Soy Chicana Primero
Today I am ashamed of my country. I am disgusted by a people who use fear to end successful futures for a youth who will one day run our country. For an education system which chooses to hide behind dollar signs rather than fight for a positive education, for a better tomorrow. Where have our strong leaders gone? And when I say leaders, I am referring to those men who ran this country with the “Peoples'” best intentions. Why have they taken a back seat to the never-ending racism and hatred for non Euro-American cultures; those who were here before any of those pilgrims and immigrants stepped one foot onto our land? Instead of urging Americans to educate and not hate, to enlighten our youth with the power to believe in themselves because they can (for once) be proud of who they are and where they came from, our school boards deny these very acts.
Let me assure you Mr. and Mrs. School Board Official, Mr. and Mrs. Superintendent, Mr. Government Leader, we do not teach to overthrow. We teach to give others strength and self-respect. Our Abulelitas did not tell us stories of struggle and survival so that we would hate the “white man.” We were not shown photos of our ancestors and the wars they fought just so we could fight back. We were told those stories so that we would know what it meant to work hard and to respect our elders for their sacrifices by making something of ourselves. We were shown those photos so that we would remember where we came from and to make those ancestors lives have meaning. So when you spew out statements such as “Mexican-American Studies” teaches hatred and singles out other races, you are terribly wrong. Classes like theses are only doing what our grandparents did. Teaching us about a past America is afraid of doing.
Do you know the true meaning of La Raza? Are you aware of the power it represents, for all cultures? When we say La Raza, we as Mexican-Americans speak of our heritage and the pride we have for our ancestors who fought, scraped by, and were discriminated daily. We are not the only culture to know about La Raza. Were you aware that in the early 20th century, African-Americans used this term as well; showing ethnic pride? Just as you are all proud of your family background, so are we. There is nothing wrong with that. Sharing our pride and history; there is nothing wrong with that either. The only difference between the history you force down our throats is that it has been given the “Hollywood” treatment. In other words it has been altered and overly versed to give it all a happy ending.
While our President is trying to win votes, I am asking him to put his “Vote for Me” posters down for a second and visit the TUSD (Tucson Unified School District) in Arizona and find out what these “Americans” are doing to the Education System. And when he is done listening to all sides, I want to know what his thoughts are on the subject. I want to know if he approves “their” message. I want to know what he thinks about it being okay to have an Asian studies program and an African-American studies program in colleges but when it comes to Chicano Studies, it’s a struggle. A struggle enough to make students starve themselves in the name of equality. Once again, Mr. President; “It is okay for our people to die for your wars, but it is not okay for our children to learn where they came from? ” Shame on our country.
And before you Mr. and Mrs. of whatever ask me why I don’t move to Mexico if I am so unhappy; you better remember what that one simple important reason is: I AM HOME! Just because this land was stolen from my ancestors doesn’t mean it isn’t ours anymore. This land is sacred and always will be.
VIVA LA RAZA!