“Caught In Two Worlds”

Brian - MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota
Entered on October 29, 2007

Most don’t know what I really am. I am an American, but born from a Mexican

family. “Chicano”(100% Mexican Born in the U.S) is the word they used to describe me.

The whites and the browns both dislike me. It makes it hard to fit in, and at the same time

easy.

I am an American because I was born in this wonderful country. My parents are

Mexican, which describes my brown skin. I love them a bunch, and I thank them for

letting me be born in America. Mexico is a great place and there’s nothing wrong with it,

but America brings hope for a better life, and many more opportunities for success. Born

here I have received safety from daily corruption from wrong-doing, no good, crooked

cops. They seem to always be harassing people who don’t look as they are from around,

looking for some location they’ve never been to, people who are not from their native

country. I went to Mexico last summer in June. As we were driving to the store, a cop

stopped us. Walking towards us with a grim smile, he stared at us expecting to get lucky.

Then, he said, “You guys know that your license plates do not work around these areas

anymore.” Which, of course, was a lie. We knew what he was looking for, we knew it

was a trick, we knew he was just looking for money. Most of the officers in the cities

always stopped foreigners for who reason. After getting stopped two more times some

other kind officers that were looking to prevent corruption helped us and escorted us to

safety. The cops in Minnesota, where I live, are not like them. From what I have seen,

they don’t go stopping people for their money.

Whites tell me with their plain silence, show me with their grim looks, that I’m

not like them. They try to ignore me, when playing a simple game of dodge ball I’m

picked last 8 times out of 10, or not at all. I think it’s because of my accent or the way I

dress, maybe the way I walk, but they don’t bother to look within. The Hispanics are just

about the same, they see a different color on my skin, they don’t see me as brown like

them. Even though they both discriminate, I would have to say the browns are friendlier

to me, as I talk to them they always seem to hold a grudge against me. They say I’m

lucky to be born here. They hate that I’m legal, and I have laws and rights that protect

me, laws that they break and then cry about having to leave the country. I usually ignore

them or tell them how dumb they are. Being born here does not change who I am. For

some reason, they call me white, probably because I speak English.

Mexican is who I am, it’s what I do, it’s my way of life. I live the Hispanic life,

never taken so seriously by the wealthy and powerful. Often taken for a fool. A fool with

little or no knowledge at all, desperate and very poor. American is what I am, on paper

more than anything, I have my citizen’s rights, but when some upper class, rich gritty

clean men look at me, they already say they know who I am. They say my citizenship is

a fake, that I bought it from some old lazy wrinkly dirty smuggler trying to make easy

money , I love being a little different than everyone else, and it makes me feel important.

It makes me standout, it makes me proud, and it makes me who I am. Chicano is who I

am.