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From America, I Am

Ilka Oliva Corado

Saturday 12 March 2016, posted by Ilka Oliva Corado

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In the current presidential election process that the United States is experiencing it has come to light the importance of the Latino community living in the country. Yes, the importance, although it doesn’t seems so. Never in an electoral process have politicians taken as a topic of discussion the contribution of the Asian, European and African descendant community with the same zeal as they do with regard to the Latino community in the present elections. Of course, depending on the view of the contender and the cards that she/he is willing to play, this would be either to denigrate or to appreciate it. But in reality, that "to appreciate", we know it is a kind of for the time being...

Figures like Bill Clinton, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the controversial Trump, have made use of the Latino, and specifically the undocumented community, just for the purpose of their propaganda only. The only woman in the bunch of contenders showing herself motherly and welcoming, (and with a chutzpah worth of admiration by proclaiming herself a feminist) promises the legalization of most undocumented immigrants if the Latino community supports her with their vote. She repeats with accuracy the words of the Ku Klux klanite and cheeky Obama who laughed at us, right in our faces, twice! As for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Trump they all display a recalcitrant speech that evidence the ultra-conservative and xenophobic thinking of much of US society. The latter has trashed the Muslim community in the country.

In the most irrelevant of any day in any place in the USA, we Latin Americans experience xenophobia, in something as simples as this, Anglo Americans claim that the United States is America, that beyond its borders there is no evidence of human life. For them we are specimens that have not reached the level of development that define us as human beings. They think we lack intelligence and reasoning. When we say that we too are Americans they ask us for our US passport. It is fitting to explain to them with apples and show them the map of the Americas, naming countries, cultures and traditions. Explain them that the United States is only one among many countries that make up the continent.

If the conversation becomes heated, it is incumbent upon us to talk to them about history and name the natives of the region who were killed in genocides by the "pilgrims" who came to invade their territories, leaving as heritage for posterity, the mockery of Thanksgiving Day celebration. Suddenly the obligation to mention native reserves becomes necessary. To tell them that America already existed when they came to perform the bloody genocides to steal the land. And if we are going to be precise, "we are more American than the son of the Anglo-Saxon." And then we play the songs of Los Tigres del Norte so that they begin learning geography, social sciences and humanities. And that we are indeed Americans, it is obvious in our skin color and the ancient heritage. Why as Americans we have no right to live on our continent? I mean, if this is the case...

And if the conversation turns on political beliefs that question the undocumented Latin American migration to the United States, then it becomes pertinent to draw (with chalk) on a blackboard the borders that the United States run through invading and stealing the land. It becomes pertinent to mention the United Fruit Company which they have no idea. The Plan Condor, which they are completely unaware of. It becomes pertinent to mention the job of occupation exerted by the US embassies in developing countries. To grab a map and point out those 8 states that were robbed to Mexico. That on any given day, anywhere in the United States. We tell them about undocumented migration as a result of the foreign policy of his country.

And if they talk about European refugees, in that case grab the moment and tell them about the US involvement in the invasion of Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Syria and the consequences this has brought in the migration of the masses who seek refuge . But it’s like talking to a wall, American society is alienated, completely sedated, the system has been commissioned to inject sedatives constantly through consumerism so that the beating seems an eternal "Spring Break" party. Usually they don’t understand or they don’t want to understand what they are being explained and end up accusing us of being terrorists. They repeat what the news says. And we must also explain them about the migration of Africans, of that ancient looting perpetrated by Europe and the United States, and that there is no such an "Old Continent", that if we talk about hierarchies, the mother of the chicks is Africa.

The Trumpmania, has done nothing but to demonstrate the level of racism in this country, what Americans really think about the Latino community. That level of support that lifts him and paves his way to the presidency is provided only by an ignorant, xenophobic, inhumane community. A selfish community. A community that displays its Ku Klux Klan heritage. A community that is ineffective, completely numbed, and indolent. That’s what capitalism is for, to numb humanity into terrible totalitarianisms and possess it, and shackle it, and turn it into mere puppets, objects manageable by remote control.

For the Latino community in the United States this is the time to react and be heard, that the thousands of undocumented become visible. To harnessing these provocations and demonstrate their strength. That any day, anywhere in the United States she would say with determination: From America, I am. But what a vein hope, starting with the fact that the worst oppressor of a Latin American in the United States is a Latin American with documents, or the son of a Latin American born in the United States. As an example, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. And like these two guys, the rest. And whoever denies it is because they lack the coraje.

Translated from the Spanish by Marvin Najarro.

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