Xicanos as latinos

Whether Xicanismo likes it or not there is a latino force outhere to be reckoned with and it must embrace it. I say this because I have just been listening to Pepito for the past two days, an SF based band with ties to my birth city of Tijuana and a lad from Cuba. And I mention Xicanismo because Xicanismo/Chicanismo is impregnated with nationalistic hues albeit our nation in the green fields of our collective imagination.

However, the very same force that drives regular citizens away from patriotic jingoisms is making Xicanos of all walks of life turn their sights away from the entrappings of the cultural narcisstic mirror that Aztlán represents; there is a sense that latinos, as a major umbrella which encompasses all spanish related roots in the american culture, are becoming more the norm than the exception. This force must coalesce in order for it to become the norm, so that we Xicanos stop being an unknown force America.

Curiosly enough just as poverty is the hallmark that makes one nostalgic for Mexico, La Causa, immigration and the illegal alien is hindering xicanismo from becoming more mainstream if you will. We cannot see beyond those two issues hence the different types of Xicano that makes up the lot we are. Pochos, Chicanos, Mexican-American, Wetbacks and all that are but an expression to break lose from the chains that bind us to our past; there is no expression of xicanismo without the latter mentioned. Is there Xicanismo without immigration? Is there Xicanismo without la Causa? Does one exist as a Xicano in the everyday life? What does it mean to live a Xicano life? I dare not say lifestyle. Yet one must take into account that if culture is a mass product then we consume culture habits. Does listening to xicano music, Xicano rap and salsa makes one a Xicano? Do I choose to live a Xicano life and if I do is it a preference one can choose away? Apparently so because in our culture lingo there is the dreaded pocho, the dreaded soldout label.

Therefore the gains in latino preference, even our good friend in Chicago, Sandra Cisneros calls herself latina, and even I, have expressed this sentiment as well. In the bigger picture we must become a force within the emerging force of latinos. However, to answer myself the questions posed earlier as to whether I choose to be Xicano or not I believe that for me it represents more of an affirmation. I do not live in Aztlán proper. Like mexicans who live Aztlán and who long after México I yearn after Aztlán due to my exile. It affirms to me that I am a Xicano because I have so much of it and it delights me to read, see and hear Xicano matter. I do not represent your average Xicano. I am far from the marketing kingpins who appeal to the fibers of the Aztlán nation with their gimmicks. So there is no such thing as a Xicano lifestyle, however, I suppose there are xicano-philes.

And we must embrace the latino force in the US. However let us not be deceived as to what latino implies. There are those who will argue that latinos are the white upper class of hispania. When I say latinos I mean latinos in the senseit is used in the US. Latinamerican.

This entry was posted in Xicanismo, Xicano Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.