I think I may be beating a dead horse, or going overboard with this one.
I was looking at a local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce website, trying to decide if I wanted to join it and really liking what I saw. The chamber had a lot of demographic data on Hispanic owned businesses, and on the growth of the Hispanic population and their purchasing power etc.
I was really happy with what I was seeing until I got to the membership page.
Listed as a benefit for joining the local chamber is a complimentary membership into the regional Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce. There’s nothing wrong with offering me a complimentary membership in another board, the problem is that I’m not Mexican and I have no desire to join a Mexican American Chamber.
I feel that the local chamber is assuming that since I’m joining an Hispanic chamber, that I must be Mexican and thereby interested in joining a larger Mexican board. That is just a flat out wrong assumption. I’m neither Mexican, nor interested in joining a larger “Mexican American” chamber.
Upon further research, it turns out, that the local Hispanic chamber in question, is a daughter organization of the regional Mexican American Chamber. My guess is that the parent chamber noticed that some Hispanic owned businesses weren’t joining because they felt the name wasn’t representative of their own heritage and so they started the local chambers with the more “generic” “Hispanic” name.
Maybe I am making too much of this particular situation, but I think the larger sentiment of Hispanic does not always equal Mexican still stands. Am I making much ado about nothing here?
Depending on what region of the USA you’re in, does the word “Hispanic” immediately carry a “default” nationality associated with it?
by Rafael Marquez
Rafael Marquez is a public speaker and marketer. He writes at http://marketinglatinos.com/.