On purpose we have severely limited the amount of times we have written about the “D” word here on the blog. That’s mostly because in general we like to stay away from politics all together. Not because we are afraid to express our point of view or even because of what others might think about what we have to say. That has never been the concern in keeping our two cents to ourselves. Instead, our reason has been much more simple. We had not until now found the need to bring up the “D” word or to share any of our personal beliefs in this way. What’s changed now, however, is seemingly the sentiment about what it means to be Mexican in the United States.
For weeks, probably even months now, a lot has been said about our community in this country: Mexicans. And by Mexicans I mean both the mexicanos who just recently emigrated to this country and those who have been here for generations upon generations. In some instances, even those who are not of a Mexican ancestry at all, but who are just as easily identified as such by those who genuinely do not know or care to know the difference.
What’s been said about us has not been good. It’s varied from veiled insults to downright racism and hatred towards our community, and hence here is where the “D” word comes up every time. I won’t repeat any of the statements made by him or by any others for that matter. I truly believe doing so only perpetuates the hatred and ignorance with which these words were spewed, but more than likely you already know what things we’re talking about anyway. It has been almost impossible to evade the constant stream of news and social conversations taking place about these things. What really has started to weigh on me lately, however, is the notion that some of these “commonly held beliefs” about our community have to some degree begun to become normalized in our everyday society.
No longer are the words of hatred and unfavorable stereotypes met with offense or even surprise. It’s as if though for some reason saying these things, or hearing about these things being said, has become normal. Have we heard them so many times now that they are no longer a cause for concern? That’s my biggest concern.
I don’t want to live in a society where people who look and sound like me are denigrated and insulted every other day. I don’t want it to become the norm for people to say things about our community and for us not to challenge the things they say. I want us to voice our defense of our people. I want us to cascade the negativity with positive story after positive story about our community. I want us to unite as one and stand against the denigration of our cultural heritage and ancestry. I want us to meet ignorance with knowledge, and most importantly I want us to drive the narrative and change the dialogue about our community.
I also want us to show up and vote and knock down the threat of hatred becoming even more powerful.
I guess this is my personal plea to you to please make your voice heard.