I know what you’re thinking. What is this, some type of joke? Why wouldn’t it be great to be Latino all of the time! ¿Verdad? Well, hold on to your sombreros and rebozos there for a second. It is. But this year in particular promises to be especially kind to us Latinos. Although you do know what they say about promises made…they are often broken. Pero bueno, it’s still early enough in the year that I can err on the side of optimism. After March or April, all bets are off. Time just seems to make me more cynical y más corajudo.
Before that happens, and as a reminder to myself for the rest of the year, these are the top 10 reasons why I think it’s great to be Latino in 2013:
10. There are more of us than ever!
According to the 2010 census, 50.5 million of us—o sea, about 16% of the total US population. That’s a whole bunch of mexicanos, cubanos, puertorriqueños, dominicanos, salvadoreños, hondureños, españoles, etc., etc., etc. Don’t get mad at me if I did not mention your nationality. That’s how many of us there are! I definitely believe there is strength in numbers.
9. Everyone thinks we’re loaded.
Why else are major retailers and brands shelling out millions of dollars to court our reported $1.3 trillion in purchasing power? Even if all of us aren’t exactly loaded, again I point to the strength in numbers argument. We all have to eat, live somewhere, dress ourselves and our children, and travel. If these corporations want our dinerito it’s not enough to just expect us to hand it over anymore.
8. We might finally have some actual political clout.
We got President Obama elected the first time and we did it again in 2012. Now there really is no question about it. Latinos, we’re coming out to vote, we want to know our issues are being addressed, and we want people representing us who will be accountable. Nomás queda ver if we actually get what we were promised this time around…not given the runaround like last time.
7. Our celebrities are multiplying.
Not only are they reproducing themselves, there are more Latino celebrities now than ever before. Everyone from Sofia Vergara, Shakira, JLO, Salma Hayek, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Rico Rodriguez, William Levy, Damian Bichir, and so many more, are shaping the image of Latinos in the mainstream media. Yes, there are still great lengths to forge ahead. Pero bueno, ¡hay que celebrar el progreso!
6. More brands and companies are looking to “Go Latino!”
That means business opportunities, plain and simple. Who better to advocate for these investors in our comunidades than someone who understands intrinsically what it is to be Latino. That’s right, you and me! See where I’m coming from now?
5. We still have a lot of young people to push forward.
In the words of Spiderman’s uncle: With great power comes great responsibility. Okay, okay, le bajo…but part of our motivation for making 2013 a great year for ourselves should be thinking about the generations coming up behind us. We have to do our part to continue our progress as a people.
4. Our DREAMers are getting a chance at making their dreams come true.
It’s not perfect. I wish President Obama’s deferred adjudication would have been much more expansive, but it’s a step in the right direction. Finally some of these young people will be able to put their degrees to work! That deserves un aplauso any day of the year in my book.
3. We might finally see some type of immigration reform!
Both parties actually seem to agree about this now for some odd reason. I wonder why? But seriously, this is a long overdue resolution that hopefully will come to fruition this year.
1. The whole country is turning Latino!
Notice I said the country is turning Latino not the country is being turned into Mexico or part of Latin America. There is a difference. According to rough estimates, by 2050, 30% of the total US population is expected to be Latino. Again, that’s a lot of us!
Why else do you think this year will be a great year for Latinos? Share your opinions. I’d love to read them.