What does it mean to be called a Hispanic?

With the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court, conversations quickly turned into debates about race and, in particular, about the term ‘Hispanic’ and what it means, or may not mean, to be called a Hispanic.

Many newspaper articles, television editorials, and blogs about Sotomayor question whether or not it is even relevant that she is Hispanic. Is she a Hispanic, a Latino, a Puerto Rican, or just an American? There has even been a question as to whether or not she would even be the first Latino/Hispanic on the Supreme Court!

Some pundits wonder why race is even a part of the conversation. The confirmation process of Sotomayor should be based purely on the basis of her qualifications, her judicial track record, and her judicial demeanor. Race should not be a part of the process. Sounds good in a color-blind society, but in the real world it doesn’t work that way.

The question of what we call ourselves: Latino, Hispanic, or Mexican-American is a debate that has been swirling around for some time now. Here at La Prensa San Diego we have often been asked the questions, “What do you call yourselves? What is a Hispanic? Where does the term Chicano comes from?” READ FULL STORY

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