Tag: self-loathing

Loud and Proud…Or at Least Loud

Decades after James Brown first exhorted his brethren to say it loud (“I’m black and I’m proud), another group of oppressed Americans — gay people — adopted the idea and found resounding success in proclaiming their pride.

James+Brown+jamesbrown

But African Americans, gays, and (presumably) gay African Americans are not the only people who are proud of their culture.

Latinos are well-known for bursting with pride for their heritage. However, while such expressions of ethnic boosterism are practically required on Puerto Rican Day, or during Hispanic Heritage Month, or — Lord help us — Cinco de Mayo, such statements often come across as just empty phrases.

After all, do we have good reason to be proud?

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And No Religion Too

One of my fondest memories of childhood is attending Christmas Midnight Mass at my family’s Catholic Church. My cousins and I would bask in the glittering pageantry, well aware that as soon as we got home, all the presents beneath the tree would be vanquished under our attacking hands.

I’m about to become a father. Naturally, I should look forward to taking my own son to Midnight Mass.

Well, I’m not. Because he will not be raised Catholic. In fact, he will not be raised with any religion at all.

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Again

Wow, you would think that I know better at this point. After three years of writing this blog, I still make the mistake of saying, “I’m not going to write about this topic anymore” and then promptly turning around and writing about it (whatever the specific “it” might be at that moment).

In this case, I intended to let my recent post on the midterm elections be my final word on the subject. After that, I was going to let the bitter results speak for themselves. Yes, I planned to ignore the horrific stench rising from Washington DC as Tea Party activists climbed up on the furniture and howled their nativist agenda.

But that was before I was surprised, and a bit amused, to discover that a GOP Latino group called Somos Republicans has written an open letter to Republican leaders.

The group expresses concern that some of the incoming GOP leadership has “repeatedly engaged in rhetoric that is aimed negatively toward Hispanics” and has “used defamatory language that is extremely offensive to Hispanics.” Somos Republicans says that certain GOP leaders — guys who will soon be calling the shots in Congress — have “engaged in an ill-advised platform… that has been perceived as insensitive” and “inflammatory.”

I have to wonder why Somos Republicans is only noticing this trend now. After all, the fear-mongering was pretty well publicized, advertised, and encouraged during the election season. How could they have missed it?

In addition, Somos Republicans seems less upset about the dehumanizing of their fellow Latinos, and more worried that the image problem will hurt GOP chances in 2012.

By the way, they are correct to be concerned.

Now, some will argue that Somos Republicans are nothing more than sell-outs. As I’ve written before, I don’t advocate for litmus tests about what constitutes a “real Latino.” Sure, denying your heritage might qualify one for fake-Hispanic status. But short of that, I believe that a person does not have to adhere to a strict political agenda to be considered part of la familia.

Still, it’s difficult to reconcile the self-loathing that many Hispanics have for their immigrant origins. So it’s good to see that at least some conservative Latinos are disturbed by the flagrant xenophobia being peddled as a patriotic value.

But really, somebody has to tell Somos Republicans to change the name of their organization. Don’t they know that English is under constant attack from people who deny that it is our official language? I mean, you would think Republicans would know that.


A Sudden Outburst

I recently wrote about self-loathing among immigrants and among Latinos in general.

That got me thinking about my own insecurities. Yes, I have a couple, believe it or not. One of them relates to this website.

As I’ve stated before, and in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not 100 percent Latino. I’m half Hispanic, through my mother’s side. That side is, of course, fanatical – hence the blog.

I’m also one-quarter Italian, which comes out when I talk (my hands never stop moving). The Irish quarter in me comes out… I don’t know… whenever I feel the urge to drink strong whiskey, I guess.

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Looking Hispanic in Public

Recently, I wrote about the concept of self-loathing among immigrants. My thesis was that some immigrants want so badly to be considered “American” that they will join in on hatred aimed at newcomers.

As we know, all immigrants are not Hispanic, nor are all Hispanics immigrants. However, it’s safe to say that immigration and Latino culture are closely linked. Therefore, you will be delighted to know that self-hatred can transcend citizenship status and careen right into questions of ethnicity and race.

For example, a few weeks ago, the GOP candidate for governor in Nevada, Brian Sandoval, endeared himself to his fellow Latinos during an interview with Univision.

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