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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 02-07-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
It's simply a fact of life in most of the world that American styles are "flashy" and "sexy" --(Cars, movies, music)...but if you want "sophisticated", European is the way to go. Even here in the US, "European" style is "chic"...."American" is loud, crass, and "vulgar"...
(California makes some VERY respectable wines, on a par with anything in the WORLD...yet how many years did it take to become "recognized"?...California wines were 'good'...but not 'sophisticated', because only EUROPEANS understood wines)...
I do think that sophisticated Mexicans lean to the more European styles -- maybe because they look to Spain and to some extent France for their styles and so on.

I don't think American styles are all that flashy or sexy -- watch a Mexican awards show sometime -- and the American awards shows will look downright Puritanical by comparison. American style is casual -- very informal. Blue jeans for everything.

You can see that in restaurants here -- the wealthy Mexican tourists go to Pizza Hut dressed up -- and Americans of all races tend to not dress up at all. Or go to church -- and Americans of all races tend to be wearing blue jeans, t-shirts but the Spanish services in the wealthy church you see them dress up quite a lot. In the poor churches that isn't the case but they still dress differently.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:30 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,810,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc0127 View Post
You're right in much in much of what you said. I can notice this cultural scent that comes off other people. I don't know if all have the best idea of this, but it definitely is much of what makes us who we are. I think one thing American's don't do enough is that we don't look into how our culture brings us together. We can deny/ignore such unity, yet undeniably all go on to live on similar lives in every aspect.
One of my experiences was as a college student I studied in Mexico -- and from my school there were a variety of us -- one guy was a "chicano" raised in the Midwest setting out to find himself, his heritage, his "people". Another guy was a blond American -- who happened to pick up languages very readily and was quickly fluent in Spanish -- while the "chicano" guy struggled, couldn't get the rr's right -- nor the d's and t's and j's -- poor thing had a terrible American accent and ended up being pretty out-of-place. Mexicans have a high tolerance for American-looking Americans struggling with Spanish but not so much with a Chicano-looking person speaking the language with great difficulty and a horrendous American accent.

You could almost always spot the Americans. And plenty of people in the big cities like Mexico City are fair-skinned -- but they still don't look or act like Americans.

Culture is interesting -- because even though the USA was once a British colony -- we have gone our separate way from them. I've met a number of people from Barbados and even though they're black, they seem quite a bit more culturally British than Americans do.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I do think that sophisticated Mexicans lean to the more European styles -- maybe because they look to Spain and to some extent France for their styles and so on.

I don't think American styles are all that flashy or sexy -- watch a Mexican awards show sometime -- and the American awards shows will look downright Puritanical by comparison. American style is casual -- very informal. Blue jeans for everything.

You can see that in restaurants here -- the wealthy Mexican tourists go to Pizza Hut dressed up -- and Americans of all races tend to not dress up at all. Or go to church -- and Americans of all races tend to be wearing blue jeans, t-shirts but the Spanish services in the wealthy church you see them dress up quite a lot. In the poor churches that isn't the case but they still dress differently.
I was floundering for words, and "flashy" and "sexy" was a poor choice. I was trying to convey an American tendency to be seen as heavy on novelty of 'gadgetry" as opposed to the more 'refined' European image.

I agree with your interpretation...refined Mexicans do NOT, as a rule, go shopping in shorts, nor do they wear "legible clothing". Some quite affluent Americans do.

Taking it a bit further, though, I'm not so sure this is a particular condemnation of upper-class Americans as hopeless 'slobs', as much as it illustrates a strong belief dear to many Americans that we HAVE no rigid class lines. This of course, is debatable, but I think the affluent Mexican (or MOST other nations' rich) are quite comfortable in the notion that they ARE 'upper class', they ACT the part, and that's that.

There's some puritan streak in the American psyche that makes us very hesitant about "acting upper class". It goes against some long-buried guilt going way back. Now MOST of us Americans, of ANY race or religion, have at least SOME problem with "flaunting" our status--and when we DO, we do it rather awkwardly. WE LOVE to wear our "tux" to the presentation, but we also hurry to "get outta this monkey suit", as soon as the speeches are over..back to the shorts and sandals, ASAP....
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Mexicans have a high tolerance for American-looking Americans struggling with Spanish but not so much with a Chicano-looking person speaking the language with great difficulty and a horrendous American accent.
.
VERY insightful observation, so true. "Mexicans" can be pretty tough on "their own"--whether it's a Mexican criticizing a Mexican-American (as you said) or similar situations. The word "pocho" gets tossed around quite often.

My wife is often scolded for not knowing Spanish (her parents did, but used English more often). But she's a native California Indian, and her few Spanish ancestors were here LONG before the "Mexicans". On 'looks' alone though, she gets 'chided', and actually, in Mexico she simply denies speaking the language at ALL, just to avoid a 'lecture'. I end up as the 'spokesman', and my looks, plus my fair ability in Spanish, do the trick. She gets 'scolded', I get 'smiles'....doesn't seem fair, but that's just culture.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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Well, you're right. I don't mean to come off as sarcastic either, but the fact you identified them all into ''Hispanics'' would probably disprove how most of them actually see it. I know you didn't do it on purpose, but rather out of habit that some have developed in this country. I won't say it without throwing quotes around it (nor literally in reference to the terminology of), because using it would be promoting a continuance of ignorance.

They don't see themselves as one. Outside of language, geography and economics, their interpretation could vary on social aspects could be as different as countries within Europe. Even within the language, it can be spoken differently. Different countries also have different economic situations (i.e. Cuba and Brazil) and different natural resources (i.e. Venezuela's oil).

Each Latin American country has a different way of looking at race for a variety of different reasons. This could range from the demographics (i.e. Uruguay being much more white) to the level of democratization (does everyone have equal economic opportunities and the possible level of socialism). Each nation's history also plays a large role.

The fact that Mexico never had African slavery (with the exception of a statistically insignificant numbers) would obviously show difference into their idea of what ''blackness'' is from a place like the Dominican Republic or Cuba. Because the indigenous population was mostly killed off or just outnumbered, their interpretation of what indigenous identity will be much different than a country like Mexico or Guatemala.

You are right that Middle Easterners are barred from this issue because of how much more important religion is. It can be used as an example when they are to arrive in less religious places like the United States though. Many get caught up in the same social issues that all Americans in the ''gray territory'' do. Their children go to the same schools as everyone else. How they are interpreted obviously varies on which country/region of the Middle East it is their ancestry comes from (i.e. Turkish/Lebanese could be interpreted differently than Saudi Arabian).

The technicalities are often misinterpreted from the norm of what most Americans believe. If you were to tell some rural middle-class white American that a Muslim from the Middle East was white, some act bewildered. Although it's not so much about ''race'', most rural white Americans don't understand the complexity of race. They usually just try to dispute this issue altogether by saying that they're foreign and intentionally recognize their ''social interests'' (religion over race) as a means of what they believe is not having to handle such a complicated interpretation.

Eventually though, when the immigrant generations end and people become less religious, the social issue will come into play. The only thing that will prevent this much more than Latin America's is that they are much lower in numbers and have their own religion that almost no pre-WWII descended Americans are apart of (and if they are - they can't societally understand because they were raised in a country that taught them with Christian values). Likewise to Jews and other religious minorities, they also are more highly concentrated in cities, semi-urban enclaves and suburbs.

''God, it is sad to see Hispanics so overwhelmed by this racial/color stratification thing, even to this day. The vast majority of you are mixed, just accept it and embrace this because you are the future of what the world will be, withoug the racial caste system of course.''

Well, as I noted before, I don't acknowledge ''Hispanic'' existence. Even if I did though, I don't know if you were including me in that statement or not, but I'm not apart of that. I really doubt being 1/8 of Spaniard descent (1/2 Italian, 3/8 Irish) would qualify for such a meaninglessly weak classification. Truthfully, most so-called ''Hispanics'' actually don't rarely think about race. I really doubt this thread is representative of the social consensus of Americans of Latin American descent. Nonetheless, young people. Because they think about race so little (remember everyone in the New York area thinks about race because of this city's racist culture that teaches people to think about it - even if they aren't participating in it), they practically are just like middle-class white suburbanites (in which many literally are).

The fact that you aren't recognizing each individual nation's demographics to correspond to what their actual lineage is purely ignorantly lazy. You can't put all people into one, just like you couldn't call all Americans the same. It isn't apart of American culture to put everyone into one. And it isn't apart of American culture to think about this topic either, which is why it might seem like it's overwhelmingly complicated. There is no ''simple'' way of looking at this. The term ''Hispanic'' is a scapegoat to that realization. It permits laziness.

Under the rules of the pathetic American designation, I wouldn't even agree that the ''vast majority'' are mixed. If the majority is, it's barely. Around 1/3 of Latin America is fully of Spaniard/European descent. These governments have these demographics for you to see. Than there is a population of 5-10% for people of full (or 95%) indigenous descent), and the same could be said to those of African descent.

''just accept it and embrace this because you are the future of what the world will be,''

Well, ''mixed'' is not a synonym for ''Hispanic.'' And many aren't mixed either. If this world is to become much more mixed, it would obviously become with Asia, being that is where over 60% of human-beings live in this world. I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but you just want to believe there mixed to keep life simple, but that just isn't possible.

If you are to believe that life in the separation of ''full white/black/asian'' and ''mixed'', you could make the argument that hellish pandora's boxes could come out of that too. When I talk about percentages and/or fractions, it's not in regard of social reference. I don't expect nor recommend every person know the demographics in detail. Maintaining a demography is a necessary reference to historical preservation though. It is valuable to know the lineage of countries all around this world, because it helps allow this world to become smaller and more connected. Tracing ancestral roots back to places around this globe could be valuable for many reasons (especially without growing technology).

Being that you do acknowledge that some sort of ''caste system'' did (or used to) exist contradicts that you having the belief that there aren't full-whites there. Obviously, there are people who's lineage physically descends from Europe. Just because half of Spanish speaking Latin America is mixed, doesn't mean it's appropriate to designate all of Latin American descent as this. You couldn't even do that in the United States, because you couldn't even know who is to begin with (without discriminatively assuming - and likely being incorrect), further disproving any possible unity in the terminology of what some call ''Hispanicity.''
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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''I truly hope our open mindedness can teach Latin America to abondon, outright racist imagery in their culture.''

Well, that same remark could be similarly be made to more advanced (and intellectual) citizens globally corresponding to most American citizens. Most educated Americans don't think about this issue, even though they do seem to be interested in controversial social issues. Some do think about this though. Most who usually do are either of Latin American descent, or have a bias interest that might draw them into this (i.e. a non-Latin American descended person being married to someone of Latin American descent).

Just how we are socially collaborating about this, people have done this in Latin America do too (and have done longer). Although our country has gotten better in that regard, we still do have a corrupted system that has a media (that uses people who physically don't appear to look different) to as vulnerable political devices. In fact, all Americans are vulnerably triggered because of political motivation. It's not so much the people that are bad in this system (although overly vulnerable), but the government, major political parties and media that really spoil social advancement without depleting our vulnerability. It's because intelligent opinion's like ours usually go under-valued, because we're viewed at as simple middle-class Americans.

The big difference in this system is that people notice social stereotypes a lot more better. People don't teach themselves that in Latin America. For example, if women of indigenous descent are being shown commonly as maids, people there don't notice (nor care) about this. In America, if a black criminal is being shown on a TV show, we'd at least say to ourselves how typical of the producer. A lot of Americans don't see through the lines either though.

Even though 53% of Americans who have criminal history are black, it's obviously much more higher when you watch the news. And most of the crimes are usually more violent. Hypothetically, if there were 100 crimes committed and only one homicide (by a black guy), that'd probably be the only one shown. Michael Moore did a good job at portraying this in Bowling for Columbine. Similarly, if you saw a pedophile on TV, they'd usually only be white trash and never black (even though that isn't always how it is). The media likes to glue our brains to stereotypical images, because they know how ''simple minded'' most of us are (or like to be).
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:37 PM
 
Location: California
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Yep, its not that the passive racism SOB is wrong in our eyes, they just don't see it. It's normal to them. We come from a culture that relies on c+c to better ourselves. This is really not the case SOB, it would be considered rude.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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''I think Brazil is the most racially open minded country in the world and they are considered Latin America. I am not saying discrimination doesn't exist there, but for the most part I think they are ahead of the U.S. with integration.''

You're right. Brazil is one of the most advanced countries in this regard, as well as others. They're much more advanced in several regards. Other countries are more, but obviously don't have as much lineal diversity as Brazil. They really are one of the more up and coming countries too. If I invested more, I'd invest into their economy.

America is definitely one of the most advanced countries in that regard too, but could be better. We allow it to be too political. America is similar to many parts of Latin America, being that many people of African descent are on the lower economic social hierarchy. People in America go into this mode of innocence in to where they could refute such a notion when be compared to internationally (although their mentality is often opposite within our country), because it really doesn't seem that unrealistic for any American to acquire middle-class stature (if they aren't lazy and don't use the past as a reference).

Even if it's a little harder there (although it is for people of all descents), climbing the educational and economic ladder is completely doable. Both haven't figured out how to completely assimilate all their African (and sometimes indigenous) descended citizen's (even if all do have the privilege). So for anyone to present the notion that America is really more (especially a lot more) advanced than Latin America's so-called ''caste-system'' just can't be taken seriously. And that especially is especially true, if you were to use Brazil as an example.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:13 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,810,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Taking it a bit further, though, I'm not so sure this is a particular condemnation of upper-class Americans as hopeless 'slobs', as much as it illustrates a strong belief dear to many Americans that we HAVE no rigid class lines. This of course, is debatable, but I think the affluent Mexican (or MOST other nations' rich) are quite comfortable in the notion that they ARE 'upper class', they ACT the part, and that's that.

There's some puritan streak in the American psyche that makes us very hesitant about "acting upper class". It goes against some long-buried guilt going way back. Now MOST of us Americans, of ANY race or religion, have at least SOME problem with "flaunting" our status--and when we DO, we do it rather awkwardly. WE LOVE to wear our "tux" to the presentation, but we also hurry to "get outta this monkey suit", as soon as the speeches are over..back to the shorts and sandals, ASAP....
No -- it's not a condemnation -- "slobs" is too judgemental -- I would say it's "informal" or "casual". That's one thing about Americans that is interesting -- you put Americans in Mexico -- even quite wealthy Americans and they'll head to the market and buy clothes of the peasants to wear. I used to see Americans wearing huraches de llanta -- the sandals made from old tires but acting like they were the latest fad and you just have to wonder what goes through the Mexicans' minds when they see that kind of thing.

I think that's one thing very cool about Americans. Just like jeans started out being clothes of the working man -- and pretty soon even the richest people are wearing them. Classism exists -- but there is at the same time a strong anti-classism with Americans.

Like one Mexican guy here told me about Americans -- we have as our luxuries what other people have as desperate necessities. Riding bikes -- he was commenting on how Americans will work all week and then go out riding bikes while the Mexican rides a bike only until he could have a car -- and once he has a car, he never wants to go back to that bicycle -- and the last thing he wants to do on a Sunday afternoon is ride around on a bicycle again. And camping trips -- to work hard all year, living in a nice comfortable house to spend 2 weeks sitting around a fire and sleeping on the ground in a tent.

A German once commented that Americans have a lot of room, lots of closet space and so fill them with lots of cheap clothes but in Europe, they have small or no closets and clothes are few but more costly well made ones.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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''The infractions you receive are from a Moderator of the forum who has deemed that you violated the Terms of Service agreement (TOS). It has nothing to do with any of the posters on here, unless one of us found your post to be offensive and reported you. As far as I remember, I found yours and SuperMario's posts to be very condescending and disrespectful, and I reported both of your posts myself.''

Well, I don't know at what point you ''reported'' that, but me and him are okay with each other now. I don't think we ever at any point didn't getting along (maybe frustrated). I don't think being frustrated really qualifies for ''infraction points'' (even if it actually did count for something lol). Sometimes, to get your point across you got to talk in a variety of tones (and we all do at one time or another), so it's valuable to be overly timid. This isn't the Brady Bunch or Seventh Heaven (that was a joke lol).

I don't know if you meant that was in between us or rather to everyone else. If it's between us, just leave it to us. As far as I can remember, he never ''reported'' me or anything like that. If you believe what I'm saying is inappropriate, leave me a message and I'll be more careful. I'm not as arrogant as I might sound sometimes.
Plus, if you did ''report'' my post from where I was having a discussion with him, I don't believe it could be on this thread (which is where I received the ''infraction''). If it was on that the other thread anyway, I doubt even the ''moderator'' (who would love to give that out like a police ticket to make their day a little more busy and to fill a quota) believe it qualified for an ''infraction'' anyway.

If any of you believe in the whole ''TOS'' thing anyway, you're probably better off using AOL (I hope none of you guys pay for that garbage anymore - it might be as worthless as their stock). I don't curse on here (unless you sound crap and ass) nor do I curse at anyone. I don't cross the line and no better not to. I may thoroughly question people (based on their quotes they voluntarily chose to make), but I don't belittle no one. There is no need for that. It's not like I get paid to right on here. This is my time like it is all of yours. I have respect for everyone on here. Just because I don't agree with all of you, doesn't mean that isn't true. However, I will admit I don't respect all societal aspects. At times, it might seem that I ''attack'' (or I'd prefer to say ''critique'') societal aspects (as a generalization). There is nothing wrong with that, as it's apart of human nature (and especially American culture).
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