In early April, the Pew Hispanic Center released a poll showing not a lot of love for the terms "Latino" or "Hispanic." But the poll also revealed something else - there appeared to be no clear, defining term that was preferred, either. That left 51 percent of respondents in the survey saying they had no preference at all (though the true preference was identity through country of origin).
But officials at the Pew Hispanic Center said the response to the survey's release resulted in quite a bit of feedback. It also generated quite a bit of commentary on the message board after The Salt Lake Tribune's story ran.
So to keep the conversation going, the Pew Hispanic Center invited people to write up commentaries on their identities and how they viewed the survey's findings - the first of which was released today. It has also invited the public to post thoughts on the Facebook page - which has already generated a lot of traffic.
Mark Lopez, associate director at the center, said they have engaged the public in the past through quizzes or hosted forums to "engage folks" on studies the non-profit has commissioned.
But this study seemed to draw an even larger response, leading to the Facebook forum as well as the guest commentaries that will run each day at the Pew Hispanic Center's website. The first one was unveiled today - by Esther Cepeda, a nationally syndicated columnist who says the term "Latino" is "like nails on a chalkboard to me."
Cepeda sums it up this way: "Basically I'm a mutt. And what could be more American than that?"