In These Times
There are endless platforms on social media to rant, to ‘hate on,’ to think you are calling out those who you think you know better than. Heaven knows, I am on both ends of that privilege that the internet has afforded these times.
I am 66 years old this year of the Baby Boomer gen. I identified as a Xicana/Chicana. I identified as a feminist. I am the daughter of factory workers in Chicago. We didn’t immigrate to the U.S. but were born U.S. citizens. While we loved the country of our immediate ancestors, maintained the language and culture, nurtured ourselves on Mexican food and all things Mexican, our lives were in the U.S. I am a mother and grandmother. I was a girl in public school before Civil Rights, before bilingual education was installed anywhere, before any kind of ethnic studies or women’s studies programs. Instead, I was a young woman who participated in the fight and struggle for these changes, among many others. My life growing until then knew disenfranchisement of people of color in all important aspect of society. People of Color is a term that was decided upon in my adult generation by people I knew–to ally us in a struggle against what we openly define today as white supremacy.
Each generation identifies itself. In my opinion, this self-defining is critical. It is important, also in my view, that each upcoming generation understand and respect the context of previous generations’ political decisions.
I was a young woman in Chicago in a time when the glass ceiling for white, middle class and upper class women was visible. For women of my ethnicity, skin color, class background–no matter my education or how I dressed or how well I spoke, the door wasn’t even open to get in to start with. I was a young woman when rape victims were “witnesses.” If you let in a delivery Man or the guy from the phone company and he raped you you were considered to have invited in. Young women had to fly, if they were able, to certain states for abortions. And as a child, abortions were only performed illegally. Speaking my home first language, Spanish, was prohibited in the work place and in school. Mexicans in certain regions were not served in restaurants. There was no prime TV with people of color, except for Amos and Andy and Buck Wheat on the Spanky and Our Gang movies which were run as after school programming. I wa in s forties–in the 90s– and still stopped in stores to have been my bags searched because a woman who looked like me was suspect of being a thief. My perspective on life, society, the U.S., Mexico and the world is influenced by these experiences.
I rant on FB or have, or preferably would like to think, ‘reflected.’ Twitter and Instagram don’t work for me. This website is to feature a lifetime of writing and publishing. Occasionally, my art work.
You can find my daily thoughts on the chaos we are experiencing on all fronts if you follow me on FB. There are two accounts, the actual one has a picture of my sitting in my cactus garden. I don’t know about the other account and I believe someone started a page with my name years ago and I have been unsuccessful in getting in taken down.
When and if I feel I want to make public my personal thoughts, perhaps I’ll do it here. “At my age,” and in “these times,” I consider it successful to be physically and mentally well. I am over ten years out of cancer. Sometimes people ask how I stay slim or looking well. There are questions about my confident disposition, how I discipline myself to write books, the kinds of things people are curious about public figures and people who seem positive. I’m happy to share my formulas, recipes, my daily thoughts. Some of it is common sense, awareness, and yes, discipline. But all of it is from a modest lifestyle. Yes, you can feel like a million bucks and even look it it and not go bankrupt.
In the wisdom of my years, compassion comes first.