So I don't find myself being political too often but I cannot ignore the political temperature of my country.
I came to be a United States citizen because of my parents sacrifice to fight for a brighter future. My mother and father cried tears of blood to make it across the boarder so that they could touch their dreams. My mother crossed to escape the oppression of poverty, arranged marriage, and the yearning to be more than just a piece of property to a man. My mother comes from a little ranch where the pace of life and traditions are a throw back to the colonized beginnings of Mexico. I'm not bad mouthing my land of my heritage but theses are the circumstances dealt to my mother. She dreamt of an education, a home, and a future for her daughters. My father came to the untied states to leave behind the poverty, hunger, and political climate of Mexico in the early 70s. He dreamt of having a home, prosperity, and an education for both himself and his children.
Both my parents paid their taxes and followed the laws. They paid taxes to set up precedent that they are viable members of society and seek citizenship. My mom and pops are two of the hardest working people I know. They work from sun up to sun down. All for the dream of thriving. The American Dream, the intoxicating hope to be successful and live. My parents sacrificed their love and life for us kids. We all saw how they made it all work and how we all grew to love this land of opportunity. My parents met here in the United States. Both with the dream to be more than they ever thought they could be. Which birthed in me this love and pride for the wonderful blend of American I am. I am a Mexican American with pride and honor for both my cultures.
Growing up first generation was one huge roller coaster that just seems to keep going. The upsides are many but with the upsides come the downsides. Just like any action has its equal reaction there are two sides of the coin. In the U.S. I was rudely awakened to the harsh reality that I am too brown to be White. Filing out those ethnicity and race boxes where the micro-aggressions of my academic youth. Then visiting Mexico and not being Mexican enough. I straddled two worlds but I liked the blend. I joke around and say I'm a cafeteria Mexican American because I get to take what I want from both sides. Although some contradict each other they are complexly me.
Before school started I thought I lived in Mexico. We spoke Spanish, sang in Spanish, ate Mexican food, and held on to the comforts of our heritage. Once I started school my parents enrolled right with me and became students in American traditions along with me. I remember asking my mother "What kind of Mexicans are these kids? They don't speak Spanish, they only speak English!" My mother and father realized then although we had Mexico in our hearts it was time to make room for the United States. I taught them the pledge of allegiance, interest in American cuisine, and love for English music. Although my dad listened to it beforehand he really hadn't started to blend the music with his family. Both my mother and father learned their new language and instilled in us to do the same. We all made the effort to learn more English with each other. Switching from Plaza Sesamo to Sesame Street to embrace our new culture. We had fun practicing with each other after coming home from school.
So for their drive and desire for something more I was born and I love my cultures, heritages, and my unique family. I remember how hard my parents worked so we could be blessed with this abundance. I will never forget the truth of my origin. I will never forget the sacrifice and hard work my parents put forth. Thank you mama and papa for being the wonderful human beings that you are. I still see the struggles we faced and I appreciate your dedication. Some of my first memories are of my mother and father coming home from work. My father coming home covered in dust and dirt. Smelling of fresh cut grass and gasoline. But you still had a smile just for me. The hard work never stopped you from loving your family. My mother coming home from cleaning houses and hotel rooms. Her shirt covered in Clorox stains and her hands roughened by those harsh chemicals. But you always had a smile and embrace just for me. You loved hard and with devotion. We weren't the perfect family but we made it work. That struggle is real and some of us make it and some of us don't. But with all life's risks there is always a chance of failure. But you never gave up. Hell I still don't see you guys giving up any time soon. But I will always carry those images of my parents in my minds eye because I know where I came from.
So political climate or no, we are not a pack of ravenous wolves decimating a population, we are dreamers and hard workers. We cannot all be lumped together as criminals. Every culture and every race has its good and it's bad. I am proud of the open mind and heart I have gained from being of both worlds. Immigration is what the United States is all about we are a tapestry woven together in prosperity and times of strife. That's what the United States is all about. A United people to trail blaze brighter and stronger. Stop the political bullshit from setting us back to a time of bigotry and hate. We are so much more than that.
United we stand,