Los Angeles is a Latino city, but not a Latin American one. Semantics? Not really, says Zocalo Public Square commentator Joe Mathews. It's Latino in the sense that many people who live here have roots in Latin America. But Mathews says the idea that L.A. is anything like Latin American is a myth - propogated on one side by those eager to stoke fears of immigration and on the other by a desire for cultural appropriation. In fact, Mathews says there is little overlap and few deep connections between Latin America and L.A., which has always been defined by a desire to set itself apart.
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