The term “American” means different things to different folks.
Though the Americas consists of North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, the dominant assumption is that the term “American” describes someone who is from the United States.
However, many ― including some of the Americans featured in Pero Like’s video “Who Is Really ‘American’?” ― take issue with that particular correlation.
In the video, shared on YouTube Sept. 1, Latinos explain why the assumption that the term “American” only applies to people from the U.S. isn’t just incorrect, it’s also pretty frustrating.
“Living here in the United States, it seems like ‘Americans’ think America’s just the United States,” explains Jessica Lima, who was born and raised in Guatemala.
“People are upset because it’s... geographically incorrect. So that bothers a lot of people because… they’re excluding the rest of the American continent from being Americans,” she later adds.
Though many of the individuals featured in the video say they understand that people are socialized to correlate American identity with the U.S., some say they still find the practice insulting and exclusive.
“To everyone from Central and South America, Latin America, yes the term ‘American’ is very exclusive,” explained Fred Diego, who was raised in Indiana and is of Mexican descent. “It does omit you and your people and your countrymen from the Americas.”
Do you agree? Watch the video in its entirety above, and let us know what the term “American” means to you in the comment section below.