News Networks Fail to Call Racist Trump's Comments 'Anti-Mexican': How Saying 'Latino' and 'Hispanic' Denies Reality (6/28/2016)
While the term 'Latino' has been lambasted for decades by Mexican and non-Mexican indigenous thinkers alike, we also find that its usage gives the impression of a more neutral and non-racist Republican presidential platform due to limited coverage of direct appeals to anti-Mexican sentiment in the United States.
Generally speaking, the media has a rough time knowing when and where to use Mexican specific references. Failure to be direct and specific with regards to the current Republican presidential candidate has led to quite a lot of historical revisionism about his racist - and overtly Anti-Mexican - platform.
La Cartita -- Recently, we emailed a senior writer of a major financial news outlet about his usage of the term 'latino' and 'hispanic' in reference to Mexican people. I recommended he name Mexicans directly whenever speaking about the transgressions of the Republican presidential candidate towards us. I stated that besides it being the polite thing to do - many Mexicans identify as indigenous to negate European allegiances – the author's reference to racist statements against Mexicans necessitates invoking Mexicans too … since that's who the candidate is talking about in the first place! However, that simple logic does not apply in American media. The writer said he was stuck with 'Latino' because editorial style guides required that references to Mexicans invoke 'other Latino' groups. Obviously, the style guide rests firmly on the false premise that Mexicans are Latino – they are not.
While the term 'Latino' has been lambasted for decades by Mexican and non-Mexican indigenous thinkers alike, this article does not wish to deconstruct the colonial nature of the term. We will oblige the newly interested reader though and simply state that the term 'latino' is cringe worthy, equivalent to equating Mexican people with their colonizers because of their unfortunately shared geography and finally, it denies the individual identity of a group by positing a false equivalence between inclusion and invisibilization - it is misguided political correctness, at best.
Now, would anyone argue that the current Republican candidate is offending monied Cuban American citizens with his loud calls for a wall? Not really. Furthermore, 'Gusano' politics and politicians are particularly disfavored in the Mexican community too. Thus, anyone hoping to equate the two groups politically would conflate a series of factors into a flawed worldview that equates people based on shared colonization only.
Given the current Republican presidential candidate's stance on México, Mexicans, and even those right wing-Mexicans coopted into the legal system, we ask 'how awkward must it be to stylistically remove Mexican identity from where it is obviously relevant?'. We can find an amusing example in recent coverage of the Republican candidates visit to Scotland. Bloomberg reporter, Stephanie Baker, writes that protestors are currently "decrying his comments on Muslims and Hispanics" .
The supposedly inclusive reference glosess over the specificity of the Republican candidate attack on Mexicans. The current Republican presidential candidate invokes Mexicans in his calls for mass deportation and has proposed no wall between the US and Spain – just México. Perhaps, our opinion is biased, but understandably so, after all, Mexicans were called rapists in live television. No one in the mainstream press seemed to care enough to respond directly besides a few significant figures. Still, in the universe where 'latino' makes sense, it appears that only flags can be Mexican, not people, since a hyperspecific reference is acknowledged later: "They will be greeted by Mexican flags planted on the border of Trump's course by local residents, Michael Forbes and David Milne" despite the fact that the residents themselves sought to state solidarity with Mexicans specifically. Thus, even when people explicitly state solidarity with Mexican people (acknowledged in other media outlets), stylistic guides require sticking to the 'Latino/Hispanic' script whenever ethnic references dont feel surefooted. In other words, when in doubt just fib. We can imagine that its for the same reason this essay doesn't invoke the Republican presidential candidate by name: to not validate the entity any more than necessary.