Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

All puns aside I sometimes wonder, why the heck are we celebrating Mexico's Independence in America? Could it be the large Hispanic population here in our great melting pot? 
Could it be as the Fox fear mongers have proselytized, Mexico is trying to take over the U.S.A? (Note to my European readers: my sarcasm dial is turned way up for that last sentence.)
Personally, I think it's just an excuse to party.

Yes, Hispanics make up the largest 'minority' in the U.S. Something I noticed back in high school.
Referring to someone as a minority confers that someone else is a majority.
For example: If African and Hispanic people are considered minorities, then Caucasian people are the majority.
That didn't sit well with me on several levels. It never mattered to me where you are from or what color skin you have.
There were a couple of times when I felt out of place. Going through Salt Lake City airport, I couldn't help but notice a lot of white people. I mean pale, pasty, haven't been outside lately kind of white. Somebody actually asked me if I was Mexican. Now I'm not the darkest or lightest person you'd see in a line up. This was the first time I was mistaken for Hispanic.
The other thing I noticed was everyone behind the counters at the food vendors were black. Jay Leno made a joke one time about the Utah Jazz being the minority in Salt Lake. An uncomfortable truth sheathed in a joke.

The other time I felt out of place was when I visited a planned community near Disney World in Florida. The town's name was Celebration, but I called it the Stepford town. All white people. No ethnic restaurants. Disney security guards in place of actual police. No graffiti. No billboards. Not a lot of street lights. They took a massive strainer and weaned out all the flavor and variance that makes up life.

That makes me sick. You can keep all that.

I'd rather have a beer with my homies, while mamacita makes some black beans and rice for dinner. I've learned a Cajun dance and gone catfishing with hillbillies. Celebrated Bar mitzvahs with family and attended Italian weddings.
That is what life is made of. Variety truly is the spice of life.

In my book I included people from other places. Accents, languages and mannerisms. I think that's going to be a recurring theme with me because we all came from somewhere. We are not one white guy talking to another white person. No one is perfect and we all have flaws, but it is these differences that make us stronger. More importantly, it makes us human.

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