I recently read an article titled We’re Latino Here by Ruben Navarrete where he writes about the need for Latinos to unite and work together towards similar goals. I have attached a link to his article because I sincerely believe his rhetoric applies just the same to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Being a recent immigrant, even though I grew up attending Brownsville catholic schools, I have heard many times the, “My family has been here for three generations” bit from people who consider themselves more American than me. It is their way of telling me how much more “superior” they are in comparison to me; the newcomer. Most of the time I choose not to mention the fact that my grandmother was baptized in south Texas in 1899 nor that I have many relatives who have been in the United States for over a century because I find that discourse unpleasant. The Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico are a unique area; when I lived in northern Mexico, Mexicans from the interior of Mexico critized me for being too “American,” now that I live in South Texas I realize that people in this area are considered too “Mexican” by their countrymen.
I agree with Mr. Navarrete; it is time to work together for the Latino community respecting the diversity that has made this country so great. Through the years I have noticed how there is division within all ethnic groups; whether it is for political, economic, or social reasons, humans will always find a reason to divide, and categorize, probably hoping to validate their own lives. As for Latinos, I hope someday we have an intelligent leader who can inspire us to forget our perceived differences and work towards the betterment of our race and our nation.
I recently heard actor Blair Underwood say that even though he was not born in Africa, Africa lived in him. I really wish Mexican Americans would think the same way and realize that Mexico lives in them, and that, contrary to popular opinion, this is a good thing.
Read Ruben Navarrete’s article http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/53513237-82/latinos-latina-latino-ethnic.html.csp
The featured photograph was taken in the mid 1940’s. Pictured are my father’s siblings and my grandmother Zoila Guerra Canales. My father is the second from the left; they are all gone now and we miss them very much.