The Future of Latin USA

I hate articles that talk about the future of Hispanic American USA or Hispanic America or Latino America. I really do. I know it sounds ironic because I am writing an article about precisely the same topic, but hear me out.

The reason why I am uneasy about articles that talk about the future of our ethno-linguistic group is the fact that, deep down inside, it is built on the premise that there is something fundamentally different to Latino culture and the greater Anglo-American culture.

I would submit that this is not true. In fact, if you look around in places like California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and pretty much the greater part of the American Southwest, the cultural DNA, so to speak, of Latin Americans, Mexicans in particular, is writ large.

It has to be because it used to be part of Mexico and we have always been part of the American experience, regardless of whether the greater culture accepts it or not. Regardless of whether they are happy about it or not, our voice has been heard and the effects of our decisions continue to play a role and manifest itself to the present day.

By simply being in the United States, Latinos can and do have a role to play. We are not just passive recipients of policies made behind closed doors in the cold, dark offices of Washington, DC.

We change the US as much as the US has changed us. Think about it, you may still be speaking Spanish at home but if you were to go back to your ‘home’ country for a quick visit, you’ll see major changes in your point of view, sensibility, and assumptions. This is how the US changes ethnic groups that settle within its borders. Its influence is almost inescapable. After all, most people, least of all immigrant groups, don’t live like insular and insulated Amish.

By being part of living, breathing and thriving communities in the United States that buy and sell and spread news, we play a tremendous role. We make changes as well as being the recipients or such changes. That is the future of Latin USA.

Now, this might not be earth-shattering to you, it might even seem like common sense or just simply restating the obvious, but the obvious cannot be restated enough. There is no shortage of supposedly eye-opening articles talking about grandiose visions of Latino political muscle in the future, but most of those are based on the premise that Latinos are essentially inserting something foreign or alien into the American body politic.

This cannot be further from the truth. The truth is, we are America. In fact, Latinos have been in the United States for far longer than the vast majority of European Americans.

Understand that fact. Embrace that fact. Let that fact be part of who you are psychologically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and you will be okay. In other words, the future of the United States, regardless of whatever form it takes, regardless of where it comes from, is, by definition, the future of Latin USA.