-If we are not Americans, we aren’t Latinos or Hispanics, either.
“Stop the nonsense” wrote a Latin American in one of the social media posts announcing activities to celebrate the (Latinx month) in the United States.
“It is discriminatory” hundreds agreed.
In English, the citizens of Latin America, are Latin Americans. This lacks any grammatical gender problem.
Lea la versión original del artículo en español, abajo.
Por Diana Leal K.
From being inhabitants of the American continent without being able to identify themselves as Americans, to being imprecisely called Latino or Hispanic, until now ending up identified as Latinx, by invention of some, the citizens of Latin America and their descendants have seen how in the United States their real name is ignored or changed without knowledge, respect for their culture nor consensus.
As history clearly documents, America was the name that was given to the “New World” “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and traced on a map by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, in honor of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Image taken from Wikimedia Commons. Amerigo Vespucci was the first to recognize the, “new lands”, as a new continent, refuting Columbus’s suspicions that it was part of the Asian continent. In his honor, the territory that you see on the map was called America. It was put on what is now Brazil.
Thus, the longest portion of earth in the western hemisphere, inhabited more than 40,000 years ago by great indigenous civilizations before being “discovered” by Europeans, and whose territory goes from the Arctic, in eastern Canada, to the Diego Ramírez islands, in the south of Chile, were baptized America. From there, nothing has officially changed to this day.
The countries of South America, Central America and the Caribbean, and the ones in North America are part of America. And as people are commonly called according to where they are from, wherever they may be, or according to their culture or history, in Spanish the demonyms are formed with the name of the region where they are born, and the suffixes anus, ana, eno, ena, ol or ola, es or eso, to mention a few.
I still remember the day I came from the south, to the United States of America, through the main Houston airport.
-What is your nationality? A robust man from immigration asked me.
_ “I am an American”, I said, to which the man replied, seeing that my passport was not blue, with a wide smile that in body language it would be translated as sarcasm around the world,
_ Are you Hispanic or Latino? he asked me again with an even drier voice.
It took me a long time of thinking and researching how, and since when America — the name — had ceased to be for Americans, and in what way did a single country got the name of an entire hemisphere.
“… The United States was not always called America. That name reached its popularity in the twentieth century, when the country became an empire”, said the history professor Daniel Immerwahr, and author of the book, “How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States”.
After waging a unilateral war with Spain, (1898) because the European country had neither the army nor was it ready to fight a distant war, (history.com) the United States, “made its triumphal entry into the imperialist club” adding to its property the territories of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii and Samoa.
Thus, it seems that it was the beginning of the change of the name, (the United States of America) which besides being long, it wasn’t enough any longer. Besides it the country required a “broad and universal denomination” as Dr. Samuel Mitchill had already stated in 1803. He proposed that the USA be called Fredonia, and its inhabitants Fredonians, because, in addition of being a poetic word, the name “Americans” defined the natives of America, and belonged to the aboriginal or copper-colored races.
Wait for the translation of the II and III part, or read the whole article in Spanish.
If we are not Americans, we are not Latino or Hispanic eitherVERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL
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