It’s been a while since I shared the contents of my reader correspondence with you. I’m not talking about the comments that my posts receive. You can see those for yourself on this site, on the Huffington Post, at Being Latino magazine, or at whichever outlet is running my rant.
No, I’m talking about the emails that I get from readers who simply don’t want to be confined to the comments section. These emails usually offer praise, issue constructive criticism, or request help with some Latino-centric cause. All of those are legitimate reasons to reach out to a blogger.
But some of my readers’ emails get my attention for very different reasons. They are so colorful that it makes me wish I could be on their holiday card mailing list.
For example, there was the person who insisted that, because I was not an illegal immigrant, I had no right to blog about illegal immigration. The writer then went on to slam undocumented individuals as parasites on society and subhuman scum. The writer added, almost as an postscript, “By the way, I’m illegal myself.”
I set aside the Freudian implications of his self-loathing and moved on to read missives from right-wingers who insisted that I was a delusional idiot. One angry man disputed my conclusion that Latinos were poised to become a political force. The writer said, “Hispanics just aren’t smart enough to get organized.”
Well then, I guess the Republican Party has nothing to worry about.
But lest you think it is only social conservatives who hate me, let me point out that one furious leftist accused me of painting the Hispanic community in a bad light. The writer said that he was “going to do some digging” and expose me as a fraud. I’m indeed curious what his digging will uncover (maybe I’m secretly Italian!).
But my favorite email is one that I received in response to my piece about tribalism. The writer began her email with the ultimate rhetorical question:
“Are you retarded?”
Without waiting for my response, the writer pointed out that “White people took over this country fair and square. It’s not our fault we had the will, adventurous spirit, and superior weaponry to expand our territories.”
Clearly, this was a fresh perspective on history, as was the writer’s insistence that slavery was “a small price to pay for blacks getting to live around whites.”
However, the writer added that white people are not perfect. Apparently, they made a mistake putting Native Americans on reservations instead of “killing or deporting all the Indians after we kicked their asses.” The writer then asked, “Why do whites suffer the curse of compassion?”
That is indeed a stumper. But the writer apparently isn’t letting the mistakes of the past hunt her. She advised me that I “better shut the hell up and listen with respect when you are in a nation that was created by whites.”
She summed up her correspondence with the assertion that “this entire goddamn country is ours from sea to shining sea” before signing off with the identifier “White Woman.”
Although I thank everyone for taking the time to write in with his or her thoughts, I have to admit that White Woman made the most vivid impression.
Yes, it looks like I have a new pen pal.