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Old 05-06-2010, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,019 posts, read 11,121,514 times
Reputation: 3813
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxart View Post
I hadn't repped this person before so mine "took."

Using the term "Mexican" for anyone who is Hispanic has long been the norm among Anglos along the border. It's too often used as a disparaging remark.

It can, be, yes. In its most derogatory form, it was degraded to "Meskin."

But the term "Mexican" was also used in a non-derogatory fashion. The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of American Hispanics have roots in Mexico.

You couldn't win, either. We have gone through several different stages, from Mexican to Mexican-American, Chicano, Hispanic, Latino/a, etc.

Somebody is always going to find something offensive, even when no offense is meant.

Hispanic is also not a race, but an ethnicity. Hispanics can be of any color.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:45 AM
 
1,403 posts, read 2,422,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
This is probably a good time to relate this "Anglo-Hispanic" story of mine. Now, if people read my other posts they know that I'm virulently anti-illegal immigration, but I also do not like it when US-born Hispanics are demeaned. This story relates to the latter. Years ago, another Anglo and I were assigned to a work crew in northern New Mexico for a week or two. Our co-workers were all northern New Mexico Hispanics. They all were completely bi-lingual, speaking both good English and the beautiful Castilian Spanish still spoken in northern New Mexico. Neither my Anglo friend or I spoke much Spanish, which was no problem. The other workers would speak English to us, and either English or Spanish (or a mixture) to each other. We all had a good time working together. Now, both my Anglo co-worker and I are blue-eyed Anglos, but we both had deep tans from working outdoors, and we were wearing hard hats and dark sunglasses. Well, one day, some Eastern milque-toast white tourists came up to us and began speaking to us in very broken Spanish with a heavy New York or New Jersey accent. My Anglo friend, who has a devilish Irish sense of humor, just looked at them blankly and said "No comprende." Our Hispanic co-workers were highly amused at this and played the "straight men," a couple of them dutifully answering "No comprende" at any English or Spanish uttered at them by the tourists, who were also making pretty demeaning remarks about all of us in English to each other. Finally, the frustrated man asked loudly, "Don't any of you Mexicans speak English?" My Anglo friend just looked at them and said "De nada." For the rest of the week, the local Hispanics on the work crew referred to we two Anglos as "Hey, you Mexicans!" One of the guys on the crew I still see every year or so, and he still will greet me with that, with a hearty laugh for both of us. I will admit that Anglos and Hispanics in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado may disagree on many issues, but "putting one over" on some gringo "turistas" can be a humorous exercise for both once in awhile.
Good story I imagine las turistas were the same type of people who told me last year that they were just SURE there were "criminal aliens" working at a local building project because "they were so brown" and "they just spoke Spanish". Two sure signs for that crowd, I guess.
Reps for the good laugh...
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:48 AM
 
7,817 posts, read 14,668,550 times
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Well, might as well tell the allegory to my earlier story. Years before that, when I was just a kid, my family and I were exploring down along the Colorado/New Mexico border between Gato (Pagosa Jct.), Colorado and Dulce, New Mexico. This was back in the 1960's when Gomez's Mercantile was still open in Gato, and the narrow-gauge railroad was still running freight between Alamosa, Durango, and Farmingtion through there. The country was still pretty wild and woolly.

Anyway, my Dad had a near-new sedan and we managed to get lost on the unmarked roads between the Southern Ute and Jicarilla Indian Reservations--an area also sprinkled with subsistence farm "ranchitos" owned by local Hispanics. At one point, we came upon some junior-high age Hispanic kids on the road in front of one of these ranchitos. My Mom rolled down the window and asked the kids for directions to Dulce.

The kids gave her the same look that we gave those Eastern turistas, and used the same "No comprende" line we later used. I suspect these kids also spoke English as well as Spanish, as most residents down there do. Now, the funny part is that my Mom, blue-eyed mixture of Irish and Scottish that she was, had spent several years during World War II, while my Dad was off fighting Germans, working as a bookkeeper at a cotton gin in the southernmost part of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Since she dealt with Mexican farmers and farmworkers (from Mexico) every day, she became fluent in Spanish. She listened to these kids with amusement as they talked to one another--speculating about what these gringos in the shiny sedan were doing down in their part of the world and then getting lost to boot. After a minute or so of this, my Mom smiled and told them--in Spanish--that she understood everything they said and that even gringos in shiny sedans got lost every so often. Those kids blushed for a minute, then smiled and said to my Mom--in Spanish--something that translated basically to "Hey, you're cool, you can speak Spanish really good for a gringo." They proceeded to give us directions to Dulce. My Mom said, "Gracias," and we went on our way. We never did know if they spoke English or not (it really didn't matter), but we were certain that we would be the topic of conversation at dinner for those kids' families that night--any outsiders were a pretty uncommon sight in that area then.

It was an interesting experience for this young Anglo. Then, when we got to Dulce, and went in the general store there, the clerk was tri-lingual, speaking to customers in English, Spanish, and Apache. I've always admired people who can speak fluently in multiple languages, a skill that I've never really been able to master. I still believe that English needs to be the "official" language in this country, but what people speak among themselves is their business. And I still believe that the Castilian Spanish spoken in northern New Mexico is one of the prettiest languages to listen to that there is.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
6,057 posts, read 6,221,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Hispanics would be mad about being indiscriminately called Mexicans. Why shouldn't white people be mad about being indiscriminately called English? Plus its a silly term since hispanics are all white, black, indian, or what have you.

The Amish in Pennsylvania call all outsiders "English" even if they are German, Hispanic, Black, Chinese or Jewish because "English" is the language they speak.

Only with the rise in English as a first language among American Hispanics and the increase in racial diversity in the southwest (Blacks, Asians, etc.) has 'anglo' taken on a racial tinge. I still believe the core sentiment of the word is a descriptor of a person's linguistic/cultural background and the majority linguistic background in America is Anglo, as in derived from England as are our language and major institutions.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
47,282 posts, read 37,252,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxart View Post
I hadn't repped this person before so mine "took."

Using the term "Mexican" for anyone who is Hispanic has long been the norm among Anglos along the border. It's too often used as a disparaging remark.

For those with some knowledge of nationalities and ancesstries we normally do not refer to all Hispanics as Mexicans or at least, I do not.

Nita
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
1,644 posts, read 2,628,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
For those with some knowledge of nationalities and ancesstries we normally do not refer to all Hispanics as Mexicans or at least, I do not.

Nita
As I said, this is common "along the border." I don't hear it so often where I now live - which is only two hours from the border in NEW Mexico.

For what it's worth, there was once (and there still is in spots) significant discrimination - especially in west Texas along the border - in spite of the fact that Hispanics have long been a majority.

I was raised in El Paso - the largest city on the border.

When I attended school in the K-12 grades, Texas STATE LAW forbid the speaking of any language other than English in the schools and that extended to the school grounds during recess periods. Kids could be (and were) expelled or suspended it they persisted in speaking Spanish.

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:51 PM
 
Location: New Mexico to Texas
4,584 posts, read 9,079,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxart View Post
As I said, this is common "along the border." I don't hear it so often where I now live - which is only two hours from the border in NEW Mexico.

For what it's worth, there was once (and there still is in spots) significant discrimination - especially in west Texas along the border - in spite of the fact that Hispanics have long been a majority.

I was raised in El Paso - the largest city on the border.

When I attended school in the K-12 grades, Texas STATE LAW forbid the speaking of any language other than English in the schools and that extended to the school grounds during recess periods. Kids could be (and were) expelled or suspended it they persisted in speaking Spanish.


thats how it was at my dad's school in a small town in Eastern NM when he was growing up, that is why he never taught us how to speak Spanish, it was frowned upon then.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:32 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 32,249,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Hispanics would be mad about being indiscriminately called Mexicans. Why shouldn't white people be mad about being indiscriminately called English? Plus its a silly term since hispanics are all white, black, indian, or what have you.
Anglo is an insult term. I've never heard it used without racist undertones.

It does not mean "English speaking" as there are chicanos who speak English and they are not considered "anglos". It's no different than other racist slur words, meant to categorize people by race but also to imply that all the many various white or European cultures and ethnic heritage are meaningless.

People who use the word want their own ethnic and cultural heritage respected but they lack all respect for other ethnicities and cultures.

Plus it's an ignorant term, used by people who think everyone is either from Mexico or from England.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:37 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 32,249,742 times
Reputation: 21458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy4017 View Post
It can, be, yes. In its most derogatory form, it was degraded to "Meskin."

But the term "Mexican" was also used in a non-derogatory fashion. The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of American Hispanics have roots in Mexico.

You couldn't win, either. We have gone through several different stages, from Mexican to Mexican-American, Chicano, Hispanic, Latino/a, etc.

Somebody is always going to find something offensive, even when no offense is meant.

Hispanic is also not a race, but an ethnicity. Hispanics can be of any color.
Very true. I know people who will flat out tell you they don't want to be called "hispanic" because they believe each separate country and culture is distinct - which is true.

But - there are those with Spanish last names and heritage in the SW who don't prefer to be called Mexicans because they aren't from that country, their ancestors were not from that country but long ago came from Spain and settled in what is now the SW USA. They don't have any ties to Mexico.

It's best just to try to find out what someone wants to be called - but if they're Americans, why not just call them that - it really shouldn't matter so much where someone's long ago ancestors are from.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
1,644 posts, read 2,628,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post

It's best just to try to find out what someone wants to be called - but if they're Americans, why not just call them that - it really shouldn't matter so much where someone's long ago ancestors are from.
I have had conversations on several occasions with well educated individuals - one of them my Spanish teacher! - who insist it is proper to call Mexican citizens: North Americans, Americans, or citizens of the United States (of Mexico). In fact when the border patrol check points question your citizenship, if you're from Mexico, you can "technically" answer you are a United States citizen (or American, or North American).

Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States) = official name of Mexico.

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