Belfast Telegraph

Zoe Saldana: Being Latino is who I am

Zoe Saldana has spoken out about the ‘Latinization of the United States.’

Actress Zoe Saldana believes the increase in Latin Americans in the United States is a good thing.

The New Jersey-born Avatar star, whose parents hail from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, is extremely proud of her heritage and with rising numbers of Latinos in America, she wants the population to embrace the change, regardless of their own origins.

“You can’t send us back,” the 37 year old told Latina magazine. “We are millions and millions here because it is our time to migrate. We are the youngest culture. We are doing what your people did. So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away. If anything, I want to give them a hug, and say, ‘It’s okay. It’s new. Don’t be scared. We’re great people. We’re gonna do great and better things for your country. Trust me.’”

Zoe made her comments after a recent report found America will be 29 per cent Latino by 2050, with residents becoming politically influential, but some fear this could cause a backlash from other communities. The actress thinks everyone should be proud of where they come from and is glad to see other Latin Americans embracing their culture more than ever before.

“Latinos are overall very respectful,” she continued. “Once we started being discriminated against, we chose the high road: Keep quiet. Keep working. Don’t teach our kids Spanish because we don’t want them to get picked on. Now we’re entering that phase where the first and the second generations are so in love with our ancestry and want to keep it alive in the best possible way. So it’s more like, ‘I’m not keeping my head down. This is who I am, and I’m just as American as I am Latina.’”

Zoe certainly takes this approach with her own children, twin boys Bowie and Cy, who celebrate their first birthday this month (Nov15).

“(Being Latino) is just who I am every day,” she added. “So they’re going to get a part of who I am naturally. English isn’t even (husband) Marco’s second language. It’s his fourth. We only speak English when we have people around us that we have to speak English. But if it’s just Marco and the boys, it’s a combination of Italian and Spanish at all times. I speak a very Dominican Italian.”

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