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The Silent Struggle of the Mexican American: Mexican vs. American

15 Aug

Without a doubt, the United States is undergoing major demographic changes. By 2060, the Hispanic population would be expected to reach 26.6 percent of the country’s people. Disturbingly, the forewarned statistic has ignited much hateful, detestable protest from white supremacists in the form of racist protests and mass shootings. Of which, Mexican Americans find themselves commonly caught in the crossfire. Not fully accepted as Mexican nor American, they often suffer their hurt in silence.  

“You don’t understand, [Mexicans] don’t accept us…,They’ll tear us apart,”  People fail to understand Mexican Americans carry a complicated relationship with their solely Mexican counterparts. While there are exceptions, the two groups usually kindle a mutual animosity toward one another. Countless Mexicans view their American brethren as traitors for “selling out” to the white man. Thereby, they have historically shunned Mexican Americans whenever they cross over the border.  It’s dangerous for Mexican Americans to enter Mexico. Often, they are targeted to be robbed, kidnapped, or murdered for their “American” nationality. Even today, Mexicans feel that their American counterparts owe them for Mexico’s exploitation at the hands of white people. Yet, Mexican Americans do not feel like they have done anything wrong. It wasn’t their fault how the borders were drawn nor their fault for being born in the United States. Yet, Mexican Americans still get treated as traitorous backstabbers by their own former people. So, when a white supremacist says, “Go back to Mexico,” They really mean, “Get yourself killed.” 

On the flip side of the coin, Americans choose to see only the “Mexican” side of the Mexican American. They fail to understand that many Mexican American families have resided in the United States for multiple generations. Like Native Americans, a good portion of Mexican Americans were forced to assimilate to American culture after the United States had conquered their homeland. As such, white people had taken plenty effort to snuff out the Mexican out of Mexican Americans thinking they were bettering them for society. The most lasting, severe tactic used to “Americanize” Mexican Americans was to abruptly end their ability to speak Spanish.  At which, countless generations have since had lost the skill to speak properly to their monolingual ancestors. Since, parents often refused to teach their children Spanish under American pressures. Not to mention, children received a negative association with their native tongues as usage brought on punishment. Adding insult to injury, places like southwest Texas held Spanish classes for students, however, the dialect was normally taught in Castilian. So, the children that were fluent with their local Spanish still couldn’t catch a break in class. They’re own dialect was literally seen as wrongThat took place as recently as the 1980s. Despite that not being their fault, Mexican Americans still receive a quiet criticism in the Hispanic community when they cannot speak in Spanish. A kick in the teeth, many Americans these days encourage learning a second language, in fact, the most recommended language is Spanish. That is a far cry from the policies that were enacted against Mexican Americans years ago. 

Overall, Mexican Americans assimilated to the United States as they “told” to do. Despite their best efforts, however, they’re never seen as American enough. Understand, Mexican Americans are under the wrath of a cultural double-edged sword. If they choose to assimilate anymore, they’ll be the “Americans sellouts” that Mexican hustlers tell them they are. However, if they hang onto their culture, they’re no better than the next Mexican crossing the border. Indeed, it’s common for Mexican American to be faced with an identity struggle as they figure out where they are on the “Mexican to American” spectrum. So, it isn’t as simple as, “Just speak English.”  

Trapped between two worlds, Mexican Americans receive cultural pressure on both sides. If a Mexican American only speaks English, they’re considered a heretic to their culture. Although, if a Mexican American only speaks Spanish, they’re seen as an illegal delinquent. If they speak both languages, they’d be judged on their lingual performance from both sides. Consequently, Mexican Americans find themselves trying to be twice as perfect as everyone else to satisfy the societal criteria of the two groups.  

In most cases, Mexican Americans have resided in the United States for centuries. Yet, Americans still treat them as if they have just crossed over the border. Within the U.S., there are countless ethnicities whose homelands are much distant away than the Mexican American: African, Irish, German, Japanese, Chinese, etc. Although, a Mexican American’s native land is usually a short trip across the Rio Grande or right where they’re standing. No matter the case, a Mexican American’s presence seemingly offends Mexicans and Americans alike overall. Hence, Mexican Americans attempt to take pride in their unique position by rebranding themselves with names like “chicano” to make something of their own Mexican identity without “Mexican” baggage. Meanwhile, other Mexican Americans identity themselves with the word “Hispanic” to avoid similar stereotypes. However, neither rectification solves the problem.  Mexican Americans always seem at a crossroads on issues, forced to pick a path. However, no matter which path they choose, they must face rejection from the opposite, parallel road.  Hence, the quiet suffering of the Mexican American.  

If you feel caught at a cultural or spiritual crossroads like countless Mexican Americans. consider treading the path of RESCUE. There, you could overcome the influences of culture and rejection to empower yourself on the way to a new identity. With the help of fellowship, you will learn how to stand on your own, standing for your own best interest. Filled with a multitude of backgrounds such as African, Mexican, and English and (former) religions like Jehovah Witness, Catholic, and Baptist, just about every person can find someone who can relate to your situation. Thereby, you find the foremost advice to spiritual liberation…beyond all the labels, just as the Lord intends. https://www.facebook.com/groups/rescue/