Several of my friends kindly re-posted my last post which is a great honor but it came with quite unexpected results. As was expected, it generated a tremendous series of comments, mostly of great support and discussion. There was, however, one particular person who I have never met and who apparently felt personally attacked. Or so I assume. Such was this person’s reaction that they commented rather negatively on the Facebook profile where it was read originally (and where the comments were subsequently erased) and then, proceeded to comment on my blog.
There were accusations of my being a terrible writer and so on and so forth. The comment which this person intended to post on my blog I have not allowed in that space for the simple reason that my blog is a place of healthy commentaries, with arguments which are open to discussion and must hold water.
However, I have posted it here and with the name removed in part because I respect the privacy of all involved and more than anything, because I believe this is a representative of a significant part of Mexican society. I wanted to expose this attitude, free of names, because I believe that this is a very severe problem that should be discussed with constructive criticism. It is strange then, that I was told by some readers that perhaps I have exaggerated and that it really wasn’t that bad. Or that Mexico isn’t a racist country.
So much for Mexico not being racist nor sexist.
All the while, it should be kept in mind that all of this comes from defending the use of a word in an inappropriate setting.
I will be frank and say that I found it rather funny that this person got upset enough to write this down in two different places. And perhaps I should feel good that my post provoked a reaction, albeit in this case, negative at best.
Kelly, from The Sober Señorita, asked me how was it that I stayed this long, considering all the things that have happened and dealing with the racism. I would be lying if I said it was easy. What makes it easier, without a doubt, is surrounding yourself with people who see you as a person. Not as a vagina. Not as a hue. Not as a grocery list of nations.
And that is how I view my love affair with Mexico. Sure, there are fucked up parts to the story but it would be unfair and irresponsible of me to base my entire opinion of a country on people who don’t even deserve to be called “Mexican.” The Mexico I see is bold and beautiful, not weak and substandard. The Mexico I see was built on the backs of Octavio Paz, Jaime Sabines and Carlos Fuentes. It was brought to life by Malintzin, Chavela Vargas and Carmen Aristegui. It was nurtured by the vanilla bean, chocolate and plump turkeys. It reached the stars with the Mastretta, the UNAM and Chichen Itza. It breathes because of the Maya, the Aztecs and all the numerous ethnicities whose blood runs through the very heart of this country, including the Spanish.
The institutionalized racism needs to stop. The sexism needs to stop. The discrimination needs to stop. And bringing it out into the open for educated discussion is the only way I see to start us down this road.
I will not hide in the accolades nor will I glaze over the negatives. It is what it is. And at my age, I consider myself sensible enough to quietly accept it when I am right and declare it loudly when I’m wrong.
And this is what I consider right.