MY WAY …NUMBER 9
Hispanics, Latinos or whatever…will we ever get along?
I have been listening and reading about the inner-relationships between groups in our Hispanic/Latino or whatever community and, after thinking about it, I have to say….WE ARE REALLY SCREWED UP!
No matter what we try to do, Hispanics, Latinos or whatever still don’t get the message. Let me make some points that I think are valid.
- Puerto Rican. Colombian. Cuban, Ecuadorean, Venezuelan. Chicano. Mexicano. Dominican, Peruvian, Panamanians and others…There are millions of us in the United States. Some consider themselves Latino, some don’t. Some speak perfect Spanish, some don’t speak a word or afraid of speaking Spanish. Some dance to reggaeton music, and some do not know how to dance salsa, merengue, jarabe tapatío or bachata.
- Due to our different cultural backgrounds and political systems in our native countries, we cannot assume and should not assume that Latinos should get along just because we speak Spanish or listen to similar music. Latinos struggle to unify because we are competing for the same resources and we are from vastly different backgrounds. A “Latino” from Chiapas, Mexico has little in common with a “Latino” from Buenos Aires, Argentina, just as a “Latino” from Sao Paulo, Brazil has little in common with a “Latino” from San Juan, Puerto Rico. You see, the very term “Latino” is problematic. It serves to lump together a diverse set of people, with different languages, ethnicities, and cultures. That does not empower us; that weakens us.
- The problem is that everyone wants to have their own “piece of the pie, under their own terms. We should start then by acknowledging each other’s differences. If we start there, we can coexist more harmoniously. This is what really divides us.
- As this happens, people who come from oppressive or dictatorship backgrounds tend to try to “impose” a style of leadership; others use more traditional methods like bribes in order to obtain positions, others that come from other countries and know a great deal of Spanish use unusual verbiage, like if they were really eloquent, but can’t speak a word of English. A word of advice: If you are young, working or studying, or if you did not know….in this country people speak ENGLISH and if you are not willing to learn the language, go sit in a corner….you will stay behind. Some come from extremely opinionated countries; these are funny, they talk so much about everything, yet they have not been capable of taking care of their own problems. Others come from more liberal countries, and they are criticized for not being strong enough.
- Some organizations that intend to find common ground are having problems trying to stay together because of the political atmosphere and this “lack of understanding “between its members. I was told once, “There is nothing that can be done with this community. They are their worst enemy”. I tend to differ.
I think it’s time to stop “las pendejadas”. Let’s stop being so foolish.
An excerpt from a blog could not say it better:
What we fail to understand is that for White Americans–for the government and the census–we are all minorities; we are all of Spanish descent and we all speak the same language whether we pronounce it correctly or not. When new initiatives are developed for Latinos, the government doesn’t separate the Puerto Ricans from the Cubans or the Salvadorians from the Mexican, or the professionals from the uneducated. Instead they clunk us together as Hispanics because they see no difference between one and the other. Yet we separate ourselves everyday by our ignorance and our arrogance.
Imagine what our community would be like if we were to unite like brothers and sisters; if we were to help and support each other. Better yet, if we were to take charge and demand that we are treated equally and fairly. Imagine if we were to celebrate our similarities and embrace our differences. And instead of looking down or putting down each other we would show genuine love for one another.
We can’t complain about how white Americans treat us if we haven’t learned how to treat each other. How can we get respect from them if we haven’t learned to respect our own? So the next time you find yourself accusing a white American of being racist, stop, think and reflect, because you too may be considered one within your own community.
See you next week!