State of Hispanic America
Hispanic and Latino families still face significant barriers to equality with whites.
March 13th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

State of Hispanic America

Editor's Note: The next Latino in America documentary anchored by Soledad O’Brien focuses on Latino voters. Click the Latino in America tag below or follow @cnnlia for more updates on other Latino in America stories. This is the third part of a CNN In America documentary series on American voters. Airing October 2012.

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – A new report that looks at education, health, civic engagement, economics and social justice indicates that Hispanics and Latinos in America are slightly ahead on the road to equality with whites, relative to their African-American counterparts.

The National Urban League’s 2012 Equality Index of Hispanic America was included as part of the 2012 State of Black America Report released Wednesday. The overall 2012 Equality Index score for Hispanics and Latinos was 76.1%, 0.6% lower than the 2011 score. The 2012 index score for African-Americans was 71.5%.

A score of 100% would indicate a measurement in which Hispanic and Latino people were scoring equally with white people, while a score below 100% indicates categories in which Hispanics and Latinos are scoring less. Scores higher than 100% indicate measurements in which Hispanics and Latinos are scoring above whites.

As with the index for African-American equality, a score above 100% does not necessarily mean that a group is doing “better” than whites in a category. For example, the index score for the percentage of Hispanic/Latino newborns with low birth weight is 104%, indicating that a higher proportion of Hispanic/Latino babies are born with low birth weight than white babies.

According to the report, the greatest inequalities between whites and Hispanics/Latinos came in the categories of economics, where Hispanics/Latinos had a score of 60.8%, and in social justice, where the score was 60.9%.

The score for civic engagement was 67.9% and for education, 75.8%. The score in the category of health, 104.4%, was the only one in which Latinos and Hispanics achieved parity with whites. But most of the markers associated with the health index score were negative. For example, compared with the index scores of whites, Hispanics and Latinos had higher rates of suicide, fatal lung cancer and mothers who smoke during pregnancy, and more people without access to health insurance.

The biggest changes in inequality when compared to the 2011 measurements were in civic engagement (which decreased from 71.7% to 67.4%) and social justice (which decreased from 63.5% to 60.9%). The report said that a disproportionate decline in voter turnout and registration was a major contributor to the lower civic engagement score.

But some groups are expecting Hispanic/Latino participation in the 2012 to be even greater than the record levels of 2008. According to projections by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), 8.7% of the voters in the 2012 election will be Hispanic/Latino, a 25.6% increase from the last presidential race. A coalition of Hispanic groups, Latinos for Democracy, launched a campaign in February to register 200,000 new voters by the end of 2012.

The decline in the social justice score was linked to an increase in incidents in which Hispanics and Latinos were stopped by authorities while driving. For 2011, the index for that measurement was 100%–indicating that Hispanic/Latino drivers were stopped about the same proportion of times as whites. But the 2012 index score fell to 92%, indicating that Hispanic/Latino drivers were experiencing more such stops.

When compared to African-Americans, the index revealed two areas in which the category index scores showed a huge gap: civic engagement and health. African-Americans’ score for the former was 98.6%, nearly 31 percentage points higher than the Hispanic/Latino score. In health, African-Americans were gaining less ground than Hispanic/Latinos – scoring at 76.5 percent, about 28 percentage points lower than the Hispanic/Latino score.

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Filed under: Community • Discrimination • Economy • Education • Ethnicity • Health • How we live • Latino in America • Race • Social justice
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Elize

    Man, you guys are trying to explain the terms Hispanic and Latino. I think we can agree that we are all uniquely different and even people within a race or ethnicity are different from one another. We cannot hate an entire race of people because of these immigration issues. There are wonderful good people in every race and we need to stop being so ignorant for once.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Romer

      I don't care who you say i am but i call myself american everytime someone asks. Race should no longer be an issue in society. Plus in 20-50 years everyone will have a hispanice descent and become a majority. But don't forget hte filipino's.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • lor

      I am half Italian half french gal. Can you guess where Latin derived from........you guessed it Italy!!!!!
      So really when were talking about Latinos REALLY!!!!!!!! With Italian and french in my blood I'm more Latino than the Spaniards. But all I ever say is I'm an American but my nationality is french and Italian. When is everybody gonna stop the cry babian. A lot of people out there love racism cause a lot of times it gets them what they want.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. just me

    damn right i'm a parent who will do anything for the love and respect of my children by all means necessary. what you you do stsve?

    March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ms Eusebia Luna Aquino

    It concerns me that CNN does not push Latino community concerns as hard as push African American concerns.We
    always have be in the back Ms Souldad's bus with Latino conerns or programs. We need a Latino american to tell our struggles just like CNN has Afroican Americans telling their struggles! WE CAN DID IT ! DOES WHITE AMERICA SPEAK FOR BLACK AMERICA ON CNN?HELL NO! WHY ARE AFRO AMERICANS SPEAKING FOR LATINOS??HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James Romer

    Though i take offense to her comment, i still say even though she is an american she does have a right to her own opinion no matter how false or racial it is. You also have the option to ignore it and not aknowledge it since it mostly encourages it.

    March 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. antony

    you clearly have a small narrow mind. you can not judge an entire people by what others do. in all races there are good people and bad, there ara smart people and dumb. you most be one of the dumb. and clearly most people are on the dumb. PEOPLE READ THIS CAREFULLY WE ARE ALL HUMANS AND THE DAY WE REALLIZED THIS WILL BE WHEN THE WORLD WILL BE AT PEACE.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jorge

    1. More pedophile crimes are committed by whites proportionally than any other group in America.
    2. I highly doubt you are a 'Maria'.
    3. Your redaction skills are pretty remedial.

    March 14, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Luis

    Totally inaccurate Maria. All those crimes that you cite are done by whites and blacks as well. It is unfair to put the blame on Hispanics. I have seen crimes and abuses of the system done by all of them. Don't just be blind sided.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jaime

    When trying to set up an affirmative action meeting at work, the HR people told me that they had no material for a meeting on Hispanics. They said that they had tons of support material for women and blacks. They told me to pick one of those packages and to forget about a meeting on hispanic issues. As far as they were concerned, they were meeting the federal guidelines by having meetings on women and blacks issues. There was no need to support anything for hispanics.

    March 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. macphile

    I personally would define a Hispanic or Latino as someone of Mexican, Central American, or South American descent, whatever their skin tone or language. Of course, how meaningful is that grouping? That's another issue. There's a range of skin tones and eye colors in that group. There are two primary languages, AFAIK–Spanish and Portugese. There are different cultural backgrounds, traditions, foods, religious leanings...I mean, is a man from Mexico City all that much like a man from Ascuncion, Paraguay? (And yes, I've learned the capital of Paraguay. Go me.) I'm guessing probably not. Or Argentina? Or Brazil? Or Cuba? Yet AFAIK, we'd generally consider them all to be "Hispanic" or "Latino."

    On the other hand, do all of those people face similar challenges in the US? Perhaps. I mean, most Americans can't tell one "Hispanic" person from another. We tend to assume everyone who speaks Spanish or has olive-toned skin is from Mexico, and many assume the person's here illegally, to boot. So it's very possible that they're all treated just as crummily as one another, no matter where they're from. (Note that we also tend to lump all Native Americans together as one composite "Indian," as if there weren't at one point hundreds of different tribes that differed greatly from one another.)

    At the same time, most (not all) of the Hispanics/Latinos/whatevers in the US are here for the same reasons–because of the economic and/or political climate in their home country. And odds are, many of them are of low socioeconomic status because even in a "poor" country, a person who's financially well off doesn't have as much reason to leave.

    Thus, as odd as it might seem to lump together a lot of people who are probably quite different from one another, it's possible that as a whole, those people are in very similar boats in their daily lives. Whether you believe that there is any value in analyzing "group" status, of course, is up to you.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blackman

      Believe me you can tell the difference and their is a big differences the way they look and mannerisms hispanics from central and south america dont like being lumped in with mexicans PERIOD.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nickn

    Do you people agreeing with this Texas law realize that not even the Taliban goes that far.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Guayaco

    Let me clarify the difference between Latinos and Hispanic.
    Latin is a language not an ethnicity. Therefore, anyone from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Romania, the southern part of North America (which is Mexico), South America and Central America, is called a Latin person, not because of ethnicity but because they speak a language that is a derivation from Latin.
    On the other hand, Hispanic comes from the word Hispaniola. Most of South America, Mexico and all of Central America was conquered by Spain, thus we became Hispanics.

    Not all people in South America are Hispanics. For example, Brazilians are NOT Hispanics, but because they speak Portuguese they are considered Latin Americans.

    So, anyone from the regions mentioned above are called Latins, but only those who are offspring from Spaniards are called Hispanics. However, not all people that came to America (Yes, AMERICA is considered from the northern tip of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina) were Spaniards nor British nor Portuguese. There are many people from Mexico for example that have French blood, many people in Argentina are descendants from Italians, so in reality they are not Hispanics, but they are Latin Americans.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • VinceRN

      The word Hispanic derives from Hispania, the Roman name for the Iberian peninsula.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vince

    I'm Hispanic and I don't like series like these. Every single ethnic group, and lifestyle group has their own series, clubs, TV shows, magazines, etc. Isn't this going back to segregation? People have condemned the Whites for decades for doing this. Now, we are doing the same thing. We are letting the color of our skin determine our value. It's hypocritical and sad.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PC Wizard

    Well....at least they got the picture correct....3 kids and probably pregnant again with twins!!

    March 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |

      Hahaha, yeah, tell to Santorum and the Duggards, bigot.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. macphile

    Given the source of the image associated with this article, I think it should be on how stock photo families are faring in the US at the moment. It looks like they're doing pretty well, assuming the utilities on that house are even hooked up.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James Romero

    People just shut up already. I am hispanic. I could care less if you lacced me latino, mexican, or hispanic. what really matters is there is no racism. My daughter is hispanic and white. And honestly i just call her american. because sooner people just use region vice specific race, then easier it is and less conflict. So there i am American. For now on when someone asks i am American. Our nation need to just join as one because one day we will need to fly under one banner.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      Good post, James. I totally agree. That's what my folks taught me. We are Americans first and foremost. I really don't like all these activists who try and tell me that I'm better than others because of the color of my skin. It's nonsense.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |

      Why are you so limited? You can be American and Hispanic or Latino, or whatever, too. The problem is that limited people want to make you feel like you need to choose between one or the other, the old "love it or leave it" nonsense.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alisia

      So, my brother says he's an American Mexican. His children are Mexkimos. Then there are my nieces & nephews who are part German, Irish, and who knows what else. We are alike in that we care about the issues that affect our daily lives. We are conservatives and liberals. And, we are the Americans who will not let others, regardless of nationality, tell us who we are. Oh, by the way, don't mess with us!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  16. CJ Topspin

    How are Swedish-Americans doing? How about English-Americans? Polish-Americans? Irish-Americans?

    Lumping those groups together under one umbrella term isn't considered racist? By the way...the one thing those cultures have done that Hispanics havent done (on the whole) is adopt "American" language and values for their own. It is difficult for a country to accept you if you don't accept the country's language, values and way of life. We are all children of immigrants. The difference is some of us were raised to be Americans and some of us were raised as visitors.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moncada

      All one really has to do to fit in is learn English, celebrate 4 of July and learn US History and done. And it is impossible to adopt American values since America is unique that it allows other traditions as well.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  17. maria

    Where are my posts?

    March 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Leucadia Bob


    March 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Leucadia Bob


    March 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. jay

    Well, we are a bunch of idiotas, I thought from alaska to argentina we got label America, why should the USA be only America, nothing but a bunch of ignorants that buy any label, any perception that we are sold to

    March 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. AmericanRichard

    I'm one of those they call "Hispanic" or "Latino", I don't really mind either term. Some people get so caught up on their ethnic background and I find the entire thing silly and unproductive. I'm an American.
    A study that indicates that Hispanics are not doing as well as whites, or whatever other comparison they make with these useless studies, is a complete waste of time. Some may say that I have forgotten my “roots” but I often clarify that “MY PEOPLE” are the ones who share my values, my friends and family and not some group that shares some ethnic background. In that group you will find A LOT of Hispanics but you will also find white people, black people and other ethnic background. Those are MY PEOPLE.
    To be clear, I love the culture and I eat the cuisine but I don’t shed a tear when I hear “Hispanics” aren’t doing as well as whites. We don’t succeed in groups, we succeed as individuals.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Erick

      Richard, you got it RIGHT!!! We succed as individuals and this is what America is about.... forget about Hispanics, latinos, blacks, whites, yellows greens etc, CNN (Soledad Obrian) and the rest of the media always want to sell the idea that if you belong to a minority group it is bad and something has to be done in order to succeed. But if your are White, it is bad too, because you dont let minorities succeed. I am tired of all the racist engagements that CNN brings everyday (especially Soledad Obrian)... Shows the best of you and people soon will realize how wonderful person you are, without looking colors, religion, ethnicity etc...

      March 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • AmericanRichard

        Oh come on Erick don't you know the world owes me a living or a break for being born a minority (LOL). You have no idea the amount of Latinos I talk to who are just waiting for the "right break" and who feel discriminated or oppressed. I don't know if I have ever been discriminated, I have been to busy creating and moving forward. However, if I was, SO WHAT! Ugly people get discriminated all the time and unfortunately they don't have a civil rights leader, yet I look at the Forbes 400 and I see a lot of ugly people who have sneaked by. No one is coming to the rescue folks, we live in the best country in the world with the most opportunities. That's all we are getting and that's all we deserve, the rest is up to us, to produce and serve. You don't like the way the system is set up? Our borders go both way, just leave so other more grateful and productive immigrants can come and be productive. This coming from an immigrant who still speaks with an accent from my native Mexico.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      @AR: now you're a person i can sit and chat with. people get too wrapped up and allow themsleves to get wrapped up in where our ancestory is from or what pigment our skin is. doesn't matter.....we're all still human when the sun goes down.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • AmericanRichard

        Feeling is mutual!

        March 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanRichard

      YOU SAID: “But are you saying that because you feel you are all American now, you have forgotten about your fellow Mexicans and you do not feel solidarity towards the difficulties they face in both Mexico and the United States? Are you saying you feel no bond, no relationship to your Mexican countrymen? That's awfully comfortable, don't you think.”

      I SAY: Yes, I feel no more bond or solidarity towards fellow Mexicans, or as you call them “browns brothers and sisters” as I do to fellow Colombians or fellow Croatians. I understand your tribal instinct; however, I don’t share it.

      YOU SAY: “But you can't really look a brown kid in the eye and tell him that the system has not stacked the odds against him being successful if he lives in the inner city. Is it our fault? Not entirely, but society as a whole and we as individuals are responsible for doing something about it.”

      I SAY: The odds are stacked against EVERYONE being successful. Blacks are discriminated, the uneducated are derided, Latinos deal also with stereotypes and discrimination, women deal with the glass ceiling etc. etc. I would tell the “brown kid”, “listen, you can’t control idiots who will discriminate you, but if you get an education, you will be discriminated less, and if you work your ass off you can be successful”. I would also tell him not to worry too much about who appears to have it easier than him, move forward and be the best he can. Oh and I also will tell him to go through the university system AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, lest he gets indoctrinated into thinking that the “odds are stacked against him” and he is a pathetic victim of society. Finally, I will tell him to not worry so much about “his people” and concentrate on being a good friend to a few and being an excellent provider for his family. Perhaps you are right and I’m wrong, but I’m just going to let idealistic pedantic scholars discuss the way the odds are stocked against certain people. I’m too busy creating and living. Perhaps you’re right and I am “delusional”. Damn me for being self sufficient and wanting people to be likewise. You go ahead and fight for their rights of the "brown" people and I'll just keep growing my company and give them jobs and opportunities. Damn me again for being selfish.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Americanrichard

      Malinche? I haven't heard that in a long time. The problems with that label are #1 I'm not betraying anyone #2 I'm not indian and #3 it is meant to stop all reasonable conversation. It's almost as if I called you a complete idiot, just because you make idiotic comments. Now that wouldn't be very proper would it? It may be true, but not proper.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Alice

    Here we go again cnn, white people bad, latinos saints, puke.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Kelso

    Many Hispanics are immigrants. Or, well, "immigrants". OF COURSE they are behind whites. How many poor white immigrants are there? I should ask how many white immigrants are there... close to zero. lol. No, not everybody will be "equal". Has never been this case, never will be. There always will be differences.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Quit trying to be someone else.

    Hispanic = Of white European descent, from Spain.
    Latino = Of white European descent, from Italy.
    Mexican = Of Mestizo Indian descent, from Mexico, not Hispanic, not Latino.

    Please learn to use the correct terminology.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Why should we? Are supposed to ask what their genealogy is before we label them?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • APR

      I would like to know where you got these definitions

      March 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • gerard morel cruz

      THANK YOU! I am a cuban-american with green eyes and white skin. i speak spanish very, very well, but mexicans are always surprised when they hear me speak. just because we share a language doesn't make us the same. i am a cuban, not a "hispanic" or "latino," latins are from europe!

      March 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • noah

      Mexican, is a nationality, pendejo. Not all Mexicans are mestizo

      March 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanRichard

      Hispanic = Of white European descent, from Spain. (True)
      Latino = Of white European descent, from Italy.
      (not quite, Latino's are all those who speak a language derived from "Latin" roots, such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and yes even French – Again this is all silly since by this definition the word "Latino" is pretty meaningless)

      March 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LatinoHispanicMexican

      you are way off! Where did you get that Latinos are from Italy?
      Mexicans not hispanic or latino? Really? please get educated before you comment.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lourdes

      Where on earth did you find those definitions? I have friends that are Mexican and have blonde hair and blue eyes, not everybody in Mexico is a mestizo. By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a mestizo, just in case someone decides to let me know. Latinos are not from Italy. Latinos and Hispanics are people that either came from a Spanish speaking country or their ancestors did. They can be of any race, as white as the moon or as dark as midnight and every color in between.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moncada

      What would you label me? I'm Spanish/German/French/Native American.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  25. no kidding

    Ahhh...how enlightning, another story on how Latinos or African Americans are discriminated against by the white people or have it worse off. Way to go CNN to keep that racism thing going. I got a great idea, instead of Latinos or African Americans taking responsibility for their own actions, going to school to get a better paying job or having 2-3 children instead of 6-7, we as white people do what they are doing. This way we actually lower the curve so the Latinos and African Americans don't have to better themselves to pass the white evil people.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark of Tennessee

      Truth hurts doesn't it?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. Hernandez

      I have 2 children- JERK- and I am pretty sure the Duggers and the Bates are WHITE!! Nice way to promote not being racist by spouting out a racist idea of someone based on nothing more than your petty observations. I have a Master's Degree, my children are honor students but they get to grow up listening to you be racist pigs WHILE SAYING RACISM is DEAD!!! Really? Who is being ignorant now?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jill

    what is the difference between a LATINOS and HISPANIC. The way I am made to understand is that they are all the same. What I am told is that after the Asian mongoloid people migrated to the Americas, over time they became the Red Indians of the Americas. I was also told that the Latino and Hispanic race has its origins from the cross breeding ( through marriage or otherwise) of the Red Indian mongoloid with the Caucasian that came mainly from Spain. Is this correct ?

    If I am wrong please correct me, I do not mean to hurt anyone's feeling or be disrespectful, just seeking the truth.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      I find you asking refreshing. My answer may take a while as its an ongoing debate in the Latino community so bear with me as I type it up. I will post in increments so as to not have a massive post.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      @jill: latinos come from latin or better know as central america. hispanics are typically from the caribbean and were named such for hispanola one of the predominate islands in that region controlled by the spainards. hispanola is present day dominican republic and haiti.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • JJ

        Not true. Hispanic and Spanish refer to the same thing. This has nothing to do with the name Hispaniola. That island was named Hispaniola (Española) after the people who had presumably "discovered" it (the Spanish people from Spain.) Latino refers to Latin American. Let's say it's a nickname for Latinoamericano. A Dominican is both Hispanic (because he/she speaks Spanish) and a Latino/a (because he/she is from Latin America. The same is true for a Mexican, a Colombian or an Argentinean.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      First and foremost we are all not the same. Due to different immigration patterns and mixing in individual countries we vary racially, ethnically, linguistically, and have our own 500+ year history. Referring to all of us as being "mexican" or "spanish" is beyond offensive. Its the equivalent of saying French and Italians are exactly the same, or Scottish and Irish are exactly the same, or to drive it home all Americans are exactly like all Canadians and all Australians, nothing special or unique.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        So i wrote a pretty informative post on the various groups and mixes in Latin America but I think Im being censored. But to keep it simple. No we are all not white and indigenous "mestizo". Think of Latin America like NYC. You can find anything.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        As to the Hispanic vs. Latino thing... You see in Latin America was not always known as Latin America. It used to be Spanish Americas and Portuguese Americas. Then the French wanted to conquer it and needed a way to justify it. So they reasoned that since the Spanish and Portuguese claimed Latin descent like themselves they therefore had a justifiable claim on the Americas under the guise of Latin brotherhood. Since France at that time was a feared superpower it started to refer the Americas as Latin America and everyone followed suit. That is where the term Latino comes from, not from us trying to claiming or wishing to be Italian. From a pure geographic standpoint anyone born in the Latin Americas is Latino just like anyone born in America is American. So you don't have to be of Hispanic descent to be a Latino, the same way you don't have to of British descent to be American.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        Now the reason the term Hispanic and how its applied varies. With some its roots are attached to racism/colorism and unfortunately my post on that matter was censored. But what essentially happened was this, after all the mixing a social racial caste system developed. Those with European blood were allowed to advance higher. So in Latin America there arose a reverse one-drop rule (one white ancestor meant you were white) and outright lying of your racial mix. So you would come across indigenous and or afrcn people without a trace of European blood who took on a Spanish last name or were given one by the church and claimed to be Hispanic. You have to remember Latin America never had a civil rights movement. After slavery there was no Jim Crow but socially accepted apartheid with non-whites accepting and even at times agreeing to their inferiority.

        March 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        For others the term Hispanic is not tied to race or ethnicity nor does it signify a love for Spain but rather merely living in Latin America and speaking Spanish. So to them you could be half Irish and half russian buddhist but if you speak Spanish you are Hispanic.

        Now the Hispanic vs. Latino debate can get ugly because as the years progressed Latinos who are not white stopped accepting the racial caste and ending their self-hate. Even white Latinos stopped using it as they no longer have a desire to be called by the name of a people they have no feeling for. And it makes sense, imagine if you were told all Americans had to refer to themselves as British? Weird right? So they prefer the term Latino to signify a being from Latin America. However, the older guard and those who still venerate Spain do not wish to relinquish the term Hispanic, which is for many the only link they have to Europe.

        March 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        Now the reason many in the US associate all of us with Mestizos is because they were the largest group to come to the US Southwest and are the face of illegal immigrations. This does not mean everyone in Latin America looks like them. They are not representative of all of Latin America but rather an immigration pattern from regions in their respective countries.

        Unfortunately, many Latinos born and raised in the US are extremely ignorant of all thing Latin America and yet feel free to pretend to be experts on Latin America based on what they see on television or what they hear from their parents. Compounding this is that many Americans take what any Latino immigrant tells them about Latin America as gospel. Which is insane. Think about it would you believe everything a random white stranger has to say about America?

        March 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        All done. Sorry it took so long. But had to take a few calls. Take care 🙂

        March 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Latino/a refers to people of Latin American origin (from countries where Spanish AND Portuguese are spoken in the Americas only), while Hispanic refers to people of either Latin American or European origin where Spanish is spoken. Thus, Latino/a and Hispanic can refer sometimes to the same people. However, someone from Spain is Hispanic but not Latino. Someone from Brazil is Latino but not Hispanic.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jill

    I just have one question. Were the people polled legal residents or citizens of the USA. This poll can be bias if illegal aliens are included in the survey as their access to education, health, civic engagement, economics and social justice would be different, so just curious.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Daniel

    NOT ALL LATINOS ARE HISPANIC! Why is that so hard for people (even self-professed Latinos) in the US to understand? Do we call all Americans British? Further, Latin America is racially diverse so attempting to compare us to other groups as if we were a defined race is sheer nonsense. So I'm curious how would they categorize/measure Latino families who are blk, asian or white?

    We are all not brown with Spanish last names. 2012 and intentional idiocy still reigns supreme.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julien

      I agree. My daughters are both german-cuban descent. Born in this country. That makes them American. Not Cuban Not German. . .although I do call them gerbans :@)

      March 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • WASP

        gerbans, lol i love it. thanks for the humour. 🙂

        March 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Val

      gosh what are you so mad about? gees...it'll be alright!

      March 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robinho70

      Great analysis. I'm of Italian and Mexican ancestry, not sure which category to check, so I stick to being 100% American and ignore everything else!

      March 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • gerard morel cruz

      i am a cuban-american who has green eyes and white skin, not latino or hispanic. nigeria and south africa speak english like we do here. why don't we call them all anglos?

      March 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      I'm with you there, Daniel. The confusion comes from the fact that people don't know the difference between race (your genes), ethnicity (your culture) and nationality (country of origin).

      March 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jill

    I just have one question. Were the people polled legal residents or citizens of the USA. This poll can be bias if illegal alians are included in the survey as their access to education, health, civic engagement, economics and social justice would be different, so just curious.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  30. boohoo

    Since when did ettnicity become the most important topic in the world? I'm personally tired of hearing it. OK I get it, everbody in the world is better than good ole caucasians

    March 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      It is CNN, which is anti-white.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jill

    I just have one question. Were the people polled legal residents or citizens of the USA. This poll can be bias if illegal alias are included in the survey as their access to education, health, civic engagement, economics and social justice would be different, so just curious.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  32. woohoo

    That is the whitest hispanic family I have ever seen. Complete with a tea kettle on the stove and a vase of tulips.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      You need to get out more. Your stereotypes are wearing thin.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Then you lead a sheltered life. Latinos come in every skin tone and every hair color/texture. Granted it varies on the country and region but to say Latinos look a certain way is like saying all Americans look a certain way.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lourdes

        Daniel, completely agree with you. Latinos or Hispanics come in different races or sometimes a mix of races. I don't know why when they talk about someone that is not Latino they say white, I was born in Cuba and my family is white, when I was in Cuba in all my papers it stated I was white, now, in the United States in some papers when I check White and Latino, it doesn't let me because I have to be one or the other, not both. I have Latino friends that have the same problem when they want to check the race they are plus the ethnicity the form asks. Race and ethnicity are two completely different things.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julien

      and they are eating a salad interesting. . .what happened to our platanitos?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Latina

      Those are not tulips. They're cala lillies.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Partha

      Well, I think they are direct descendants of Spanish colonists in Latin America. Then you have mixed(people like this family + native mexican ) and then you have direct descendants of native mexicans

      March 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. Hernandez

      Are you serious? What does a white family do that we aren't allowed to do? I am confused. Can we not drink Tea or have flowers on our tables, we aren't allowed to be successful- be light skinned? Ignorance is something left better enjoyed by yourself, not shared with others...next time keep it to yourself.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Moncada

        I know, I'm fair skinned, love Olive Garden's salad, have only two siblings, a good educations and people call it "white like." When will people stop labeling things, I'm not acting "white" it's just me.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • macphile

      You should talk to some of the old editors of the Houston Chronicle, who were also confused by ethnicity and color. They infamously ran a story saying that for the first time in its history, the city didn't have a white candidate on the ballot for mayor. A whole lot of people got really POed, wondering exactly what one of the candidates was if he wasn't white. In fact, he was Cuban, but he had light skin and blue eyes. Boy, was the Chronicle's face red. Insofar as a newspaper has a face.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  33. jim

    CNN, if you are going to continue to refer to me as a "white", I would appreciate your capitalizing it as you do Hispanics and African Americans. Either that or call them blacks and browns.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom


      This is CNN and as white people we are the evil people. Ever notice you never see a feel good story about a "White" family, only how the white people are the reason that black and brown people don't succeed.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky


        March 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Julien

        I claim my inheritance from the same pos european lily white countries that "whites" supposedly do yet CNN wants to make me out into a Latino. . .whatever cnn

        March 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moncada

      They capitalize Hispanic/ Latino and African Americans because that is the proper term to identify those particular races and ethnicity and "white" is not proper and that is also why the term Anglo-American is capitalized or Caucasian.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Roland

    Mimi......... this IS their country..........

    March 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark of Tennessee

      The truth ...Mimi just doesnt know her history... Maybe she should go home

      March 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  35. mimi_nef


    If they're so capable, why can't they turn around their own countries?

    March 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julien

      Because idiot the USA is our country.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raul

      maybe because the usa meddled in thier politics .. as in cuba , replacing one dictator with another.. maybe if the usa stopped toppling governments the people would rise against it.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • noah

      You're assuming we all came from other countries, some of us didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!

      March 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. Hernandez

      I am astounded at the ignorance. 1. Believe it or not we don't all cross the border, some of us are born here- from other people born here...making America OUR country 2. Ever wonder why everyone is running for the border- ever heard of oppressive governments, corrupt legal systems, poverty for people who work their fingers to the bone more hours in a day than most other people work in half of a week. What the hell is wrong with you?? Are you trying to say we are incapable? As in being Hispanic puts us at a lower IQ? My IQ point is 141 only 5 percent of people have an IQ that high or higher- pretty sure that includes white people.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |

    fIRST post!

    -Give me some charts! I like a good bar or pie chart!

    March 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Hispanic

    The problwm with hispanic america is breeding kids like pop corn

    March 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. Hernandez

      And smart one...popcorn breeds?

      March 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • macphile

      Actually, while popcorn itself doesn't "breed" in any meaningful sense, corn producers do have to breed good strains for popping. I mean, when they're not being paid to grow nothing, of course. What corn production has to do with this article is unclear, though.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |