“How To Get Away With Murder” star Karla Souza knows she’s one of the lucky ones.
In a profoundly personal op-ed written as part of PopSugar’s Hispanic Heritage Month blog series, the Mexican-born actress explained why she’s a “spoiled American.” She’s fortunate, she wrote, to have a U.S. passport and not have to deal with the hardships her grandmother, Elba Silva, faced when she immigrated from Chile to New York in the 1960s.
Silva, she recounted, was an assistant cook for the Rockefeller Family for 20 years and ultimately became a U.S. citizen. Souza said her grandmother’s hard work is the reason she has a U.S. passport today, despite having lived in Mexico and Europe for almost two decades.
In the blog, titled “I Finally Realize How Fortunate I’m to Have a U.S. Passport,” Souza, who plays Laurel on the hit show, described how she felt when she realized she’d taken her immigrant background for granted:
I’m a spoiled American. I don’t fully realize how lucky I am to call this country home. I am a perfect example of what my pastor Rankin Wilbourne calls today’s generation: Radically individualistic. A generation of people with one project in mind: Project self. Me, me, me. Naive and oblivious to the blessings and graces given as I go about my day.
The antidote to the pandemic of individualism and selfishness, for me, is to stop and consider: Consider those around me. Those who came before me. Consider the pain and struggle people go through to move to and stay in the U.S. Surviving as an undocumented immigrant, living in constant fear of deportation. To just stop for a second in my busy privileged life and consider.
The “HTGAWM” star said she now embraces her multicultural background.
“My front porch proudly displays both the Mexican and American flags,” the actress wrote. “I celebrate both El Grito (Mexican Independence Day) on Sept. 15, and Fourth of July. At birthday celebrations, you’ll hear both “Las Mañanitas” and Happy Birthday. I consider myself as much American as I do Mexican.”
Read actress Karla Souza’s full blog here.