A confusing term created by confused people who think you can classify a race by a language. Residents of "latin" American countries refer to themselves as latino because of their descendants from Spain. Little do they realize that most of said countries had next to zero interbreeding with Spaniards and a vast majority of those who refer to themselves as latin have zero Spanish blood. Countries and people who should obviously not be called latino are somehow lumped under this category simply because they speak Spanish. Blacks born in the Dominican Republic are somehow latino, as are white europeans from Spain. Blacks and Spaniards racially and ethnically have NOTHING in common with residents of the Latin Americas but call themselves the same race. Somehow, under this theory, a Spaniard is latin, but an Italian is not, despite the fact that pretty much everything Latin really came from Rome.
Latino is an overly vague, catch-all term and a misnomer that attributes a culture to people that don't belong to it, at the same time depriving one of their actual heritage. A Mexican is a Mexican. A Spaniard is a Spaniard. A Puerto Rican is a Puerto Rican.
(what goes through a Spaniard's mind when filling out a form...)
Manuel: Hmmm, race? What to choose, what to choose... well, I AM white, so I should probably choose caucasian... Wait, never mind! I speak Spanish! Therefore, THIS is my race! (checks the "latino" box)
(example of the obvious flaws in using the term "latin" to describe a Spanish-speaking person)
Cesar: I'm from Mexico and I have REAL latin culture, something whites could only dream of.
Antonio: Well, I'm Italian, I'm white, and I ACTUALLY come from REAL latins. You know, the ones who lived in Europe, not Central America. Your ancestors come from Native Indians.
Cesar: (goes ballistic and calls Antonio a racist gringo)
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