Friday, November 7, 2008

Benedict Arnoldo?

How quickly time passes. My wife and I have only lived in our neighborhood for a few years and during that time we have seen so many changes. We were some of the first of our heritage to move in. This is important to the statement I am trying to make because although we are considered from the same group, we really aren't.

With this influx of "our" people into our neighborhood comes the embarrassing habits they bring with them. I'm not talking about traditions, music or even choice of vehicle. I'm not even picking on their taste, or lack thereof, in hood ornaments.

I can look past the barbecue's every weekend.
I can look past the umpa sounding music pounding all night.
I can look past the occasional loud GOOAAAALLLLLL! coming from their back yard on weekends.
I can even look past that tacky yack on the side of their diesel truck door.

What I can't look past is their hoodlum kids tagging up our neighborhood with street names of places they've probably never seen.
What I can't look past is the beer bottles they leave on the sidewalk after a raucous night of "pistiando."
What I can't look past is the cars parked on the lawn dripping motor oil onto their dead grass.
What I can't look past is their mistreated dogs with bloody scars on their necks in the back yard nipping at my good-natured K-9 over the fence.
What I can't look past most of all is the fact that I can't say shit about it because they claim I would be betraying my "gente."

These are NOT my people. These are the low-life, lazy, idiotic, marching, law complaining, rejects who's own country didn't want around anyway. So please don't classify us all as one. There are some people who are educated and some people who desire education. Then there are others who are neither.

Just because they look alike, the guy selling fruit on the freeway exit and the guy sitting handcuffed on that same curb later that night, does not mean they are one in the same.

Next time you see a gangster getting arrested, don't ask the nearest Hispanic next to you what he thinks about the cops always harassing his people. Next time you see an African American or any person of color in any country, don't automatically assume you should ask them if they are happy that Obama is in office.

So who are my people? My people are those folks that work their asses off to provide for their families. My people are the ones that stop at a red light in the middle of the night even though no one is around for miles. My people are the ones that hold doors open for others. My people are the ones that return the shopping carts to their corrals. My people are the ones that let people merge when they use their turn signals. My people are the ones that make an effort to meet you half way or R.S.V.P. when they can't make it. My people are the ones that come directly to you if there is a problem instead of going to everyone else. My people don't take pride in their own ignorance. My people are the ones that put their own spouses before anyone else.

I work hard to meet those standards. Sometimes I don't fit them all but when I don't, I know I am wrong and I try hard to get there.

(P.S. I am especially proud of my title artwork this time. :) I edited a Benedict Arnold engraving.)


BridgetSmash. said...

For about half an hour i've been trying to find the link where to comment this...
I really liked this post, because really. I feel the same. I just kept thinking "wow, there's someone who has pretty much the same views as i do when it comes to (our) people and heritage."(our people:Hispanics)

Its quite interesting.
I use to live in the valley.
Occasionally, I like to take a drive down there and visit where I grew up half my life.
The last visit i made was horrible.
It was like an exact replica of what you desrcribed with this junk on filling up half the street and taggings everywhere.
Kind of Broke my heart....

But my applauds go out to those who do work hard to earn a living and provide the best for their kids and families, even friends etc.etc. Like my parents or something.
So, this was very nice of you to go out and recognize such a topic.

Iris said...

I like how you wrote this blog. I know that many times, I have been called a "sell out" or "yuppie" for thinking the way you do. I am happy to be who I am and to be born who I am. But I am not PROUD. Only because, like I've heard you say before, I had NOTHING to do with who I was born to be. I love a lot of things about my culture.

At the same time, I am not proud of those bad apples in our group.

Farhan said...

The problem you are describing is not on an individual level. In my opinion, it has more to do with how people think when they are in a GROUP. When a specific kind of people assemble in one place in a large group, they start thinking that there is nothing they can't do. They start feeling a sense of freedom that they don't feel in front of white Americans. So they choose to act however they want to. Like jerks. Let me give you an example:

Walk down Devon Avenue here in Chicago. It has a high Indian population because there are a lot of Indian stores over there. What you will see is people driving like maniacs, throwing trash everywhere on the road and sidewalks, not following any sort of rules, they start acting just the way they used to be back in India. Now, put the same people in front of a white American, the same people will be ready to drop down on the floor, say "yes, sir" and kiss the American's ass. I see this happening right in front of me. When a group of Indians is in a group, they are a bunch of rowdies. When they are in front of Americans, they are much different and polite.

But of course, not all Indians or Hispanics are like that. There are also the ones who are well educated and well mannered. And I agree with you, Iris. There are "bad apples" in every group.

Great blog as always, Hektik!

Leah Friesen said...

It's interesting lately how many topics there now are on race. All ethnic groups have "bad apples" including whites.

If I were to live in a trailer would I automatically be "white trash" or "trailer trash?"

I think it's all about respect, for others, yourself and your possessions.

HektikLyfe said...

>Bridget: Glad to see you found it! I would try to find the area in the XML where I could increase the font size or at least bold the post link but I'm afraid I would lose that functionality again. Our people have a great history but it seems those that make the most noise are the ones I feel most embarrassed for.

Our people are spreading out and you would think a blending of cultures would be a good thing but they seem to be only attached to the bad habits. Really sad.

Its usually the older generations that still have a desire to work hard. Some of the younger ones don't know what it is like to suffer what their parents have suffered through so they don't appreciate what they have.

Thanks for the comment!

>Iris: Somewhere after the loss of Faith the negative perception of PRIDE was forgotten. Now people think it is a good thing.

>Farhan: You bring up a great point, as usual :). I wonder if it is because they miss their country and that is an inner desire to make it like home? Second generation people though? People who have never seen the "homeland?" What excuse do they have? Frustration with growing pains? They don't like being in limbo so their resentment towards the country unwilling to accept them fully is reflected in their rebelliousness?

This would make for an interesting social experiment.

>Leah: I saw your blog! I think the reason there are so many conversations about race is because it is in the media. It is proof of how influential the news media really is. Even though those same people keep saying "it shouldn't be a race issue" they keep going back to it. The way I see it, if we can't talk about it now, then when?

We have voted for a the first half African-American president. Something I honestly NEVER expected to witness in my lifetime.

I think it is about education. With better education we can teach respect and compassion.

A lot of incredible things happened.

The American populace ignored the name. Why is this significant? Does anyone seriously believe someone unluckily named Hitler would EVER be president? Nope. But we have someone named Obama Hussein.

The American populace ignored the race. Face it, he's black as far as the voting public is concerned and he STILL WON.

The American populace ignored religion. He was born Muslim which if the news media often paints as a harbor for terrorists

The people were smart enough to disregard all those things which can frequently be difficult to ignore. I have to be honest, the name made me a bit apprehensive. I know the name means absolutely nothing but I can't help but have it come to mind.

Every time I meet someone with the last name of McVeigh I can't help but remember the infamous significance. Human nature.

I'm glad these ignorant presumptions were ignored.

Leah Friesen said...

I think American's were tired of the status quo and voted for him regardless of race and religion. Let's hope it all doesn't come back to bite us in the butt.

Dawnie said...

Glad you came by and found out I couldnt post!

I loved this post..and I tell ya..these kind of people make me sick. They dont belong here!
You have to find ways to get them in trouble for some of the things that they do, by making calls without giving your name

HektikLyfe said...

>Leah: I hope you are right. Even if it was not so much a vote for Obama but a vote against McCain, it still sounds scary. I have a theory that McCain was intentionally put out there to lose so we would have no real option. Just the way things happened. The people he would normally appeal to would never vote for a woman. So lets give him a woman to run with. They wouldn't vote for someone without any military background, so lets give him a country girl to run with.

>Dawnie: Funny thing is like Farhan mentioned, it isn't always just a single group. It is an individual state of mentality that affects many cultures. A few cities away from where we live there is a very terrible trailer park with all cultures living in it. All cultures being just as dirty. Its almost like they've given up.

geraldine said...

I'm fully mexican, and I don't like that when I meet people from other countries or I travel to the States, there are persons that assume because I am mexican I am lazy, or I don't take care of my personal hygiene,or my lawn is a mess with engines and garbage or that I do any of the things you post. I'm not saying I am "better", ok? but just because I am mexican it doesn't mean I must be dirty, or "transa", or that I didn't even finished elementary.

I agree with you, we humans classified persons without knowing them. Thanks for speak up.

HektikLyfe said...

>Geraldine: Welcome to the blog! It is the defamation by public figures that trains people who don't really know any better to create these assumptions about entire groups. I know many people who say and truly believe that they are accepting of a certain people but then show their true colors in anger. Bitter, racist comments flow freely when their inner bigot is released. Unfortunately this inner bigot comes out at the worst possible time.

People like you and I are stuck in a middle ground. We are not loved by our country of heritage and are frequently hated too by our country of residence.

I guess that is why it is easy for me to designate who I consider "my people" since I truly don't have any.