I’ve always thought that the whole idea of “Hispanic” or “Latino” identity was never anything more than an identity politics construct, and this goofy new “HispanicLatino” meme confirms it. After watching a couple of its proponents try to pitch the label on yesterday’s Al Punto (Univision’s Sunday political talking-head show), I am certain of it.
For starters, I admire the transparency of the label’s pitchmen, HispanicLatino founder Jesse Treviño, and Texas Representative Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) . They have no qualms with stating that “HispanicLatino” was born out of a need to carve out a new ethno-political identity for those who traditionally identified themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino” (more on the difference here). According to Treviño and Peña Raymond, there is an ongoing war on Hispanics/Latinos, which can only be solved via the creation of a new artificial ethnoracial umbrella.
Never mind that, according to the most recent Pew Hispanic poll, the labels are rejected by a majority of people who would much rather identify by their country of national origin. Read through the entire poll findings, and you will find that they demolish every one of the premises thay underlie the supposed need for an all-encompassing label.
No wonder, then, that Al Punto anchor Jorge Ramos (who never passes up an opportunity to advance racial grievance in furtherance of the immigration agenda) struggled to keep a straight face during the segment. When faced with the reality of the Pew poll, Treviño and Peña Raymond had no other choice than to be transparent about the aims of the “HispanicLatino” label. Ramos went to the Pew poll so many times, that I half expected him to reprise Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s instant classic “…it’s not selling very well“.
If you follow the Pew link and go deeper into the poll, you’ll find that left to their own devices…Hispanics, Latinos, or “ethnic identity to be named later” are just like any of the many ethnic groups that came into this country before them. The great truth behind the Pew poll is that Hispanics/Latinos have largely resisted the Institutional Left’s attempts to herd them into the uniquely American Hispanic/Latino construct. Individual Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, et. al are free to assimilate into the mainstream when they do not get sucked into the “Latino” identity, and the Left knows it (as do media institutions that depend on a steady influx of non-English-speaking, non-assimilated individuals for survival).
HispanicLatino is, ultimately, nothing more than yet another naked attempt at herding individuals from all over Latin America into a single monoblock identity for the purposes of political manipulation. As such, it should be laughed out of the room.