We caught up a little on where we were in our lives and talked a little about how times have changed since high school. I told him the crazy things I have been up to and he told me that he worked for Customs and Border Protection. I was really impressed. I felt proud of him, probably the same way he felt of me when I left to serve in the Marine Corps sixteen years ago. WOW, that sounds like so long ago!
For some reason he didn't sound too proud of his accomplishment. He told me that working for "the man" wasn't all that it was cut out to be and that he was going through a constant struggle. He said he was very good at his job and that his immediate family was very proud of him, but it what was what his family in Mexico called him that made him second guess his choice of employment. They called him a "Vendido", to the non Spanish speakers, they called him a sell out.
Why would they call him that? I would be proud if I knew one of my family members was able to get a job with the government in another country. I would be so happy to see that some of my family left to another country and was able to make a better life for themselves and their kids. It would give me something to shoot for, not something to make fun of.
My friend said he was proud of his heritage and described himself as a proud Chicano. It sounded like he felt that he couldn't be both at the same time. Why not? His heritage and the government's laws have nothing to do with each other.
To My Friend:
Be proud of what you do, you have come along way. You have a very respectable job that not just anyone can do. Wear that uniform with pride and remember with all the crime and drugs in this country you are the first line of defense. A Chicano is an activist for the betterment of his people, your job helps get rid of crime and drugs that in return gives your people a better life. Good Luck My Friend.
What Is A Sell Out? This term has been thrown around more lately since there are more conservative Latino groups that are coming up.
Let me ask you this; Are you a sell out because you want to help Latinos achieve the American dream the right way? Are you a sell out because you are trying to eliminate the suffering people endure when being crossed over illegally by coyotes who take advantage of them in every way possible and sometimes leave them out in the heat to die? Are you a sell out because your idea of empowering your "people" is to give them the opportunity to be heard by helping them earn the right to vote in elections instead of having them depend on others to speak out for them?
People try to pin us against our own heritage by calling us names. It is very easy to throw out the word "vendido" without backing it up with any facts. It is a word that is supposed to make us feel guilty, a word that is supposed to make us realize that we are wrong, but that is not the case. "Vendido" is just a word with no power behind it. People can call us what ever they want but they will see that our actions will have a positive impact on Latinos and that we really care about the well being of our community, we just do things in a different way. A better way if you ask me.
Capitalism vs. Socialism. Why should anyone settle for working the fields when they can own them? We would rather see Latinos be business owners and entrepreneurs than see them in line for a handout. Why allow Latinos to be controlled by social programs. There is no justice in these social programs that the current administration is imposing on us.
Immigration. For some reason people think we forget about our heritage because we support things like legal immigration. How dare we want "our people" to migrate here without having to walk miles in the hot sun or swim in dangerous waters? How dare we believe that laws should be followed by everyone? People who oppose enforcing immigration laws are only guaranteeing the Coyotes jobs. People will continue pay these human traffickers to cross them illegally and put their lives in danger time and time again unless we do something about it. We have to get tougher at the border, people might not like the sound of it, but that's what is best for everyone.