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[personal profile] quiresti
I felt really homesick today for one of the first times in a while.

The area I'm in now is one of those just on the edge of a growing Hispanic population. As in, there's not many people (of any ethnicity) moving into our failing logging town, but 15 minutes down the road the agricultural-based tiny town has a fairly large Spanish-speaking population.

Today, one of the girls I've worked with, a sweet girl, always listening and helping and being nice, turned around to one of her co-actors and asked "So why are there so many Mexicans in Mossy Rock anyways?" And then it went into a conversation on how ridiculous it was that the teachers were trying to make them say "Hispanic" (complete with rolled eyes) instead of Mexican. This was from one of the high school girls who was helping to lead the group.

And in some ways this incident has helped me clarify something that's been bugging me all year. So I know racism is everywhere, and New Mexico isn't paradise. Therefore I've been working hard to understand why every small comment whether it was about "those Mexicans" or a joke about low-rider vans because that's the kind of car "they" all drive, or the big things like when a 14 year old boy called one of his girl friends a "N---"; why all of these things made me want to run back to New Mexico. I mean, part of it was just going home, because I grew up around very well-educated liberals, but there was something more too.

I think the something more is the history and the connection. The idea that kids who make comments about Mexicans are actually going to have to face somebody who is personally offended and not just deal with some interfering busybody. The idea that Chicano Lit is important to study and the Latino vote is important in the country. And even if New Mexico fails so badly at bilingual education, at least it's up there in people's minds.

Anyways that's where I am. Also, I'm kind of ridiculously excited because a girl in my theater group who refuses to speak at all was actually giving me nods and head shakes to questions today. Yay! A response!
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