Dear White People,
For decades our government has been trying to sell us on the idea that we live in a “post-racial” society and that racism no longer has a place in the national conversation. Many of you (as well as other ethnicities) have used this false sense of living to validate your own hidden racism … and that’s okay. *not really* You’re going to be who you want but don’t try to project your hatred and anger onto me. It’s pretty tacky. You calling me racist because I’m proud to claim my indigeneity and heritage of Native Royalty is hypocritical. It simply proves my point.
Many of you claim Affirmative Action balanced the playing field leaving no need for protest against “the machine.” Some of you even use the line (and this is my favorite one) “I don’t see color” defending the white hetero-patriarchy that in your misguided mind doesn’t exists. Guess what … Affirmative Action? Primarily helps those entering higher education and doesn't do much for the rest of the minority community at large. Pull ourselves up by our bootstraps you say? That archaic phrase doesn’t apply to those who have no boots to begin with. Besides, how are Mexican Americans supposed to do that when the boot straps are corporately owned? We’re more like the heel on that boot supporting the rest of the country with our labor and numbers because THAT’S our capital. Oh yeah, when you claim to “not see color” at a meager attempt to separate yourself from racist ideology, you’re implying you don’t see me. I’m a man of color, my experience is unique. My struggle is shared by those who look like me rooted in the history of Tejaztlan. “I am the masses of my people and I refuse to be absorbed” into the shadows for the sake of your comfort. I was born in a struggle and I’ve never had the privilege of light skin many Anglos had/have. THAT’S your privilege.
The inception of your hatred towards Mexican@s is deeply rooted in the U.S.’s ability to effectively market a demographic to the uneducated masses. So you see, you’re a victim as much as anyone else. Your concern now is that we’re educating ourselves and speaking out against the wrath of mierda … excuse me, that means shit (see what I did there? I just made an assumption/stereotype that you didn’t speak Spanish because you’re White. Doesn’t feel good does it?).
So do what we’re doing and unlearn all that hatred and relearn compassion. Help us bridge the racial divide not make it bigger. If you think there’s nothing wrong with the current state of existence in the U.S., then think of how many times Whites misappropriate Mexican culture for the benefit of a laugh or satirical event. You can’t stand us but you’ll have a “Cholo” themed party. Our presence in society is displeasing to you yet you can’t wait to have Enchiladas Verdes at your local Tex-Mex restaurant. Our work ethic is reduced to criminal status but you can’t wait to have your salad or T-Bone steak because guess what, a Mexican@ pick that head of lettuce or processed that head of cattle.
Are there some aspects of our culture that are undesirable? Yes, just like yours. Wait … what does White culture even look like without some ethnic influence? Anyway, not the point. Bottom line is we’ve been painted with damaging broad strokes of a hatred drenched brushes for centuries. Thanks to the Spaniards wiping out most indigenous artifacts, present day knowledge is the courtesy of Spanish invaders through THEIR lens. Our narrative has been written FOR us by some NOT like us and it’s fed through an IV to our children in schools. THAT’S why many Mexican Americans feel as if there’s nothing left to fight for. Because the rhetoric has conditioned us to defend the very mechanisms of oppression that keeps that boot under water.
… and before you jump on that tired ass bandwagon of blame stating “Mexicans do it to themselves … I worked hard for what I have … no one handed me anything … I earned every penny” think about this … this shit feels personal doesn’t it? THAT’S what it feels like when Anglo culture points the finger of blame at ALL people of color without understanding the intricacies of it’s culture/existence.
Also, though some of you may fall in that Working Class Anglo group, you still had privilege in skin color whether you want to admit it or not, and still do. You’ll never have to send your children out of the house and worry if a dirty cop is targeting them with their own internalized stereotypes for violent acts.
So I leave you with this … being culturally proud and rooted in my Xcano identity is NOT racist and just because you say it is doesn’t make it true. If you think it is, perhaps you should re-examine the view you’re taking on it. Be honest with yourself, acknowledge your privilege and have a revolution in your heart and mind.
Born in San Anto, raised by the barrio, educated by both.