The most popular names in California? Garcia, Hernandez, y Lopez

We’ve been mocking Ancestry’s DNA test commercials for a while because we can.

Ancestry also has a lot of vital data from its members and research, like what surnames are most popular in the 50 states.

Turns out California tops Texas in the Reconquista; the most popular names in Califas are Garcia, Hernandez and Lopez. Texas has a SMITH stuck between Garcia and Martinez, while New Mexico represents with Garcia, Martinez and Chavez. Make your own jokes about Arizona.

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Mas…The most popular names in California? Garcia, Hernandez, y Lopez

Ancestry DNA test shocker: ‘Hispanic’ is not my ethnicity (video)


Livie was lost. She thought she was “Hispanic,” a meaningless category created by the U.S. government for the census, but after she tested her DNA with Ancestry, she found out she was — wait for it — all mixed up. Mestizo, so to speak.

Well, I got bad news for you, Livie. Olivia, possibly? You look Mexican to me. In fact, you kinda look like my Tia Chayo from Tijuana.

Mas…Ancestry DNA test shocker: ‘Hispanic’ is not my ethnicity (video)

Can you spot the Latino in this photograph?

salvadorlitvakI’m pretty sure I was the only redhead at the NYU Latino Law Students Association Gala in the spring of 1990. The food was delicious, my date looked stunning, and I was glad I had jumped on the opportunity when I received the LALSA invitation.

My journey to that moment began 25 years earlier. I was born in Santiago, Chile in 1965: a third generation Chilean on my father’s side (whose people came from Odessa), and first generation on my mother’s side, who arrived when she was 12 from Hungary.

We left Chile in 1970 after the election of socialist president Salvador Allende. For Mom, socialism was close enough to the Soviet regime she’d fled in Hungary.

I started kindergarten at P.S. 81 in the Bronx. With a curly mop of flaming red hair and speaking only Spanish, I immediately embarked on a lifelong career of not fitting in. I learned English fast, but I still felt like an outsider. I got into X-Men comics because I identified with the mutants.

Mas…Can you spot the Latino in this photograph?

Al Madrigal is a coconut on a quest for identity: ‘Half Like Me’ (video)


alcoconutPOCHO Migrant Editor Al Madrigal’s epic quest for identity — Half Like Me — debuts on FUSION next Thursday.

Coconut Madrigal (white inside, brown outside) knew turning an intensely personal journey into a docu-comedy wouldn’t be one easy trick, but he never anticipated what happened next.

“I set out to dial down my pocho level from a ten to a five,” he told POCHO in a text message Tuesday night, “and ultimately something much greater and unexpected happened. I ended up not giving a shit.”

“I encourage others to try it, feels great.”

Al got some help from three mostly-reliable sources:

Mas…Al Madrigal is a coconut on a quest for identity: ‘Half Like Me’ (video)

Bidi bidi bom bom: ‘What ARE you?’ she asked

bidibom“What ARE you?” the Indian woman behind the counter asked.

I was at a Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City grabbing coffee. After handing me my change, the Indian woman wanted to know where I was from.

This happens often — whether I’m at a restaurant, an adult video store or a funeral. Inevitably someone will ask, “What are you?”

They ask in a way as if I look like the Elephant Man.

And then I realize that their question is one about my cultural identity.

Mas…Bidi bidi bom bom: ‘What ARE you?’ she asked

What’s in a trend? Google tracks ‘Latino’ and ‘Hispanic’ over time

ngramHispanic or Latino? This question comes up all the time, and not just during Hispanic Heritage Month, which we insist on calling Latino Heritage Month.

Is there a trend? We asked the Google NGram Viewer to search their big index of published books to see how many times the word “Latino” and the word “Hispanic” were used over time.

Mas…What’s in a trend? Google tracks ‘Latino’ and ‘Hispanic’ over time

Official spokesman for U.S. Hispanics quits: ‘It’s a bullshit job!’

spokesman(PNS reporting from MIAMI) Gerardo Lamas, the official spokesman for all Hispanics in the United States, resigned Wednesday night.

“This is a bullshit job and I’ll never be able to please anybody,” he told PNS in a late-night phone call. “I mean, I’ve been at this for a while, and let me tell you, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Que effin’ lastima, right? I’m throwing up my hands!”

“The truth is it’s ridiculous to expect one person to be able to speak for millions from diverse backgrounds, geopolitical situations, economic castes and region-specific cultures,” he said. “Rachel Maddow calls, Fox News calls, Esteban Colberto calls, and even your guy Al Madrigal from The Daily Show calls. Thank God for Caller ID!”

Mas…Official spokesman for U.S. Hispanics quits: ‘It’s a bullshit job!’

Local Chicano decides to start calling himself ‘Hispanic’

hispanicguy(PNS reporting from IRVINE, CA) Roland Vega, 33, formerly known as “Rolando,” has come to an important moment in his life: He’s transitioned from a “Chicano” to a “Hispanic.”

The decision to change the way he self-identifies came as somewhat of a shock to his family and his homeboys, but not necessarily to Vega’s former Hispanic fraternity brothers.

He made the announcement on Facebook Sunday night.

“You know, Roli — er, I mean, Roland — was always the most radical Chicano in the fraternity, but c’mon man, he was studying accounting. I kinda always knew he was going to end up a Hispanic,” said Ed Taboada, Vega’s college roommate.

Mas…Local Chicano decides to start calling himself ‘Hispanic’

White Boy ChIcano (a poem)

whiteboychicanoWhite Boy Chicano

It’s an identity crisis

My parents are Mexican migrants, who stay busy all the time

Spanish is my first language, then almost losing it because of time

My TV only showed Mexicans involved in crime

The stereotypes didn’t represent me

My school peers didn’t believe me

I wasn’t Mexican or White

Being a gringo and Mehican left me asking,

Who am I? Where do I belong to?

Pinche White Boy

Mas…White Boy ChIcano (a poem)

Census Bureau considering new race/ethnicity questions

2010censusraceproposednewcensusraceThe tricky choose-your-own race/ethnic questions in the 2010 United States Census didn’t work out as planned.

“As many as 6.2% of census respondents selected only “some other race” in the 2010 census (photo, top), the vast majority of whom were Hispanic,” the Pew Research Center reports.

The 2010 Census form asked two questions about race and ethnicity. First, people were asked whether they are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.

Then they were asked to choose one or more of 15 options that make up five race categories — white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.

A separate question about Hispanic origin has been asked of all households since 1980, and the census form specifically instructs respondents that Hispanic origins are not races.

To address concerns about a rising share of “some other race” selections, a combined race and ethnicity question is under consideration for 2020 (photo, bottom), in which people would be offered all the race and Hispanic options in one place.

They could check a box to identify as white, black, Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander or some other race or origin.

Mas…Census Bureau considering new race/ethnicity questions

Don’t call me a ‘Mexican,’ America! Also, I’m not a ‘Latino’

HispanosAgaintsLatinoTermIt’s a phenomenon older than the United Estates of America. We’ve named it Looking Down On More Recent Immigrants Syndrome:

Last week three latter-day Looking Down Syndrome sightings lit up our screen, INSISTENT MESSAGES from people who want you to know THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT THOSE OTHER PEOPLE OVER THERE — those Mexicans and/or Latinos.

Mas…Don’t call me a ‘Mexican,’ America! Also, I’m not a ‘Latino’

Um, excuse me…we prefer to be called ‘white folk’ (photo)

crackersbigWe can’t track the original of this photo to give its creator props, so we’ll just heartily thank all Internet-enabled photographers, wherever they are. And whatever they want to be called, tambien. After all, what’s in a name?

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Me? In London, I’m a ‘culturally-American Mexican’

Regent Street with NFL bannersWhere are you from?

That is a simple question, isn’t? Well, for some of us, the answer is not so straight forward.

My experience in London in the past four months has included fascinating dialogue with people I have come across. It is one thing I have come to expect from such a global city where you are bound to meet people from so many places around the world.

Such interactions have sparked in me the need to explore my conception of identity as part of my own self-discovery process. Primarily because most of us conflate place of origin and ethnicity with identity.

If I claim to be from a certain part of the world, what does that mean about the way others expect me to look, speak, act and be? In engaging in this inquiry, the first realization I have made is that the answer to the question of “Where are you from?” is very telling not only about one’s own perception of identity but also of the one imposed by others.

Mas…Me? In London, I’m a ‘culturally-American Mexican’