While many Latinos are, indeed, black (most Cubans and Dominicans are black and at the same time undeniably Latino, for example), I don’t understand how one can be a Latino and speak no Spanish. It makes zero sense. Latino is not a genetic, racial, or ethnic category. Latinos can be of any race or ethnicity (Google Keiko Fujimori for an example of a Japanese Latina). The only thing they have in common is their Latin ancestry, manifested in the Spanish language they speak.
In the US, there’s this cute antiquated affectation of referring to descendants of immigrants as Italian-Americans or Russian-Americans. Older people do it but everybody knows it’s not serious. There’s zero difference between people whose great-grandparents came here from wherever. Gosh, forget great-grandparents. My kid isn’t going to be Ukrainian or Russian in any meaningful way. Everybody understands that and has no problem with it.
And yes, AOC is a total idiot but when she says “Latinos are black,” she’s absolutely right. Many Latinos are black. Associating the word Latino with a specific “look” is ignorant. AOC is a mumbly person, so she tends to express herself in a clumsy way. As a result, even when she says something factually true, it sounds moronic.
My point is that using “Latino” as a stand in for “not white but not black either” is about the tiresome racial hangups of Americans and nothing else whatsoever. And the world is very tired of the racial hangups of well-meaning Americans.