Going in reverse: Hispanics disappearing in the Mireles household

The census shows we Hispanics are growing faster than ever as a percent of the US population. Ironically, the exact opposite is happening in my family, we are becoming less “Hispanic” over time.

My dad was the first Mexican-American professor at East Los Angeles College and active in the Chicano civil rights movement. My mom is from Argentina.  I belonged to MECHA in college, edited a bilingual Spanish-English newsletter and integrate beans and hot sauce into my food whenever possible.

On the other hand my wife is French; and my kids dream of camembert, crepes and tarts – and ask, “What’s a Hispanic? We’re not really Hispanic are we?”

To which I have to answer, “Sort of – not really. You’re French American with a bit of salsa and Chimichurri sauce mixed in.”

My kids, like so many other generations before them are becoming less “Hispanic” and more “American.” And in the process, America is becoming more Mexican, Puerto-Riqueno, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc… as well.

So when I see statistics about the growth of the Latino population and the projections for the future, I have to wonder how many second and third-generation Latinos – especially those descended from multiple ethnicities will even think of themselves as Latinos? And what will the term Latino really mean anyways?

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