Latinos Need to Discover their Cultural Mexican Roots Before It’s Too Late
November 19, 2020
Latinos Need to Discover their Cultural Mexican Roots before It’s Too Late
By Gina Morales
December 22, 2020
Photo by Gina Morales/The Poly Optimist
A junior high school student raises her hat symbolizing that she has begun to stay committed and represent her Mexican cultural roots.
As fast as our cities and brown communities are growing, the representation of Latino culture has failed to defend our position in the United States and it’s costing our worth as hard workers to be less valued. We have to change our attitudes of taking for granted the traditional/cultural values our parents have taught us. To seal the Mexican side of our Latino roots and to educate our next upcoming generations of the significance of our ethnic group.
Growing up as a Latina in the community of the bay area I have been reserved to learn from the Mexican traditions/cultures from what minor stories my parents tell me about there past and from YouTube videos that are influenced by white beauty bloggers that are taking more time to learn about our Mexican cultures and sharing it out to the world. Rather than us that have el nopal en la frente and instead decide to support American values rather than supporting our hardworking raza that we have known for years. This conclusion came into my mind after attending a zoom conference by PBS news reporters, for my journalism class. As I entered this meeting I came to see the screens of black and white students and the reporter’s faces. I quickly felt intimidated by the people in that meeting especially since I did not see a single person there that had the same tan skin as I did as a Latina. Like a slap in the face after getting hit with a chancla, my awareness of the loss of cultural identity within my school and community became noticeable. It came back to my attention that simply the reason why there was no representation of Latinos in this zoom conference and our national public media was because we as a community have failed to learn about our ancestors past and we have eased the value of our racial ethnicity.
You may be having second thoughts to go against my personal opinion but having carne asada every Saturday and blasting corridos out of your Bluetooth speaker is simply not enough to secure our Mexican/Latino culture. For the world to look back to in a couple of years and have an educated knowledge to know our own families cultural history and have the supported courage to defend your people when they require representation. We already see the outcome of what little representation we have created, such as having Political leaders make the world go against us to make them believe that Latinos/Mexicans are criminals and believing we are all the typical stereotype Mexicans. We have already had more than half of our ancestor’s history erased from our textbooks in which the only history we are told is the unfortunate view that teachers tell us about Aztecs being looked down on as weak and a fragile system of worth. Though it must be mentioned that the Aztecs at that time had the most advanced system of agricultural cultivation and a strong empire that was more obeyed/respected between their communities. Rather than these European lands that at that time were fighting with one another to get new land and the division between their own countries having their efforts divided. Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez took over the Aztec empire in 1521 with European influences such as smallpox, the kidnapping of the Aztec people that were put into slavery, and the mention of prisoners that violently killed thousands of Aztecs. Aztec warriors fought till their knuckles were bloody and had advanced weapons such as spears that came in handy to jab down their encountered enemies up close. As well as the well known used darts that Aztecs used to kill hundreds of European soldiers down. However, though the outcome of our ancestors has been remembered only as of the pitiful viewpoints of the told stories rather than being described as warriors/geniuses that our ancestors were actually like.
We cannot let any more time pass. We must start now to educate ourselves by knowing our history of our ancestors and from taking more value in representing our Latino community! Focus on learning about what is around you that isn’t Americanized corporate. Take a look more deeply at what we have around in our immigrant and Latino communities that are 42.5% populating in our San Fernando Valley, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Do this before it’s too late to pass the chance to ask your parents about their personal experiences they had to go through to get here in America. Already more than half of our ancestors’ history has been erased from our textbooks and couldn’t make it to the books/sources available today.
There are meaningful and enriched stories that need to be discovered to secure our values and to defend our immigrant and Hispanic people. So “Know your history,” Gustavo Arellano, a columnist journalist, always tells his Mexican/Latino supporters. To know your history is to become educated and to secure our traditions to represent where our family’s immigrant roots came from and where they ended up landing in the United States.