According to the National Council of La Raza, the term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people,” or, according to some scholars, “the Latino people of the New World.” 

The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world’s races, cultures, and religions.  Some people have mistranslated “La Raza” to mean “The Race,” implying that it is a term meant to exclude others.  In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Latino people.  This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Latinos share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny. 
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