Why Aren't Italians Called Latinos?
Dear Mexican: One thing I find a little antagonizing is the use of the term "Latino" as a synonym only for "Hispanic." I've noticed that you tend to favor Hispanic quite a bit more than Latino; thank you. The Latins as a people, a culture, a language, a tribe, came from ancient Italy. On employment applications or government forms, the race/ethnicity section doesn't include anyone other than Hispanics as synonymous with Latin(o). Where is the room for us Italians, or French or Portuguese? Livid Latin Lover
Dear Gabacho: If I ever use "Hispanic" in this column, it's usually in disparaging terms, as that's a creation of the Ford administration. I barely even use "Latino," since this is a column about Mexicans. All of this said, I agree with the spirit of your letter, and urge you to direct your ire not toward Mexicans but rather intellectuals. It's 19th-century French intellectuals who promoted the idea of a Latin America in opposition to Anglo-Saxon America. It's the love of anything French that drove intellectuals in Spanish-speaking countries in that era to warm up to that idea of pan-Latino identity. And it's gabacho intellectuals up here who bought into that idea in their eternal quest to categorize Spanish-speaking folks as subhuman. Mexicans will only consider themselves Latinos for welfare, Hollywood roles and affirmative action.
When I watch YouTube videos of 1980s music, whenever I sample Italo songs, a lot of Mexicans comment on the videos. How did Italo Dance/Hi-NRG became so popular with Mexicans? Interested Dance Music Fan
Dear Gabacho: Mexicans love synth-heavy pop dreck — embarrassingly so. Sometimes, great music comes out of this amor — witness grupero groups like Los Barón de Apodaca or Bronco, pop geniuses such as Los Bukis or "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians, the greatest song in human history. But most of the time, it's just terrible. Italo dance and 1970s- and 1980s-era Eurodance falls somewhere in between great and grating, which means Mexicans will dance to it. Hell, Mexicans will dance to anything.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- Donald Trump Begins Building Like Totally for Real Campaign Organization in Texas
Sun., Oct. 11, 3:25pm
Sun., Oct. 11, 3:25pm
Thu., Oct. 15, 6:30pm
Fri., Oct. 16, 7:30pm
- Jonathan Stickland, the Observer's Favorite State Rep., Gets a Primary Challenger
- Can Dallas County Cash In on the Volkswagen Scandal?