Hispanicity, in the United States, is officially treated as an ethnicity (a culture) rather than a race (a biological category). That is, if you are white, speaking Spanish as your native language makes you a different sort of white than speaking other European tongues. (There are myriad other complications here: What about Afro-Hispanics or Asian Latinos, for instance?) The assumption is that someone in Madrid, Spain, and someone in Lima, Peru, share a common culture because they both speak Spanish. This holds as much weight as claiming that someone in Anchorage, Alaska, and someone in Johannesburg, South Africa, share a common culture through English: maybe, but not necessarily. Spanish is spoken by some half a billion people worldwide, the majority of them living in the Americas, including the United States. It is the native language of 12 percent of Americans and is spoken by 30 percent of the population, including many native English speakers who have learned Spanish in school or through their professions. It is a truism now to say that the Spanish language, just like English, crosses races, nations, class boundaries and more. Why does it continue to have such a social stigma, and why is it taken as the emblem of the threat to English-language dominance of American culture?