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View Poll Results: Is the context of the usage of the term Hispanic appropriate as a designation?
Yes; it's appropriate in the regard that it recognizes that Latin American's are legitimately ''minorities.'' 14 21.21%
No; It's an inappropriate designation that was created as a crafty political device. 45 68.18%
I am not acquainted enough with this subject to judge. 7 10.61%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-05-2008, 08:58 PM
 
Location: California
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Maybe we should read this article: ‘Hispanic’ Means What?
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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''There's a BIG difference in what the Italians "stepped into" back in 1900, and what the Mexican illegals are encountering today.....''

Yes, there are political differences. Generally, the United States sees a bigger need in Mexican immigrants. Obviously, both the United States and Mexico disregards U.N. quotas. Unlike Asians, Eastern Europeans and Middle Easterners, most Mexican immigrants only choose the United States (and sometimes Canada - however, are usually more economically stable and educated).

The media pumps into people in this country that Mexico is a third-world country. They aren't though. Although they might seem like they live horrible compared to the other's in North America, they aren't all that bad internationally. As I said to people on there, if I were starving and needed food, by 100 times, I'd prefer to be a rural Mexican village over most places in central Africa. The government and media want Americans to believe that they have no other way of living but to come here. And because most Mexican's that immigrate to this country are virtually the poorest of their country, it doesn't seem overwhelmingly difficult to buy into.

A much more accessible and better option would be to take it up a notch, acquire education and move to Mexico City. It's a large city where you can make money and many have internationally immigrated to.

Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, but most actually do immigrate to this country legally. Some people are actually stupid enough to believe Mexican immigrants physically crossed illegally and may magically live in New Jersey. What did they all jump on Greyhound to endure an over-expensive lifestyle? lol Most don't literally cross that river in southern Texas, jump over a small fence or dig underground tunnels. The more common illegal part comes when they don't re-new their visas. This is a problem for non-Mexican immigrants too. It just sounds juicier to pound it on them though because of the fact that they're the most commonly social acquainted immigrant group in this country.

Although this isn't all to the blame of the media (but American stereotypes too), most people believe they know a Mexican immigrant by just ''seeing them.'' How the hell could that be possibly? Because people think a group of 5 ''Aztec-Mexican looking'' people on the side of a street corner equates to ''illegal immigration?'' Who are they to judge? How does anyone not know that they aren't legal construction workers and possibly U.S. citizens? Most Mexican immigrants don't even do that kind of work. You couldn't know who is an illegal immigrant by just looking. It would be severely invasive and politically incorrect to insinuate this upon someone too. What people should do is assume that all people who reside in this country are fluent in English and are American citizens, unless notified otherwise. If you are to think otherwise, you should receive some sort of communication directly from such a person.

Italian immigrants are similar in the regards that both are catholic, needed work and were high in a population wave. Both were the most common immigrated group's of their day. The difference is that Mexican immigration has lasted longer and Mexico's economy has never gotten it together. You are right though, no group could be compared to the unique situation Mexican immigrants have gotten. The only other group I could honestly say have had a better situation when arriving to this country in recent memory are Cubans. Even though the physical journey of the post-1959 era that went to south Florida was highly stressful, most were well-educated and middle/upper-middle class from Cuba. Cuban immigrants (and Cuban-Americans) have taken political control of that city.

It is legally acknowledged as soon as they stepped on our shores, they were immediately given legal status (unless they had a criminal history - which most don't). Immigrants are also not looked down upon in south Florida because most of their city descends from post-WWII immigration. Most new Latin American immigrants in that city (i.e. Nicaraguans, Mexicans) know that they could intend on following the trend of those who recently came before them.

Italians were treated like garbage and largely under-valued and knew the only way to break out of this shell would be to assimilate. Most people of Italian descent don't actually realize what they're ancestors had to break through to acquire a mainstream middle-class stature. They were similar in some ways to modern-day Mexican immigrants, but not all.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc0127 View Post

Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, but most actually do immigrate to this country legally. Some people are actually stupid enough to believe Mexican immigrants physically crossed illegally and may magically live in New Jersey. What did they all jump on Greyhound to endure an over-expensive lifestyle? lol Most don't literally cross that river in southern Texas, jump over a small fence or dig underground tunnels. The more common illegal part comes when they don't re-new their visas. This is a problem for non-Mexican immigrants too. It just sounds juicier to pound it on them though because of the fact that they're the most commonly social acquainted immigrant group in this country.

.
Well, you seem to be well-read. I certainly agree that Mexico is by no means a particularly poor country at all--it is probably well above the "median" of the world's economies. The huge immigration from Mexico, IMO, is driven largely by Three factors---laziness, opportunism, and geography.

*Laziness"..By that I mean the wealthy "movers and shakers" in Mexico are "lazy", and not inclined to feel obligated to democratize their society. The "easy" (lazy) thing to do is just allow their disgruntled "problem people" to leave. This neatly gets rid of the 'excess mouths' (roughly ten percent of the population has thus been 'exported'). It allows the "Big Boys" to continue with 'business as usual', and has the neat 'side effect' of plowing MILLIONS of dollars in remittances back into Mexico, from those "abroad" (read 'here'). Mexico wins BOTH ways.....

*Opportunism"--even those Mexicans who do work have an easy way to get a much better 'deal' without TOO much risk. They can simply cross the border and "give it a shot'. The 'payoff' is a 4 or 5-fold increase in income...and the risks are minimal. There's little chance of prosecution or even deportation, once you're past the border. It's like a "Crap" game--once you've survived that first scary "roll", the odds are in your favor. If you DO "crap out" early on, you can simply try again in a day or so. In some ways, Mexican immigration resembles "internal' migration--moving across state lines for simple economic reasons, not any profound desire for a "new life"...Mexicans don't want "freedom from communism", or "Naziism", or "Tyranny"---they just want money and a social 'support network'. When they first arrive, they don't usually want to "become Americans", they want to become richer Mexicans...(some eventually DO decide to 'assmilate'..usually just for personal reasons, or because their kids pressure them)

*Geography"--Mexico, by simple fate, happens to be "right here". No other 'donor' nation shares this distinction. The nearness of the USA gives Mexico a tremendous incentive NOT to do anything about the situation. The 'safety valve" obviates the need for improvement. It's been said that if Mexico were next to India or China, it would either have to 'shape up' in a HURRY and take care of its poor---or descend into bloody revolution. The presence of the US means this unpleasantness can be avoided.
Geography ALSO enables Mexicans to retain their culture. A steady stream of fresh new arrivals, and the ability to "go home" several times per year (or per MONTH), means that Mexicans aren't 'cut off' from their country like other immigrants who arrive here. They don't have to make a 'choice'.

Not sure where you get your info about overstaying visas, but I can ASSURE you that numerous people do, in fact, 'walk across'--no visa involved. I've known many illegal Mexicans over the years. Many are SURPRISINGLY candid about their status (or WERE, until a few years ago). They see "illegal status" as nothing more important than an expired car registration, or adding a room without a building permit. (Many "locals" here, in 'friendlier times', AGREED with them) Illegal immigration was regarded as a "victimless crime", until the rancorous events of the past decade or so. The noisy "activists" spoiled it for many--PLUS the huge increase in sheer numbers, AND the moving out into 'respectable' jobs. It's now added up to a much 'tenser' situation.

Never met too many people who ever claimed to be able to "see" someone's illegal status...don't know where you got that idea. But there certainly are behaviors engaged in by MANY illegals that would never be seen in Mexican-Americans. Mexican-Americans are VERY seldom inclined to solicit day labor on street corners, for example. I DID once meet such a guy, who had actually been BORN in California, and WAS legally a citizen. His parents had taken him to Mexico in infancy, and he'd only been "back here" a few weeks. But that's VERY unusual. Most folks here legally find one or MORE steady jobs, and leave the 'soliciting' to the 'mojados'....USUALLY, that is..

Last edited by macmeal; 02-05-2008 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Spaniards aren't even hispanic -- so the term isn't really linguistic and I know people of the SW USA whose families haven't been speaking Spanish for several generations and also "hispanic" generally includes Central American Indians who speak no Spanish. There are Mexicans whose first language is German.

The word makes little sense because someone of a Cuban background certainly has a different culture than someone from Mexico or Puerto Rico. Each country has it's own culture, history, traditions, ethnicities, holidays, politics and so on.

"Hispanic" doesn't describe immigration status -- some people of the SW USA never actually immigrated to the USA, and many so-called hispanics are foreign citizens here illegally.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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You make very good points. Obviously, we both know that ''illegal'' immigration has become a more tense situation over the past decade. One of the biggest reasons is our sluggish economy. People basically have needed to blame someone else for their economic misfortunes.

For those who go to places that are geographically further than a place like New Jersey or Connecticut, planes are obviously more common. Usually, there is a larger diversity of jobs Mexican immigrants are to do in these areas. Over-staying visas is more of a problem in this part of the country. Because Mexican immigrants are not the leading immigrant here (not that there is a clear one), they kind of are just like any other group and tend to be overshadowed. It's not really a problem on the east coast, so I'd obviously be a lot less acquainted with this issue than those who live out west.

Most people don't assume who are immigrants, because most people don't base their information off elevated stereotypes. It's done indirectly though. It's kind of like this. Sometimes you hear about poor immigrants bussing tables in diners. A 17 year old American kid might just get pissed off that he didn't get his job because a 28 year old Mexican immigrant got it over him. People would assume because of how low-paying the job is, that it must mean he has to be both illegal and off the books, even though this isn't usually true. People like to point the finger when they don't get there way. That's just apart of human nature. People like to belittle others to make themselves feel better.

Those ''mojados'' you described are the typical stereotypical image of what people want to believe Mexican immigrants are. The media helps reinforce this into people by showing them in movies and connect them to this politically incorrect stereotype. Than because most Americans can't intelligently create an intelligent way of looking at this, they can't get past what they were taught in the movie. Than when they drive past a corner in an area with a high foreign-born population that has people who appear to be those ''mojados'', they come to the assumption that they're low-class (although admit they're hard-working), desperate (and off the books) and illegal.

Although I believe illegal immigration is definitely regarded much higher than more important issues (i.e. like taking better care of the hurricane victims), I believe it's important that something gets re-constructed in this. Although Mitt Romney comes off as nasty (and really pathetic sometimes), he makes good points about this issue. He says no one deserves a special privilege. Where he lacks an argument is that he doesn't get into detail like all of us do. It's undeniable that Mexican immigrant's are given a special privilege. The fact that both governments and the people are economically benefiting is the reason why thing's haven't and probably won't change much.

It's a game of politics. Truthfully, they don't deserve a special privilege, but no one would tell you that. There America's ticket to a bigger population, military and continuing expansion of suburbs. They've also served as attention decoy that invades the economic assimilation of inner-city African-Americans. I'm not blaming Mexican immigrants for this, but rather the government that is craftily managing thing's this way. The only way things will change is if Mexico stabilizes or America had competent officials who were able to track all illegal immigrants.

The Mexican immigrants who come to this country are kind of like Jason Kidd. Right now, he's the biggest guy on the trading market in the NBA. He's one of the best point guards in the league and is going to be starting in the all-star game. For the past half a decade, the Nets have been a mediocre team. Whether they have him or not, making it well-above mediocrity just isn't going to happen. However, if they were to trade him for draft picks or young guys, it'd be more advantaging to them in the future.

He's paid 20 million a year. In the NBA, if you are getting paid a salary like that, it's actually considered very valuable because so much money comes off the books, which is necessary to sign a player like Kobe Bryant that will command the maximum salary allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. However, a team like the Dallas Mavericks who are good and possibly one significant player away from winning a championship see value in a player like him.

Much of this comparison works similarly with Mexican immigrants. Internationally speaking regarding issues such as economics, infant mortality and literacy, Mexico ranks as mediocre kind of like the New Jersey Nets. Mexico has too many people, like Jason Kidd is getting paid too much money. Mexico would benefit by dumping off people (like cap space). And America would be like the Dallas Mavericks (a good basketball - like the U.S. which is rich compared to most of the world - although not like the Boston Celtics who'd be like Japan). Basically, America sees a lot of value in them. They feel they can mesh in well because they are Christian, have been well-acquainted to corruption and won't challenge the leader's in this country because they're not wealthy enough and too ''scared'' of being deported.

Remember though, this is a game of politics. Republicans might not be managing this country well, but they aren't as stupid as most people think. They know who their views can relate to. They know the most conservative people are going to vote for them. Usually, these people put more emphasis on Americanism and aren't as open-minded. They didn't have a problem with illegal immigration a while ago because people didn't baby them into believing it was a bad thing. However, the media forces this stigma upon our citizens. It's like of like monkey see-monkey do.

Where as most Democrats on the other hand wouldn't buy enforce any of this crap. It's not because they live in more ''diverse'' areas, but rather because they know deporting immigrants besides being to difficult to physically do, wouldn't make any political sense. All they would do is stop the expanding population of this country and **** off the Mexican government. No Republican (even like Mitt Romney) would actually ever deport anyone. They're just doing what sounds good to unintellectual rednecks who are to stupid to see what people like us do.

The most interesting guy out of all this to me is Tom Tancredo. All four of his grandparents were Italian immigrants. He was a presidential candidate and is a congressman from Colorado. He says all of us are apart of one culture: the American culture. He says we should only have 10,000 legal immigrants a year. He says the government should help raise the minimum wage to make it more affordable to live. He says he doesn't believe that there is no job that you couldn't find an American for.

For as beautiful as the shaping in which immigration has done for this country, he makes a point that it just might make economical sense anymore. We have too many problems in this country to accept millions of new-comers, especially if it's necessary to provide government assistance. He says that if all of us are American citizens and are intended on being treated equal, than all organizations with the government that involve Blacks, ''Hispanics'' or Asians should be absolved of. Personally, he's right. All of us would live as equals if there was no injection of collectivist ideals that are indirectly pushed upon American citizens by a variety of resources (i.e. job or college applications).

I believe that number would be too low, but I think it is necessary to prevent future illegal immigration and to take a similar approach to Western Europe, Canada, South Africa and Australia. That is to demand more out of the class of the immigrant's who come to our country. We should demand better health, as well as education and economic situations. It would prevent the government from having to splurge loads of money into poorer immigrants to prevent impoverished first and possibly second generation Americans.

That is why most immigrants who go to Canada and Western Europe are potentially middle-class Chinese, Korean, Indian, Middle Eastern, higher-educated West Africans and West Indians. They're ready to make money immediately. They leave the open window to going back home and possibly not feeling the demanding obligation of having to become a citizen of this country. These immigrants help those country's economies. Mexican immigrants do for the future, but not for the day. Our approach of accepting as many as we do will really back-fire if we ever do try to re-fund social security and create socialized medicine (especially if we were to continue the war in Iraq).
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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I really don't understand how the slang word for unire got bleeped out on here lol
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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''Spaniards aren't even hispanic -- so the term isn't really linguistic and I know people of the SW USA whose families haven't been speaking Spanish for several generations and also "hispanic" generally includes Central American Indians who speak no Spanish. There are Mexicans whose first language is German.''

You're right, Spaniards aren't ''Hispanic.'' My view is that no one is ''Hispanic.'' Technically, I guess you could say people are if you play within the lines of the crappy court our government created though, right? It was an injected political device into our political system that the leaders new would be too over the head of the basic citizen in this country. That is why I commonly say ''Latin American.'' Or spanish-speaking Latin America so they aren't confused with French speaking countries like Haiti ; the West Indies, Guyana or other places.

To me, saying that term makes me sound politically incorrect. It also continues the living of political intentions instituted by our government in 1970. To me, Latin American is a geographical definition that could be more politically correct in regard to possible economic, linguistic, cultural and religious similarities. Personally, I believe the ideals of ''race'' or anything we can't solely control are ideas of the old world we should really push away from.

I know that most of us have come to the conclusion (through the responses over the 3 pages and the vote on that question above) that we believe the ethnic/racial part of this classification is inappropriate. Although other's may not feel this way, I believe it's irrelevant and obsolete. People in Latin America pride themselves in their individualism and find better terms to use than this. Plus, even if it was an ''acceptable'' cultural term to represent yourself with, it's been tainted by our American politics over the past 38 years.

You're right, ''Hispanic'' if it were an innocent term isolated from political corruption, it might not be relative to immigration. The people who live in the southwest of Tejano ; or Spanish and/or indigenous are not economically behind the northern-European American descended Protestants. They all do similar jobs and make similar incomes. The only difference is that one may ''look'' different than the general population and that they're much more likely to be Catholic (even if it is just by title). They own their own businesses, drive trucks, work in retail stores, teach in schools, do border patrol and are soldiers just like anyone else. An argument could be made that areas like southern Texas are poorer than most of the country, but that's the same for all in that region.

It was basically created to serve the needs of the poor immigrants. It's upsetting that people who are most American than others would be tied into this poor intentioned term. One way or another, when this term becomes obsolete, the term will dissolve. And people 50 years from now will not know much about this. No one will tell anyone how it got there nor how it left. It will seem awkward to those who lived through out, just like it is to people who were raised and attended high school before 1970. You don't here them commonly expressing their dissatisfaction nor confusion with this term though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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I'm not going to vote in the poll; however, as a "Hispanic" I have to say that the term does not bother me, personally. Yes, I am Spanish-speaking (or the descendent of Spanish-speaking people, as the case may be for some).

I do think that it's important to note how diverse the Hispanic population is. Cubans are not the same as Argentines are not the same as Mexicans. We are all different. In fact, in the Dominican Republic, a very small country, there are three different regional accents. There is so much diversity. Being Spanish-speaking is the one thing that unites us all.

It does bother me when the term is used interchangeably with Mexican. I am not Mexican. I understand that Mexicans are the overwhelming majority of the Hispanic population in the US, but it's your job not to be ignorant and to recognize that there are ~20 Spanish-speaking countries.

I guess Latino would be a better term, especially since it would include the Brazilians.

Either way, I am not bothered by the term Hispanic, and I willingly self-identify as such.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Metropolis
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Due to a large amount racism in Latin countries, you may find that many hispanics are choosing white, when they are in fact mixed. My guess, having lived all over the country that the Hispanic population is about 15% white, 70% mixed, 10% Amerindian and 5% black.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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''I'm not going to vote in the poll; however, as a "Hispanic" I have to say that the term does not bother me, personally. Yes, I am Spanish-speaking (or the descendent of Spanish-speaking people, as the case may be for some).''

You don't have to if you don't want to. I'm not arguing so much about where it's at a technicality in our system today. I wanted to bring people back though. I want to go back to the root's of the beginning of this. Regardless of how you look at this term, it shouldn't be difficult to admit that you would have never used this term if it wasn't implemented by the U.S. government in 1970. Better yet, if you are foreign-born (or have parents or grandparents who were) and who ever it was to stay back, it's be possible you never say that word ever.

Through knowing that knowledge though, there is baggage that comes along with it. That baggage is American politics. Is it worth absorbing this as a title after the American media after the government's creative intentions designed for the term? It's not as if they're open to describing why they create this in the first place. Or the positive and negative aspects to come out of it. It's like something that was done under the table and American citizens are too stupid to realize it.

Even people who fit the criteria of this ancestry don't ask questions. No one asks how or why? How many people knew it was created in 1970? It's never even taught in our education system's history classes. The only way you're going to find out about this kind of thing is if you research on this. It's one thing if someone doesn't take interest in this subject altogether. But to take high levels of one's Latin-American descent in this country and to not be willing to at least know a moderate level of information regarding this ''term'' is pathetic.

''Being Spanish-speaking is the one thing that unites us all.''

Under educational reference, that is true. That should be embraced and I believe it is internationally recognized. Culturally, it can't go that far. Do people who speak English pride themselves in this? It may be more important than they actually realize, but they don't care. People who speak other languages are in the same boat. You just don't think about it.

Likewise to the English language, just because you speak Spanish doesn't mean you are of Spanish descent. Americans have to do a better job at isolating the understanding that the language is not an indication of being of that descent. As sad as it sounds, people have to come to a better understanding that Spanish actually means Spain or a descendant of Spain. I have seen too many times over and over people who are from Latin America (or descendants of) who are obviously black (even if some are mixed, all aren't)
and identify themselves as ''Spanish.'' I know that no one could be that stupid if they believed Spanish = Spain, because mirrors do exist lol People have to come to a better understanding of the diversity within Latin America though (especially people who are of that descent).

The American way of life tells us any kind of unification is good. However, this isn't always necessarily true. Sometimes, separation is necessary to preserve, recognize and continue culture properly. There is no way to properly combine Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican culture. Surely, you couldn't do that with the United States, Australia and Jamaica with the English language. Or France and Haiti with the French language.

People need to understand there is a separation of linguistics and cultural/ethnic designations. It might sound awkward being that a language is one of the most elevated forms of culture, but it is something many of us do through this world. And within this world, we have our own little world's that others know little of.

I'm not saying it should bother you, but it should at least make you question the integrity of this term. Latino would be more culturally acceptable, but the need to unite yourself with other nationalities for cultural identity is indirectly weakening your culture and making you (and others who do so) appear to be needy on society to allow the continuation of your ''ethnic'' recognition.
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