Xicanismo

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The theocracy of la raza are beyond the streets they study. Something happens to chicano academics that makes them distance themselves from the very culture they purport to examine. I don’t get that. In colloquial language they sell out. For some reason they have transgressed a border and become uneasy with the realities before them. Instead of living the culture they resort to the text version of it. Then they romanticize it and then they crossover to a fantasy realm. Going academic is like a passport to another country which lets you check in but doesn’t let you check out. Few hardcore Chicanos are able to make it back, remain part of the culture studied before one.

I don’t get this. Academia in itself is a cradle of middle class values that will not allow to be tainted by anything it does not approve beforehand. The aesthetics are set and we fit not the parameters of its watermark. The reflection rejects us. And academic Chicanos know this. As soon as we fall into the realm of accepted beings we fall into another category whereby we are scrutinized with a set of values we dare not touch with a ten foot pole. These values are so cherished by the Chicano academic community that anything that threatens it we scamper like silly ninnies back to its refugee. It’s only natural, god featuring children that we are. We would very much like to believe that we are a fused we/I. We would love to believe that a syncretism exudes from us yet alas! In the kingdom of the one eyed we are the purblind.

What’s worst is that once we are accepted we cease to be this militant, question all entity beyond reason, take no prisoners selves. We share not. We become docile denizens of a society we fought so much to be recognized as part of it and once well in place we stand in humble obedience as onlookers as our brethren fight to get across this thin line that separates us from them. Once we have crushed the citadel’s walls we shut the doors and fall behind these academia forts that hold our historic knowledge in databases that restrict the vox populi from sites such as MUSE, JSTOR and ECBHost.

I mean what the F?

I mean, échame una mano compa, no seas puto ese!

Nothing brings me more joy to my hearts delight then when I confuse people about my ethnicity. I just love it. I will give an example of said ventures of mine that tickles my belly silly. I recently came across a Spaniard and spoke only English with him. He asked me where I was from, México I said. Pronounced with that unmistakable ancient Arab glottal sound in the /x/. He even asked me if I spoke Spanish to which I proudly said straight out that not only was Spanish my mother tongue I also taught it as well at a local high school in the Swedish Highlands. He was dumbfounded. I know it sounds mean but this guy is highly educated with a doctorate’s degree.

Today I got to experience once more one of those moments, man am I ever delighted. It sort of boosts the ego somehow, mind you am otherwise terribly insecure of myself so when I met this American guy unbeknownst to me and him, he came and made my day. Before you knew it he was basically left scratching his head. We struck up a spontaneous conversation because he overheard me speaking English and after a while he asked where I was from. No easy daily chore I can assure you. Swedish people aren’t too fond of spontaneity. I noticed he had gotten comfortably secure because we both had the same cultural baggage and it went rather smoothly for the first 5 minutes or so until I said I was Mexican. His look was askance to put it mildly. Normally I reject when people put me in neat little boxes but am getting the better out of this game of language and identity of recently, mostly for my amusement.

Monolinguals and monocultural people live another life period. It’s all black and white so when they encounter people like me they are left on their own devices and they don’t like that. So this new secureness brings a small payback. Many of my insecurities can easily be traced back to the bullying I went through as a language aware person, that is, bilingual. I think many monolinguals have been themselves bullied except they gave up. I did not have the choice of giving up. What was there to give up? I was just bullied for being myself and I could not be accepted as I was. Monolinguals are encouraged to give up their acquired awareness. It becomes too painful for them to live the rejection or the bogey man before them.

***

I don’t understand how is it that people don’t get that we bilinguals, or some of us either way, cannot switch to another language as a means of communicating with a person with whom we have learned to communicate in only one language. Here in Sweden people are left in an aghast state of mind when I tell them that I don’t speak Swedish with my sambo. We have always spoken English and if we go over to speaking Swedish it would change a whole set of rules and it be like getting to know another whole new person. Am allergic to doing that anywheres in the world. I remember that I got teased as a young boy for just that. I happened during my first stint or rather sojourn in the USA, I was but a wee little lad and when I came back to Tijuana I refused to speak Spanish. I flatly refused to do so. I have no memory of the decision for that or when it happened. I wasn’t that precocious mind you. What I do remember is the laughter for having said that. Monolinguals don’t get it but they will get that language is identity. All monolinguals will defend a capa y espada their language but they can’t understand that bilinguals hence have two identities to deal with. Pero no, their monotheistic world refuses to comprehend it. We are ambivalent. We are ambiguous. Even Gloria Anzaldúa doesn’t do it and she is the creator of Borderlands! She doesn’t understand why chicanas are uncomfortable with each other.

Well, it seems that the gorge of buddy making in the so called blogostitlán is done and over with. Many of the bloggers that started out as a chain like minded club barely write anymore or stand out as islands these days with no direction in sight.

I did the rounds on the links I have and many wail that they don’t write anymore and there interests for things Aztlán is long gone. Long gone are also the questions that forced a label upon them and long gone are also the memories that usually permeated the posts of said bloggers.

Many failed to realize that Chicanos are too different from one another to really form any group and many failed to realize that their superordinate label ‘American’ supercedes any notion of Chicanismo in their lives. What I mean by this is that the fear of being labeled alien is stronger than the fashionable chicano, we all love the stars and stripes but even more, we fear the questioning of our americanism.

Many also fell into the trap of racism accusing chicano culture of being essentially racist. Terms such as raza, güero, gringo and other terms raza uses to discuss the Other became a point of contention amongst some bloggers that just wanted to question us rather than explore the origins of said terms or why we used them at all. Many backed off quickly and began recoiling at the idea that their chicanismo was a sort of racism in disguise. They quickly forgot that chicanos embrace all forms of races in its ens.
Others just simply wanted out because blogging requires incredible amounts of energies to pursue its goal, to write on a frequent basis.

Then there is a point of contention being boiled as we speak, what is the Xicano blogsphere? I, for example, prefer a more militant form of xicano blogging that stands in direct verbal confrontation with the Other. I prefer cholo xicano and older more akin to the culture of xicanismo I grew up with.

Then there is a more pocho culture that embraces both cultures more openly which tends to cause friction with the latter above mentioned. Then there are the new arrivals to Aztlán which lack any form of direct contact with Aztlán which tends to cause friction with the latter two mentioned.

Be that as it may while the Xicano blogsphere seems to have dwindled somewhat in some corners though in other corners it blossoms. There are many sites and blogs that bespeak of xicanismo in all sorts of form. It is spreading out and the singularity factor that dominated the birth of the Xicano blogsphere. Even the kind of xicanismo that I spouse seems to be coming out.

Though I have nothing against the xicanismo which embraces Aztec and Maya semiotics, at the present time I give more time to my own kind of Xicanismo, desert related xicanismo which has been but forgotten.

One must understand the vortex
Xicanismo
eyes
everyday

If the aztecs counted 52 for every end
Xicanos can hope for less in one generation.

Renewal
is in door

We face an existancial crisis every 30 years

like a blood transfusion

.

I am so frigging stoked, dang ese, this is HUGE.

Tezozomoc Aug/04/2006

De Suecia, come mensajes de personas that just can’t do without their weekly TEZOZOMOC CHISME! Pues Julio Martinez de yonderlesit.org (de Suecia), Tezzy hasn’t forgotten all his cuates, not only from the barrios del USA, pero también, we especially have you in our hearts and minds when you are so distanced from your Gente!! Glad you are still drawing your Chicano “Alma y Sentimientos” de La Prensa San Diego. We try to keep up our special ALMA de La Prensa and hope we (the hard working staff of La Prensa) will be able to maintain el espírito de mi gente, no matter where you are at. Suecia is a long way off but where there are two RAZA… I know that their will be our special sentimiento in the wind and it will be source of strength to you, when you find yourself isolated and lonely! El Indio TEZZY never forgets his GENTE no matter where they may be at!

Ey! What’s that? Nada ese, just a little rock on the corner of my eye, lemme me rub it off. Chale ese, can no one get a little dust in ones retinas theese days?

Escandaloso, yeah, I know, je!

Güeno, it gladdens me to no end to see myself before the thoughts and presence of good’ol Tezzy. Jo’er that guy has done bundles for San Diego Xicanos, heck, what am I saying? for Xicanos in Tijuana too!

Go give la Prensa-San Diego a read ese! What, still here? What are you waiting for ese? That Rumsfeld give a shit about this treaty? òrale, git otta hea!

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.

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.

I know some in Aztlán, our own extreme right, despise the idea of homosexualism or marimachas, as forming a part of Aztlán though am not persuaded by any of their arguments.

I find the whole marica/marimacha culture rather intriguing not only because I come from Tijuana, where jotos and she-males form part of the fabric of my city but because they are different and at times better than heteros. Of course, what I most admire is their intellectual prowess and sophistication too.

That is why I was cracking up when I stumbled upon queer raramuri out of Austin, Texas. This mariquita is proud to be one and will sell you a shirt with a unique slogan that erodes the negative and pursues the positive in the words that are used to despise a los jotitios and the marimachas.

ramblings by a queer xicano that is not a descendant of warhol, moctezuma or cortez… but of sisnett, anzaldúa & the young tarahumara whose name matters to few

Here are some pics of the slogans in his shirts:

Puñaljotoyou bring out the joto in meI make Juan Gabriel look butchChorizo Lover

You can purchase them at Joto Power where amongst other things you can also buy a poetry book of his titled: Santo de la Pata Alzada: Poems from the Queer/Xicano/Positive Pen.

1970 – Diana vs. State Board of Education of California – Spanish speaking children were placed in classes for children with mental retardation on the basis of individual intelligence tests that were considered culturally biased.

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.

Oh no you didn’t.

Boy do I have bones to pick here.

I shall be dishing out more than I bargained for but one can’t overstate the deliciousness of the subject. Right now I am about to do serious deconstructing over at Wikipedia and give them a verbal whipping or two.

Coming soon, more Xicano rants than expected, stay tuned.

.

The query at hand is what is a Xican@?

I readily admit that this frase in itself is a rather ambiguos one at that. I may apoligize for that at some time in the future, though that future escapes las yemas de mis dedos in this moment.

Now, I wrote at la Bloga a discourse that has been developing at Academia.

Namely the Spanish factor.

As far as the Spanish lingua is concerned where are we headed?

And I joke not when I ask this because the majority of the narrative that Chicanismo feeds on is anglia rooted.

As much as I am love with English as a language I also despise it very nature. So it is.

Though I confessed an optimism for Spanish I’ve yet to see the fruit mature, will I see a full blown literature, knowingly of itself?

The good xente over at la bloga have a good discussion going on. Not because the comments of the offices at Yonder Lies It received an answer but because it is clear to the xente del más allá, who for an odd reason of sorts, frecuent the offices, seem to be in agreement (though Geronimo keeps rather silent most of the times) that a Chicano Norton Anthology literature compilation is needed and I see it on the horizon. [yeah, that's a long ass sentence there, got a problem with that?]

Except that instead of naming it Norton Anthology we could name it like Santa Ana or Stockton Anthology maybe Zorro but that would be a long shot perhaps a lady heroine of sorts. Like the Pachuca Anthology literature for the vox populi in Aztlán proper. Cherrie Moraga or Gloria Anzaldua Anthology would read just as well. But the title we could discuss much later.

There are many threads to start a good huipil with here.

There are the linguistics aspects that I brought forth con todo y my cultural baggage. Though the very fine gente at vivir latino raised the issue of racism in the lengua issue I brought forth.

Make no mistake about it, when it comes to languages, the issues are not about racism. They are instead ones of purity. I understand that the word purity has that race purity what not, connotation but it has an entirely new sense when I use it with language. Instead there is what one can very well see as social fabrications of languages. Everybody thinks they speak real english though there isn’t such a thing as pure english. That notion is just a pure concoction from the last century that has managed to creep itself all the way to this century. In fact, english has about as much latin words in its vocabulary as about spanish does. Well, maybe not, but a good chunk of it composes much of the prestige vocabulary of english. [no, am not about to give you examples, you go find for yerself that ese!] American english speaks wads about it since much of its cowboy mythology is composed of words that have a root on the mexican spanish that helped compose the West/pioneer myth.

Be that as it may we continue con la literatura, in this case, literatura Chicana. Now, english and spanish have had a tumultous upbringing in the Southwest.

For the past 150 years or more english has had the upper hand. Spanish has had to bear the brunt of classroom spankings for utering its vowels in the midst of angloparlandia. Though the first european languages that the land of Aztlán heard were spanish vowels in all the splendor that the conquistadores and Friars used back then.

In this lingua fight, it is we the Aztlán generation that have had to bear the whips and lashes of both households. Both from the spanish part and the english part as well. We can not simply speak anything without having a rebuke at hand to remind us that we speak gibberish at best.

We don’t speak good english and worst yet, we don’t speak good spanish and even yet worst we don’t take care good of our siblings, the new Aztlán generations, from this violent circle. We simply allow the violent language to continue unchallenged with each generation taking sides with either spanish or english or every now and then a few wise voices stating that both languages are good this and that. Or having to hear, like Richard Rodriguez argues, much to the chagrin of the many in Aztlan proper, that english is our light that shines at the end of the tunnel.

It is hard to please two cultures. We have not managed to come across as a unifed entity, at best, we are a footnote in the many essays, commentary, books out there.

But that is ok. We are still defining ourselves. Though I must confess that the issues that we blanket ourselves with are very universal and literature, canon literature at that, is universal driven. Perhaps the issues lies in the universitality of our speech. Perhaps we need to take advantage of this. No matter what english or spanish have to say about it because by then, we will be a different lingua to be reckoned with.

I have a swedish-mexican mojado xicana daughter born in Califas. I myself am a mojado, a xicano wetback. Today the star spangled gave me goosebumps when I heard it sound its majestic noise. Am I entitled to celebrate it? I grill today. In my swedish backyard somewhere in the swedish Highlands of Smaland my daughter wondered what is the 4th of July.

Ay güey! Nunca pensé que the day would come. One of the darling conversations that so closely unite us Xicanos is Mexican racism. Nothing would give that cup of chocolate more flavour than tearing apart the thin veil of racism in our culture. Long has been known to us how our brothers and sisters, granpas and granmas, mothers and fathers would slightly through us off with their racist remarks. Specially when babies are born, ay que morenito, ay que blanquito, and it’s the blanquito one that gets the better end of the stick ese, always, yeah, we prietitos have always borne the brunt of the lesser praise at the cradle. Y no te forgets about those damn soap operas, puro whity on the top homes. Híjole, tears us apart our little hearts to see those indios do all those minial jobs. Y qué me dices de the worst insult one can receive en México, pinche indio they say. Let’s see how mexican denial that we are not racist fare in this storm, pero no, look at’em, ya están deciendo que they don’t understand us and the like. Y what about that movie where la güera esa da un baby negrito? Yeah, you know what am talking about, yeah Angelitos negros, that always used to bring tears to Aunt Luchita. A ver que pues.

Reading this article am inspired to write the following

I have stated numerous times that the idea of returning the Southwest to México (a preposterous idea if there ever was one) would be detrimental to our culture, the pachuc@, chol@, lowrider, poch@, malinche, chican@, xican@ culture. The moment that the Southwest lands in the hands of México we cease to be all that has happened between now and 1846.

What makes us us is the very conflict that breeds between the two cultures.

However, I must admit that the polarization of the Aztlán homeland is taking place as we speak. Aztlán has reached a critical moment in US history, Aztlán is finally a discourse in American politics and a tool to defeat opponents in democratic held elections, people are taking a stand on Aztlán. The myth of Aztlán is competing with the myth of the American Dream head on.

Though we at the offices of Yonder Lies It insist that the fundamental question that needs an urgent addressing is our stance as americans, that what we as the Xican@ culture of this century must assert is our americanness. Which is far more important than discussing the corner alley impossibility of returning the Southwest to México because the Southwest is not comprissed of one ethnic group anymore and we must respect that, show them that we are different from them.

***

Reasons to turn the tables around in the national discourse for the soul of the Southwest and our denied americanness:

We have assimilated no matter what Huntington says or others attest. Our imagination includes Bejamin Franklin, Abe Lincoln and Ralph Emerson to name just a few of the voices that run in our conscience and we speak inglés. Nor have we only assimilated the gringo lifestyle, we have taken it as our own, that it differs from the more WASP vision and its racist legacy is another matter; in fact, we have stretched out a hand numerous times to those Other Americans yet they continuously refuse to shake our hand. They belittle our culture and refuse to acknowledge us as a people. When will they assimilate to us? When will they speak spanish?

We are a culture that the rest of America doesn’t know or isn’t aware that we have a huge lot in common. This needs to change and be transmitted to the rest of America: we have always existed and it is time they stop denying our existence. If Washington fails to stop this the spiral towards confrontation and ethnic cleansing is at hand. Do we really want a repeat of that in our history books?

Aztlán is no threat to the fabric of the US, what is a threat is the very denial of Aztlán and regard it as a foreign influence when it happens to be an american idea in par with the American Dream just like apple pie is.

I saw this pic over at DDBlase. It is the small gestures that make you gush with pride:

Cinco de Mayo  US stamp

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Issue: Cinco de Mayo
Denomination & Type of Issue : 32-cent Commemorative
Format: Self-adhesive Pane of 20 (one design)
Series: Holiday Celebrations
Issue Date & City: April 16, 1998, San Antonio, TX 78284
Illustrator: Robert Rodriguez, Pasadena, CA

I subscribe to google alerts. I receive news of la raza whenever the words Chicano, Chicana, Xicano and Xicana blip on the radar of the internet galaxy. So far they have been all American newspapers. That’s one, second, a few have come the way of spanish newspapers since the word chicana i sthe same word for chicane. Kind of reminds one of la Malinche, pocho and hell, those negative connotations haunts us like la Llorona does, it is there wherever three or more mexicans find themselves gathered.

However, the recent newsalerts of lately just crack me up. The 5 de Mayo celebrations that the raza is associated with are viewed from the anglo angle in a rather odd way with caution and warnings as guides of the ever expanding fiesta. This year the headlines bear puritan thinking such as Save Cinco de Mayo from tripping into the gutter, an article that curiously enough warns that we not allow 5 de Mayhem go the way of Saint Patrick’s day.

Others just don’t seem to grasp these Other American citizens and their strange customs: Hundreds celebrated Hispanic heritage during this year’s Cinco De Mayo parade. Hispanic heritage? I suspect that reporter was hungover when he wrote that, and in Bakersfield CA of all places!

Yet what inevitably remains and this has been so since my days in Aztlán and just as almost a part of the narrative that flows around these days, is the explanation of just what 5 de Mayo is. Is it mexican independence day? Is it Budweiser day? Is it Chicano day?

There is this need to explain ourselves to the rest of America, as if the dialogue that occurs across the tabloids, the newspapers, the overall media, was one were there is a need to explain to a higher authority just what the heck is this strange noise being made. There is a need and a demand to explain ourselves to the rest of America not for understanding but to alienate.

We can never be part of it or be accepted as part of America as if what we celebrate lacked an ever essential americanness to it and is therefore alien to the very fabric of the US.

Heck, why can’t we just have a celebration without having the need to explain it away to smithreens? Why can’t there be a day to just be Chicano. Celebrate our americanness in as much as we celebrate el cuatro de julio? You don’t see newspapers articles everywhere asking why is it that chicanos have carne asada and mariachi during the course of that day. Really, more than anything else, more than trying to pervert the holiday with beers let it not turn it into an alien holiday.

It’s a Chicano, Chicana holiday period.

I see three pressing issues that the Xican@ must face soon, or in the near future.

1.- Not all Xican@s have spanish or derive pride in the ideology which infuses nationalistic hues in the mexican soul; some are very resistant to the whole concept of mexican as we know it to be, some are still fighting the spanish. For a glimpse of this check out Mixtec, a nicely articulated post done by our own Elenamary. We must simply go beyond the Aztec and Maya dichotomy

2.- Not all Xikan@s are the color of the earth. There is a substancial amount of black Xican@s outthere, for a closer detail and look plus background check out Bobby Vaughn’s The Black Mexico Homepage. I have been reading this guy’s page for over two years and there hasn’t been any substancial change to his page but the contents are bona fide research.

3.- The sexuality thang. There has just got to be a stop to this homophobia in Xican@ writing though I suspect that this issue has long range solutions. For more on this subject I redirect you to Seyd who wrote something about it not long ago Aztecs and Homosexuality

Spanish has always been a problem in Aztlán.

Though am second guessing this problem is slowly turning a leaf in the collective concious in as much as Native Americans are more and more preferring to be addressed as that or have that as part of their lives.

Geeeeez, even my second generation mexican american cousins are teaching their children spanish.

Back in my days having someone hear you speak spanish was tantamount to labeling yourself a foreigner; one only scurried fast enough to blurb half chicano english phrases to assure the observer one was as American as burritos on a taco stand in LA. It was tough beating the “bad looks” that disfranchised one from one’s society. I still shiver in embarrassment at the thought of it.

I even remember not speaking spanish, my heady days as pocho as pocho can get.

Though it is no surprise that such societal effects have taken place in the history of the Southwest; we are one of many groups who has been questioned about our “english” purity by the white majority due to the color of our skin or our racial looks.

And little wonder is it then that second generation Xicanos/Chicanos (girls and boys) have such a schizophrenic attitude towards mexican spanish because mexicans are ill-spoken of all the time. In fact, am willing to bet a whole wad of pesos that the number one source of embarrasment for many second generation mexican americans is just that, that they are referred to as mexican, beaners, wetbacks, and all that.

This off course has a well intented purpose, one to debase the human being being labeled as that and the other to assert majority opresion and to let you know who the boss is.

So spanish betrays.

Curiosuly enough on both sides. The “english” purist camp arguing that this and that on assimilation and the spanish “purists” arguing that we don’t speak enough of a good spanish at all.

But let’s keep the spanish “purists” out because those mostly stem from one’s house criticism rather than the world out there, that is english America.

So if you are not well informed about your own self then and have half cooked notions about your surroundings, like the most of us do, then your self steem falters like a San Andrea’s fault on any day. You are vulnerable because the majority has dictated what an “American” is, no matter the past, history or your background, if you fail to pass the “American” test, that is, speak fault free General American english, your out like a bat. That is why we Xicanos speak english/spanglish one way with our close ones and another more common, out there, english which makes us sound like gringos. But mostly when we are caught speaking Chciano english we become unwanted, that is American society for you. Because we are not interested in ideals that the government sells: we are all equal under the law blah, blah, we do not take that up. Here we are just concerned about what the average Xicano experiences when he or she confronts the rest of America and what the rest of America has said about him or her and his or her background beforehand. A pre-established frame society carries around to see the rest of society with.

So spanish is seen as a foreign language, it doesn’t belong in California, never mind that half of its history is written in just spanish. Society renounces this altogether and chastises the vowels whenever it hears them out. I am sure I don’t need to remind no one about the hundreds of cases pending in courts about discrimination for speaking spanish in the job.

So, for the most part, knowing spanish in Aztlán is a detriment rather than a plus.

So yeah, that, today.

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.

I often find it amazing how America Gringa refuses to acknowledge some of its own history, twist it and bedmake it to sleep with the Other in its own house. I suppose it is easier for Gringo USA to see its own population thus. It is afterall, easier to manage since the Other in the United Gabacho States is a minority to whom the vast majority see nothing more than troublesome sectors, resistance fighters who do not fit in the “Good” category. Such is the misconception that Reuters recently reported on Aztlan and which you will find on the post below this one. I suppose it is easier for gringoland to see Aztlan as a cry of the return of lands (lost/gained?) from the 1848 mexican american war. Nothing can be further from the truth, in fact Aztlan is a concept, a semiotic idea to unite and to give a sense of identity to us who are impregnated with gringo and mexicano culture.

Aztlan can be best described by an act done by a man whose name is seldom seen or mentioned, he represents, in reality, the real cry Xicanos all over demand: Justice.

“ For most Americans the drowsy little village of Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico was first placed on the map June 6, 1967. On the second morning of the Arab-Isreali six-day war, newspaper readers all over the United States turned from the Sinai struggle to a national item that made them hastily recheck the dateline to be sure they were still in the Twentieth century.” Peter Nabokov

Reies Lopez Tijerina demanded that landgrants given to his descendents be honored by the US government, when this failed to materialize he raided a courthouse that sent shockwaves throughout the world wide over.

That is the one of the rallying cries for Xicanos in the US of America, that the Tratado de Guadalupe ne honored and that landgrants be honored, not that Aztlan be returned to a political establishment or institution.

Anyways, allows us to examine the article by Reuters, one done by a person who bears the name of Alistair Bell.

Let us see the repertoire of phrases which caught the eye of this citizen of Aztlan

Phrases from articles 1 to 3 are here:

“a warlike tribe with a passion for human sacrifice, wandered the badlands of central Mexico”
Hmmm, ok, wanna add some background on that that doesn’t give a christian spin to a culture who hadn’t notions of the judeo-christian persuation?

Next!

“Aztec legend says little about Aztlan”

Ouch! Separation without anesthesia is near criminal, if the aztecs have Aztlan as part of their repertoire then why not try to understand their culture in order to find more clues about it?

Next!

“Little stirs on the mosquito-infested islet nestled in a salt water lagoon on the Pacific coast.

An expected tourism boom to the state has mostly failed to materialize and the islanders still scratch a living from fishing for shrimp and lobsters.” [my bolds, not balls nimcopoop!]

Raid anyone?

Next!

“Try telling that to the growing number of Mexican immigrants in the United States for whom the idea that Aztlan was in Utah or Colorado has become a matter of doctrine”

Ok, this is the best example of a reporter who fails in every degree to understand its own history, (hope the newshound is american gringo), as far as I know, the Aztlan notion and concept is a purely Xicano-a/Chicano-a affairs of state since most mexicans coming from México to the US have little or no knowledge of Aztlan because of differences of ideological rearing.

Next!

“With this massive wave of immigration from Mexico now, the immigrants are saying, ‘We are returning to Aztlan,’

Read the above.

Next!

“The issue of where the mythical Aztlan is has been thrashed about a lot. They haven’t located it definitively,”

Try my head, you’ll find it in the area formerly occupied by a Judeo-Christian God.

sources: Tijerina and the Courthouse Raid (1969) The Ramparts Press Berkely, Califas; Reuters.

I am ocassionally given to the reading of books which I, more often than not, peruse more than finish when the need arises to let time pass by in an adequate manner. So whenever I find myself answering the calls of mother nature I am of the habit of calmly answering it whilst I read a few paragraphs here and there. I also, whenever I have a chance, crack open a book at the library or the bookstore to see what a sentence might have in it. I am also of the disposition to take books with me to places where I know I shall be spending some time in idleness. It is a chore which I have acquiered through the years and one that has proven to be quite the rewarding one least to say a satisfactory one. Indeed, I have a chock-full bookcase of books in my library that are waiting for my eyes for this very chore, at times, I suspect, unpatiently since everytime I happen to pass by there I receive this eerie sensation of being drawn to them to comply with the promise I made them once they arrived to their current place in my humble library of no more than a 1000 volumes of which I have read no more than 200. It is a curios thing that once the coveted book has reached its goal to tend to gather more dust than use. Although, truth be told, I make the commitment of opening them every now and then to remind me of their position in the bookshelf. Such was the case of the only spanish book I have on Chicanos and why I started all this in the fashion I have done so.

Tino Villanueva, Chicanos (selección) Lecturas 89 Mexicanas Cultura SEP 1985.

I was rather surprised to find the following information regards Pochos on page 11 & 12 while I awaited my daughters to finish their swimming lessons, here on the Swedish Highlands one rather windy and partly cloudy day last week. Tino begins as thus: (loose translation):

I will open a long parentheses to discuss the term Pocho which according to Ramos I. Duarte, the first one to prove it, is derived from the Sonora ( a state along the Southwest border) word pochi (adj) which means “[c]orto (short) ; rabón (tail-less). Unos pantalones pochis cortos (short). Un perro pochi: rabón.” (Feliz Ramos I. Duarte, Diccionario de mejicanismos: Collección de locuciones i frases viciosas, Imprenta de Eduardo Dublín. México, 1895, p.408). And here we find the same definition half a century later by Francisco J. Santamaría in his respected Diccionario genreal de americansimos, first edition, II volume, Editorial Pedro Robredo, México, 1942:

Poche, cha m. y f. Name with which northamericans of spanish extraction, specially mexicans, are designated, in the south of the United States, particularly in California. (In Mexico the most common thing to say is pocho or pocha and it doesn’t present itself to be too odd that its origen stem from pochio, a sonorismo (from Sonora) which very likely stems from the yaqui; also meaning short in limitations. More clearly, stupid) 2.Corrupted spanish, a mix of english and worst spanish which northamericans and foreign residents of spanish origin speak, mainly mexicans, in California (USA) [pp. 504-505]

A similar definition added to a more ample, clearer explanation with a linguistic and historic link and that I shall now gloss is that of Horacio Sobarzo (Vocabulario sonorense, Editorial Porrúa, México, 1966, pp. 258-259). He considers the word pochi (pocho) an “authentic sonorismo” and traces it to two autochtonous sources. In its first sense, Pocho “originates from the ópata potzico, which means to cut, to yank weed or grass; potzi, very simply, has the connotation of cutting or recutting, anything [...] and the particle tzi once adapted to the spanish phonetic system sounds like chi. Potzico in the middle of the 19th century meant metaphorically “ the art of yanking weed” in reference to the “compatriot which was yanked from our nationality”. On the other hand , the idiom which connotes a tailless animal is derived from another ópata word: tacopotzi which means without a tail. In short, the ethymological evolution of our word has two potential autochtonous sources: 1) potzico > potzi > pochi > pocho. 2) tacopotzi > potzi > pochi > pocho.
Though dictionaries assign Pocho the meaning of discolored, colored crackled, Sobarzo affirms that “within the pochi classification it was to be understood as well all of those that, inasmuch weed was, were yanked of their nationality and had the same fortune of that territorial portion which se pocho from our country, whites, blonds, blacks, morenos, colored and discolored”.

In another passage I also read that Pocho is older than Chicano. I read the following, in english too! this snippet by Américo Paredes: It was tthe barrio that produced the pocho, the early version of Chicano” … (Hey! Those 3 dots mean I am tired of translating) Further more I also read that José Vasconcelos confirmed that in the California of the 30’s pocho was already in use to mean those who deny their blood, dang.

Well, that explains that, doesn’t it!

Xicano

There is a discussion going on between those who share spanish as one of their tongues. Some say Hispanic should be the all representative word and other Latinas/os. I say that if you are to represent spanish speakers from America then it is Latinos, if they are from Iberia Hispanics. There isn’t a doubt that Spain is in our very bloods, we can never deny that but I as a Latino fear that my whole life experience with Iberians has been one of total rejection. Hispanics are arrogant according to me and hence make a clear distinction that they are a race apart from Latinos.

What kind of Latino am I then? I am a Xicano Latino.

I have recently come to the awareness that the rainbow coalition, not to be confused with the failed Jesse Jackson presidential bid of the 90′s, is a hoax to smears us down.

Allow me to expand.

Colors are barrierless. If we keep to our current notions regarding colors, we in society shall always be that which we have decided to be. We are Brown and Proud. That’s our motto. When we accept our color, you see, we accept our place in society. Yet we demand equal treatment and aspire to be at the same level that whites are. It isn’t strange then that there are steps in Crayola boxes. Yet brown can never, in a lifetime, be white, nor red nor yellow. Brown is brown. Brown doesn’t puts us in the color charts of our society and identify us more Americans, than say, reds.

This comes to mind the huge African influx México had in its colonial past and that now Bobby Vaughn is trying to chart. Nobody knows what happened to this influx but theories indicate that because of the caste systems back then in place they thinned out their blood by interracially mixing in order to step up the ladder. That’s why we Mexicans always look for african features in our kids when they are born. ¡Qué blanquito salio! is the most joyful thing you can hear when a baby is born amongst us.

This process that our africanmexican brothers tried seems a little too long and besides, I like my permanent tan that whites so desperately try to get even at the risk of cancer. What to do? Simple, we can strive to come to the upper echelons by our own or other means. By who we are. The color ladder only offers a step at a time in a lifetime. We don’t have a lifetime. Nor is it guaranteed that by toning down our skin we can get were whites are, simply put we must do away with the color caste system.