In a previous blog regarding the Rachel Dolezal issue, I explained to readers that regardless of my ethnicity, I am a black woman. I have had to explain, ad nauseum, that despite my mother being from Cuba and my father being from the Dominican Republic, the slaves ships went everywhere in the Caribbean. I am the proud recipient of a gorgeous cinnamon complexion that is a result of a beautiful mixture of African, Native West Indian and European genes. However, Mexico is part of my family's tapestry as well. Let me explain.
I continue to consider myself a black woman, but my family is very diverse. It seems as though all of Latin America is represented in one fashion or another in the branches of my family tree. My cousin Julianna married Hector, an awesome Mexican man that has worked all his life to provide for his family. They have been married for more than 30 years. My uncle Reinerio, who is Cuban, has been married to my aunt Lucha, who is also Mexican, for more than 40 years. My cousins -- Hector Jr., Ara, Maritza, Magaly and their children -- represent every aspect of God's greatness. I have a beautiful family. (By the way, they all work, they are not rapists and not one has a criminal background. I just thought I would throw that fact in there now that Mr. Trump and his ilk seem to think otherwise.) This is why I am just a little bit Mexican.
When Mr. Trump spewed his particularly obnoxious, ignorant and vile brand of hate, I took great offense at those statements. Just as I would had he made those remarks about Cubans, Dominicans or anyone from any nationality. However, this was particularly hurtful. Some in my family are first-generation Americans and have seen the sacrifice that our previous generations have made in order to maintain loving, hardworking and educated families. I am not sure who Donald Trump spoke to or who he consulted for his research, however, the last time I checked, Mexico does not exactly send its citizens to the United States. Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Columbia, El Salvador and Vietnam did not send my family over; they came in search of better opportunities and to reinforce the communities that they left in their native lands. They came in search of a chance. A chance that perhaps they may not have seen in their respective countries. As with any immigration from any country, there are people who are going to come to America that have less-than-stellar records in their home countries. Many take the opportunity to start fresh and make good, others do not. However, the vast majority of immigrants just want a chance at a better life for themselves and take that leap of faith and leave everything behind for a shot at the American dream. Immigrants do not want handouts, just an opportunity to prove themselves and become tax-paying American citizens.
What Mr. Trump has done in order to appease members of his party is preach the hatred that for so long has plagued the Republican Party. However, if Mr. Trump is indeed serious about running this country, he must come to the realization that in a relatively short period of time that not only was this country built by immigrants, but that immigrants continue to make this country great by bringing their cultural experiences to a very diverse and inclusive table where everyone is welcome.