Elitism, racism and the education system have been powerful tools in promoting systemic assimilation, affecting Latinx for generations, not only in the US but also in our home countries.
Throughout this month, in our podcast, we have been pondering whether it is possible to dismantle that frame of reference and understand the system more objectively so as to be more active participants in our political and our community development processes.
We wholeheartedly believe that it is possible, and that Latinx could find enough common ground and goals to become a more unified voice and shape our future as an integrated—not an assimilated— community.
Are we ready to aim for an American Dream based on reality instead of an idealized perception? Isn’t it time to move on with a new perspective that goes beyond generations of prejudices and misunderstandings? (From both Americans and Latinx, by the way!)
It all starts with the assimilation concept.
Have you ever asked yourself what level of assimilation you’re at? What does it mean for each of us when we are told we have to “assimilate”? As Latinx, that is a question that is often on our minds.
Why am I perceived as different and asked to “assimilate” whether I just arrived or my family’s roots in America date back centuries?
Why is it so hard to “assimilate” anyway, and more importantly, do I have to do it? What does it mean for me? Is it only a matter of semantics, or is it a veiled way to strip me of my identity?
We are often unwilling participants in this by denying our own culture to fit in because we are tired—or scared—of fighting for our rights. In order to function, we stop fighting the stereotypes, and we discover that in many cases, we brought those same stereotypes when we came to this country. This is, of course, detrimental to our cause.
We have to take a hard look at the way we vote. We are still voting through the lens of our own cultural and family biases.
Without realizing it, some of us are voting for the people we aspire to be someday, maybe white, maybe rich, or powerful, and that is a dangerous bias because we are buying into a mirage.
We must stop, and think “Okay, as a voter, where are my biases? Am I voting for a person or their platform?”
Historically, having been colonized, we may look at ourselves as the ones that lost, the ones that were oppressed and victimized. But this is the present. We need to rise up from this victimhood. This is about responsibility, taking our place and claiming our share of power.
We deserve to live in a dignified place, a good place. We want safe neighborhoods, the opportunity to get good jobs with decent wages, and access to good health care.These are basic needs, and we need to think like that when we’re voting. We need to assess if who we are voting for is fighting for us.
Should we ask the government or work with the government to have access to all of this, rather than chase that old American dream?
Instead of perpetuating and voting for policies that are not working, we need to start voting for our own selves and what will work for us.
It’s exciting to think that we can redefine the American Dream! It is time to think about what a new, common dream would look like.
As voters, let’s be excited about what it means to participate more fully and identify candidates that support us, and in turn learn how to support them.
What do you think?
To hear more about this topic tune into our podcast where we discuss it more at length and subscribe to it on your favorite streaming app for weekly conversations about politics and Latinx.
Share your perspectives or ideas about what you’d like us to discuss next time.
Let’s all fight the good fight together!