AUTHOR: Victoria Gomez
What’s the difference?
America is hope to millions of immigrants. Latino immigrants who want to be free, to live better and have an opportunity for their family that they are not able to have in their own country. For years now immigrants have been coming to the United States. Latinos are one of America’s most growing racial group made up of immigrants and nonimmigrants. By now we have made an identity for ourselves. We like to call ourselves one of the most caring and hardworking group. However, the United States calls us otherwise. Latinos have gone through so much while living in the United States, especially immigrants.The word “Latino” is more frequently used to refer more generally to anyone of Latin American origin or ancestry, including Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking Brazilians. “Hispanics”, on the other hand, only refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry. A border is a line separating two political or geographical areas, especially countries. The Latino Sacrifice An immigrant is someone who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. Chicanos, Mexicans whose land is in the Southwest of the United States.”…Some call themselves as people whose true homeland is Aztlan [the U.S Southwest].” as quoted in short story The Homeland, Aztlan. When we hear of borders Mexico and Mexican people pop up in our heads. What we don’t see is their bravery. In The Homeland, Aztlan it talks about some dangerous they face when and if they cross “Do not enter, trespassers will be rapped, maimed, strangled, gassed, shot.” Americans also don’t see what they have to do to survive “To make a living my father became a sharecropper. Rio Farms Incorporated loaned him seed money and living expenses.” “Sometimes we earned less than what we owed.” The Homeland, Aztlan. Latinos are hard workers who work long hours to provide for their families. Many Americans think the Latinos come to the United States to try to take over their land or be criminals. They think we are here to take their money and the government’s money. To the racist Americans, we are lazy immigrants who live off the government. We are seen as criminals. What do they see themselves as when they pay Latino immigrants only $15 a week as said in The Homeland, Atlazn “She may work as a live-in maid for White, Chicano or Latino household for as little as $15 a week.” These immigrant workers grow sick because they are stressed and worried at all times that their family is going to get deported. This is their sacrifice though, what they came here for is what is going to pay off in the long run.
Latino Racism/ Language
In the short story How to Tame a Wild Tongue it talks about the racism a child had to experience in the United States. “I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name.” ‘If you want to be American speak ‘American’. If you don’t like it go back to Mexico where you belong.’ This quote proves this other quote from The Homeland, Aztlsn “Those who make it past the checking points of the Border Patrol find themselves in the midst of 150 years of racism in Chicano barriers in the Southwest and in the big northern cities.” I think these two quotes connect because if you are Latino you are bound have racist things happen to you. Latino parents know how racist people can be especially when they don’t speak “American” like I quote from How to Tame a Wild Tongue “…my mother would say, mortified that I spoke English like a Mexican. Her mom knows that not speaking English properly would get her in trouble in the future. American schools required for Latino children to take two speech classes to get rid of their accents. Like every culture, Latinos have their own unique Spanish language. Puerto Ricans and Cubans say the word “nosotras” to make it known that they are females. “Chicanos use nosotros whether we’re male or female.” as said in How to Tame a Wild Tongue.
Race and gender play a huge role on how America has shaped Latinos identity. Now many Americans may ask why do Latinos come to the United States and why can’t we just go somewhere else. Well, Lotions come to the Unites States to have a better life. I know a lot of people hear this all the time but it is the simple truth. In our homelands their are not many jobs available , not that much education and poverty. That is why they risk their life crossing the border to come to the United States. Their bravery is what makes them who they are.
Working as an Immigrant
When they get here they are desperate to find a job, any job. They are willing to work under any conditions, low pay just to keep themselves alive and if they came with family, to provide for their family. Even children had to start working because what the parents were getting paid just wasn’t enough. In Unequal Freedom: Labor it says “From necessity women and children began to engage in paid labor, preferably at home but sometimes outside.” Mexican men worked in dangerous hazardous conditions leading them to be absent from home most of the time or just leaving the home forever or dying due to the conditions at work. Latino do work more, more days more hours. They still get paid less though. Unlike the Whites and the Blacks that work minimum hours and days still get paid more. In Informational Articles & Op-Eds it supports the last sentence “…Hispanic men work more often than white men, who consistently work more than black men.”
Overall, Latinos are mistreated and discriminated against. America just sees the bad side of Latinos. They do not see all that they suffer. They are one of the most hard working group in America.