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July 21 2011

Charisma Carpenter: "You need to get it out that I'm a proud Latina!". She also says that she will be a bridesmaid at Julie Benz's wedding.

Oh, please. The old, "I'm not Mexican, I'm from SPAIN!" thing. Shameful.
Julie Benz is getting married?!?!

Charisma Carpenter is 40!?!?
cronopiogal: Huh? Where does she ever say anything like that?
Right in the article, fortunateizzi. Right in the article. Such a disappointment.
She never said she was from Spain. She said her grandfather was an immigrant from Spain. Just as my husbands grandfather was from Spain, before migrating to Puerto Rico and then to NYC. Everyone comes from somewhere. It's okay to be from Spain.
As a mixie myself, I was going to ask Charisma about her real life multiracial/ethnic heritage and how she views the racial/ethnic heritage of the characters she plays when she came to Dragon Con last year, but I got caught up and missed her second panel. This article provides interesting insight on her real life; I wish they would have asked her about the characters she's played on my behalf!

[ edited by tjbw on 2011-10-13 18:23 ]
That's interesting that Charisma is Latino, I never knew that. Begs the question of whether Cordelia was also meant to be - it might mean something for all those "why are there no Latinos in a little Californian town" arguments often levelled at Sunnydale.
I just don't get what the big deal is about Latinas/os. Are Spanish people supposed to be different or something?

I'm a bewildered Brit when it comes to US ethnicities. Is it supposed to be a bad thing to be a Latina?
Latino/Latina describes people of Latin American descent, usually of mixed indigenous Latin American (e.g., Inca, Mayan, Aztec, etc.) and Spanish ancestry. If Charisma Carpenter's grandfather was from Spain, not Latina America, then she can not be considered Latina. She is, however, Hispanic. I don't think Charisma actually knows what "Latina" means.
"Hispanic is an English word that originally referred to people from Spain and eventually expanded to include the populations of its colonies in South and Central America. Latino is a Spanish word—hence the feminine form Latina—that refers to people with roots in Latin America and generally excludes the Iberian Peninsula. For many, Hispanic has negative connotations because of its Eurocentrism. Others prefer it because it's gender-neutral. Latino, meanwhile, is perceived as a more authentic-sounding, Spanish-language alternative."

And more:

And from Wiki: Hispanic and Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.

Does it really matter, though? I'm proud that my ancestors came from Ireland, but that was several generations ago, so I can't technically claim to be Irish. I am an American of Irish descent. (Although while I will still say "I'm Irish" when the discussion comes up, it's only my father's side. On my mother's is...French, German, Prussian, I think possibly a smidge of Italian...)

If you were born in this country, you are an American. Even if your parents literally just got off the boat from another country. You may be of Latin, Spanish or Japanese descent, but first and foremost you are American.

I'm not saying don't have pride in your ethnic background. But, as I said years ago when someone came to my college to talk about political correctness: "If we all took the time to introduce ourselves by every little detail, we'd never get anywhere." Because I'm a vertically challenged, sight-limited, mammary under-endowed, low-poundage....ya see what I'm getting at here??
I never undestood the way the Yankees refer to their people mixing the skin color (black people are called Afro-American, even they're ancestors being in this continent for thousands of years and it also confunses with the white people from Africa) and not having a time/generation limit to this genealogic thing (again, if we go further in time, we all are Afro-something, since the humanity came from there).
Here everybody is just Brazilian.
You can have different skins tones but the only other designation someone can have is being called "japonęs" (Japanese) if has any asian feature or gringo, if is naturalized (Process wich requires a person to live here for a week, speaks a dozen of dirty words and choose a Football team :) .
I'm not sure what's the problem here...? I mean she's being interviewed by a website called Latina. And it's not that she's trying to deny any attachment to Mexico since Spain sounds more old-worldly or classy or anything, she was just explaining where her connection stems from.

As for the confusion between Latina and Hispanic, I admittedly was fuzzy on the nuances but assume it could have been a branding thing to tie into the site's calling, regardless if she herself was actually ignorant or not. To some extent it's like synonyms for the less aware but not exactly as offensive as lumping a handful of Asian countries as "oriental"? (Is that remotely an accurate analogy?)

It does seem like she wants to at least make it clear to this demographic she's a part of it.
I'm just going to assume that the confusion about the "Latina" and "Hispanic" ancestry is the same sort of thing as being descended from "Louisiana Creoles" or "Cajun French".
Stuff like this is a bit puzzling to me really. 2 or 3 generations are about as much as is relevant IMO (so, as in Charisma's case, where your grandfather came from is fine to bring up for instance), much further and I wonder what it actually means. We're all a mix of ethnicities after all, it just depends how far back you go. Be interested (even proud if you like, accident of birth though it is) of your family history by all means but personally i'd be a bit reticent to conclude any relevance to who you actually are (except maybe WRT how much sunscreen you should use ;).

I may be partly ethnically "Spanish"* too for instance because around 15,000 years ago the (current) Basque region of Spain was an ice-age refuge from which some of the people now living on the western edges of north western Europe (who we know today as Celts - the Bretons, Cornish, Welsh, Scots, Irish etc.) spread out. And obviously we're all ethnically African eventually.

(I always thought "Hispanic" meant, basically, "Spanish speaking" whereas "Latina/o" meant "from Latin America" - which can mean a lot of things ethnically speaking - so, hey, early on a Saturday morning and i've already learned something, now I can just kick back for the rest of the weekend ;)

* quotes cos of the historical remoteness from what we call Spain today and the Spanish/Basque distinction, which i'm so not getting into.
Cordleia wasn't Hispanic unfortunately
Cordelia wasn't not Hispanic, either. I don't recall her race ever being mentioned, or even being relevant.
Invisible Green; Too true; we really know nothing about that.

Menomegirl: Strictly speaking (which means I don't know how relevant this is to how "Loozianans" really use the terms) Cajuns came by way of the old Acadian colony in Canada, Creoles came right off the boat from Europe.)
DaddyCatALSO-That might have been strictly true in Louisiana 100 years ago but it isn't today. I could call myself both and be perfectly correct doing so. But I never call myself "Creole" because the term implies a mixed ethnic heritage and I'm not mixed.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2011-07-24 05:31 ]

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