What is it about Mexicans?
Arizona Republic
Jan. 31, 2005

Salvador Reza
Tonatierra human rights group

Despite everything said about Proposition 200, no other government besides Mexico has complained. No wonder! It was not targeting Canadians, nor European immigrants, it was not even designed against the Arabs. It was designed against the Mexican population. advertisement

Why do Mexicans evoke such hatred from Randy Pullen, Russell Pearce, J.D. Hayworth and 56 percent of the electorate? Hatred directed even against children, who in most cultures are sacred. Who doesn't melt with the smile of a child? Everyone, except if that child is Mexican and can't speak English.

If a child is Mexican and can't speak English even the laws turn against him/her. That child will be subjected to sanctions and psychological torture for being Mexican under the color of law. They endure a treatment only equaled by the treatment of native Americans at the beginning of the century under the Boarding School Americanization projects.

Proposition 200 is only a continuation of the fight against Mexicans initiated by Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin and the subsequent invasion of Mexico in the mid 19th century. The fight against Mexicans continues even today. Despite the scrubbing with AJAX by many of my friends from the 50's and 60's to wipe out the brown color of their skins, the anti-Mexican sentiment has never disappeared despite the social climb into the upper social spheres.

What is it about Mexicans? They are hard workers, help the economy, and shed their blood in every war from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq.

Maybe the answer is too simple but here it goes. Mexican people, despite constant attacks on their culture continue being Mexican. Being Mexican means holding on to your indigenous roots manifested from your skin color to your facial features. It means to have the culture within from the taste of homemade tortillas, to the taste of Nopal, (Cactus), mixed with the taste of freshly cooked beans on a clay pot.

Maybe being Mexican is the realization that we have been part of this land way before Hernan Cortes trampled "Americas" sacred lands. The realization that we have traversed the imaginary border thousands of years before some lunatic thought of borders. The same lunatic ideas that have transformed into Proposition 200.

Being Mexican is to know consciously or unconsciously that we will never be "Anglos," yet, we will be willing to share our lands with the Euro-American, learn his language, and communicate with him. It is knowing there are certain cultural traits that we will never change to please the newly arrived European pilgrims.

So, what is it about Mexicans that so irritates Shakespeare's descendants? It is that they refuse to become part of the "Melting Pot" and become part of the European mixture the U.S. government has tried to make of us. We keep our indigenous roots through our food, our love for the land, which we have never abandoned even when we are deported. We have always opposed the cultural genocide to which the African, the Chinese, the Arabs, and the Europeans have been subjected to under Manifest Destiny and the Melting Pot theory.

Now that Proposition 200 has passed what will we do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. With laws some will continue to try to carve us into their own image or eject us beyond the dividing imaginary line. We will continue speaking Spanish (imposed by the Spanish), English (imposed by the Anglos, and our indigenous languages given by our forefathers.

Many Mexicans (10 million) still speak their native language such as Nahuatl, Maya, Yaqui, etc. Whether here or on the other side of the border, we continue eating Corn Tortillas, Pozole, and even Mole.

Mole is our favorite plate from Cuahutemoc's time till today. However, Proposition 200 won't stop us, we will continue coming with or without papers despite the rabid attacks by legislators like Russell Pearce and his cohorts.

We are a people without borders.