This year, I haven’t written very much about Hispanic Heritage Month. Well, I haven’t written very much at all. But for the first time in as long as I can remember the month known as Hispanic Heritage Month has arrived and it hasn’t inspired so much as a second thought from me.
That could be the many years I spent strategizing for clients about what came off as the most authentic and organic for campaigns around this time of the year that were intended to inspire brand loyalty and general nice feelings about anything from a hamburger to a the latest iPhone on the market. It could also just be my reaching the big 4-0 and feeling so unbothered by this and a lot of other things in my life at the moment. What I think it is, though, is that for many of us – Latinos I mean – the occasion just doesn’t mean as much as it once did.
Sure, it is great to honor our culture and heritage. You won’t get any arguments from me on that front. And yeah, honoring the many contributions of our community is pretty badass. I will still even give it up for those brands that are making an effort to show us that they care about our community – even if their interest might be more in our pocketbooks than our actual communities. At least it’s an effort, right?
However, the fact that there seems to be so much more hostility towards Latinos in this country also accounts for a little bit of the disinterest of many of us. It’s not that we don’t appreciate Hispanic Heritage Month as a national observation. It’s just that it feels a little disingenuous when we are being targeted and attacked what seems like every other day. Is that just me?
If it is, that’s totally fine. I’ve been wrong and on my own plenty of times before so it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s certainly not my intention to speak for anyone else. Let me just say that… but I know that in talking to friends and family members (after we are alone and sometimes in lower tones) a lot of them have expressed the same types of feelings and thoughts. Enough to where it has become quite noticeable.
To be fair, yes, some of us complaining do find it easy to find things to complain about. I don’t think this is that, though.
Our time and place, and presence is just different than before.
Finally, I should also acknowledge that a lot of young people may not feel this at all. For many of them (and I am using my 16-year-old as an example), being a Latino and a citizen of the United States just means they are a citizen of the United States. That’s it.
When I think about that I do get more excited about HHM.