I just finished reading Diversity Inc.’s short timeline associated with Hispanic Heritage Month. It begins with the “discovery” of the Americas by Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) in 1492. Is it a coincidence that Hispanic Heritage Month overlaps with Mexican Independence Day? And what about the definitions of “Hispanic” and “Latino/a”? Are there new insights about ways we differentiate the terms and how does this reflect on our appreciation for diversity?
In Oaxaca, one-third of the population is indigenous. When they immigrate to the U.S. to find work, we call them Latino/a — but isn’t that a misnomer? It is so easy to lump people into categories and define them without asking how they describe or define themselves.
So, at this moment of celebration for Mexico, let’s pay tribute to El Grito — the cry of independence– and remember that Hispanic-Latino/a immigrants represent a growing number of America’s population who contribute to our climate of freedom and prosperity. Together we can strive to create improved economic-social-political conditions for all of us.