Every year when September 15 rolls around, Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off. And while it’s supposed to celebrate the accomplishments of the Latino community, people (read: gringos) sometimes have other plans.
For the 30th anniversary of HHM (it actually started in 1968, but only became a month-long celebration in 1988), we’ve predicted all the good and bad – but mostly bad – things you can expect for the next 30 days or so.
We'll see the same four (give or take) Latinos' stories over and over.
Hispanic Heritage Month should be about talking about inspirational people that form part of our communities, but the issue is that we tend to recycle the same few stories over and over. And while that shouldn’t stop us from learning about someone like say, Cesar Chavez, there is definitely more room for other heroes to be spotlighted. This is especially crucial because the media already pushes a very narrow picture of what a Latino looks like, which means that Afro-Latinos, Asian-Latinos, and others end up not getting the shine they deserve.
If you want to learn about more inspiring people, we suggest reading up on authors bringing Afro-Latina stories to the forefront, Asian Latinos whose contributions we can’t forget, and eight pioneering trans Latinas who paved the way.
There'll be a lot of folklórico imagery.
For some reason, Hispanic/Latino heritage only evokes images of folklórico. But our heritage needs to be discussed and portrayed in more nuanced ways.
Someone will have a deal on Mexican food.
This, we’ll gladly accept.
There will be explainers on the differences between Latino and Hispanic.
While some of us use the terms interchangeably, Latino and Hispanic are not the same. And HHM is always the perfect time for this to resurface.
Brands will try to tap into HHM.
Whether it’s with a tweet or an oddly specific condiment, brands will try to market to the Latino community. And while we can’t say they’ll all be terrible, we can say many will probably fail.
We'll get lots of stats on Latinos.
Whether it’s looking at our spending power, home ownership rates, population size in the country, you’ll likely see plenty of stats on our communities.
Someone will do something racist.
Last year, students at an Alabama high school held signs that read “put the panic in Hispanic.” And while the example might not be exactly the same, someone will surely do something questionable, if not downright racist.
And finally, President Donald Trump will do or say something offensive.
Not that he needs any excuse to disparage Latino communities, but we have a feeling that Trump will find a fresh way to insult us this month.