Should the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" be permanently removed as a racial/ethnic demographic?
Debate Rounds (3)
Please keep in mind: The term Hispanic is NOT the same as Latino despite being commonly used interchangeably.
Firstly, let's analyze the difference between the two terms in American definition via Dictionary.com
Hispanic - relating to, characteristic of, or derived from Spain or Spanish-speaking countries.
Also, Hispano. Also called Hispanic American, Hispano-American. an American citizen or resident of Spanish or Latin-American descent.
Latino - a person of Latin-American or Spanish-speaking descent OR an inhabitant of the US who is of Latin American origin.
These definitions are entirely correct so allow me to go into detail...
The term "Hispanic" is derived from the term Hispania which means "pertaining to Spain" and it refers to the South West area of the Mediterranean in Europe also known as the "Iberian Peninsula" which consist of modern day Spain (part of Southern France) and Portugal. In essence, the term Hispanic only refers to the Spanish people, not the Portuguese or French. When Spain colonized most of Latin America, those territories adopted the term Hispanic to identify with Spanish culture and language.
The term "Latino" is Spanish and Portuguese for the word Latin. The word Latin originally referred to places in Europe taken over by the Roman Empire who speak a "Romance Language" derived from Latin. This includes Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Romania and many other small countries. The United States adopted this word in attempt to identify people from Latin America who live in the U.S. So now the term "Latino" refers to people from Latin American countries that speak a Romance Language which would include Spanish ( Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay), Portuguese (Brazil) and French (Haiti, French Guiana and the French territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy and a few others) however the French territories are not always considered so the definition is still a bit confusing.
Hispanic = Spanish Speaking only
Latino = Spanish, Portuguese (and possibly) French
The problem with these terms is that in the U.S. people see the word "Hispanic" as some form of racial or ethnic classification when it is in fact not because these terms refer specifically to language barriers not race. However when filling out certain applications you will see "Hispanic/Latino" as an option. By lumping one entire group of people into one race based on the language they speak, that can cause a lot of issues concerning race here in the United States. Hispanics and Latinos are NOT all one particular race because the people of Latin America consist of every race on the planet.
There are only three subcategories or races of the human race (four if you count Australian Aborigines). They include, Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid and from there we have ethnicity.
Examples of ethnicity:
Caucasian - White Europeans (Mediterranean peoples, Nordic tribes, Anglo-Saxons) , Middle Easterners (Mesopotamians, Bebers, Saudi Arabians), Southern Asians (Indian/Hindu peoples, Palestinians)
Negro - Sub-Saharan Africans and Eastern Africans (Somalis, Ethiopians)
Mongol - East Asians (Han Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Siberians), South East Asians (Filipinos, Thai etc..) and Native Americans (including Aztecs, Mayans and Inca peoples)
The people of Latin America are a direct combination of ALL of these groups. More specifically White Europeans, Native Americans and Sub-Saharan Africans. In some places the demographics vary. In Mexico, most people are either Mestizo (mix of Spanish and Native) or white (Spanish mostly) while in the Dominican Republic, most people are either Mulatto (mix of African and European) or black. Yet, both these countries speak Spanish, they are not comprised of the same racial mixture and do not have the same culture despite the Spanish connection they both have.
Before White Europeans arrived to the Americas, there were already Native Americans living here, many died from starvation, disease, and from being overworked in some places while in other places they survived or heavily mixed with the Spanish and Portuguese (Esp in Mexico, Central America and Brazil). But in places where they did not survive, they were replaced with millions of African slaves brought over to Latin America by the Spanish and Portuguese (Esp in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Brazil). These countries have very high populations of people of African descent. After slavery, constant mixing and migration, Latin America remains the most diverse region on the planet and almost every known ethnic group inhabits each country. Brazil is the second largest country of people with African ancestry in the world after Nigeria. However Latin America is mostly European, Native American and African while others are minorities (East Asians, Middle Easterners and South Asians). So this is why Hispanic and Latino should not be considered races because the people of Latin America are not one race, we come in all colors. I am a result of this as well.
I agree with my opponents definitions he used for this debate.
There are no problems with classifying a certain group of people by the descent of the language they speak or their geographical location. Race, as noted earlier, is just a classification system used to categorize humans. By grouping together Latinos and Hispanics as a specific group for demographics is fine because it is based on their geographical and linguistic affiliation. In this case race is not based on skin color. My opponent seems to think that the word "race" is a synonym for "skin color". I base this logic on how my opponent said "So this is why Hispanic and Latino should not be considered races because the people of Latin America are not one race, we come in all colors". Yes, I am not debating whether or not its possible that Hispanics and Latinos have different skin colors within their race. Instead I am debating whether or not the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" be permanently removed as a racial/ethnic demographic. Whether or not they have different skin colors within their race is irrelavent to where they have geographic affiliations with.
I completely disagree with my opponents believe that "there are only three subcategories or races of the human race (four if you count Australian Aborigines)."
There are an infinite amount of races. Race is just a classification system used to classify people of anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, or social affiliation. So you could classify people in so many different ways based on their different affiliations.
My opponent does not have a clear understanding of the word "race" and instead gave history and examples of how genetically and linguistically diverse Latin America is. However this logic isn't applicable because the U.S. is just using their geographical location of Latin America to classify them as a specific population. Which in return is perfectly fine because not only of the definition of the word "race" but also how "Asians" is usually an option that you can pick. Asia has an approximate population of 4.299 billion people. So why should Latin Americans and Hispanics get a double standard when it comes to dividing people by their geographical location?
The term "race" is a categorization of human beings based on physical genetic attributes (this includes skin color) that were passed down from parent to offspring. This has nothing to do with culture because anyone can adopt a culture that is not related to the culture of their parents. For example, Asian Americans are not the same as their native Asian Parents. My opponent seems to think that the word "race" is a synonym for "culture" when it is in fact not. Even the term Hispanic is not really based on culture because the various cultures of Latin America are not the same. Mexican culture is not Puerto Rican culture and so on.
You claim that "There are an infinite amount of races." when that is not true at all. The human race is categorized into three major groups which include Caucasian, Black and Mongol. From there, there are a variety of different people of different ethnicity. If the term "Hispanic" were considered an ethnicity, it would only refer to people of Spain, who are white Europeans, and their descendants. Not everyone of Latin America is a descendant of the Spanish, and not everyone identifies as white.
When judging the concept of race from a geographical aspect, you claim...
"Asia has an approximate population of 4.299 billion people. So why should Latin Americans and Hispanics get a double standard when it comes to dividing people by their geographical location?"
This is also untrue. The Asian continent is vastly diverse and made up of mostly two distinct racial groups. The native people of China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines are mostly of the Mongol race while the native people of India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and the Middle East are considered "Caucasian" (not white Europeans) and this is based on genetics not culture. Asia is just as diverse as Latin America but you do not see Chinese people and Indian people saying they are the same race because they are not.
In America, you have Black Dominicans and White Argentineans identifying as one racial group when they are not the same. The only thing in common is the fact that they speak Spanish. Are Black Americans the same as White Americans because they both speak English? No, but by your logic they would be because of that one common attribute they both share. THAT is a double standard as you put it. If we were grouping people based on language, French speaking Black Africans would be the same race as the native White French speakers in Europe and so on. Language does not determine race. And the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" refer to language not race.
Please feel free to take a look at the video to the link I provided...
Although I usually refrain from using Wikipedia as a source...
Here is a list of famous Black Hispanics and Latinos
Here is a list of famous White Hispanics and Latinos
Are Jennifer Lopez and Zoe Saldana the same race? No because Lopez is white (mostly Spanish) and Saldana is mostly black (African and European mixture). What about Ricky Martin and Carmelo Anthony? Same or similar linguistic background, different racial background. Calling "Hispanic" and "Latino" a race is very inaccurate.
Macar0ni forfeited this round.
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