Editor discusses Hispanic pride

By Sandra Masibay

Alfredo Estrada, editor and publisher of Hispanic magazine, spoke Tuesday night about business, politics and pride.

Estrada is an alumni of both Harvard University and the University of Texas law school.

Upon graduation from law school, Estrada practiced corporate law for three years. He left the practice to start the magazine in response to a growing need to answer the question, “What does it mean to be Hispanic?” and also as an effort to unify and educate the Hispanic population.

“The term Hispanic comes from Spain. It is Roman in origin. It was brought into popular usage by the Census bureau,” Estrada said. “The term Latino was developed by the French after they invaded Mexico in 1860. It is not used in Latin America itself.”

According to surveys across the nation, the term Hispanic is preferred over the term Latino. On this campus Hispanic is preferred. Estrada’s magazine uses both terms interchangeably.

“In college I didn’t really think of myself as Hispanic. I thought of myself as Cuban-American. The term and the concept of being Hispanic, tied to Mexicans, Puerto-Ricans, Salvadorians etc., is a fairly recent concept. I think that you are lucky to have this kind of awareness,” Estrada said.

A common misconception is that the magazine focuses on differences of Hispanic groups. “That isn’t true. We at the magazine try to focus on unifying factors,” Estrada said.

Hispanic magazine has a diabolical nature by emphasizing commonalities while preserving a group’s identity.

“Hispanics are not thrown into a melting pot. We are a mosaic with each piece strengthing the whole,” Estrada said.

There are many obstacles that Hispanics in the 20th century face. To gain political and economic clout, Hispanics must unite, Estrada said.

“Why isn’t there a Hispanic Jesse Jackson, someone that can unify? I’m wondering if that’s ever going to happen.”

Broader issues Estrada stressed Hispanics work on were education, politics and health.

“Malnutrition and poverty in the Hispanic community is three times more likely to occur than in non-Hispanic communities.”

There is a 59 percent drop-out rate among Hispanics attending high school, Estrada said.

Although the figures are stark, Hispanic magazine provides needed role models to the Hispanic community. “Those of you that are here today are role models. You may not want to be but the reality is that you are,” Estrada said.