Monday, March 01, 2010

Undocumented Chicano/a Paradox

I love having conversations. The exchange of ideas and thoughts is so
powerful, whether it's done to share an experience, tell a story or
just getting to know someone. I can't remember if I mentioned this
here, but on Monday Feb 22 I put together a panel discussion of four
students, including myself, to talk about identity with undocumented
students and individuals.

I called it phantom identity because it's an identity that can change
for the better or the worse and in the end, it will almost disappear
when we become legalized. It was a great event and people loved it.
So, today I was talking to a friend who was there, but left early.
They wanted to share their thoughts about it with me since we had some
time together.

In a nutshell, they explained how the identity of anyone undocumented
is almost the same as Mexican American Chicanos/as. The isolation,
feelings of not belonging, having to keep it a secret all that stuff
that anyone undocumented deals with. Stuff I deal with. I told them
that I completely agree with their view and personally have used that
model to learn who I am as a person.

However it's different with undocumented people because not everyone
is of Mexican decent, so it varies with individuals and how they see
themselves. But this paradox of identifying as a Chicano/a is
something I've have on my mind lately. In my Chicano/a Studies history
class, I realized that as a native Mexican I'm learning about my
history not only in English, but from non-native Mexicans. Huh ?

It tripped me out there for a second, you know, kind of like when a
dog makes a confused face. Yet, this identity thing also ties to that
of African Americans or anyone of color because we will never be fully
accepted into the main stream white culture. Whatever that is. I
myself identify
more with super heroes but that's because I'm a nerd.

~ con safos ~