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Mexican-American history started on isle - The Galveston County Daily News : Guest Columns

October 21, 2014

Guest column Mexican-American history started on isle

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33 comments:

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  • AlexL posted at 12:09 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Jake, thank you for your insights and helping us all come to a greater understanding of how we all touch each others lives. I'm proud to say that as the nation bickers and fights, in Texas, we not only coexist, we thrive.

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 12:45 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    Alex, El Leon, Diaz -- I hope this is my last post on this subject. Here is a quote from Alex:

    "Jake, there is no one more American than Mexican Americans. We bled for this country in WWII and Vietnam. Just look at the list of Mexican American Congressional Medal of Honor winners."

    Amen. My dad saved the life of a Mexican-American crew member on their stricken bomber over Germany. Another Mexican-American crew member went down trapped in the aircraft -- RIP. I believe the Germans viewed them all as Americans. This is the context I choose to see Mexican-Americans in. People who have always been here throughout my life, my father's life, and so on, for several hundred years. Not something separate from MY American history, but part of it. And yes, Texas and Galveston history too. But if it's productive to see it as something requiring a special study topic (I remember "Black Studies," for example, from my college catalogue), then so be it.

    Best wishes for your Mexican-American studies. I hope your work spurs young Mexican-Americans toward happy and productive lives in whatever fields they choose to pursue.

     
  • AlexL posted at 9:30 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Sorry, I did not mean to insult you. I'm just surprised how the some of the same words mean different things to you and then me. Let's not bicker about the article.

    It means a lot for us to agree on this major point: Mexican American History is American History.

    Now let's keep working to make Texas greater and greater.

     
  • AlexL posted at 9:26 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Jake, there is no one more American than Mexican Americans. We bled for this country in WWII and Vietnam. Just look at the list of Mexican American Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

     
  • AlexL posted at 9:25 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Each of those words is a synonym. That's how language works.

     
  • AlexL posted at 9:24 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    The article says that Galveston "Mexican American History" is a valuable commodity. We need to make the rest of the nation see Galveston, Houston, and Texas as a base for intellectual prosperity. The nation will think of Texas differently. Re-read the article.

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 7:18 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    gecroix IS cranky and mad. [smile]

    Alex, I've lived in Texas my whole life. I grew up with Mexican-Americans. They have been here FOREVER! What surprises me is that you feel a need to be called something separate rather than AMERICANS.

    You said you're proud to be a Texan, a Galvestonian, and a Mexican American. Good for you. Are you proud to be an AMERICAN?

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 7:13 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    What is the Mexican-American story? How will telling it make the United States a better place. Will it boost our economy, make it a more pleasant place to live, safer for our citizens, more secure for our elders? Will it bring us better health? Better health care? Will it bring higher revenue? Will it bolster our military? Win our wars? Will it protect our environment? Enhance our spirituality?

    Mexican-Americans will do all of these things -- they're already doing them. I think we're past the need for "the Mexican-American story." "Stories" are needed to boost the pride of a people who lack it. The Mexican-Americans I know don't lack for pride.

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 7:04 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    I have no fear of Mexican-American leaders who value their American-ness more than their Mexican-ness.

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 6:59 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    Hi Alex -- How do you know what I'm an advertisement for? You don't know me. Why do you feel compelled to be vaguely insulting to me and other posters rather than simply making your case for Mexican-American studies? I took your advice and read the article again. Sorry, I just don't think it's very interesting, compelling, or well-written. There are places named for Mexican-Americans and Spaniards all over the place. This is to be expected because there have been Mexican-Americans in what is now the United States for hundreds of years! There are hundreds if not not thousands or tens of thousands of Mexican-Americans doing great works in communities across the nation. Also to be expected because there is a large Mexican-American population in our country.

    I fully agree with you that Mexican-American history is American history. Let's call it that.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:13 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    I am proud of Mendez and Priselda who are both from the Island. I am proud of Diaz for writing this. I am shocked at some of the commenters who are scared. I hope they come to terms with their tunnel visions. I'm also surprised it's just guys talking, arguing in the commments. I bet women would shed light on this and straigthen us out.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:11 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Miceal and Carlos, you are obvisiously not good at school. Re-read the essay, and then buy the book HECHO EN TEJAS like I did. Or better yet, sign up for Diaz's Mexican American Studies courses.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:10 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Jake, you are not a good advertisement for American Values. You need to learn English. Read the essay again. Mexican American History is American History.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:08 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    El Leon, i agree. Diaz needs to be commeneded for not just thinking of but for writing this and inspiring us to make it happen. I know we will look back at this moment and wonder why folks were scared, nervous, or mad at this renaissance being explained. It's a good thing for all Texans. We are not Arizona. We will make divirsity work. Oh my god. I guess I got his back, too.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:07 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Miceal, what a great compliment. Aristotle coined rhetoric. You are calling Diaz-Aristotle. Wow. Also, why are you randomly throwing out the world "activist." You should really focus. The essay was written by one of the leading thinkers in Texas. It is inspiring. it does make me fly. Get used to it.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:04 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Jake, our history is under your nose. I love the part about Carmona Pocket Beach and Hotel Galvez. You make the mistake of believing our History is not American History. Mexican American History is American History. And now there are many of us how are professionals who will get involved in archiving it. We are not asking you for help or to give money. We are also not asking you for permission. This is going on right now, and it will happen.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:02 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Nah, I'm willing to talk because I'm shocked you are so suprised that Mexican Americas are advancing. So many of us already have degrees. This essay is just about giving back to the community and sharing our history. I'm going to do it. It is under our noses. It's time to make more of it, and we will. It's about Texas pride.

     
  • AlexL posted at 4:00 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Mexican American Studies taught me critical thinking. My degree opened doors. Critical thinking has helped me advance. I'm not sure what you fear. Proud, educated, Mexican Americans are loyal and great leaders, as described in the essay. I'm glad this discussion has come to light. Embrace it. it is good for Texas.

     
  • AlexL posted at 3:58 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    You sound cranky and mad not the author. The author sounds proud of Galveston and Texas. Now I'm proud too. I'm proud to be Mexican American, Texan and from Galveston.

     
  • AlexL posted at 3:56 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    AlexL Posts: 15

    Great article!!! This makes me very proud. It is very inspiring. I have been thinking about it every time I drive I-45. I look at the world around me, and I see it does not reflect my experience, but that I can do something about it, and now I will. I was just sitting on the side lines. I am going to get active for our community and to tell the Mexican American story.

     
  • gecroix posted at 4:26 pm on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    If the past cranks those drawers down so tight, most of which had no direct effect on those living today at all, then current events must really be a shorts twister.
    Welcome to the Grievance Industry.
    All you need to join is a desire to live in the past, and stay mad about it.
    A lot of people make a fairly good living off of it...

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 1:49 pm on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    Miceal, I hope you're wrong. I predict it won't come to shouts of racism. The Mexican Americans I know, work with, work for, and call friends are as fine "Americans" as I am. Mexican-American pride is fine, but it won't get a person into law school or med school, won't get them an engineering degree or MBA. What I fear is that it MIGHT get them elected to public office where a person lacking perspective can do real harm.

     
  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 12:34 pm on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 536

    5 will get you 10 you will now be called a racist, Jake. You are moving the discussion too close to an actual dialog, as opposed to rhetorical posturing.

    Racist will have to be called to shut down an increasingly even-handed debate...

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 12:09 pm on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    Hi Leon -- "You want to talk about what Ancestors USED TO BE?" -- No, Leon, I don't. That's my point. I want all of us to talk about where we're going from here. I frankly don't care where your or my ancestors came from or what they did. America (the country, not any of the land masses) needs to look to the future. Mexican Americans will be a big part of that future.

    "YOUR ancestors have NEVER been a majority on ANY part of the Americas (that includes north, central, and south in case you're geographically challenged)." -- How do you know who my ancestors are? If you trace your silly argument back far enough you'll find that both of our ancestors came from neither Europe nor the Americas.

    "Furthermore, becoming a part of "American Culture?" REALLY! American culture encompasses ALL cultures, not just the white-washed history you're are evidently (and I use that word loosely) pointing to." -- This is actually your only worthwhile point -- the one about American culture encompassing ALL cultures. I should have used the word "future." I would like for all of us to share in pulling America (the nation) out of the doldrums we face as an economic and political power. I don't think that harping on the differences of our history is a productive way to do that.

    "And yes Mr. Buckner, there IS always somebody or some organization that wants to proclaim their own race, ethnicity, national origin or religion ... isn't that what you're trying to do with your comment? Why should anyone of color not have the same privilege?" -- Well, Leon, you're right -- they should have the privilege. I'm just saying I don't think it's very productive. I wish the same energy were being used to solve real problems. And no, I'm not ballyhooing my own race, etc. Did I say anything about my own race?

    "Simply saying that we are Mexican-American is not enough to instill pride and culture. Knowing the REAL history behind where you come from is the key to empowerment." -- This is a crock of hooey and you know it. Empowerment comes from education, family, the means to find opportunity, a political voice, etc. I'd say that in America our "REAL history" is the least of the factors determining future success. I'm not saying our history isn't interesting, just that there are far more important factors.

    "Perhaps you should follow his lead and distinguish yourself in the same manner and represent your views ... so I can go on there and leave childish remarks." -- Leon, you have no idea what my background is, what my family has done for this country (USA), and what I've done. I just don't see the point in dwelling on where we came from, when there's so much to be done in shaping the future. Think about professional sports as an example of a meritocracy: Nobody cares where a person came from or what color they are, so long as they contribute to a team effort. It's fine to have pride in your past, but it can be divisive as well. The fact we're having this internet debate proves my point. Please believe me when I say I'd have the same reaction to somebody touting the importance of their German- or Chinese-American history.


     
  • El_Leon posted at 8:49 am on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    El_Leon Posts: 4

    Miceal o'laochdha,

    First your "confused" and now you're insulting? This is not rhetoric, it's simply a truthful version of a story that hasn't been told. The history we know as Americans has ALWAYS been told from a White Euro-Centric Masculine point of view. The mere fact that we have to labeled as activists speaks to this FACT. in addition, the fact that we, people of color, can articulate doesn't make it rhetoric. and you labeling it as such only seeks to continue the methodological manner in which we've been marginalized and our efforts as proud Xicanos have been denied entry into AMERICAN history. We simply will not stand for it. Your Welcome.

     
  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 7:29 am on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 536

    Wow, if rhetoric were wings, "activists" would fly...

     
  • El_Leon posted at 1:24 am on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    El_Leon Posts: 4

    Great article Tony! Unfortunately, the same amount of fear that kept these stories from history's narrative are going to be the same elements that will try to keep it out in the future. It is the fear of change. Those who are protected by the power base are not prepared for the strength and intellect that groups who have been historically marginalized are possessing these days. Writing like yours is vital to the survival of our gente. I'll always have your back! Que Viva La Raza!!!

     
  • El_Leon posted at 1:17 am on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    El_Leon Posts: 4

    Great question!

    No you weren't but, I guess that depends on where you get your history from. The article is absolutely correct in calling them Spanish, they both were.

    The key with Mexican-American Studies is acknowledging ones history, regardless of its' color and bias. Mexican-Americans didn't just "pop up" on this continent. There is a looooong story to be told but, the short version, the reason these two Spaniards are included in the narrative is because Spanish roots run deep in the Mexican-American, along with African roots as well.

    Simply saying that we are Mexican-American is not enough to instill pride and culture. Knowing the REAL history behind where you come from is the key to empowerment. Contemporary Mexican-Americans may be able to point across the border and identify with the culture. The fact remains that if we look deeper than surface issues, we find a people rich in struggle and wealth. We are a hybrid of many "races" and classes of people. Depending on what you identify with will depend on what you accept as part of your history.

    I can tell you for me, mi familia comes from Guanajuato, Mexico but, I'm a born U.S. citizen. I'm still tracing my roots so for now, I'm Mexican by culutra and pride pero, I'm American by nationality. I acknowledge that at some point I may find some Spanish linage, and even then, I will still call myself a Mexican-American;pero Xicano first.

    So you see, the connection by this article and the Spanish characters mentioned are simply that they're a connection to our past to help understand where we come from.

    BTW ... it's "Cabeza de Vaca" not "Cabeza del Vaca"

     
  • El_Leon posted at 1:02 am on Mon, Oct 7, 2013.

    El_Leon Posts: 4

    Because being Native to this land far out dates the CONCEPT of being American.

    You want to talk about what Ancestors USED TO BE? I'm going to extend you the courtesy that you so kindly did for "minority groups (which is a phrase coined by a government arrogantly blind to their own sense of being a minority) of making an assumption and placing you under the same umbrella of racism and prejudicial discrimination that all other White Euro-Centric name bearers are placed under. YOUR ancestors have NEVER been a majority on ANY part of the Americas (that includes north, central, and south in case you're geographically challenged). There is a difference between referring to "America" and being "American." FYI ... when using the term "America," you're referring to a land mass, much like saying Europe. Being "American" is pin pointing a nationality, specifically, that of the United States of America.

    Furthermore, becoming a part of "American Culture?" REALLY! American culture encompasses ALL cultures, not just the white-washed history you're are evidently (and I use that word loosely) pointing to. The history that Mr. Diaz is referring to is not one that is new to these lands, rather, one that has been here before your "Ancestors" got lost at sea and were saved by the "savages" from starving to death by which case, you may never have been here to leave such a shallow and narrow-minded comment. Your Welcome.

    And yes Mr. Buckner, there IS always somebody or some organization that wants to proclaim their own race, ethnicity, national origin or religion ... isn't that what you're trying to do with your comment? Why should anyone of color not have the same privilege? Too many have died at the hands of tyrants to not share in the wonderful freedom of expressing oneself. Mr. Diaz simply has a platform in which to do so. Perhaps you should follow his lead and distinguish yourself in the same manner and represent your views ... so I can go on there and leave childish remarks.

    Educate your thinking ...

     
  • Jake Buckner posted at 6:58 pm on Sun, Oct 6, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 1675

    This article is not a very good advertisement for Mexican-American intellectualism. I'm awaiting the day when a minority simply goes about its business of becoming a part of American culture, rather than ballyhooing itself as something different from the rest.

    Oh wait... That's what most members of minorities do. But there's always somebody, some organization, that wants to proclaim their own race, ethnicity, national origin or religion as something separate -- a reason to be especially proud -- of what they or their ancestors USED TO BE. Why is that? Why isn't simply being an American enough?

     
  • carlosrponce posted at 3:10 pm on Sun, Oct 6, 2013.

    carlosrponce Posts: 2525

    Bernardo de Gálvez was born in Macharaviaya, a mountain village in the province of Málaga, Spain, on July 23, 1746. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was born around 1490 into a hidalgo family, the son of Núñez and Teresa Cabeza de Vaca y de Zurita, in the town of Jerez de la frontera, Spain. Both were Spanish.

     
  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 1:49 pm on Sun, Oct 6, 2013.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 536

    I am a bit confused, rather than educated, by this column.

    It appears to say that Bernardo de Galvez and "Cabeza del Vaca" were Mexicans. I was taught that they were Spanish.

    Was I another victim of Euro-Centric distortion of true history and they were actually born and raised in Mexico? Please advise.

     
  • Mendezg76 posted at 1:26 pm on Sun, Oct 6, 2013.

    Mendezg76 Posts: 1

    Thank you Priselda for your service to our youth!! You are an inspiration and a role model.