"The term Hispanic, coined by technomarketing experts and by the designers of political campaigns, homogenizes our cultural diversity (Chicanos, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans become indistinguishable), avoids our indigenous cultural heritage and links us directly with Spain. Worse yet, it possesses connotations of upward mobility and political obedience."
I learned of the term in high school, but in college was set straight by friends from South America, Central America, Mexico, Carribean, and the Americas. They found it deeply offensive, and to this day I think of them and am careful about using the identity with people. Colonial roots are powerful and internalized. I haven’t experienced the same of names like Asian-American or African-American, although ultimately on a personal level I live by the principle of asking and not assuming or "lumping". Gomez-Pena, Mexican poet and educator, is based in SF and is involved in projects and books that explores borders, physically and culturally between the US and Mexico.