now, I am all three Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano, but my father is not Chicano. My mother is arguably not any of these, since her family's residency in this part of the country predates its American possession, so she is not the child or grandchild of immigrants. Her family didn't have to immigrate, the US came to them.


Hope this helped.

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This is interesting, I actually don't know what Hispanic entails, vs Latino, etc. :(

Wikipedia has a rather thorough discussion of the term Hispanic. It comes form the Latin word Hispania which referred to the Iberian peninsula. Latin also referred to the area that is now Portugal as Lusitania. The meaning of Hispanic has changed over the years with the expansion of the Spanish Empire and the subsequent expansion of the US. Hispanic can now refer to anyone from Spain or any other Spanish-speaking country.


I tend to think in terms of: Hispanic = Spain; Latino = anyone from Mexico, Central or South America , including Brazil; Chicano = I don't know what other than people who call themselves that.


It can be confusing and the Census Bureau changes its definition of Hispanic every time it takes a census. I used to hear the term "Latin Lover" frequently and understood it to mean a playboy from Spain, Portugal, France, or Italy (four of the six countries with languages derived directly from Latin) or from any Latin American country.

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