Pepe Billete: "I'm Not a Latino, I'm Not a Hispanic, I'm a Cuban American!"
I don't know about you, pero every time I hear someone refer to me as "Hispanic" or "Latino," me dan ganas de meterle una pata por culo a alguin. My response is always the same (unless its la mona): I'm a Cuban American, you comemierda!
Oye, the only thing that makes me more proud than being a Miamian is the fact that I am Cuban American. I don't appreciate the fact that the status quo has made it appropriate to use an umbrella term to describe my cultural background. The words "Latino" and "Hispanic" are xenophobic cojones, and I'm sick and tired of people calling me that shit! Today's blog is dedicated to showing you why you shouldn't put up with it either!
"Latino" and "Hispanic"? El coño tu madre!
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term "Hispanic" as "of or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking countries." I would be totally ok with this term if it were used in a way that is true to its definition, pero guess what? Ni pinga, it's not. First of all, cuando cojones do you ever hear someone in the media refer to a Spaniard as a "Hispanic"? In my experience, they're called "European," "Spanish," or of course my abuela's favorite, "Gallego" (the latter of which actually means a Spaniard from Galicia). Why does Spain get a pass on being lumped in with the rest of us?
Just the Funny Mainstage Show
TicketsSat., May. 27, 9:00pm
Dance Through The Ages: Bright Lights, Big Cities
TicketsSun., May. 28, 11:00am
Magique - Experience The Illusion
TicketsSun., May. 28, 7:00pm
Israeli Dance Festival: Hope
TicketsSun., May. 28, 7:00pm
10th Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival
TicketsSun., May. 28, 8:00pm
Any Cuban can tell you that unlike the vast majority of Spanish-speaking countries, Spain effectively eradicated any and all trace of the "Tainos" (the native race of the Caribbean) from Cuba during colonialization, so there is no such thing as a "native" Cuban. My ancestors are African and Spanish, so porque coño can't I choose one of those if you're not going to have "Cuban" as a separate designation?
And speaking of Africa, Equatorial Guinea is a Spanish-speaking country on that continent, and I seriously doubt you'll ever hear the media refer to someone from that country as "Hispanic."
So what about "Latino" you ask? Otro mojon mas! Oxford defines "Latino" as a person from a "Latin American" country. Pero que carajo es un Latin American country? The term "Latin America" is actually defined as a region of the Americas where Romance languages (those derived from Latin, ie: French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese) are primarily spoken. See the problem?
Pipo, when was the last time you heard someone refer to a Haitian as a "Latino"? No me resingues! Canada is part of the Americas, pero French-Canadians are never called "Latinos." In fact, did you know that Brazilians universally object to being called that shit? Bueno, you know what? Pa la pinga! If French-Canadians, Haitians, and Brazilians don't have to deal with it, cojones, neither do Cubans!
The fact is that in most of the U.S., when people say "Hispanic" or "Latino," what they really mean is "Mexican." Yes, pipo, this is 100% the case. In Miami, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, we understand that there is a very big fucking difference between a Colombian and a Venezuelan, a Cuban and a Puerto Rican, an Argentine and a Uruguayan. But in most other cities, your Spanish-speaking ass is just Mexican -- probably because 66 percent of the 48 million "Hispanic" people in the US are, in fact, Mexican. Pero to me, it's still pretty fucking offensive. Cubans and Mexicans come from two very different cultures and have very different experiences here in the U.S. A mi me saca del guisio because every time I turn on the news and I hear some statistic about "Hispanics," I know que esos comemierdas are not talking about my fucking people, coño!
According to the US Census, there are only about 1.7 million Cubans in the entire U.S. and half of them live in Miami-Dade County. (I know, it shocked me too.) But despite our modest numbers, Cubans are by far the most successful group of "Hispanics" in the United States.
Below I've outlined some prime examples of how the "Hispanic" national statistic designation misrepresents Cubans according to the last United States Census, a published doctoral dissertation on the demographic profile of Cuban Americans, and an article by Roan Garcia-Quintana, former Deputy Director of the US Department of Education's National Institute of Education and current Senate Candidate for district 7 in South Carolina.
General Hispanic Population: 30.8 million
Cuban Only: 725 thousand
General Hispanic Population: 18.4 million
Cuban Only: 1.03 million
Have Graduated High School
General Hispanic Population: 61.6%
Cuban Only: 76%
Have Achieved a Bachelor's Degree
General Hispanic Population- 13%
Cuban Only- 24%
Population 25 Years Or Over That Have Achieved a Graduate Degree
General Hispanic Population: 4.1%
Cuban Only: 9.2% (national average for the entire population is 10 percent!)
Employed in Management, Business, Science, and Arts Occupations
General Hispanic Population: 18.8
Cuban Only: 31.5% (national average for the entire population is 35.6 percent!)
General Hispanic Population: 20.9%
Cuban Only: 12.5%
And that's just the tip of the iceberg, pipo. Cubans are also among the wealthiest "Latinos"; though we're only 4 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population, more than 50 of the 100 richest Hispanics in the U.S. are Cuban. And in 1997, more second-generation Cuban Americans held bachelor's degrees than Anglos. This fact may be 15 years old, pero it's fucking impressive, cojones!
Now let me be clear, the intention of this article is to expose how using terms like "Hispanic" and "Latino" are inherently flawed and xenophobic, not to propagate any idea that Cubans are somehow "better" than any other group of people. Much of this prosperity and success can be attributed to the fact that Cubans don't have the same immigration and naturalization problems that other countries do. Cubans who manage to make it to our shores are welcomed with open arms as exiles, while Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking people are denied residency and basically treated like criminals. I am fully aware that this has a huge impact on the success rate of a group of people, pero cojones, with so many significant differences between the Cuban population and the general "Hispanic" population in America, incorrectly using an umbrella term to describe these two very different groups of people is a fucking travesty!
If you are of Cuban decent, it is your duty to put a stop to this bullshit! The next time someone classifies you as anything other than Cuban American, mandalo pal coño su madre!
Me cago en la madre de los tomates! Por poco me da un patatun escribiendo esta mierda!
Follow Pepe on Twitter @PepeBillete.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.