This is nothing if not a controversial assertion: according to the Census, “Latino” should not be considered a race, and should no longer be considered a race on Census forms going forward. This, according to The Huffington Post, comes as a result of 18 million Latinos who declined to disclose their race on the census form.
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Leaving out the existential question of “does race really exist?” (some scientists believe it doesn’t; they believe that race is a social construct designed to separate human beings from one another), the reason Latinos have difficulty disclosing their race is because of the nature of the word “Latino” itself. “Latino” refers to “people of Latin American origin,” but within that category exists people of every genealogy and color and ethnic origin: white, black, Asian, and indigenous. Even the word “Latino” carries difficulties: those in Latin America who ARE of Spaniard descent are not a monolithic group. The Puerto Rican culture, for example, is worlds apart from, say, the Dominican culture, which is worlds apart from, say, the Mexican culture — the sole common denominator of all of these cultures is their ability to speak Spanish (or, more specifically, some regional dialect thereof).
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