Sunday, February 25, 2007

As a Proud Mexican-American I Take to heart Hateful Comments About My Heritage

As a proud Mexican-American born in Matamorros, Mexico, I take to heart racist, fascist and hateful comments made about my heritage. Our struggle to rid the U.S. of racist remarks is a tough one but one that needs to be done. In recent years there has been an increase in the cultural abuse of a proud people. I find this immoral, degrading, and disgusting. Now it has been integrated into our society’s vocabulary: beaner, wetback, immigrant. But why does such racism exist? Why are we not allowed to demonstrate our pride?

Let’s start at the beginning. When Mexico was overrun by European immigrants and Spanish conquistadors, my people, the proud people of Mexico, were killed like meaningless insects. Years later the U.S. was established and the people who survived were put under the rule of the Spanish. We fought long and hard to gain our independence, and when we finally did, we were in control of our own lives. We made a deal with the U.S. government and sold our land in California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Presently Latino immigrants are coming into this country, a country of freedom and opportunity, to make something better for themselves. But when they come here, they are greeted with hostility. It is a fact that most states’ bills of rights were written in Spanish before being translated into English. Again, when coming here we are forgotten and considered a minority. In the coming years, though, Latinos will be the majority. We can stand and be proud only if we unite.

I look at situations here in the U.S. and I am angered and saddened. I see colleges having “South of the Border” themed parties or having people play the racist joke when no one is around. This brings tears to my eyes to see my people, my life, and my culture demeaned this way. Caesar Chavez united migrant workers in the U.S. Hidalgo Zapata, and Espinoza fought for our independence, and I would fear thinking about what they would say.

I have been approached by racism, and I guarantee that I will continue to be spitted on because of my ethnicity. I cannot imagine knowing why people are so racist towards us. We are a proud, struggling, and knowing people. I cannot see the racism ending soon unless we, the new generation, try to put an end to it now.

By C.C., a high school student

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