Ask three Hispanics/Latinos how they prefer to be labeled and you will likely get at least four answers. As I discussed previously, the first response would be that they don't like to be labeled or stereotyped. Other views may depend on the different family histories of each individual. Nationally-syndicated columnist Esther J. Cepeda, who prefers Hispanic instead of Latino, writes that, "I'm a mutt. And what could be more American than that?" Political analyst Linda Chavez comes from "'conversos,'" Jews forced to convert to Catholicism" and actor Michelle Rodriguez has a family history that may be a little too family focused even for Hispanics.
The Pew Hispanic Center, which recently published "When Labels Don't Fit: Hispanics and their Views of Identity,” and is encouraging conversation on this topic by sharing the views of journalists, scholars and civic leaders on Hispanic/Latino identity. Information on the ancestry of Chavez and Rodriguez is from the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.