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Category Archives: IMMIGRATION

Expectations

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I was recently speaking to a lovely, smart, high raking executive, who’s also a latina, mom, and an immigrant.  She was telling me that due to her particular circumstances her family’s expectations of her were for her to be an unwed, teenage mom.  

For some reason that really struck home.  It was something that I’ve never thought of, that I’ve never reflected back on and yet, WOW…  

Let’s start off with the fact that my parents really have no idea what it is that I do professionally.  My mom knows that I’m smart and wonderful and all of those fabulous adjectives created to be generally supportive.  My dad is happy that I married a good man and that I have a good life and whether or not I actually “do” anything is neither here nor there.  My best guess is that this blissful ignorance is cultural.  

Growing up, I had my own views on things, and one of them was image.  I often told my mom “who cares what I look like now?!  I’m in school, I’m a teen, now is the time to take advantage of my freedom” and I did.  

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Then I found myself on a wonderful journey of life, and learning that had nothing to do with a traditional education, but again to my family my path has always been misunderstood.  To the point that I wonder if I’m crazy, or if they’re not listening.  What’s even more hilarious, frustrating, ironic is that they gave me the foundation for my career.  When I was born my father already owned his own business, so I was typing and taking messages at a VERY early age to the point of being able to run an office by 14.  Yet at one point in my life my father suggested that I was a secretary, which left me a little stunned as I looked at him and said, “Papi, I HAVE a secretary”.  

I gave up on trying to explain to my parents what it is that I do eons ago.  They see that I’m happy (and in my dad’s case he sees that I’m married and happy) and this makes them happy, y ya.  Until I told them about going to the White House with the LATISM Top Bloguera retreat.  

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Yes, they were excited, but what struck me was the phone call I received from my mom after sharing pictures with her, “mija, es que para mi ir a la Casa Blanca y a l a luna es lo mismo“, in other words, going to the White House is as attainable as a trip to the moon.  Which I appreciate.  It is a pretty big deal, depending on what circle you’re in.  For me it was an honor, one for which I am very grateful for, and  but it’s a little overshadowed by my wondering, is it that my parents had no expectations from me or that the world is so amazing that they did not want to achicar las posibilidades (limit my possibilities)?

Either way, I tell you what… it’s given me the desire to aim for the moon!! #SiSePuede #YesYouCan

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Y padres (parents) let’s give our little ones something to aim for.  Perhaps giving them concrete ideas (astronaut, doctor, inventor, teacher, mother, race car driver, all of the above) and positive role models (within the community, not just on TV).  Let’s have our little ones shoot for the moon!  Even if they miss they will land among the stars. 

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I’m not Mexican

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I say this not to exclude anyone, but to educate.

I am a Latina.  Born in the US, raised in the south.  The question back then was a simple “what are you” because apparently it was not self evident that I was a person, and the fact that I was neither white nor black was a little confusing.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting a Mexican until I was almost 20, which is also around the time that I first had “Mexican” food (tacos & such).

Since then I have had the honor and pleasure of working with countless numbers of Mexicans, have enjoyed vampiritos, learned a thing our two about the Mayan ancestry, have visited many destinations in Mexico, enjoyed some of the vast delicacies available throughout the different regions, and even met my husband (who’s not Mexican either) in Mexico.

My point? Businesses, if you want to speak to my pocketbook, dimelo en Cubano!  Just because you translated it and dropped a lime in it, does not make me your audience. 

I am not acclimated, I am an American. I am not bicultural, I am a Latina. I stand with my fellow Latin@s on issues of immigration and racism.  I do not watch Univision or Telemundo because it doesn’t speak to me, but wish there were more programming like HBO’s Epitaphios because it was great!

I tell you this because the trillion dollar market segment that you are salivating for is not a one size fits all.   Take a moment to learn that in Chicago for example, latino’s in Pilsen are predominately Mexican,  while you can find mostly Boriquas (Puerto Rican for the uninitiated) near Humboldt Park. There’s even a Colombian community, but it seems most of the Cubans got smart and relocated to better climate. 😉

The conversation amongst marketers is that the future is in personalization… how, if you continue to lump us together?

John Quinones is listening!

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I really don’t think that I have to preach to anyone about the power of social media. There are the many stories that we’ve heard:

  • Ann Taylor’s response to Facebook fans wondering what pants would look like on regular women
  • The journalist who was arrested and then freed thanks to people following his tweets
  • Egypt
  • More recently, the racist and generally vicious comments made by the BBC show “TOP GEAR” where Julio Verla caught wind of the story and was one of – if not THE – front runner demanding an apology and disciplinary action.

Then I got to see it for myself…

The other night, I tweeted a clip of ABC’s “What would you do” a show hosted by John Quinones where there actors create different scenarios to see how people react.  On last wee’k episode, John & his crew went to Arizona.  This came about after John received a voicemail from Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer telling him to “go back to Mexico”, the same Jan Brewer that could see “beheaded bodies on the border“.

John and his crew headed to Arizona to see exactly how widespread the anti-immigrant (Mexican, because let’s face it, no one cares about the European immigrants).  They set up a scene in a restaurant where a “policeman” (actor) harassed a Mexican laborer (John Quinones) for his papers, and it was interesting to see how everyone in the restaurant defended the laborer (John Quinones).

I tweeted the clip, and the LATISM family – ever so supportive – took over.  So did many other people, to the point that as of last night, Tweetreach had the clip reaching over 50 thousand people Even better, he (yes, John) tweeted @SOYLAMAR “Thanks for watching. Good to know people care about these issues”.  @SOYLAMAR responded truthfully, “We need more like you in mainstream media”.

So, mi gente, yes, we may chat about our children, and the weather, but online mimics life.  Through the details of our life that bring us together, we have passion, a voice.  We see injustices, and how this great country can improve to become better.  We continue to turn heads, together.  One tweet at a time.

Oh, and my darling Jan Brewer, it seems more and more that the only person who has a problem with immigrants (Mexicans) is you!

XOXO

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