Law School Discussion

Ask a Chicano

chidochido

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Ask a Chicano
« on: May 17, 2006, 11:51:40 AM »
I guess it's about time for it, so shoot...

chidochido

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Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 12:02:54 PM »
I don't know but I like them!

Achilles

Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 12:04:00 PM »
Where exactly did the term Chicano originate ? (historical,cultural and linguistic origins please)

chidochido

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Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 12:29:49 PM »
Ok this is a long one...I guess I should have been ready for it, but here it goes...

As an identifying term for Americans of Mexican descent, the word "Chicano" was born in the civil right movement. Being a spanish term, it includes a gender distinction, so females who identify with it are called Chicanas. The plural form includes Chicanos, "Chicana/o," and my personal favorite, the new-school "Chican@."

Sometimes you see people spell it as "Xicano," which harks back to the Nahuatl word "Mexica" from Aztec culture.

The term was first used in the 1930s in a derogatory way to put down recent Mexican immigrants in the American southwest (sounds kind of like what's going on how, huh?). Later, politically aware Chicanos in the midst of a civil right movement started calling for "Brown Power" and used the term as a source of pride.

Today, not all Latinos in the US of Mexican descent use this term to identify ourselves. In particular, those of us from Texas prefer the term "Hispanic" or even "Tejano" to identify ourselves. You usually get the term Chicano from people with origins in California, where there was more of a culture clash between Mexicans and Americans in the 1960s, and thereby more of a protest/liberation movement. In that sense, Chicano can be considered to be a bit politically charged. I'd guess that you won't find too many Republicans who call themselves Chicanos.

Similarly, people who are Mexican nationals really don't embrace the term at all. In some circles in Mexico, Chicano is still used in a derogatory way towards first, second, or third generation Americans of Mexican descent. All in all, if you are not sure where someone stands on the identity issue, I would use the term "Latino" for them unless they have used the term Chicano to identify themselves first...

Linguistically, I've heard that the term is actually a contraction of the Nahuatl word Mexica (which is pronounced Meh-Shee-Cah), but I somehow doubt that because the people who were first using it were probably not that in tune with the native languages and cultures of Mexico enough to come up with that. I might have to look that up though...

Complicated enough?

chidochido

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Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 12:41:21 PM »
I guess it's about time for it, so shoot...

Already been done:

http://www.ocweekly.com/columns/ask-a-mexican/ask-a-mexican/25092/

Yeah that guy is hilarious...my best bud writes for the LA times and has talked to him and he says he's pretty chill...I would have called this "Ask a Mexican" but I guess it would have been a little shady - so here's your chance to ask a Chicano!

Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 05:07:24 PM »
Ok this is a long one...I guess I should have been ready for it, but here it goes...

As an identifying term for Americans of Mexican descent, the word "Chicano" was born in the civil right movement. Being a spanish term, it includes a gender distinction, so females who identify with it are called Chicanas. The plural form includes Chicanos, "Chicana/o," and my personal favorite, the new-school "Chican@."

Sometimes you see people spell it as "Xicano," which harks back to the Nahuatl word "Mexica" from Aztec culture.

The term was first used in the 1930s in a derogatory way to put down recent Mexican immigrants in the American southwest (sounds kind of like what's going on how, huh?). Later, politically aware Chicanos in the midst of a civil right movement started calling for "Brown Power" and used the term as a source of pride.

Today, not all Latinos in the US of Mexican descent use this term to identify ourselves. In particular, those of us from Texas prefer the term "Hispanic" or even "Tejano" to identify ourselves. You usually get the term Chicano from people with origins in California, where there was more of a culture clash between Mexicans and Americans in the 1960s, and thereby more of a protest/liberation movement. In that sense, Chicano can be considered to be a bit politically charged. I'd guess that you won't find too many Republicans who call themselves Chicanos.

Similarly, people who are Mexican nationals really don't embrace the term at all. In some circles in Mexico, Chicano is still used in a derogatory way towards first, second, or third generation Americans of Mexican descent. All in all, if you are not sure where someone stands on the identity issue, I would use the term "Latino" for them unless they have used the term Chicano to identify themselves first...

Linguistically, I've heard that the term is actually a contraction of the Nahuatl word Mexica (which is pronounced Meh-Shee-Cah), but I somehow doubt that because the people who were first using it were probably not that in tune with the native languages and cultures of Mexico enough to come up with that. I might have to look that up though...

Complicated enough?

Very nice. Thanks, I never realized the history behind it. I never called myself that until I filled out law school apps...  :D

chidochido

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Re: Ask a Chicano
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 05:14:41 PM »
Well, welcome to the club, Duck! Or should I call you Pato now?  :D