I consider myself a Xicano, with an x mind you.
A Xicano from Tijuana or a Xicano mexicano as I see it in order to disntinguish myself from my brethen on the other side of the border, Californios and all. But in reality am no more than a minority. Not everyone in Tijuana has this vision that Tijuana is a part of Aztlán. It does not matter that Aztlán is only a geographical area in the imagination of Xicanos, though it be a palpable one.
That is why I am utterly surprised at this sudden surge of interest (again?) in the border. I for one haven’t the slightest idea what the border might mean because in Tijuana there are just too many interests and mexican natiolistic jingoism at play to consider the border as nothing more than a political boundary; a divisionary line which has nothing to do with Tijuana nor San Diego for that matter.
The history of Xicanismo begins when he or she reaches the border and it is the darling theme of san diegans and certain minorities from Tijuana. University posers who want a quick shot at stardom as if it were a buck away from your local quickmart. These very same souls that are neither interested nor know nothing of Xicanismo because their prejudice is the greatest divide.
It isn’t necesasary to explain that we are hated because we don’t know how to speak spanish, the proper and correct way as some are quick to remind us. More oft than not we are loathed because we are a race that has its own vocabulary and use the languages that permeate Aztlán to forge a unique identity. We are a race apart and clearly a threat to those ideologies that Washington, Madrid and México promulgate to ostent an identity which has nothing to do with Aztlán (read: Tijuana). So please, do tell, what is the Aztec Emperor doing in Tijuana’s boulevards when Baja California has its own indeginous population? And don’t even go near Jefferson nor Lincoln, what do those bastards have to do with the Californias?
Truth be told these concepts, which no one questions and which permeate the identity of Tijuanenses all over, is swallowed everyday no questions asked. So how are we to ask Tijuana citizens what is it to be a Tijuanense? What does the border mean? This is more than a slap in the face, as our good fellow Manuel says, this is a kick in the balls that runs up deep in the ass.
Am not about to entertain the idea that I might offend someone with these letters, yet these mamadas de Tijuana Tercera Nación is just one more ideology thrusted upon our throats from México City to squash the notions that Tijuanenses (at the very least those ones I know, my Tijuana that I see, saw and will keep seeing) have and who they really are but no one dares speak of, we are more mexican-american than ordinary mexicans.
It is like that directive that came straight from the centralist government more than a score ago. It demanded out of the local city government that they stop registering children with anglo names, so yeah, suddenly we were not that free to choose, or when we are encouraged to spend more pesos than dollars or when we are told that evangelists are a thing of the devil (mind you, in Tijuana when people say 3pm they mean 3pm, not 3:20pm like a good catholic might understand it) or that it be denied that there is a small but growing bilingual minority in Tijuana (even unwanted, when will they put Lalo Alcaraz or Luis Alberto Urrea in the Paseo de la Fama in Tijuana?). In other words, this is more centralism to stamp the cactus and the eagle in our foreheads and nothing more. These are ideological wars that attract people because the money is good. Just imagine, a spaniard is behind all of this! Antonio Navalón Sánchez, a representative of the Prisa group and a member of the spanish consortium Santillana, hmmm, one wonders indeed what these fellows want, conquer Aztlán?
That world renowned artists might attend this exposition and that they come to speak about their vision of the wonders that Tijuana is is another story because truth be told they have her all figured out in very romantic terms. As always the real Tijuanenses shall remain in the dark until all the reflectors, both from the US and México City, are gone. Only then can we begin our daily trek of criss crossing from one side to the other without being hailed as the 8th wonder of the world for being so tolerable to others.
I sincerily hope that this proyect becomes a resounding success, after all there are many Tijuanenses involved here, believe me I hold no deep grudge. I long ago realized that Tijuana has many realities nowadays. Here I only try to iron out that this is repression, like it always has been, and that is the repression of the bilingual Tijuanense, the catholic/protestant Tijuanense and above all, the mexican american Tijuanense. Truth hurts, I know.