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
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
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