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.)