"Mi cultura nunca la voy a dejar, mi origen es mexicana, but the way we are living here... I consider myself an American." - Monica - Houston, Texas
"I am not completely a white bred American, but I'm not necessarily fully a Latino, we're kind of in the middle." - Eduardo - Chicago, Ill
Dead are all demographics used to separate them rather than unite them into a cosmopolitan group. Dead are all premises about level of education, language spoken at home, time in the U.S., and country of origin. Hispanic is a term that helps retard their adaptation rather than impulse them towards their possibilities and dreams. The lower the origin and the struggle the more resilient and creative they become. It doesn't matter if they came under the wire or by plane, they share the same mindset. They feel as American Latinos and they are telling us that.
All those premises about American Latinos do not predict in-market behavior and imply that the evolution of an identity is linear and simplistic.
What is identity anyway? Identity is transitory, elusive, fluxing and even mischievous. In a world where we are connected 24/7 with people from all over the world in teams for gaming, in projects for entrepreneurship, in Kickstarter, reading newspapers and articles from everywhere.
So, why are we still describing them as Hispanics? Why some describe them as Hispanic Americans and now even as Latino Americans. Latino Americans are the ones who live in Latin América; the ones who stayed there who are very different from the ones who left. The ones who leave are looking for different truths and for economic as well as intellectual pursuits.
If this country was like any Latin American country none of the Latinos who came here would have made it there, none of the famous ones here will be famous there, none of the sports players would be so famous there as they are here and definitively none of them would have had the education opportunities they have here. Because they became American Latinos with values from both cultures, with standards from both cultures and with the open mindness of both cultures they made it.
Nobody wants another Latin América here in spite how much we all love the continent and country where we come from.
When I talk about American Latinos, they ask me, "You are talking about second or third generation Latinos, right?" Not really, because the ones who are the real American Latinos are the ones who came here and maybe even today do not even speak English... those are the visionaries, the rebels and the brave who left their countries because they already were American Latinos
At the end, it doesn't matter what we call them. Let's just stop describing them as Hispanics.
Hispanics are dead.