What It Is Like Being Mexican-American

What It Is Like Being Mexican-American

Too Mexican for the Americans and too American for the Mexicans.
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“Being Mexican-American is exhausting.” Was one of the lines that must stuck out to me while watching the film "Selena." The conversation happens in the car when her dad is talking to her about doing interviews in Spanish when Selena is not fluent is Spanish. Mr. Quintanilla was right. Being Mexican-American is exhausting. You have to keep up with two different identities while making sure not to delve too deep into either.

Being born in the United States, I am automatically a citizen. I am an American. But according to society, I’m “too” Mexican to be American. My complexion is too dark to be American. My dark hair and dark eyes are too Mexican to be American. I’m Mexican, therefore, I can’t be American. I didn’t learn English until kindergarten but I picked up it up relatively fast. My parents were firm believers of teaching me and my brother Spanish first. But even so, when I stumble on a word in Spanish or don’t completely translate it right or if my fast speaking nature gets me tongue tied, I’m looked down on. It’s like “How dare I not have perfect Spanish?”

Yet it’s not always just the language barrier that is a struggle, there are constantly stereotypes and racial slurs being put on us everyday. Being from the south, I had to work extra hard at breaking this. No not all Mexican’s are illegal. Sorry Trump, we are not all the criminals, drug dealers and rapists that you claim us to be. Also, just because a person isn’t white doesn’t mean they’re Mexican.

Pick up a map, or invest in a globe and learn your countries.

There are so many other ethnicities besides Mexican, and it is not fair to group them all together.

No, using the term “wet back” is not okay.

No, using the word “beaner” is not okay.

No, using the word “Mexican” as a means to insult me is not okay.

This idea that I can’t be one fully with insulting the other culture is painful. It’s a tug of war of who I am as a person. Yes, I love hot dogs but I also love tacos. I love to dance to Mexican music but I also know every Kelly Clarkson song ever produced.

Instead of trying to assimilate us to be fully “American,” (which is a false hope because America was created on different ideas and cultures), try appreciating the culture.

And no just because I like to do things that are considered out of culture-norm for being Mexican, doesn’t make any less Mexican. I know the words to the national anthem and sing them loud and proud anytime there is a Mexico game on. As Mexican-Americans and more importantly as first generation Mexican-American, we are not trying to get rid of our Mexican culture. No, we are not trying to be white, act white or look white. What we are trying to do is find a balance. We are trying to be proud of the red white and blue and also the red white and green.

Don’t let anyone ever make you feel inferior because you put the Mexican before the American while describing yourself. If they don’t have a problem with an Irish-American or an Italian-American, they shouldn’t have a problem with you.

Own you who are. You are twice the person with twice the holiday, and twice the food.

And always remember “Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores. Porque cantando se alegran. Cielito lindo los corazones!”

Cover Image Credit: boarderzine

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Trump Hasn't Nicknamed Pelosi or AOC. What's The Deal?

These two women aren't receiving the usual treatment and it begs the question: why?

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Our Commander in Chief has been known to give out derogatory nicknames to those in the capital that he doesn't like very much. EG: "Pocahontas" for Elizabeth Warren, "Crooked" Hillary. I mean, for goodness sake's, there's a Wikipedia article with a comprehensive list of Trump's mean nicknames and who they belong to.

While Wikipedia does include names used on Nancy Pelosi, all of the nicknames still include her own name, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't even make the list. While the internet has adoringly dubbed her AOC, Trump himself hasn't felt the urge to demean her with a nickname.

So, what gives? Why do Pelosi and AOC get spared the derogatory nickname?

(Also, remember that in no way is this normal.)

I may be making a giant assumption, but it seems to be, that Trump's nicknames are meant to demean and belittle the receivers of them. So, by giving both Bernie and Hillary nicknames during the course of the election, he associated them with those traits and demeaned them in the public eye.

Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aren't people that Trump can easily belittle. The reasons for why are varied and speculative, but it seems that Trump has found these to be more difficult to harass in front of the public. It could be because of mass public support for them, but Bernie Sanders and Hilary were both moderately popular in the eyes of the media and general citizenship.

In my mind, that narrows it down to two things. Either Trump does not view Pelosi or AOC as threats, or... he is afraid to nickname them.

It seems insane that Trump would not view the two as a threat, given their very public statements regarding his policies. Pelosi and Cortez are threats, but big enough ones that Trump is afraid of their retaliation in the political scheme, and therefore, it's too dangerous to give them nicknames.

But now we can see through him. If he can't demean these two strong women for his own political gain, what can he do?

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