September 22, 2011

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH – A TIME TO CELEBRATE AND EDUCATE

  
By Raul Ramos y Sanchez


The Latina Book Club welcomes the author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED to its Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.



Hispanic Heritage Month is a much-deserved commemoration of the nation’s fastest-growing ethnic group. But it’s more than opportunity to celebrate. It’s also an opportunity to educate, a chance to dispel the many widespread myths about Latinos.

Ironically, many of these misconceptions are often perpetuated by other Latinos. The most common source is the “Hispanic marketing expert” who conjures imaginary characteristics about all Latinos to assert their expertise. Here are just a few actual examples:

“Hispanics tend to place less importance on time as a concept. This can be frustrating to many non-Hispanics who are used to a fast moving world and are constantly rushing and planning for the future.”

“Discussions with Hispanics tend to be more emotional and less rational. Understanding this will allow you to build powerful messages. Try touching their hearts first, not their heads.”

As a Latino, I find these generalization more than insulting. They hurt my chances in the business world. Would you do business with someone who is going to be perennially late, overly emotional and illogical? Would you hire that person as an employee?

Here’s the best proof that Hispanic uniformity is a myth: The majority of Hispanic-targeted marketing campaigns have failed. All the same, these “Hispanic marketing experts” are trying more desperately than ever to sell their wares. So we can expect this sad trend to continue.

As Latinos in the United States, we enjoy the wonderful guarantee of free speech. Our free enterprise system is another blessing. However, these rights and advantages should not be a license to pimp an entire ethnic group in order to make a buck. Let’s celebrate Latino culture. But let’s celebrate responsibly. ♥


Raul Ramos y Sanchez is a marketing executive, the author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED from Grand Central Publishing, and the host of MyImmigrationStory.com. You can visit his website at www.RaulRamos.com.


COMMENT:     Do let us know how you are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.


NEXT:  Join us on Monday, September 26, to hear from Blogs by Latinas founder Monique Frausto.