Mexican-American

I am the proud daughter of Hispanic parents born in the United States. Being bicultural has allowed me to be a part of two cultures that fuse to form a third culture, the Mexican-American/Latino culture. Today, I know we are a new generation of Mexicans and Americans. The term coconut; brown on the outside but white on the inside. It is what is said when a latino speaks like a white person. We all have that friend that is the “whitest Mexican” that you could ever meet. Belonging to two beautiful cultures yet not fully identifying with either. Have you ever felt not Mexican enough or not American enough? Let’s talk about it….

Born in East Texas, we were the only Hispanic family in my small town. My parents divorced when I was very young. My Mom moved to San Antonio. She married an Anglo. My dad married an anglo. I was not taught to speak spanish, had had a very anglicized upbringing . In my early 20s I found Chicano culture, and fell in love with Raza, Cauza, y Movimento..I wrote a collection of Chicano poetry titled EYE OF the eagle..yet, never truly “fit in” in either society..! Too anglo influenced for the Chicano, too Mexican influenced for the anglos! No regrets! It has made me who I am! I look for the culture and color of a man’s soul, not his skin , nor environment. .as a Born again CHRISTIAN my allegiance is unto the KINGDOM of GOD …thanks for letting me share! This is the first time in my life I express this, and “get it off my chest!” Blessings to all …The true beauty of any culture is unity. In providing this forum you also provide a bridge over gaps of misunderstanding, rejection, and feeling displaced wherein we may find unity! GRACIAS! y Bendiciones

People ask if I’m white or am surprised that I know a little Spanish… However, I am not fluent and really wish I was. I have seen many Hispanic kids whose parents are fluent like mine and don’t speak Spanish themselves. Did our parents expect the schools to teach us, but we moved schools or schools were only expected to teach the basics? Does the stigma and fear of retribution of speaking Spanish from the old days still exist even though jobs encourage being bilingual so you can get paid more?Also I’m pale, but I have thick, wavy hair. I feel that this and my last name are my few “calling cards” that identify me as Hispanic. Sometimes I wish I had straight hair because I don’t like to take extra time to do makeup or my hair, but then people would definitely think I was white… lol

I grew up on the West Side, and caught hell for being light skinned and light eyed. My school mates at Longfellow were horrible to me. Then when we moved to Helotes, I went to Marshall high school and the kids on my bus made fun of me for being Mexican. It’s not cute. It’s not funny. It’s stupidity. But I’ll tell you this; the “white folks “ at Marshall were nicer to me than anyone in my neighborhood. Crab Syndrome; Latinos spend more time tearing each other down than lifting each other up. My son went to high school in Mississippi. We are the only Latino family here that aren’t first generation. And guess what? These folks are as welcoming as they can be, although there were less than ten Latinos total in the entire high school.

People ask if I’m white or am surprised that I know a little Spanish… However, I am not fluent and really wish I was. I have seen many Hispanic kids whose parents are fluent like mine and don’t speak Spanish themselves. Did our parents expect the schools to teach us, but we moved schools or schools were only expected to teach the basics? Does the stigma and fear of retribution of speaking Spanish from the old days still exist even though jobs encourage being bilingual so you can get paid more?Also I’m pale, but I have thick, wavy This weekly column is dedicated to topics that are not the most comfortable to talk about, but it is time we stop acting like they did not happen. We encourage our readers to give us your feedback. There is no wrong or right way to feel about these topics. We just want you to “talk about it..” For tips and submissions to “Let’s talk about,” please contact Yvette at y.tello@laprensatexas.com

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