As a people, the strongest opposition that we encounter comes from people that look just like ourselves and act just like ourselves (if by "ourselves" we mean "Latinos"). They may eat the same things we eat, but don't make the mistake of thinking that we get nourished in the same ways.
The fact of the matter is that the term Latino incorporates all the Spanish-speaking peoples of North and South America. Therefore, the Afro-Dominican, who would never agree to be called that is just as much a Latino as the Afro-Ecuadorian, who can not escape the pigment in his skin or that label. In the Autumn 2001 issues of Comparative Literature, Roman de la Campa says that the terms Latino is "rather a recognition of an unusual and persistent duality, nurtured by the constant flow of capital--human, symbolic, and financial--between the Americas. In that sense the Latino presence unsettles the civilization models discussed earlier, be they of northern or southern provenance." (pg. 377)
Even though the presence of Latinos/Hispanics in the U.S goes back to the eighteenth century (2001, 377), "Even today many academic disciplines continue to acknowledge Latinos only to the degree that their most visible communities demand it." (2001, 377) So, what does that mean for us, for the individual sitting there in the shadow of his ethnicity, trying to figure it all out. In 2001 it was estimated that there were between "30 to 35 million Latinos in the United States...and that their presence now engenders a $30 billion a year economy from consumer products advertised in Spanish in the United States." (2001, 377) Again, what does this mean for the person sitting in darkness trying to figure it all out. Well, for the first part it means that you do not have to worry about feeling alone and that you don't have to hovel in the shadow of your ethnicity. There is an industry out there, ready and riled to go, that is desperately going to try to make a buck off you. That is, if the Academy does not recognize you then maybe you can play Advertisers off the Academy and watch them fight each other for the rights to make money off you. In other words, your identity has become a commodity, and the only way to ensure you don't get ripped off is by actively participating in the dialogue that is palpable.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.