Letter to the Editor: On the content of Stanford Department of Public Safety alerts October 11, 2011 3 Comments Share tweet Letters to the Editor By: Letters to the Editor To The Editor: It is extremely annoying to be associated with a world-renowned center of learning and to be regularly bombarded with University bulletins that reveal extreme ignorance. The latest example is an Oct. 1 email from the Stanford Police concerning a robbery on Palm Drive near El Camino Real in which the suspect is described “as a Hispanic male…” It is only correct to use the term Hispanic to describe people who share a linguistic and cultural heritage. It is not a term of race or ethnicity. Hence using the term Hispanic to describe someone’s appearance is meaningless since it can include anyone along the entire color spectrum of the human race. It appears that many people in the United States, including the Stanford Police, still have a hang up recognizing that people can be of mixed ethnicities. The perfect example of this is the current inhabitant of the White House who is often described by the U.S. media as “African American” when he is as much Caucasian as anything else. Accordingly, the term Hispanic or Latino has crept into the popular lexicon as a descriptive term to describe someone of mixed European and indigenous American ancestry, an individual who in Latin America would be described as mestizo or in Canada as metis. This does not make the use of the term Hispanic for that purpose proper. More importantly, an educational institution such as Stanford University should not tolerate its incorrect usage. Thomas Andrew O’Keefe Lecturer, International Relations and School of Earth Sciences Departments ethnicity letter to the editor race Stanford Department of Public Safety 2011-10-11 Letters to the Editor October 11, 2011 3 Comments Share tweet Subscribe Click here to subscribe to our daily newsletter of top headlines.