Letter to the Editor for 6-09-2016

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

I wish to share how to resist the negative racist attacks on Mexicans and Muslims during this election of 2016.

The racist statements are a clear sign that candidates who use these toxic narratives want to keep us as colonized subjects and to limit our participation in electing our leaders.

We must remember how the present political model has evolved in U.S. Capitalism/Imperialism since 1776.

For example:

  1. a) It was legal to practice slavery
  2. b) Women were not allowed to vote in the whole U.S. until about 1920.
  3. c) Labor did not have the 8 hour work day until the labor movement was formed.
  4. d) The Monroe Doctrine that stated that only U.S. could intervene in the Western Hemisphere and European countries could not.

We must study U.S. history from at least three different perspectives, including alternative sources to see how the U.S. has become an imperialist power using foreign interventions to secure economic advantages, also using wars in the process.

The present model of capitalism has worked very well for the few elites, but not for the vast majority of us. The wealth is controlled by a few in the U.S. Neither political party has done enough to correct the ever-increasing inequality trend and this is the reason why we must engage, question and change what is not worked for all in the U.S.

We Mexicans have been here in this land for more than 500 years and we did not crossed the river. The river crossed us. We know our history in spite of how our history has been ignored in the mainstream media and in academia.

We must remember NAFTA under Clinton about 22 years ago. The rich penetrated Mexico with the narrative to help create jobs. NAFTA turned out to be a negative adventure for the Mexican working class. We had land displacement and a lot more people lost their lands. Corporations could move freely and they benefited tremendously thanks to NAFTA.

Mexico is home to people from Canada, Europe and United States. Places like Ajijic Jalisco, San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato, Playa del Carmen, Yucatan and many other states. I know of no racist attacks in Mexico by these communities. Mexico is second to Canada in economic exchanges with the U.S.; that amounts to  billions per year. Mexico also operates with the same economic model as the U.S. and faces a lot of contradictions on how the wealth is distributed.

Seven countries in the Middle East have been invaded by war, drones and military interventions. When countries are destabilized the consequences are people moving out for their safety and this is what we are seeing happening right now.

The foreign policies adopted by our political class are not working and we need to change these practices now.

We must see this election from a historical perspective. At one time we have seen other models being replaced such as feudalism. The same can happen to our economic model that is not working and it can be replaced by a mixed economy that can serve all the citizens on a more  equitable basis. No wall or toxic rhetoric is going to stop the interconnection between people when we practice respect for the other human beings and the natural resources we all share on this planet.

If you are a parent of a young child, please hug them and tell them they are beautiful and important. These children suffer when they are attacked just because of their ethnic identity. Talk to them about our history and how much we have worked to make this society a better place to live with our labor and our presence.

Remember we have faced racism before and we survived. We must stay active and get involved in all aspects of life. Question, vote, stay strong and respect all humans and the natural elements. Keep loving life and love alive.

Yolanda Garza-Birdwell

Laguna Vista

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