MRC on NPR : ‘Hispanic’ Or ‘Latino’? Polls Say It Doesn’t Matter — Usually

392453_10150756268711756_1078337478_nIn January, we spoke with NPR’s Code Switch on the age old question – Hispanic or Latino? We say it depends who you’re asking. Below is an excerpt from the story.

“And there’s a local equivalent of that here in the U.S.: Marketing specialist Mando Rayo says he’s “part Mexican, part American, 100 percent Tejano!” Texas trumps everything, although Rayo said if forced to choose, he chooses Latino, because he feels it connects him more to his Latin American roots.

But, he said, everyone describes himself differently, which is why he tells clients wanting to capture part of the Latino market it’s important to do some research first. “They’re thinking about trying to sell something to the Latino community,” Rayo said, “and I always say, well, which one?”

The Latino community?

Rayo is not kidding. There is no one Latino community. Variables like age, whether a person is born in the U.S. or has migrated here, level of education — all those things can be important. Even within people with the same ancestry: A sales pitch crafted to Mexican-Americans in Texas could be very different from one aimed at Mexican-Americans in California.

Different geography, different customs, different cuisines, all have to be taken into consideration. Which has corporate America and politicians eyeing this important demographic, while scrambling to try to figure things out.”