Dear Dr. Perry;
Just a note to let you know that I enjoyed your scholarly article on Portuguese-Americans: the Lost Hispanics. I saw it on the Portuguese American Resource web-site. I am Portuguese and am President of the Hispanic Faculty group here at Kansas State University. I use to be at Ohio State and was active in the Hispanic culture there as well. There is the misconception that the term Hispanics refers only to Spanish. It really refers to the Iberian Peninsula in which Portugal is a part of. Also, I am Azorean and you make a good case as to the colonialization part of the Portuguese empire being similar to that of the Spanish empire.
There seems to be a feeling among Portuguese that there is something wrong or offensive with being considered Hispanic or a minority. It is troubling when you see some government forms excluding Portuguese in their definition of Hispanic, It sounds like the old "Irish need not apply" mentality from a century ago.
In any event, nice work.
To my dear beloved from SdM. from Canada:
I'll make a deal with you: lets stop stereotyping people, okay? There are good and bad people. It only leads to narrow-minded nationalism and hatred. Funny, how feelings are passed down from generation to generation, whether one is Spanish, Portuguese, Armenian, Irish, etc. We are all conditioned to react in a certain way (yes - I've studied sociology).
I was just talking from positive experiences I had, and of course you from negatives. I'm sorry if I offended you. All I'm saying is that you can't categorize all people: I know "galegos" who actually get along better with Portuguese than people from Castille; I meet a Brazilian who loves cracking jokes about Portuguese and feels that his people actually "improved" the Portuguese language; my Afro-Cuban friend feels more at ease with a Brazilian than she does with a white Argentine, etc.
Oh, by the way: I was born in the United States...and I don't look down on Canadians: on the contrary, I love them and admire their education system and politics. They are well loved around the world especially Europe and Latin America...something you should me proud of.
Cheers and God Bless,
New York City
I was reading the latest entries in the debate about wether or not Portuguese people should be refered to as Hispanic.
In regards to Diana Castro's letter in which she wonders why Portuguese people still hold a 'grudge' over a Spanish invasion and asks how we would feel if the Brasilians or any of the other countries Portugal colonised, felt the same 'angst' about us?
This is mixing apples and oranges.
Most Portuguese people I know ( myself included ) have nothing but love for countries like Brasil and East Timor. We consider them not to be colonies but to be our 'cousins' and would like nothing more than to see all those nations do well. I was in the Açores while the conflict between Indonesia and East Timor raged (And the world turned its back with the exception of Portugal, who despite a lack of influence on the world stage, refused to shut up). I recall seeing "Free East Timor" spray painted on a wall in one of the bigger cities on São Miguel island.
I dont believe we feel that same kind of love and wish for well being from the Spanish. They tend to show Portuguese people the same kind of disdain and arrogance that Americans reserve for Canadians on the other side of the border.
So excuse me if my countrymen and women are not too crazy with the comparison. We may have been children from the same mother, centuries ago....but we have evolved into being two completely different entities.
And we are not hispanic.
Hi, as a person who speaks both Portuguese and Spanish, I just want to clarify one thing: there is no such thing as a Hispanic Race! That term was invented by the US census bureau because they were ignorant in distinguishing the different Spanish-Speaking nations, people and cultures. Therefore, a white Spaniard is lumped in with a Black Cuban, who is lumped in with a Mexican Indian...so much for American education! Taking our anger out on people who speak Spanish is not cool, because of another personxs ignorance.
What I also find ironic is how we, as Portuguese-speaking people, still hold a grudge against Spain because of the 60 year invasion back then many years ago. Well...should the Brazilians be angry with us for colonizing them? Everyone has gone through war - even Spain was invaded by the Moors. Get a life! If you want to get angry, why not vent our anger on being under brutal Roman rule thousands of years ago?
How about working for unity? Most of my Hispanic friends love Portuguese and Brazilians and consider us their brothers. And no, they do not call us Hispanic, but fellow Latinos as well. Peace