According to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of Hispanics would rather be identified from their family’s country of origin, instead of describing their identity as “Hispanic” or “Latino.”

“Half (51%) say that most often they use their family’s country of origin to describe their identity,” the Pew Research Center survey says. “That includes such terms as ‘Mexican’ or ‘Cuban’ or ‘Dominican,’ for example. Just one-quarter (24%) say they use the terms ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’ to most often to describe their identity. And 21% say they use the term ‘American’ most often.”

When asked if they have a preference for either being identified as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” the Pew study finds that “half (51%) say they have no preference for either term.” If they did have to choose, the study finds that “‘Hispanic’ is preferred over ‘Latino’ by more than a two-to-one margin—33% versus 14%.”


As it comes to speaking English, nearly 90 percent of those polled believe you need to learn the language to succeed in America, but they also want to hold onto their Spanish-speaking roots. Ninety-five percent of Hispanics believe it is important to speak Spanish in the U.S.


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  • They should have asked them about race, with Mestizo (or something similar) option.

  • Yeah, but you’re White (and Sicilians have been foremost Italian writers in standard Italian, based on Tuscan dialect- Pirandello, Lampedusa, Verga,..) . I admit that culture is all too important issue for Hispanics, but some kind of racial classification is possible.


    a) White
    b) Mestizo
    c) Black
    d) Mulatto/colored
    e) some other mixtures

    I know that White racialists are constantly sniffing around genealogy & skulls parameters, but as a rule of thumb, this categorization would work. In case one is not sure, racial identity could come as an option.

    In other cases- no. Race is how you look like.

  • crystal evans

    Aren’t Hispanics a mixed race to begin with? They are part Spanish and part Indian?

    • The_Bobster

      They can be just about anything. I’ve even seen Chinese “Hispanics”.

  • Pardon the cursing, but frankly my chicos, I don’t give a damn.

    When did Whites starting caring about what non-Whites want?


    • crystal evans

      But some Hispanics are technically white. There are white Mexicans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans.

    • No

      Yeah but that’s the point . . . that’s why they don’t want to be lumped in as “Hispanics” . . . because they are white and many “Hispanics” are simply mulattos or mestizos.

      There’s no difference between a white whose grandfather moved from Munich to Minneapolis and a white whose grandfather moved from Munich to Buenos Aires . . . EXCEPT the language.

      In fact . . . in many cases, the white from Argentina is likely to be from a higher economic class and LESS LIKELY to have mixed with non-whites than the white from America who may have grown up in a city where anything goes.

      You even have white groups like the Confederados who left the South after the Civil War and settled near Sao Pablo, Brazil.

      The “are Hispanics white?” question is no different than the “are Greeks white?” or “are Slavs white?” questions. 

      Remember . . . Hitler called Slavics  “untermenchen,” yet today Slavics are some of the most pro-white groups.  And remember too that the “unter mannern” (“below-man”) weren’t just Slavs and blacks . . . they included jews, homosexuals, atheists, communists, etc.   In other words . . . they understood that to create a stronger race, they had to eliminate ALL contaminants, not just the racial ones.

      This says to me that we need to broaden our outlook about who is with us and who is not with us.

      Allow me to introduce the SAMU Theory.  (Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it before – I made it up a year ago.)

      If your eight great-grandparents all come (or descended) from a geographical area bordered by Scandinavia, the Atlantic Ocean, The Mediterranean Sea and the Ural Mountains . . . then you are WHITE.

      That’s a little less strict than “The One-Drop Rule,”  but the ODR was very hard to enforce given poor record-keeping.  Today, we do have the ability to record who our great-grandparents were.

      The bottom line is this . . . we can’t start by demanding every white be blonde haired and blue-eyed unless we start handing out hair dye and contact lenses . . . which makes us no different than the blacks who try to lighten up.

      We start with what we have.  Eventually, through a smart program of eugenics, we can ensure that the best genes dominate the white gene pool.  

      But we need political power first and ignorantly dismissing “Hispanics” without sorting them out first is bad for politics.  It’s dumb.

  • krak11

    I agree with Bardon: Race is how u look like. Mexican social policy is such that it creates perception that almost all Mexicans are mestizo. If you follow gov. statistics, some 60 % are mestizo. However a person who is 80% white and 20% native will rather look white. And somebody who is 80% native and 20% white, will look Indian. Majority of Mexicans are mixed but to what degree. Anglo mestizos in US ( Presley, Johnny Depp and many others) are considered white. A lot is a matter of perception.

    • No

      Uh . . . no.  You’re wrong.

      Race is NOT just skin deep  (“how you look like.”)

      • For outsiders, race is phenotype (how you look like). DNA & other stuff are irrelevant. As for “self-identification”, this is famous “social construct” whereby some individuals try to suck on social privileges.

        In other social situations, race is simply equivalent to ethnic & cultural identity. In other words, Hispanics are a conglomerate of peoples & races who are distinguished by their adherence to Spanish language & culture – this being their only distinct feature. White Hispanics like Argentinians are actually very consciously European; Mestizos from Mexico have built a sort of national consciousness by amalgamating Spanish heritage & vestiges of pre-Columbian Aztec & Maya cultures.

        Be as it may, they seem to be hard to assimilate: they are in constant contact with their compatriots in the vicinity, and they do not – as a rule, with some significant exceptions- want to lose their Spanish identity. Ironically, Native Americans in the US are, due to their small numbers & many tribes, more likely to be assimilated in the US mainstream culture.
        Hispanics, on the other hand, are heirs both to the great Spanish empire & high Iberian civilization on one hand, and brilliant pre-Columbian Indian empires (Olmecs, Mayas, Aztecs, Zapotecs,..).

        The combined forces of the two strains is tremendous, and I think the only way to assimilate White Hispanics is to somehow drive a wedge between them & Mestizos. And even this may be a very hard nut to crack.

        At the end, one side note many will find marginal: don’t forget that numerous informed people, like Yale critic Harold Bloom, consider Hispanic-American 20th century literature stronger than that of the US. Ethnic pride breeds on cultural pride, so I think this would be a tricky situation.

  • JackKrak

    Sorry, but this story shouldn’t be news to many AmRenners – both “hispanic” and “latino” are shorthand in the same way that “white”, “black” and “asian” are. It’s an easy way to put ethnically similar people in the same group based on appearance. Duh. Nationality is another matter. Two white people can stand next to each other and they can be the “white” pair. But  then it turns out that one guy is from Canada and the other from New Zealand. So what – they are still the “white” guys and no one is confused by this. With latinos and hispanics, the nationality bit is more important because there is a kind of hierarchy among them with, surprise, Mexicans at the bottom. Cubans very much resent being put in the same category and for, say, Argentinians it is positively insulting. They are simply terms of convenience and by definition they don’t fit everyone perfectly. Big deal.

    As for the 95% of them who think it’s important to speak Spanish in the US, I think every one of them go to the same mall that I do…..

  • June39

    If you become a citzen of this country, call yourself an American. Can you really think if we all went around identifying ourselves as: Irish-Norwegian-French-German? I could do that, but since my family has been here since 1699 on one side and the mid 1800s on the other, I’m American through and through. Ifyou don’t plan to do it the right way (no invaders) then don’tbother to come. On second thought, we’re full. Don’t bother to come at all.

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Mestizos speak Spanish because the Pope authorized miscegenation between Spaniards and Amerindians. Thank the Catholic Church for the mongrelized hell called “Latin America.”

    • Disagree. In early 1500s, there have been ca. 1-1.5 million Indians in what is now United States, and in Spanish America tens of millions, perhaps 30-50 million, even more. The situation is simply not comparable.

  • No

    See what I wrote in response to Hunter Morrow: 
    “We start with what we have. Eventually, through a smart program of eugenics, we can ensure that the best genes dominate the white gene pool.

    But we need political power first and ignorantly dismissing “Hispanics” without sorting them out first is bad for politics. It’s dumb.”

  • The_Bobster


    Pew Surveys Hispanic Identity Issues
    By Brenda Walker on April 4, 2012 at 11:42pm

    The new Pew study of identity among the 50 million Hispanics in America is quite revealing, perhaps more than was intended.

    The takeaway point is that Hispanics come for the money and don’t identify as Americans but with their tribe of national origin.Hispanics believe that they should “learn English in order to succeed in the U.S.” (as Newt Gingrich promotes) but not as a way to become part of the American national community.

    A majority admit they came for the money, specifically, “When asked why they came to this country, more than half (55%) of immigrant Hispanics say it was for economic reasons, while 24% say it was for family reasons.”

    The “better life” mantra we hear from “immigrants” doesn’t mean they desire more freedom or educational opportunity — the purpose is acquiring the Yankee dollar, period.Another fascinating item is Hispanics’ high opinion of themselves (as noted in Pew’s Executive Summary):

    Hispanics say their group has been at least as successful as other minority groups in the U.S. Most Hispanics (55%) say their group is about as successful as other racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. More than one-in-five (22%) say they have been less successful, while 17% say they have been more successful.

    The persons polled must not mean educational level, since Hispanics are uninterested in pursuing education. While 50 percent of Asians have a bachelor’s degree or better, about half of Hispanics drop out of high school and only 13 percent have a college degree.

    Furthermore, on a list of incomes by ethnic group in the United States based on 2010 Census data, Hispanics rank near the bottom, #27 out of 29. The US average income is $51,222, while the Hispanic number is $40,914.

    But it’s nice that Hispanics have high self-esteem about their diversity.

  • crystal evans

    You could add Spaniards and what about Argentines? Isn’t Argentina the whitest nation in South America?

  • Laidley Hall

    Another poster alluded to this, but the whole notion of there being some sort of unifying Hispanic identity is ridiculous when you consider the at-best antipathy that, say, Cubans have for Puerto Ricans, or Mexicans for Salvadorans, or Argentinians for Ecuadoreans (and everybody else).