HAVANA TIMES — In grammar, adjectives are used to express the origin or nationality of people. In linguistics, compound terms are words formed by two or more simple voices.
These rules, learned in school when we’re little, have generated some concern with certain expressions that I’ve been hearing for some time. Therefore, I’ve taken the license to call these prefixed names of origin.
I’m speaking of expressions such as African-American, Afro-Latin, Indo-European, from my point of view these are no more than innovations implicitly carry a certain degree of discrimination.
These refer to where people are born, regardless of their citizenship, either by choice or by circumstance.
I can understand that compounds such as the following are used:
Both adjectives are used for referring to the country of origin and acquired nationality.
But if someone is a native of a country and therefore a citizen, why refer to their racial background? I consider it completely unnecessary.
This is very common in the United States, where the president himself is referred to as an “African-American.” Is Barack Obama less American than Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton or Bush (to cite some of his more recent counterparts)? None of them were called Caucasian-American [although Kennedy was sometimes referred to as Irish-Catholic].
But since we’re so imitative of our northern neighbor, despite our many criticisms of that country, I’ve been hearing this more often in the Latin American media. For example on TeleSur, they use the word “Afro-Latino” citizens.
What equality and integration do I hear spoken about when clearly this only establishes differences? I’ve never heard anyone calling someone “Afro-Cuban” in Cuba. I think it’s less pejorative to call them “black.” In the end, whether one is “black” or “white,” it only describes the color of their skins, not their original condition.
One is from where they were born, beyond passports, beyond the language they speak, beyond race. Can anyone tell me that singer Concha Uika isn’t Spanish.