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Todd DF

Nov 13, 2002, 7:15 AM

Post #26 of 120 (25682 views)

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Re: [Randy in AGS] Home in Oregon

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Hi Randy,

We used to go hunting outside of LaGrande when I was growing up. My dad and brothers still do. Funny to hear about Salt Creek BC again. Dallas is actually a nice little town and just a short drive to the coastal areas.

When I moved out of Oregon I first went to San Diego for 15 years then moved down here last year to start a new business. I'm a distributor for a line of US made inkjet cartridges, toners and print media.

Have fun going camping as that is one of my favorite past times. Would love to make it up that way sometime and experience AGS.........good cheese!!

Take care, Todd


Randy in AGS

Nov 13, 2002, 3:13 PM

Post #27 of 120 (25686 views)

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Re: [MarisolEnPlayas] Acceptance into Mexican society...

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Hi Marisol: Yes, I am a Gringo of 100% Swiss extraction (grandparents on both sides were born in Switzerland).

My wife is from the los Altos region of eastern Jalisco, and we have family there and in the states of Aguascalientes and Queretaro. I met her while on vacation to the colonial cities of Mexico, while in GDL. I decided to take a mid-life break and study Spanish for a few months in GDL. We started dating, and now are married, with a little one hopefully on the way soon, as we are not getting any younger!

Thanks for realizing I was just sharing an experience that I had, and that there is nothing more to it than that. I assure you that the story is, unfortunately, true. The ex-presidente is a very, very serious man who made alot of enemies in his day because he stood up for what was right.


tony ferrell

Nov 13, 2002, 3:34 PM

Post #28 of 120 (25685 views)

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Re: [MarisolEnPlayas] What is offensive...

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Marisol is Randy's thinly disguised dislike of
Mexico. By questioning his "facts", he gets upset
because what he really posted was lunchtime family
rumors. He is not at all concerned about the police
dealing drugs. He was offered a answer, but won't
do anything to the situation - if it even exists.
any chance he gets to post hearsay he does and
pretends it is fact. As a Latino I don't appreciate
the continued slander of Mexico by people who have
come from a place that is just as bad in it own way.

You won't see me posting "What to do when the
US Border Patrol and Police are worst the the Mexican
police!" when in fact I could and have a family story
to back it up. Hasta, tony


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 13, 2002, 4:56 PM

Post #29 of 120 (25666 views)

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Re: [tony ferrell] What is offensive...

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tony,

the U.S. Border patrol makes the Mexican police look like saints...I agree! We should do a whole thread on them. I have so many stories, including the fact that I've even filed a sexual harrassement charge against one of the border patrol for telling me, "You don't have to live down there if you go out with me."

As I said to him, with my income and investment portfolio, I hardly HAVE to live in Mexico, it's a logical choice...and told him I could EASILY forgoe the little luxury of dating a mental featherweight, who settled for a position where he harrassed people in lieu of having any self respect.

I also grow tired of the slandering of Mexican officials. I don't know about this person, as I wonder why he insists he's Latino and calls himself a "gringo" which would not be my definition of myself, but I salute him if he can help keep drug dealing in Mexico to a minimum.

Marisol.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 13, 2002, 5:07 PM

Post #30 of 120 (25670 views)

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Re: [Randy in AGS] Acceptance into Mexican society...

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I see, so you are not Latino...and I thought that was odd. It doesn't matter to me, I just found it curious.

I don't know which ex-presidente you are talking about, nor do I care if he was part of the P.R.I. because they were the root of many of the problems in Mexico. Also, I'm probably the last one to be impressed by who people know, because of where I come from and some of the people I've worked with, but I guess you are intrigued with his position.

Apparently, you and Tony have some squabble, and I'm not prepared to take either side, because I have no idea what this all is based on. I'm simply here to post my own peculiar take on things in Mexico. If "ex-presidente" is a kind and compassionate man about the people of Mexico, then he should wonder why the P.R.I. has taken so many of their assets and utilized them to finance some of the corruption that is being removed by the current "presidente" Vicente Fox.


la rana

Nov 14, 2002, 6:09 AM

Post #31 of 120 (25676 views)

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Re: [MarisolEnPlayas] What can you do when the Police are the drug dealers in a town?

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Ah yes Marisol, I agree with you. But I also agree with others too. I haven't really said anything here have I? Let me clarify. Your conspiracy theory is just that, a theory. I respect your views, but all the literature out there points to the benefits of legalization outweighing the downside. EDUCATION is the way, not criminalization. When you put a person in jail for smoking pot, chances are you are ruining his life. He will come away from this experience with a more currupted mind than he went in with. Look at Amsterdam, their approach works so much better. When you criminalize desire for anything, you romanticize it also. Education really is the way. If the conspiracy theory is correct, then the seed has been planted. The only way to undo this is to educate, or re-educate. Look at tobacco, it's far worse. How many people die from tobacco use...so many, they are a burden on our society, the sick that is. Criminalize that, silly right? Look into the history of the DuPont family from the East coast in the USA and their role in the criminilazition of hemp in the 30's. It's all about the paper making process and their NEW chemicals that turned wood pulp into paper products. The only way that they were able to accomplish the replacement of hemp paper with their new form was to make hemp illegal. There is a real conspiracy theory! Anyway, I am rambling. I do respect your feelings Marisol. They come from good intent. But I feel that you have drawn the incorrect conclusion from them. With all good wishes to all....Rob.


Randy in AGS

Nov 14, 2002, 1:20 PM

Post #32 of 120 (25640 views)

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Where did I say he was a PRI member?

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Hello: Let me explain a couple of points that I think you missed, if you will allow me.

1) I am just relating what is happening in a SMALL TOWN in the los Altos region of eastern Jalisco. This information was relayed to us byt the ex-mayor during the course of a business lunch. This town has a population of only 25,000.

2) The ex-presidente (ex-mayor) is not the ex-presidente of Mexico, and where did I ever say he was part of the PRI party? He is a PAN member, in an historically PRI stronghold. He was elected on a law and order platform, and when he was in office, the cantinas closed early, littering was punishable with a hefty fine and the towns centro historico zone was preserved in perpetuity.

3) I am not at all impressed by his ex-presidente credentials; I am however impressed by the fact he is a genuinely nice and serious man, one who really cares about what is happening to his town.

4) I agree wholeheartedly with you about the PRI and how they basically plundered the country under the guise of the 'revolution' for 70 years. But the voting public are also to blame at least partly for not voting the PRIstas out before.

5) I have been nothing but open and helpful on these forums regarding what I like and dislike about Mexico. I really do love Mexico now, and I really love my Mexican family; they are simply some of the best people anywhere. I like to write about what I see here in Mexico, be it positive or negative. 'tony' has hounded me just for the simple fact that his/her typical Mexico doesn't jive with mine; like Jennifer Rose says, Mexico exists on many planes of socio-economic existence, from Campesinos to the Jet-Set.

6) Sorry if you find my perspectives somewhat less interesting just because I am a WASP male (I know that is not the PC thing to be at the moment in the USA). I am very proud, however, of my Swiss heritage. When I am in Oregon, I like to take in my favorite Swiss festival along with many relatives and friends. I am just as proud to be of Swiss heritage as many are here to be of Mexican heritage (like you). But many make the mistake that just because they are part Mexican, that makes them an instant expert on Mexico; wrong. I am of full Swiss extraction, but I am not as pompous to think that makes me an expert on anything Swiss.

I look forward to your posts, and I hope I cleared up some things for you.


tony ferrell

Nov 14, 2002, 1:41 PM

Post #33 of 120 (25631 views)

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Read Again the Post

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Hola Marisol,
First of all this guy is a gringo from the ground up.
Like he posted, he is Swiss-Amer from a small town
in Oregon where apparently there is no crime, rap
music, drugs everything is beautiful.
Without drawing you too much into this because Randy
and I have crossed words many times.
Read his first
post, he claims to be talking to a client who is an ex-presidente. Later comes clean by saying it is actually
a relative by marriage. He only admits this after I
question him. He claims to have verification. (news story? ) Then
tells me to verify it myself. In the end he says it
was a rhetorical question posed by a relative who
happens to be an ex politico. And of course his relative
was a very honest politician, who made alot of enemies
because he was honest, but now the system
is corrupt. How Randy knows this after being in Mexico
for only 2 years is amazing. Randy has a history of posting the
stereo typical rumors that most Latinos in the US
have heard their whole lives. This gringo thinks he has this
"right" because he is married to a mexicana and
lives there. He makes a point of not telling the whole
story and I make a point of asking for it.
As a Latino who has been traveling to Mexico for over
25 years, married to a Mexicana, have land in Mexico,
my kids have dual nationality and live with my in laws
for 1-2 months every year, I feel it is my duty to
squash this slander. If he takes it personally, good,
because I wish he would stop.

Also note in the end he backs down and admits to doing nothing
which to me shows he is more concerned with posting garbage about Mexico than any real concern
about the social problems.
To his credit he does post some good stuff about
his experiences, but he is out to lunch when it comes to
understanding the culture and problems of both the US and Mexico. tony


Georgia


Nov 14, 2002, 5:24 PM

Post #34 of 120 (25619 views)

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Go for the US Border patrol, Marisol!

  | Private Reply
When I returned to the US with my younger children who are adopted (four of them, from Bogota) the greeting was underwhelming. First, the not-very-charming lady said I had written my address wrong. I looked. Nope. Not wrong. Why, she asked, was there no number? Ah, because we live on a dead-end, dirt road far out in the country. And they let you adopt four children? Such courtesy. Then, she looked at the kids' credentials and health reports. Two of them had ear problems: these children are defective she announced to everyone in the room. I said, well, look my teeth aren't so hot and my eyes are going, but my husband keeps me anyway. We all have problems. What a witch! We almost missed our connecting flight. However, it seemed to provide entertainment for everyone around us while she tried to humiliate us.

I really don't like these people.


Sherrill

Nov 14, 2002, 11:12 PM

Post #35 of 120 (25610 views)

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Benefits of legalizing pot

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Marisol, You wrote a very heart-felt and devoted letter. I could not agree with you more. Now here comes the BUT. And it is that the buying/selling of drugs is the backbone of black-market economy and it is a huge one. If the need is there, the product will be provided at any cost and with no benefits to the community. Unregulated entrepreneurism is what leads to violence and more unregulated spending on the part of government to contain it. Who is winning he war on drugs? Look at the gang warfare during US liquor prohibition. Legalizing marijuana is not going to create an increase in use but might create a new job market where some of the profits are put back into the community. It is a commodity. Legalization will take the glamour out of the product. There will be accountability for quality, price control. Price really to grow this crop is low. They don't call it weed without reason. Phillip Morris-whoops forgot they are changing their name to something more metaphysical and distancing themselves from tobacco-will package joints. The problem is, as you wrote, deeper than pot and it is not my intent to minimalize it. Too many children with no hope, no concept of a future. These kids are going to find something to sniff, to smoke, to snort; legal or not because they feel desperate. So maybe legalizing pot might break some of the chain that binds them.


scott

Nov 15, 2002, 9:32 PM

Post #36 of 120 (25572 views)

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Re: [MarisolEnPlayas] Acceptance into Mexican society...

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Marisol,

I have a question too. Why do you call yourself latina instead of just admitting you are from Mexican descent?


tony ferrell

Nov 20, 2002, 11:06 AM

Post #37 of 120 (25556 views)

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Re: [Randy in AGS] Where did I say he was a PRI member?

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First sorry about the late reply.Hello: Let me explain a couple of points that I think you missed, if you will allow me.

1) I am just relating what is happening in a SMALL TOWN in the los Altos region of eastern Jalisco. This information was relayed to us byt the ex-mayor during the course of a business lunch. This town has a population of only 25,000.

1a. You are not relating what happened in a small
town, you are merely stating hearsay from your
inlaw. I just wanted a clarification of the source of
your 'verifiable facts'.

2) The ex-presidente (ex-mayor) is not the ex-presidente of Mexico, and where did I ever say he was part of the PRI party? He is a PAN member, in an historically PRI stronghold. He was elected on a law and order platform, and when he was in office, the cantinas closed early, littering was punishable with a hefty fine and the towns centro historico zone was preserved in perpetuity.

2a. I merely suggested reading about the relationship
between politicos and the police so you can educate
yourself. You seem to (naively?) think that running
on a "law and order" platform makes corruption go
away. Basically the mayor is going to only as much
power as the people, police let him. To say that a
mayor can know and control every police action is
again naive. So is the claim that the single term of
a mayor is all that is needed to "the towns centro historico zone was preserved in perpetuity". The state
and fed gov't really have that power. Nice claim though.

3) I am not at all impressed by his ex-presidente credentials; I am however impressed by the fact he is a genuinely nice and serious man, one who really cares about what is happening to his town.

3a. No argument here. My comments were made to
show that the "facts" were really a ex politicians
claims, not what most of us consider as hard facts.

4) I agree wholeheartedly with you about the PRI and how they basically plundered the country under the guise of the 'revolution' for 70 years. But the voting public are also to blame at least partly for not voting the PRIstas out before.

4a. It would be nice to think that the PRI is all bad
or all good. The relationship between Mexicans and
the PRI is much more complex than the terms like
"dictatorship" the US press uses to explain the PRI.
You have to remember that Mexico has a wide range
of parties, unlike the US, and voting out one party
can have MAJOR consequenses. Voting Rep or Demo
in the US doesn't have the same implications.

Your description of a "law and order platform" shows
that. For many, closing the cantinas early has little
to do with law and order and more to do with lack of
freedom. I have talked to many people about politics
in Mexico, IMHO some of the basic thinking is nothing like the US. For ex I have heard some people
voted for the corrupt PRI only because the next
party might be ALOT worst. As americans we can't
relate.


5) I have been nothing but open and helpful on these forums regarding what I like and dislike about Mexico. I really do love Mexico now, and I really love my Mexican family; they are simply some of the best people anywhere. I like to write about what I see here in Mexico, be it positive or negative. 'tony' has hounded me just for the simple fact that his/her typical Mexico doesn't jive with mine; like Jennifer Rose says, Mexico exists on many planes of socio-economic existence, from Campesinos to the Jet-Set.

6) Sorry if you find my perspectives somewhat less interesting just because I am a WASP male (I know that is not the PC thing to be at the moment in the USA). I am very proud, however, of my Swiss heritage. When I am in Oregon, I like to take in my favorite Swiss festival along with many relatives and friends. I am just as proud to be of Swiss heritage as many are here to be of Mexican heritage (like you). But many make the mistake that just because they are part Mexican, that makes them an instant expert on Mexico; wrong. I am of full Swiss extraction, but I am not as pompous to think that makes me an expert on anything Swiss.

5a, 6a. I don't agree on how helpful you have been
on this forum. Some of the stuff stated as facts I
question. Some of the stuff posted is basically the
same old stereotyping that Mexicans and Mex Ams have heard
their whole lives. All I ask is to state up front how
you get your "facts", people can decide from there
whether you are posting fact, fiction, opinion or
hearsay. For ex if you are connected to a rich
politically connected family, state it. People will get
a better understanding of your perspective.

Im sorry there isn't a constant influx a Swiss into
your area. If there was you would be able to get a
better understanding of your Swiss culture. You
would be able to see keep track of how the culture
changes both in the mother country and how the
Swiss change once they get to the US. Without this
influx, there is no contact with your roots and the
culture eventually withers away.

I have (kept close to my roots) for most of my
whole life but this doesn't make
me an expert, just a guy with close ties to my
roots, who wants those roots to grow, not get cut
off. Tony

I look forward to your posts, and I hope I cleared up some things for you.

Saludos desde Aguascalientes, Randy


Raider

Nov 21, 2002, 7:41 PM

Post #38 of 120 (25515 views)

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Re: [Randy in AGS] Acceptance into Mexican society...

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Hi Randy ! Congrats on the bambino..! as for the corruption in Mexico, it's no different (trust me on this one ) than New Orleans cops or Chicago or Miami or a myriad of southern towns where the local powers that be get away with murder.Atlanta just convicted a local sheriff candidate for murdering his opponent..power corrupts, just look at all the examples from the Dialo case in NYC.....ad nauseum.Point is, even our US gov has been involved in drug dealing, remember a little case called Iran-Contra? our American jails are replete with ex-law officers in prison for all kinds of misdeeds, from fraud(three cases going on in my area ) to falsifying evidence....so, get that deer in the headlights look out of your face just because some Cacique got caught doing biz with the enemy( they tend to have the same grandparents anyway) Yeah, keep posting; just don't be so naive.....BTW most Swiss extraction buddies of mine come from Minnesota..


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 22, 2002, 3:31 PM

Post #39 of 120 (25485 views)

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Re: [scott] Acceptance into Mexican society...

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Scott,

I have a question for you...why are you so interested in how I define myself?

In response to your question, I am not simply Mexican, but I am mixed as I've said before. Therefore, I feel that Latina defines me more correctly...since half of my family is from the U.S.

Mexican to me, refers to people that have grown up in Mexico, which I have not. Like Tony Ferrell, I've simply grown up around Mexicans my entire life, so that the culture is not knew to me, but the country is.

How do you define yourself?


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 22, 2002, 3:33 PM

Post #40 of 120 (25490 views)

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Re: [la rana] What can you do when the Police are the drug dealers in a town?

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La Rana,

I would like to submit a little poema in response to your theory that distribution of drugs to minorities is not social genocide:


Maestro


Maestro Quvole, vato yo soy el nino
the one who you said was a travieso
the one you claimed caused all the pleito
the one who long ago you did not care for
even though you were my maestro
Fijate, a lo que ha pasado
it's been a long time pero no ando CALMAO
see remember the day I got into a fight
con otro nino who's color white he told his story,
I said "Siempre me busca." you said to me "!El espanol no se
habla !"
so I got in trouble for speaking spanish
and my interest in school suddenly VANISHED
pero to make things worst,
you called my papi and said I was to BLAME
and so he disciplined me with physical PAIN
see Mexican parents repsect authority
my word against yours....
Y'asi que sufri pues el tiempo paso
and things got no BETTER
it seemed every week you sent home a letter
telling my parents I was bad in class
little did you know I felt like an ass como un mudito,
I sat all alone listening to a language i did not speak at home and
just because I found the curriculum boring you insisted the knowledge
I was not YEARNING
and just because I spoke with a Mexican ACCENT
you insited that in wood shop my time be spent best
and just cause I wore a raiders cap to be HIP
you insisted I was on a gangster trip and,
finally, because my skin was BROWN
Se reian los gringos and they put me DOWN and you maestro,
you could not see why I got mad cuando se burlaban de MI
but what hurt more was the comment you made
you said I was lazy cause no attention I PAID
yet the truth was I was afraid tenia verguensa
and so quiet I stayed
those early years really fucked up my MIND
I was confused
and no one I could find who understood me at your racist SCHOOL the
place where they treated me as though I was a fool
and so open your eyes, maestro,
what do you see? an addict, a convict, a loud talkin spic
a lazy Chicano who don't give a shit
an animal, criminal, psychopath cholo
a mal-nourished kid who would never grow a mexican boy who coud
never read and who even today with an accent he speaks another
homeboy who never got far
a drunken thief who breaks into your CAR
a farm workin mexican with eight kids and a wife
a convicted rapist serving 20 to life!
pues sabes que, teach, you were correct
cause all the above you did expect
see I rose to the level of your expectation
fijate teacher I'm your creation


By Juan R. Avitia

But if that doesn't convince you that there is a dedicated effort to disrupt the progress of Latino communities, then let me ask you this...Why was the C.I.A. involved in the purchase and distribution of drugs in the U.S....all of which was distributed in minority neighborhoods when it crossed the borders? Sorry, but between the poema above and the C.I.A.'s efforts, I'm not convinced that your theory is a correct one, albeit I don't feel everyone is involved in trying to help the social genocide of Latinos.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 22, 2002, 5:37 PM

Post #41 of 120 (25475 views)

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Re: [tony ferrell] Read Again the Post

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Tony,

This whole forum is for Americans wishing to learn about Mexico, not for Mexicans that already know about it. I agree with you that the best source of information on this subject is provided by Mexican nationals rather than other Americans, because as I said before, an American perspective is a veiled one and often misleading.

It's difficult for anyone to define a culture if they haven't lived in the skin of that culture or felt the feelings that are directed towards members of that culture. I also agree with you that growing up in a family with parents from Mexico probably provides you with a great deal more incite than not having any cultural ties at all, especially when you are talking about being brown vs. white and the barriers of that. You learn first hand what your family traditions are, how others perceive you, and what REAL barriers and obstacles you face being from that culture, especially when it is a minority culture with certain boundaries projected towards your family culture.

Americans come to Mexico with their own set of prejudices and agendas, just as Chicanos and other folks do, and while they learn a great deal by living in Mexico, many of them walk away with an idea that a few years in Mexico provides them with a complete understanding. Heck, I'm half Mexican and I don't even presume that, which is why I learn from Mexicans that have grown up here.

I submit that a person that hasn't grown up as a minority could not possibly understand the limitations that many of us have projected at us. I certainly don't understand the limitations that Mexican Indians have projected at them, merely because of the way I look. I don't deal with the barriers they do. Even the poems we grow up reading, which most Americans aren't exposed to, dealing with questions about skin color, eye color, and hair texture, are foreign subjects to those that haven't had these issues.

Still, with all of that, I like to read these posts, because it provides me with another perspective which helps me in learning about myself and my culture. One thing I have learned here, is that many Americans seem to feel that justifying legalization of pot in Mexico is a good thing, which I completely disagree with. I surmise they probably haven't been acquainted with the negative side of the distribution of drugs, where people without hope are drawn to a life of selling drugs to eek out a normal living, buying false documents to stay in a country that would rather throw them out, and try to get by in a world where they feel their options are limited because of their cultural background.

If you haven't seen this seedy side of life, everything looks rosy when you minimalize the effects of pot and other substances. The discussions here can prove that. I often snicker when reading the perspectives, because I realize many have for the most part lived middle-class lives and probably never knew an illegal until they moved to Mexico, where we grow up knowing so many it's rediculous.

Many Americans don't even know a family that has been divided by the border, with brothers and sisters living in two separate countries, because a father is American and a mother is Mexican and some of the children have papers and others don't. They don't know the sadness of watching a friend sneek across the border to get medical treatment for a liver that has been damaged and watching the sadness of the children that can't cross the border to see their mother die in her last days of life...because the U.S. can't process the paperwork fast enough. What they don't realize is, this is part of Mexico too.

Mexico is not just about knowing 'el-presidente' or having an FM3, or an occassional policeman asking for 'mordida.' It's about the integral part of families, with very REAL issues that exist both inside the borders of Mexico and often across the borders. Like the U.S., Mexico is much more complex than the simple questions asked here. They are easily answered by anyone. Even our history is more complex than that.

This was illustrated very well by the gentleman that asked me why I call myself a Latina, instead of saying I'm from Mexican descent. I surmise he has very little awareness of any of the movements geared to promote Latino pride, or he wouldn't have asked that. To some, it's surprising that Latinos have such pride and intellectual comprehension, because it was widely accepted in the U.S. by majority cultures for so long, that Latinos were a sub-culture. This is why many here presume to explain Mexico, when they simply have a fringe understanding. At least, this is my opinion on why people come here and tell others about Mexico...when they are not Mexican at all.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 22, 2002, 7:08 PM

Post #42 of 120 (25467 views)

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Re: [Sherrill] Benefits of legalizing pot

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Sherrill,

Let me answer all your questions on legalizing drugs with another poema by a young girl in a gang...

I wish shed understand that i grew up way to fast
Look at all the shyt that i went through in the past
Im 17 years old but i feel 75
cuz since i was a child i had 2 fight 2 stay alive
Now she thinks i should act older but i wanna act my age
do what other teenagers do
Why is that so strange?
Forty years ago kidz werent allowed 2 act this way
they didnt know about the things we have 2 go through everyday
Gangs, street violence, drugs and sex
Never knowing what will happen next
If its this way 4 us think of how it will be 4 our children
what kinda shitty world will they have 2 live in ?
will our kidz die off like bugs , from the gang bangin and the drugs?
why are death and violence so common that we have no more fears ?
why do we often cry lonly neglected tears?
Cant we change the way it all is
If not for ourselves than at least For Our Kidz.

~*La Blue Eyez*~

This is why I'm opposed to legalization of drugs! I couldn't have said it better! God bless that young girl! I hope she continues to mentor those with bad information, like the idea that we should legalize something that is set up to commit social genocide.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 22, 2002, 8:57 PM

Post #43 of 120 (25449 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Go for the US Border patrol, Marisol!

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Drive through the border almost every day to go to work...which is why we moved to a border town. The I.N.S. is amusing at times. Questions they ask?

Where were you born? Simple enough! The U.S.
How were you born? Okay, I'll bite. But do I REALLY have to explain the concept of reproduction to an adult?

Please say the Pledge of Allegiance to prove you are a U.S. citizen. You got me la migra! Put the cuffs on now and send me back to Mejico, cause even though I was born and raised in the U.S. I can't for the life of me remember how that goes. Of course, I haven't had occurance to say it in oh, let's see, 10 or more years? And the last time was at a ball game I think. But then, I suppose my teacher WAS right back in grammar school when I learned the damn thing. It WILL come in useful. I just didn't realize that reciting it verbatim made me a U.S. citizen. Mental note to self...Americans now must take classes in what makes us American...LOL

Next approach...Your jeep smells like fresh paint. Well gee ocifer, I just had it painted! Oh, so you now say I have to pay import taxes on that paint job? Why? Because you THINK I got it painted in Tijuana. Can I provide you with a receipt showing the place that painted it in Chula Vista, California? Oh God, I just pissed him off! Off to secondary with me!

What? You don't like my passport picture? Well that makes two of us, because I think I look like shit that day.

What do I have under the tonneau cover in the back of my jeep? Two straw men, I say. She hears two "STRONG" men and freaks out, only to find two scarecrows on sticks for Halloween at my office. Off to secondary with me, because la migra has hearing problems.

With symphonic music playing lightly as I approach the gate...La migra scowls and barks out "turn off that damned music!" I can't help but wonder if Beethoven would like his reference to the piece but turn it off. What's under the cover...recalling the straw men incident I say nothing (which is true) Take the cover off, he barks. But you can open the rear door and see everything. Take the cover off, he barks louder. I open the rear tailgate door, to display an empty white area, without even a rug to hide anything. "I'll let you go this time, but next time take the damned cover off!" I can't help but wonder if his hemorrhoids are acting up as I drive off.

Yup, I think I understand how you felt Georgia! They aren't my favorite or most highly respected group of folks either!


scott

Nov 22, 2002, 10:56 PM

Post #44 of 120 (25472 views)

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You are American

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Marisol,

You're right, I don't have very much awareness about latino pride. To be honest, I didn't even know what the word latino meant until a few months ago. I also learnt the words chicano and hispanic.

I am from Canada, and admittedly have almost zero understanding of 'latino' culture in the USA. I have read a little bit on line, but I don't know much. After I saw someone get their panties in a knot over the 'two weyes going to East LA' joke, I spent several hours over the next day or two trying to learn what East LA was, and why people thought it was racist. I also learnt that apparently there is a small latino community in Toronto, which I read a bit about.

So... I had no concept of what the terms latino, chicano, or hispanic meant until a few months ago. Where I am from in Canada, I would just call you spanish. "I met this girl Marisol, she's spanish. I think she's from Mexico or something.". The word latino is totally foreign to me. Of course I have heard it many times, but never really understood it completely.

You asked how I would describe myself. I am Canadian. 100% Canadian. Sure my family must have immigrated from somewhere, at some point, but I was born in Canada, raised in Canada, and I don't think of myself in any other way. I don't go around calling myself kiwi because all of my moms immediate family are New Zealanders (citizens at least). I didn't grow up there, and would never pretend to be New Zealandish in any way. I don't even know where the rest of my family is from, and frankly don't really care a whole lot. I am Canadian, and don't try to cling to any sub culture. I think my Grandpa said he's french. I don't have a clue where my grandmothers family is from. Maybe Irish, I don't know.

If my mother had filled out a one page form, and paid $20 or something, before my birth, I would be a New Zealand citizen. If I had brothers or sisters, they would get the citizenship now. So lets just say I came thiiiiiiis close to being New Zealandish. But, I would never in a million years, having grown up in a different country, claim to be Kiwi or know anything about the countries intrinsic details. I've been there, but what does that mean. Nothing really, unless you actually grew up there or spent any significant amount of time there.

This why I think that if you were born in the United States, grew up in the United States, then you're American. It's not fair to consider yourself anything else. Your loyalty should be to the USA, you should be proud of your country, and not pretend like "I'm really Latina/Mexican but have an American passport and happen to live here". You should first and foremost consider yourself American, and refer to yourself as American. If it is absolutely necessary, in the context of the situation to state your family's background, then say they your family comes from Mexican descent, and thats why you are qualified to state your opinion.

In Canada, we are taught that we are all Canadian. And this is how it should be. Multiculturalism isn't going to work if we all feel more proud of our ancestors countries. If you think Lebanon is so great, and first and foremost associate with that country, then go back. Otherwise, be proud to be Canadian, and be proud to state that as your nationality. Most people, I would just consider them Canadian, no matter whether they are black, white, red yellow or green. But when I meet people who insist on calling themselves Lebanese, or Arab, or something, even though they totally grew up in Canada, since they were two or three, then it really hurts me. It does, because I think people should be proud of their adopted country.

To me, the term latino seems very artificial. I feel more comfortable with the word hispanic, in the same sense that you might use caucasian. But latino, its more like the word "Aryan", in such a way that when you use it, you implicitly imply connotations of pride. You seem proud to use that word. And you get away with it, because you can be thought of as a so called minority. But god forbid I called myself Aryan. Whats the difference? While you're talking about Latino Pride, what the hell would people think if I went around talking about White Pride, or Aryan pride, or American and Canadian descendents of european origin pride? Eh? All hell would break loose, and thats why I kind of have a problem with your usage of the word Latina. Just consider yourself American, please.... I would totally accept you as Canadian no matter where your parents came from. As long as you don't pretend you are really from <insert country here>, and just happen to be a citizen of this, your adopted homeland.

That drives me crazy like you wouldn't believe. Well maybe you can believe, seeing as it means enough to me to take the time to type all this out. I've just had a serious problem about this thing with people refusing to accept themselves as "Canadian", instead of their parents homeland and just happening to be citizens of Canada, for a long time. Where I am from, it was the Lebanese and Arab people who did this. We didn't have many Mexicans, or Latin Americans around. But keep in mind I am Canadian, from a South-Western Ontario city of 300,000 people, and my experiences are probably totally different than those of many Americans. But, I'm just sharing my perspective, as you said you like to hear them from other people.


Georgia


Nov 23, 2002, 7:21 AM

Post #45 of 120 (25454 views)

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Re: [scott] You are American

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Scott, I really like your post a lot; it's totally honest and explains your point of view in a completely respectful way. But, it's clear that you have no idea what it is to be a minority in a given culture: which is fine. It's hard to imagine something you don't have to bear. In the USA it was -- and is still -- all the sport among certain classes of people to denigrate others because their skin is brown, or because they have an accent, or because they practice a different religion from theirs, or because they dress differently.

Here's an example: when my youngest, who is Colombian (by birth, and, at the time, by citizenship) started school in the US, one of the children in her class told her she would never marry because "people like her" were like puppies: cute when they are little, but they grow up to be real dogs. Now, believe this or not, but my daughter's little girlfriend thought this was truly helpful advice! If she realized how hurtful it was to my daughter, she would have been shocked. She was repeating what she had been taught by her parents. She meant no animosity or harm towards my daughter. She was her best friend.

That was but one incident. It took years for my daughter to realize how beautiful and exotic and special she is. Over those years I have worked to instill pride in her for being latina. This year she lived and studied in Guadalajara for an extended period of time and came to realize that what she is, is just fine, thank you. She now is proud of who she is.

Intolerance is what breeds this need to identify with one's ancestry. It validates the individual in a culture that is intolerant of differences.

I understand your point of view totally. Please understand the point of view of minorities in a given culture.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 23, 2002, 8:24 AM

Post #46 of 120 (25422 views)

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Re: [scott] You are American

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Scott,

I love your answer, because it's so cliche. You see, when I don't identify with America only for some very solid reasons. There is a quote, "Justice for All," which is part of the pledge of allegiance. I used to buy that until I realized there wasn't justice for all. As a matter of fact, if you are Latino in the U.S., there probably isn't a high degree of justice AT ALL.

We grow up having this ingrained in our heads by the way we are treated and I learned this first hand. I heard the wonderful jokes in the work place about how "lazy Mexicans were." I worked full time and obtained a college education, only to find that there were actually company cultures in this land of "justice for all" that did not allow "people of Mexican descent" to rise up the ladder after a certain level. I was stopped on the streets randomly, having never committed a crime other than jay walking in my life and frisked. I was even forced to listen to U.S. police officers make racist comments. So I opted to label myself with a label that OUR culture created, rather than the one that majority culture created long before and now that pisses off those that want me to feel a more oppressed rather than proud.. Frankly, guess how I feel about that?

Your agenda in asking me about why I labeled myself Latino was crystal clear from the beginning, so I wanted to allow the option to prove it. Frankly, identifying yourself as one majority culture as opposed to another one is your business. But don't jump on the pedestal with me and tell me what I should feel or call myself, because I DO know about my culture and what the Mexican culture has endured both in the U.S. and in Mexico for years! And as you said, you don't, which strikes me odd, since an ounce of curiosity which usually accompanies intelligence would have cured some of that.

The fact that YOU prefer Hispanic to Latino, is clearly the reason I choose Latino. I am proud of my cultural roots and affiliations and I'm not about to let anyone define what I should or should not be proud of. The fact that it drives people like you crazy is just icing on the cake. I have no issues with White pride either, as long as either Latino or White pride is not used to degrade others. I do not do this.

As far as understanding Latino culture, I would say growing up in it and with it all around me, would probably provide me with a greater incite than one that has never lived as a Latino.

But thanks for sharing your views. As I said, I like reading other points of view to learn how others think and develop their views. It helps me when dealing with those types to clarify why they feel that way, which generally comes back to fear and denial.


MarisolEnPlayas

Nov 23, 2002, 8:41 AM

Post #47 of 120 (25430 views)

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Re: [Georgia] You are American

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And as they say, if you don't like it leave. How about if you don't like it fix it. That is why there are organizations that define themselves around Latinos and pride. It is not to isolate but to insolate against the uneducated few that still feel the rules of the game are determined by the majority rather than the individual who is supposed to have equality.

As far as drugs and corruption in Mexico, this is why I feel drugs are social genocide. This is the reason I posted the way I have.

Now, do I believe that every American citizen feels has some unwritten agenda to make Latinos miserable? Hell no! I have too many wonderful American friends to feel that way. Oddly enough, they don't have problems with how I perceive myself and I don't have problems with their degree of pride in their origins either. Having lived in Europe, I feel many Americans overlook some of the fabulous cultural traditions their families brought to the U.S. I think there is room for pride for everyone.


scott

Nov 23, 2002, 1:16 PM

Post #48 of 120 (25410 views)

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Re: [Georgia] You are American

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When I hear things like that, it makes me sad. My neighbors in Canada were Colombian, and their 18 year old daughter was very pretty. They are nice people. Where they are from is irrelevant. But I'm thinking Canada is a lot different from the USA, as far as racial harmony goes. Thats not to say it is perfect, by any means.

When I was driving home from Morelia to Ontario, the last time I was here, we stopped at Graceland in Memphis, Tenessee. We got there an hour early, so we went to the bank, got gas, stuff like that. Anyway, I saw more black people in that hour than I've seen in my entire life. Two or three minutes down the road from Graceland, its just totally black people, everywhere you look. I could not believe my eyes. And these were NOT poor people, they had nice cars, etc... But, I was the only white person in this gas station, with maybe 10 African Americans in the store, and another half dozen out pumping gas, and then others sitting in the cars waiting. That was so wierd for me. Why would all these middle class african americans choose to live in one part of town? Whats the point? Never in my life, had I ever been in such a racially homogenous place before. I've just never seen that before. I saw a lot of Asian people in one part of Vancouver, but there was still lots of other people around. So that was a very wierd experience for me. And I just don't understand why they would choose to do that (or feel compelled to). And I don't really see how it is healthy for society at large.

I don't quite understand why I shared that, but I think just to show that stuff like that, that I saw in the United States, is very different from what I am used to at home. And trust me, Canada has many different people.. I'm not saying Canada is great either, but just that, I have a hard time when I read all this stuff about minorities being opressed by the majority (white people implied), when nearly half the population is not white at all. I don't know. I know a half Nigerian, half caucasian Canadian who likes to talk about how rough it is. So I know "'minorities" don't feel totally at ease in Canada either. But I just don't believe its as bad as some people make it out to be. This girl is one of my mothers best friends.

Being a clearly white person in Mexico, in Morelia, where the number of gringos is nothing like at the beach, or I suppose what I've heard about Ajijic or San Miguel de Allende, I get looked at all the time. All the time. They stare me down like crazy. A week and a half ago, I was downtown in the main plaza, reading. Some guy just walked by and looked at me and said "pinche gringo". So I am kind of learning what it is like to always be judged by the color of your skin.

And, this is just my experience, I'm not stating this as fact by any means, but I feel that the Mexicans of indian descent do not like foreigners. The looks I get from them sometimes are just nasty. And they don't even try to put up with my spanish, or anything. For example, I went to a papeleria, and theres an old native man, sitting out front chit chatting with his friends. He looked at me, and I asked 'Tiene papel para computadoras?" at which he shook his head, and went back to chatting. So I went to the next one, a women who was not native by any means. And I asked "Tiene papel para computadoras?", to which she asked "Whats that? Papel blanco?". And I got my white paper. Of course a papeleria has white paper, but at one store, the guy just isn't even interested in talking to you, or even making an effort. Because of the color of my skin?

About a month ago I was looking for houses. An old indian guy is sitting out infront of his house, which has a sign 'Se renta cuartos" on the window. So I asked him if he lived there, and he freaked out 'Why? Why you asking me that? Why do you want to know"..."You have a sign in the window, that says se renta cuartos". "No rento a cabrones como tu". OF COURSE, there are exceptions, but as a general rule I feel Indians here don't want anything to do with me based on my skin color. I have to say, 100% that there are exceptions. I met a very beautiful native girl a few days ago, she was very nice and not anything like any other Mexicans I have met. But, as a general rule.......

Or how about, when I go to a store, and I've bought chips a thousand times for $2.50, and they try to pretend its $4 pesos. Of course I point out the correct price, and they just pretend it was a mistake. Or getting ripped of in Durango, albeit nearly 6 months ago now. I'll never forget that. I was in a little bar, and paid for a beer with a $200. Then I thought this old girl was asking for proper change, so I then gave her proper change. Then she came back with a $1 US dollar bill, and told me it was the same as $200 pesos. Of course, being surrounded by real, native Mexicans, I didn't argue the situation that much. It was after twelve in downtown Durango, in a tiny back alley bar where I probably should not have been.

BUT, the point is that, I take offense to always hearing about how minorities are oppressed and discriminated against by the (white) majority, when every race and culture in the entire world pre judges people and is racist. The same stuff happens to me here in Mexico. So I don't like when people pretend, not anyone specifically, that its only the white majority who is racist.


scott

Nov 23, 2002, 1:31 PM

Post #49 of 120 (25391 views)

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Re: [MarisolEnPlayas] You are American

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Three days ago, I was biking down Juarez street in Morelia, a main 4 lane road with service roads on either side, and the cops came and stopped me for no apparent reason too. I was not drinking, I was not doing anything but biking home from my friends house to my house. They addressed me as "gŁero" right from the get go, so they were quite aware of my ethnicity. The same things that American police might do to Mexicans, the Mexicans do to foreigners as well.

Ok it happened to be 2:45am, but I still wasn't doing anything except biking down the road. Thankfully there were no hints for a mordida. But if I had been doing anything slightly unusual, I'm sure they would have really harrassed me too.


keith

Nov 23, 2002, 4:18 PM

Post #50 of 120 (25378 views)

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hey, Scott and Marisol

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In the aggregate we are all racist and sexist, aprovechados, selfish, envidiosos, celosos, amargos: your group, my group, those other guys over there. All you can hope for is to find individuals you can know and love. The rest aren't worth your time. Avoid them, don't let them bring you down.
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