Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This is the part where I lecture and you listen...

Pontificate....did the usage come about because of the Pope, or did the word Pontiff come about after the verb?

I was walking out of my building today and the window/construction guys were walking in, speaking Spanish. I thought to myself, I wish I could speak Spanish. I was in line at Walmart, and there were several groups of Spanish-speaking people in lines near me. I thought to myself again, I wish I could speak Spanish.

I am assuming (yes, I know: making an Ass outta You and Me)most of the Hispanic people in the N.O. area at this time are Mexican. I am assuming they came here from Mexico (or Texas?). Driving to Brother Martin the other day we saw day-laborers waiting for work, mostly (all?) Hispanic. And I started thinking, why are people (Americans) so threatened by them? Because they are willing to learn a second language? Because they are willing to work hard to support their families? Yes, I've seen the e-mails about the Mexicans who come just to collect welfare and have babies in the U.S., and I'm sure there are some people like that. But do you remember shortly after Katrina, and even recently, all those e-mails about how N.O. evacuees were greedy and lazy? How we turned our noses up at offers of free food, lodging, and work? That we only wanted checks? 9 times out of 10 it was either blatantly not true or there might have been a nugget of truth that got twisted and grew. Yes, there was/are bad apples, but compared to how many of us got our shit together and did what we had to do, that number is small. Where were the e-mails about the evacuees who successfully managed to make some semblance of a life elsewhere, greatful for any help they received? I don't remember seeing any of those.

After the storm (or is it The Storm?), when the day laborers started moving in, the "taco trucks" came soon after. They provided a valuable service and familiar comfort food to the new occupants of our town. The locals started frequenting these trucks as well. Now, they are being chased out of Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. If they were smart, the city would license these guys - I'm sure the licensing fees and taxes would be a nice chunk of change, and everyone would be happy.

Mexico has wonderful history, culture, and food. I would love to talk to these new occupants of our city and hear their stories of where they came from and what they have planned for the future. Will I? Probably not, but that is because don't talk to strangers, not because I don't talk to THOSE strangers.

Remember this post the next time you decide to forward one of those hate-filled diatribes about how all the Mexicans are trying to take over America and make us pay for it. Take out the word "Mexican" and insert "Black", "Vietnamese", or "Jew", and you'll realize you've seen it all before. It's ignorance, shabbily disguised. See it for what it is.

5 comments:

pops said...

Wow!! What got YOUR panties in a knot? I do, however, agree with what you said!

Hannah said...

That is my kind of feisty!! You are totally right.

Every culture has their bad apples. You look past them towards the good ones, you bake a delish pie and share with your diversified friends.

You go gurl!!

H1 said...

I definitely agree with you. (And I wish I could speak Spanish too). I started to respond here but realized when I finished that it was almost a complete blog post in itself. So, instead of monopolizing your blog, I will just post on mine.

Just not this very second.

Love ya!

the MeXXican said...

This here Mejicano came fer the white women.

Little secret here mi gringa friend:

Don't trust anyone whose head looks like a Toltec statuary.

Yes weez be cultured.

When we going to the Big Enchilada (Mexico City) and shop like capitalist pigs?!

Patti said...

Pops, received an e-mail some time ago that simmered in the back of my mind...

H1, nice blog...

Mexxican, nothing wrong with shopping like capitalist pigs!!! Let's plan a trip!