Martin Luther King Jr. said, when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” was actually very true. Most of the time, when your race is targeted, which is mostly every race at one point in time, there are many aspects of it like what you are called that makes you question yourself on how far things can go and how far people make it go. Mexican is not the only race that has a whole list behind it that lists their labels. Being Mexican, it’s easier to express how they are talked about, how they are expected to be or the thoughts on Mexicans.Order now
You either embrace it or you let it go. Typical things that we, Mexicans, are called: wetbacks, lazy and ignorant. I used to have a “friend back in first grade that was Hispanic but didn’t speak Spanish and neither did her parents. Well English is my second language and in first grade, it was only my second year speaking it. She asked why English was my second language and before I could answer, she said, “My parents say that if you don’t know English first, you’re a wetback. I didn’t even know the meaning of that word so I said, “Yeah maybe. I was so innocent and I went home that day calling my family wetbacks. My sister was already in seventh grade so she had heard of that word already.
When she told us, I felt so sad. I didn’t understand why I would be considered a wetback simply because I learned Spanish first. Getting called a wetback is one to let go. I know that I am not but even with my family that isn’t here legally, they let it go too. They accept it, they can’t deny it but they also don’t let others cross the line and go into disrespecting them. Your name is the correct thing to call you, not “wetback. ”
Another common label is that we are all lazy. When my parents first got here from Mexico, my dad worked in a car wash. He used to clean the windows and vacuum the interior. My mom worked in a dry cleaner every single day. My parents might have gotten here illegally, but they didn’t use that as an excuse to be lazy and try to feed off of others. Even now, they wouldn’t allow themselves because they refuse to be labeled lazy knowing that they try so hard to make it just like everybody else. Lazy is nowhere being the correct label for Mexicans to be called. And just like everybody else, we are not ignorant.
We lack knowledge of certain things but there’s not one person on Earth who knows every single thing. We all lack knowledge in some way. I personally believe that this label is just funny yet really dumb. I find it funny because I can’t really wrap myself around it. Call us ignorant but yet there’s something that you have no clue about; like, that Giraffes have no vocal chords. And I find it dumb because it’s like us Mexicans are seen as if we can’t think or anything. Do we seem that unsuccessful to others? Or is it because there are other Mexicans who ruin it by giving that appearance?
Besides being put a label for your race, you are also labeled to be a certain way. One of my coaches from track asked me about my family once. I explained how I was Mexican and we were a small family. His immediate reaction was, “Are you sure you’re Mexican? ” “Uh, yeah,” I responded. He was surprised because I only had one older sibling and not five more. In Mexico, there are families who are really big. Because some do, doesn’t mean our moms are also out there having a lot of kids. The most common one would probably be by appearance. Besides wearing certain things, your physical appearance plays a major role in your labels.
Being dark and having dark hair usually means that you are “very Mexican” and probably don’t know much Spanish. Last year, in my History class, we had a substitute teacher there and she was walking around greeting everybody. I noticed her doing so and as soon as she got to my desk, she had the nerve to say, “Hola! “ She had gone to everybody talking in English but she only spoke Spanish to me. So when this happened, I responded in English and said hello. Just like at any other place, I’d rather talk in English because I don’t like it when people assume that I am unable to speak English right so they try to communicate to you in Spanish.
Everything that is true, that it applies to your life, accept it, but with a limit. If you’re illegal, then you’re illegal. But you should not be put down simply because of that. If you eat tortillas every day, then there isn’t a need to get offended. If you know you can speak English and Spanish, embrace both of them. Mexicans are labeled with names and stereotypes because it’s a common thing among us. As long as it is true, accept it but not to the point where you are labeled as that and only that.
King, Martin Luther Jr. “”Letter from a Birmingham Jail ”. 16 April 1963. n. p. Web. 10 Dec 2012. .
“Mexican American Stereotypes . Ferris. n. p. Web. 10 Dec 2012.