What do you know?

I can’t sleep… it’s 3 am and my mind won’t shut up so here we go.

A couple weeks ago I sat down with a friend of mine. Ibe/ Ibrahim he is half Japanese and half Palestinian. He asked me one day “Steven what kind of Hispanic are you?”

“Guatemalan and Colombian.”

He replied with a reaction I have never heard in my life. “oh interesting there must be a lot of cultural differences between the two.”

I was shocked. Never have I met anyone who understood this.

This is a subject that hits pretty close to home for me and gets me really riled up. So I apologize for my language in advance.

I really fucking hate being called a Mexican.

Don’t get me wrong Mexican culture is glorious, beautiful and my cousins are half Mexican. There is absolutely nothing bad/ lesser about being Mexican, in fact I would be honored to be Mexican. But I’m not. It’s the same as calling Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and other Asians, Chinese. Let me tell you in case you didn’t know all of those cultures are in some levels dramatically different. Mindsets, values, traditions and history. Yes we all speak spanish but not we are not same kind of hispanic. We have different accents, metaphors, jokes, mindsets and music genres. We if you didn’t know are a hybrid race of native americans mixed with people from all over the world. We are Hispanic but we are also, European, African, Asian and American. Our histories transcend Columbus, our history is thousands of years old and yet what do you know about it? We are not all the same we belong to various cultures Mayan, Incan, Aztec, Olmec and hundreds of others that have been lost or exterminated.

Quick fact: Mayans are still around today and there are over 160 languages still alive today. Many hispanics who know how to speak it refuse to, for the negative stigmas associated with being a native. In spanish the word “Indio” which literally means indian or native is an insult. We have been thought to discriminate against our own people. Prejudice, racism and ignorance is present amongst every hispanic country.

I’m fucking tired of people thinking hispanics are just labor men, kitchen workers, maids, we’re fucking human. We have the same capacity to learn and accomplish things just like anyone else. Immigrants but specifically hispanic immigrants have been fed into a system that exploits them for their labor. Yes, I was born here in the USA. I don’t know the struggles of my brothers and sisters but what I do know is that I am, and will always be Hispanic. I only hope to see my people progress in this country. Many immigrants come here and are complacent with the jobs they have, the lives they are forced to live. They work their souls out of reality, and are exploited to their bones. I’m tired of this. My people are intelligent, are capable of so fucking much but we are trapped in a system where upward mobility is an invisble concept.

You think we’re just a bunch of idiots because you don’t understand what we’re saying. But the things I hear and understand from my people. They are amazing and beautiful.

You don’t know anything about Mexicans, all I ever hear are praenotions and prejudice. You don’t know shit about Hispanics, don’t you dare mislabel me and erase my identity.

I’ve always grown up feeling like I’ve been an outcast to my own people, because I don’t dress like them, “think” like them, have the same interests, same mannerisms, or wear a shit ton of gel in my hair. But I am. No matter what you think I am, I am Hispanic 100%.

The other day I felt so human. I say that because I feel so alien sometimes. I was thinking about how i’m a hispanic male, who loves american music (indie, pop, hip-hop, edm, alternative), I approach knowledge with a european philosophy and I approach understanding with a asian spirituality and yet despite the labels these are all just human concepts. The things I’ve learned by not limiting myself to one way of thinking are invaluable and make me who I am. I am hispanic secondly but foremost I am human, and so is every other “Mexican” you misjudge and criticize. You don’t know shit about Mexicans, and you know even less about hispanics. You really don’t know me at all.

 

On a side note while we’re going about our daily lives, I.C.E officers and federal agents have been combing immigrant neighborhoods in increasing numbers, discriminating against people of color, and deporting those who fit their descriptions.

Don’t tell me it matters to you, because not only does it not affect you directly, not only have you never cared about these people, you never knew them at all.

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