A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

ter├ža-feira, junho 04, 2002

This is getting ridiculous...but I love it!

The main issue is assimilation and the majority of the Latin Americans that have come to the U.S. in the last 20 years (how many are illegal?) do not know how to become Americans. With the media, people may work here but get as much info from home so it is no real issue. I mean a Mexican from Oaxaca can call home, watch mexican news channels. It is the same as if I lived in Chicago and my parents here, no big deal.

For example, last week Memorial Day weekend and there is the Carnaval (Latin America event) in San Francisco with 125,000 people on Sunday. It is completely disrespectful to have this event when we, Americans, are honoring our fallen heroes who gave us our freedoms.
In retrospect they have given Latin America their freedom as well. I mean what did Mexico or the rest of latin America do in WWII? The WWII generation of the US saved the world.

It is up to academics like you to point this out, it is o.k. to become an American. Promote hispanics in the military, in politics or whatever. But when immigrants are rooting against the U.S. that sends a wrong message.

My response

Thank you for your comments. I must respectfully disagree with you when you say that most recent immigrants do not know how to become Americans. Although it's true that many immigrants nowadays rely heavily on ethnic media for their worldview, it is no different than the immigrant publications of yesteryear such as the Armenian Times, the Jewish Forward (back when it was written in Yiddish), or countless other papers. The ethnic press has traditionally been used by immigrant communities to keep vestiges of their homelands as they assimilate into this nation and I am confident that, with time, many of today's "inassimilable" immigrants will do the same.

In response to your question about what Mexico did during WWII...many things. The United States asked Mexico to send immigrants to work in the States as part of the "bracero" program. This allowed many Americans to enlist in the Armed Forces without the American economy suffering. And Mexican-Americans (many who were not considered "Americans" at the time but enlisted to prove their love to this country) were the most decorated ethnic group of WWII.

As my article stated, rooting against the US isn't inherently anti-American. These immigrants who cheer against the States will make this country better and ultimately will cheer for the States as they assimilate into this country. Thank you once again for your comments.
I am an American with Italian and Irish descent, and I can tell you that while I am not a huge soccer fan, I will be rooting for the US first and then Ireland and Italy second in the World Cup.

I am of the belief that you are an American first, that is what unites us and brings us together. We are a melting pot and it is important that we celebrate the American ideals and character which separate us
from the rest of the world. I think one can support its country of ancestry while not simultaneously bashing the US.

If the overall populace and government of the US is so offensive to the immigrants, than I more than encourage them to return to their countries of origin where their government and populace is providing a
promising way of life.

Surely you would not want to mention in your article that the US provides more monetary aid, medical supplies and other goodwill to Mexico and Latin countries than all other countries combined.

I support people coming to the US in a _legal_fashion and immersing themselves in our culture, learning our language, and learning the great and proud history of our country. I object to your article as another
piece of anti-american refuse and I am sick and tired of it.

God Bless the USA.

My response...

Please do not characterize my article as "anti-American refuse." You are living proof of the end result that these immigrants will no doubt meet and that my article suggests.

Many Americans will have affection for the teams of their ancestral lands but will root for the States first, that is correct. But my article concentrated on the immigrants themselves, not descendants of immigrants such as you and me. For recent immigrants with no ties (as of yet) to the States, it is logical for them to root for their home country.

As they assimilate into this nation, though, they will eventually become like you and me (i.e., American) and root for the home squad. This is a time-tested fact of the American experience. Legality, financial aid, and patriotism has nothing to do with this; time does. Thank you for your comments.
And now for some comments that don't need long responses other than thanks...

I'm a federal civil rights manager and I really enjoyed your article in open
forum. I believe that you hit the nail on the head. Soccer and other sports allow immigrants to vent, to momentarily step outside whatever reality they happen to find themselves and support their heritage against a new country and culture that has not always treated them well.

Thanks for helping all of us understand this new dynamic. Pat Buchanan, take a chill pill and get over it.

My response...

Thank you for your remarks. And your comment about Buchanan is appreciated!
Not all WASP Americans ignore soccer and I will be cheering for the U.S. team when they play Portugal!


My response

Of course not! Although it's unfortunate that we don't have more fans rooting for the US squad, I have found that American soccer fans are intensely passionate about their side. And that makes me extremely happy.

I need to work now. Too much fun for me today...and it's barely 1PM!