Xicano Commentary

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In Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzáles1, the Anglo plays a rather significant roll not because we are not familiar with the eternal binomial in Chicano narrative between gringos and Chicanos but because it is an early ground we have walked upon before. Jovita is a predecessor of Aztlán geography and topology. It is a common ingredient in Chicano narrative to see the gringo in the distant. Way before we begin to deal with the gringo we have began to see Them. Jovita does this well. It details the aproximation of the inevitable, that is, the gringo in our midst. Then we deal with it. We can see this same technique in Ana Castillo’s novel So Far from God: The Peacock raiser encroaches in the consciousness unannounced. We have only heard of them and then we see them to lastly seek them.

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1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

I wonder how aztec and maya loving chicanos will react to this.

Specially La Voz de Aztlán. My, my indeed. Moctezuma was gay. He loved to gorgle the mayonesa; le gustaba el arroz con popote. Well, you get the picture. I personally don’t subscribe to the aztec and maya semiotics of the Chicano propaganda machine anymore. I have said that numerous times before. So much I don’t care to enumerate anymore. So am going alphabet baby: A, B, C and D are but a few examples of my distancing. I strictly subscribe to desert semiotics in my xicanismo. I belong to the Southwest indigenous cultures. Apache, pai pai, kumai and navajo traditions first and foremost.

A Mexican consulate chief stationed in the Dominican Republic, who is in transit to Philadelphia and that goes by the christian name of José Luis Basulto Ortega has written a historical novel titled Cuiloni. He explains therein how “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron” that is “the mexican empire was a gift from Moctezuma to Hernán Cortés as love dowry for the love affair that they engaged in.”

This is heavy stuff. The whole notion of aztec semiology in Chicano narrative is for machismo purposes. Not to mention the notion in México where aztec culture is represented as undefeated and resilient willing to withstand the Spanish masculinity despite the years gone by.

If you can muster some Spanish I suggest these hush hush links:

El jefe de la sección consular de la embajada de México en República Dominicana (cónsul de carrera, en tránsito hacia Filadelfia),, ha escrito una novela histórica, Cuiloni: historia de una lágrima, en la que establece que “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron”. Basulto, quien fue subdirector del Instituto Matías Romero de Estudios Diplomáticos, asegura contar con “quince pruebas documentales que demuestran la relación homosexual de ambos” y hace que uno de los personajes de su novela, Gerónimo Aguilar, conversando con la Malinche, llegue a decir que “México se perdió por una loca”. El autor de esa obra ha sido diplomático durante 30 años y asegura que su provocativa interpretación histórica proviene de la lectura de mexicanistas casi olvidados y de varios códices antiguos “censurados”. Basulto envió algunas de sus reflexiones a esta columna porque, dice, con lo escrito aquí “se provoca un dolor reflexivo que pocos están dispuestos a asumir, y creo que este tema que propongo es parte de esa necesidad que tiene el actual poblador de México de reconocer y conocer la verdad ‘manque duela’” El libro, publicado por Editorial Felou, será presentado el próximo 24, a las 17 horas, en uno de los auditorios del INAH…

Diversas reacciones causó la referencia hecha ayer aquí de una novela histórica que plantea que “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron”. Por ejemplo, Guillermo Marín (www.toltecayotl.org.mx) lamenta que haya “mexicanos que son extranjeros incultos en su propia tierra”, al señalar que el conquistador hispano ultrajó no sólo a la Malinche sino también a Moctezuma. Pero, añade, “en Tenochtitlán existía el Tlatocan, el consejo supremo, con dos figuras gobernantes, el tlatoani (el que organiza) y el ciuhacoatl (el que administra), y los dos mandaban obedeciendo a ese consejo. De modo que Moctezuma no era un rey todopoderoso, como los europeos. Las decisiones que se tomaron fueron en consejo, como se siguen tomando en las comunidades indígenas”.

Boy, one can’t really go by all the propaganda that spews out from the internet. Worst of all is that I use mostly official mouthspeaks as a news source. Dang, do they tend to be lopsided; everything to fit their customer: government and their ideological minions. Is there any real reporting going on in the world? Does news really change things? I remember when journalism was a realm of the truth. Heck, I come from a generation that grew up hearing the likes that Democracy couldn’t possible exist without the mysterious Third Pillar. Nowadays media doesn’t scrutinize nor challenge. It passively serves to keep badmouths at bay. Government listens to the so called media, except they tend to be choosy about it. No one listens anymore to other alternatives. Heck, I either read what the officially sanctioned speaks say or I turn to disgruntled blogs that cry that no one listens to them.

This has left a feeling of alienation, apathy and incompetence. What is one to do. The only thing left in society is the illusion of things being done. A happens, B reports it and puff! problem solved. Being told. I remember when things got told action followed. A common good was a goal to strive for. Those days are gone. Nothing matters anymore. The collective imagination is torn between that dire apocalyptic vision of the world and greedy rich people with no scruples. Its stupid, the brain that is. Too much ideology and little observation of the world we live in is done. We live not on earth but that stupid beyond every other nincompoop strives to get to by cutting out a deal with the big Honcho.

The third pillar of American democracy, an independent press, is under sustained attack, and the channels of information are choked. A few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape in America. Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media common conglomerates. Two-thirds of today’s newspapers are monopolies.

As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace; and those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are undergoing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content and to shift their focus in a mainstream direction, which means being more attentive to establishment views than to the bleak realities of powerlessness that shape the lives of ordinary people.

What does today’s media system mean for the notion of an informed public cherished by democratic theory? Quite literally, it means that virtually everything the average person sees or hears, outside of her own personal communications, is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the share prices. More insidiously, this small group of elites determines what ordinary people do not see or hear. In-depth coverage of anything, let alone the problems real people face day-to-day, is as scarce as sex, violence and voyeurism are pervasive.

I seem to recall Bartleby, that old Melville character that so baffles many of us in this so called modern world, whenever I cherish the idea of entertaining thoughts on Chicanismo. I feel am so way beyond that that the mere thought entails and automatic I prefer not to.

I believe I have lost my English voice and I do not know how and when this happened and worst yet why. It seems as though Spanish has taken sole control over what I say, communicate and invent via the written and oral means of parlance. Mind you, this area used to be the sole realm of English hence my bafflement. As soon as I am done with the day’s rant or keyboard orgy of thoughts I am done for whatever reason and pursue only that thought in all the vanities that entail being a blog writer and in Spanish. What is up with that? One reasonable explanation is that Spanish provides a more rewarding exchange. I noticed this when I began communicating with other English writing bloggers. I could never identify with them due to some odd chasm of sorts whereby what would otherwise seem to be on the surface unity factors created deep underlying differences. Mostly because the 2 or3 years I spent peeling off propaganda from my Xicano identity Read the rest of this entry »

I have always had trouble believing am a Xicano. No matter that the evidence points to the fact that I am just that.

This has become even more apparent for me here in Europe. the Nordic corner, isolated from Aztlán. Being away from the motherland has proven a sky that raineth a manna of ideas. I started out by declaring myself a prop. 187 exile. The first Xicano in exile driven away by Pete Wilson and his conservative tirade of this and that of the likes of me. Then I wrote. I wrote and I discovered the real Xicano in me through the written word. I did this both in Spanish and English.

This has proven quite productive because xicanismo is closely tied to language. I am fortunate to love language so in the process of peeling the core that I had in proper Aztlán, using language as a peeler, I discovered layers of myself that I figure I would not have otherwise managed to put in evidence to the naked eye of the I.
Through my language [read: English, Spanish, Spanglish, Espanglish, the southwest dialect] I learned who I really am. I found my roots. Being away from the American psycho identity dominatrix that usually sadomasochistic fellows like me tend to bed with gave airs of freedom unbeknownst. It was a breath of fresh air away from the stars and stripes which hangeth upon the xicano ens like a Democles sword.

We xicanos tend to prefer the gringo in us because it is just the gringo in us which makes us. And because some of us only understand that side, and use our mexican heritage like a mourning gown we never take of, we react defensively to anything that threatens this ‘identity’. Though this theory is hardly embraced because it means that Aztlán lieth not in one nation but precisely in the being of two de facto lands. So don’t expect people to nick away in approval at the latter exposed idea.

Little is known about the degree of gringoness in each and one of us. We discuss this not because doing so would mean too much differentiation rendering atoms a mere metaphorical image. So while we spouse in all glory all México we seldom do so our American side. Yuck say some. Too pocho, too gabacho. Yet it is this very aspect that we tend to let radiate most in us.

We don mexican heritage like a perennial día de los muertos affair, in all earnest, we live a past and live the gringo present. Although some xicanos drape themselves in their mexicanness like a fashion gown, alas! their appearance or self image, shallow like a dead river bed. This gringo alienates us from one another because as gringo nature is we feel different. The kind of different that says am better than you. An am and you world which builds canyons the like of the Grand one. It is a fact which cannot be denied. Tis easy to lay claim to Aztec culture and ignore the rest. Tis easy to lay ink to flesh temples of the Maya when Geronimo, so close yet so far away from Quetzalcoátl, remains in the sands of the Sonora Desert surrounded by the silence of time.

I, for example, have been excluded from my so-called brethren from both sides. My brethren xicano infected by Manifest Destiny from Los, desperately trying to integrate to US society after more than 150 years of ‘integration’ and by my xicano brethren infected by over 70 years of mexican nationalism who are yet to realize how xicanos they are because one tends to cease to be mexican once one ceases to be present in México or adopts strange customs. Never mind those customs have nothing to do with, say, Tijuana.

I feel the difference like a slight scent of garlic because am not fully Mexican and because am not fully American, that is, I lack the papers on the one side and I lack presence on the other. That is my most natural state. A state that perhaps ensued in me a quest for learning to command the whip which castigated me the most, language. So I learned to command what the land gave me as a birthright. And this difference became even more apparent. I went below the shallow.

I was born in Tijuana, raised in Southwestern traditions from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego County. Of recent I have reached a sort of compromise with myself. I say am a xicano tijuanense. Un xicano de este lado. That is, a Xicano which is not born in the US.
By adhering to this formula I allowed myself to become closer to my own surroundings. That is, I saw that which nurtured me whilst I breathed Geronimo’s sand through nostrils filled with muck from other lands. Santa Ana winds cleared the way and I now spouse the indigenous in me and do not let myself be fooled by common Chicano semiotics.

Off course it still irritates me to be xicano in the vicinity of my gringo cousins because though I speak english I am not a US citizen. Here in Sweden they a saying about Germans: there is a little Hitler in every German. I can say this about my gringo Xicano cousins: there is a little migra in every US born Xicano.

rock of predestined relationship. Qingdao Pre-destination. I recall this worm in my belly. It used to be that I felt predestined to be a writer and it often permeated a great deal of my everyday life more oft than not in my love affairs.

This is quite intrinsic to Americans, specially the WASP kind and by default those they embrace in their culture expansion such as the likes of Aztlán. We xicanos are no exception to the rule though this is somewhat meated out by catholism hence the schism that so neatly portrays us mostly through hyphens.

Though right not am not thinking about American culture in particular. Am thinking about one man and the crisis it must be ensuing in him by now because of failre of acomplishment.

This man is a leader of the USA and is obligued to embrace this religious belief of pre-destination embedded in gringo culture thanks to Calvinist thinking.

I wonder how does it feel to have to realize that one is not all that pre-destined to nothing.

Off course, one can always opt for repression, heck, pre-destination is a drug and once you taste it nothing stops you.

This goes too for Israel an their notion of a Greater Israel.

Pre-destination is no dish served on a silver platter. In the event that it is the waiter has to walk a path filled with good intentions and we all know were those paths lead to.

Well, let’s git to the knilly willy of the ninny lilly. Elections in México, el suspenso is killing me.

I wrote in my spanish blog that Calderón was already a winner, ooops, it’s a cultural thing would say this guy who contradicted the IFE’s version of the early poll results arguing that the northern states of México (the least populated of all states in México by the by’s) have better digital infrastructure therefore giving the illusion that Calderón was winning when the South vote wasn’t even yet in. So yeah, norteño me, I single handedly admitted Calderón’s win because, alas! I read mostly norteño newspapers.

Some people are giving out the Bush blue-red state semiotic propaganda. Why is this is beyond me since México is a multiparty system and painting it yellow-blue does not reflect the realities on the ground at all. Then again, what do you expect from a newspaper whose traditional ties to the military are well known.

AMLO is putting up a fight and the Mexican blogsphere did its bit too. Oddly enough there has been going on a wad lots of hacking talk with reports that a site allied to the leftist candidate has been shut down as well.

Mirada Pública, Public Eye, tried to do a site that collected posts related to the election with the specific theme to denounce any irregularities the bloggers saw or encountered during the election day. Drip, drip … sirap moves faster. The fact of the matter is that this is praiseworthy despite my sarcastic sentence back there. It’s a humble start for a nascent internet community and a mexican blogsphere which tallies a membership of 5948 weblogs. According to me a poor reflection of the sphere’s real number as I suspect that site colludes with G men in México.

AMLO presented a video arguing evidence of fraud but that has backfired in his face.

Either way the biggest loser here is the IFE although you wouldn’t know it by either American opinion or hasty congrats on part of the EU as well as Bush Inc. Though Bush has backpedaled a wee bit. Ok, I can’t resist, this exchange of the matter offers an example of overlapping authority on both nations, believe me, it’s funny.

Q All right, then what do you think — or what does the administration say about a foreign politician denouncing domestic legislation in the United States, and particularly Calderon’s denunciation of stronger border security and an extended fence?

MR. SNOW: Last time I checked, Calderon did not have any official authority over the activities of the United States government.

Q Can I follow up on that?

MR. SNOW: Yes, very quickly. Sure.

Q The call the President made to Calderon to congratulate him, that means that the U.S. government already recognized him as the President-elect of Mexico? Can you explain what —

MR. SNOW: Well, I believe the electoral commission had, in fact, declared him President. And according to the laws of Mexico, at this point, he is President. Should there be a recount, should there be another adjustment, should there be a change, then the President will acknowledge that, as well — Mexico, obviously having the ability to decide who, as a result of transparent elections, is the President of the country.*

The last word hasn’t been said yet, Calderón isn’t officially declared a winner. Give Tom Paine a read for more on this.

One thing that bloggers on the progressive sphere are admiring is the paper trail of the Mexican election and reminiscenses of Florida have been flourishing just about everywhere envying the paper trail and hating more and more Diebold. This is intense irony for me because as a Xicano I have what now can be deemed as old fashioned American values. I often pained as a young mexican man to see the democratic system in my country of birth which word by word ultimately was referred to as a dictadura light. We admired the democratic system of the US as an example to follow. And now our gringo vecinos are admiring us? Jesus! What has the world come to? Will pigs now walk on the moon?

Since this is the first time we mexicans abroad get to vote it is noteworthy to note that most of us voted to the right, ajem! present company excluded of course. Of 32, 632 who signed up to vote 33,111 did so from 71 countries world wide. 19,016 voted for Calderón and 11,090 for AMLO including therein my humble and historic participation in the process.

The opposition has decried Felipe Calderón and his party, the PRIAN (PRI+PAN=PRIAN), as hypocrite because Calderón adamantly defended the mexican vote moral validity when he was a congressman for the LV Legislatura (1991-1994). Off course, those principles are now trashed because he and his current cronies are accusing, an intolerant attitude on their part if one may say so, as renegades those who are using the justice system to question the results of the elections. A very dumb ploy and name calling from President Vicente Fox since it reminds people of things like chusma, a lower class of people that well-off mexicans have been avoiding like the pest and which are unworthy covenance with gente decente, that is, nice, rich civilized people.

Well, am sure there are people out there giving other versions of what is going on in the election and I recommend Machete as a good read if this kind of stuff lies in your neck of the woods.

Wish the Kos gang would have been around the turn of the 19th century, heck, what am I saying, just a few decades ago.

History here.

I have never liked the terms latino nor hispanic though I advocate latino more than I will ever do Hispanic.

It seems that whenever the ‘majority’ in the US speak of us they inevitable tend to use either monicker to refer, in essence, to mexicans. I can’t get why the US doesn’t acknowledge the Xicano community in Texas or California. To much linkage to the past, I suppose. But labelling us as latinos or hispanics has other intentions as well.

It ignores us.

Whenever the government and its ‘majority’ speak to us they refer to us not as natives but as something alien to the US. It is not we, Xicanos, who are divisive, its the US government and its lackies who insist in not accepting the fact that we are just as native as they are.

Either way, history has a wierd way of repeating itself in the US. How many times have mexicans been robbed of elections in the US? And who said anything about it? Wish you were there Kos, wish you were there.

Suggested reading: Steiner, Stan. La Raza: The Mexican Americans. New York, Harper and Row, 1970. Chapter XIV: The Secret Politicans

Alright, alright already ese!

So I’ve been recycling news yet there are less folk out there concentrating on the mexican elections than there are concentrating on it. Erhm, did that make sense?

Either way, these elections matter. Lots. Beyond lots. Way beyond. (ok Julio, we get your drift.) I got the gut feeling that mexicans, some of us either way, are causing some kind of like dent somewhere and policy is being formed to mend the dent. Riddles. What am saying is that even though mexicans abroad seem not to be interested in mexican politicians my hunch tells me this is not entirely true. Those in the business of interpreting these kind of things tend to like huge numbers in order to make predictions and tend, as well, to be off the Southwest area making residency instead in seats of power. The Southwest has a life of its own that many suits fail to see.

I have argued that most mexicans who vote in the elections rather take the highway and use the oportunity to visit the motherland instead of going the IFE way. However, there are quite a proportionate number of mexicans who fear deportation the moment they come near a mexican embassy though most mexicans would not have an idea of the kind of services and embassy and its consulates offer the mexican citizen because said places are mostly seen as an establishment of the upper classes. This is very much ingrained in us. I remember how I felt the very first time I sat a foot on the premises of a mexican consulate. One has to understand that the mexican government is at times little interested on its subjects and when they show interest one does well in being cautious. Those who do know tend to be already familiar with the shenanigans of said institutions. These are the people that go and vote in places like Tijuana as they did back in 2000. They are known as emigrados. Amongst other things. Be that as it may, the politization of the mexican masses, illegal, legal, mexican-americans and other identity contraptions of our Gente is in full swing in the good’ol USA.

My question here pertains the Xicano community since the political leverage must balance somewhere and will either alienate or coalesce. The Tomás Rivera Center gave out a lofty little phamplet outlining some of its ideas in 1994 titled Latinos, Global Change, and American Foreign policy. In summary, it predicted that we were to start flexing muscle in our country of origins but since the Bush gang took over the White House they stopped listening to anyone outside their circle of realities. Nonetheless Xicanos who tend to be in positions of power understand the importance of México. Though we haven’t seen much evidence for the aforementioned for obvious reasons. The fear machinery that is intrinsic to American politics has the Latino community in a weird state of mind since most latinos have adherence to their homeland and this is not seen particularly well by the powers to be and is a strategic tool to keep that population at bay lest they begin flexing muscle as seen on May 1st. This in turn keeps many latino leaders off the ramp light as was evidenced by the L.A. Mayor who decided to take of to Texas on the most important day in American politics in many years.

I think that his fear mongering will soon stop having its effect on Latinos. The more they assert their americanness and start painting their own America instead of having others paint it for them. The sooner the better.

If Manuel López Obrador wins I think this idea will accelarate since many suspect that many mexicanamericans will lean towards the PRD. This in turn will fuel a more direct engagement with mexicanamericans and start building the necessary bridges to create a stronger Xicano community both economically and politically as well. Fox realized this only too late as evidenced by his flurry of trips to the USA where he met representatives of the mexicanamerican community. I believe gringo mentality will have a hard time swallowing this idea of a more present México in their midst. We have been in their midst for a long time. We have adapted. Its their turn to do the same in kind.

Related: What a wall can’t stop

Pinches Irish, there’s always something to learn outta them …

The backgrounds to Mexico’s struggle against Spain for its independence have been argued to have taken root as early as 1650, when an Irishman, William Lamport, attempted to revolt against Spanish rule in Mexico, cause an uprising among the Mexican people, and overwhelm any resistance of the Spanish.

Via Military history of México

Some of the Xicanos in what can, & only can, be deemed as a loose confedaration of goodie-two-shoes Xican@s bloggers who can’t seem to make up their mind about nothing, have sent me an email whereby I get accused of not only being a lousy pocho but a traitor to all semiotic principles to which Aztlán adheres to.

Yes, I said what?, too.

I know who hijacked the nascent xicano blogsphere from its craddle and turned it into this ugly no determination sissy crowd that we see now a days. But I won’t say who it was because I might hurt his feelings.

Either way I got the mail. These artificial xicanos would have me believe that because I don’t adhere to the Aztec/Maya mythology I am not a Xicano, besides, they say, you live in Sweden, not Aztlán. Ok.

First of all these are the same Xicanos that will defend spanish above all decrying that spanish is tantamount to xicanismo. That is a lie. For centuries there has been xicanos whose first language is not spanish but one of the 62 native languages from proper México that raza have brought with them to the US as they trekked the land towards Aztlán or that they had way before 1848. I think in particular the Apache languages and the Comanche and Yaqui languages just to name three.

Second of all. While the Aztec culture gave me a sense of belonging it also gave me a sense of feeling betrayed. My raza is Southwestern and most southwestern indigenous cultures are far and beyond the Aztec/Maya duality that tends to nurture the Xicano ens. This means that most of my real history has been erased from my conscience.

I am a proud Xicano from the Southwest and from the Norte of México. My language and manners will attest this any old day of the year for those who want to question my Xicano ens.

Dios mio, I didn’t know California was a spanish word either!

Could someone tell the Israeli friendly newsoutlet called Reuters, yes, I know, I am on the fringe of being called antisemitic, never mind am only 39 and really have not a shred of anything to do with nazis or any simpathies with a destruccion of beautiful Tel Aviv or beautiful arab-israeli Jerusalem under the rule of right wing nuts the likes of Binyamin Netanyahu otherwise known as bibi or the butcher of Lebanon known as Sharon in a coma, that California has and will always have a spanish history?

Or am I to understand that even though Reuters is a well and successful newsoutlet their reporters can and only can deal with the present when and only when the Reuters top honchos deem it it is worthy to dig into the past?

Can you imagine a California, a New Mexico, a Colorado, a Nevada, a Texas without a spansih past? English speaking Reuters seems to think so.

Yes Sean, we knew the moment we read the phrase pinche gringos written across this post that your position was loud and clear. Thank you for stopping by this Xicano nordic corner and we’ll keep reading your posts and keep an eye on your future Iran trip hope your Iran trip comes true. We have good memories of your silk road trip and expect no less from your Iran trip.

I must also say that though the Daily Kos: State of the Nation gang hasn’t necessarily ran deep into the debate about the protests, some positions have been taken to address this hot tamale issue no one seemingly wants to hold for too long in their hands. I just wish they did.

I stood in shock and speechless at the very image that was unfolding like a motion picture right before my eyes. I understood the power of cultural shocks, the power of cultural encounters and the power of feeling superior right after the incident. I know how to eat an avocado, un ahuacatl, and my swedish suegro, my father in-law doesn’t. I was with him last night. We were sharing a meal and I brought some vittles. I slid the kitchen knife smack in the midle of the aguacate, and cut it in half. The one half retains the big seed and the other shows a perfectly shaped half hole, un hermoso huequito. At the same time he asked me what that was, perhaps enticed by the glowing fresh and en su punto green color of the fruit, he picked it up and began to cut a wedge much as you would cut it from a lemon. I saw aghast that he did not take the peel off as his hand promptly placed the verdura in his mouth. The reeling of the movie was almost life like to be true, wait, it was life like, I kindly told him not to eat the peel. He didn’t, he said ok in a non-chalant manner, not noticing perhaps that this was the first time he ever tried the sacred fruit that brings so many memories of an ancient civilization to my mind, soul, the Aztecs.

I realized then how superior can one sometimes feel over other people. I felt pity for my father in-law for not knowing how to eat an avocado. Maybe it’s a mexican thing. On after thought it is also a sign that he has stopped seeing me with those eyes of his that always saw strangeness in me. The differences of another culture that popped, oozed out me, after 9 years, doesn’t seem to bother him anymore and perhaps he is more ready than ever to start trying the very things my strange culture has to offer. Maybeso, who knows. But I still feel sorry the poor lad was about to eat an avocado peel had I not stopped him in his tracks….

I realize that reading Octavio Paz was a bad taste of Castor Oil. I remember clearly refusing to read anything of him after I read El Laberinto de la Soledad. I was extremely offended by the chapter : Pachucos y otros extremos.

For some reason I thought it reflected the general attitude most mexicans have of us Xicanos. And it still does. In hindsight it has given loads of food for thought.

Oso does the chicano ensemble.

Many self called latinos are rather amused when they are made to look at themselves as they are.

Little do they realize that they are in the process of becoming, continuosly.

People who call themselves latino and proudly carry the star spangled banner in their veins, and ass if they could, will shed their latino roots immediately if questioned about their brown origins, as if being american meant not being latino or brown.

It is a state of continuos confusion both for the latino that sees not his or her latino roots as well as the one who dares open the can of worms that represents asking someone their true identity.

Am an American.

And not many americans dare question this oppressive state of being. This is so because America is always at war and hence ones americanness is always questioned. The number one lesson is to never be perceived as unamerican. And one will defend this idea of americanness to the end. It goes beyond citizenship.

To be American is to denounce all that is not american. Even if you are american the idea that you might have another language, another way of being is not only loathsome but immediately sets you apart from America.

So it is only natural to denounce ones origin. One is never at ease with ones americanness if one happens to be brown, or that a knowledge of another language is lingering at the back of ones head or burning flour tortillas in the oven.

It even gets worse when society sends conflicting messages that one ought to embrace ones cultural background. So we allow ourselves a certain tad of permissiveness by admiting our past but never our present. Yes, we were once that but we are not that now.

That is why so many hispanics allow themselves to be humiliated at the registration offices of many government buildings when one pronounces ones first and last name. They twist, chew up and spit out a concoction güero and their assimilees invent on the spot by spelling our names wrong and step on the goddamn form with so many foreign characters if one asks for a correction of ones name. One wonders indeed why such a name like Schwarzenegger sounds better and provokes more patience for spelling than Bustamante or Navarrette. Though hispanics are not the only ones to undergo this process of americanness. All people of color go through it.

Explicate it.

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