Where's It At In Aztlan?
..and other questions your compadres are asking
I've been getting a lot of e~mails in response to my pieces in this fine web page lately, and I thought I'd give a collective response instead of individual replies.
Published on LatinoLA: June 9, 2005
First: "What is this "Aztlan" you keep talking about?
"Aztlan" to me is the fabled land of our people, the descendents of a number of tribes intermixed with Indian, Spanish, and a number of European "spices". The land where a proud people now call themselves CHICANO , political & personal opinions notwithstanding.
"Aztlan" to me is the North American territory that includes California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. A lot of the Brown people who dwell or come from here have the unique life experience of being from Mexican descent, yet are not fully accepted or trusted by our brethren south of the border. "Americano Norte?os" are what we are considered by those who flee or dream of fleeing a financially & politically corrupt impovershed country, endure untold hardships & tragedies to escape it, come north across the border to live life always looking over their back hoping they don't get sent back, and then fly that country's flag for which they receive neither compensation, official recognition nor thanks.
Many of us were born here, thus making us American citizens. We've fought and died in the wars, worked hard to build & support the country's infrastructure, clean up the messes, feed the masses, fix what's broken, provide some of the best entertainment, have educated ourselves, and through our efforts we have developed a major (and I'm talking MAJOR) financial tax base that helps support this country, believe it or not. Yet, when the bottom line comes up, and the pie needs to be cut up, we're just "English speaking Mexicans", beneath the consideration of many.
Despite this, we have endured as a people, our numbers grow, and we have developed our own unique culture within ourselves that is either resented, envied, despised, suspected, questioned, feared, and finally, respected.
Because of our emerging leaders in the entertainment, literary, political, military and business worlds, we can now glorify this unique culture, not taking an adversarial stance, but, to be sure, taking our long deserved place as equals despite the chagrin of the white man.
"Si se puede" and "El espiritu de Cinco de Mayo" talks volumes to the interested researcher....and I encourage you to research!
Secondly: "What is this Brown thing you're always talking about?"
To me, nothing is more beautiful than the sight, spirit, and presence of a strong, caring Brown woman. My Mom & Tias engraved upon my soul from a young age the concepts of love, respect, manners, and standing up for the weak and the unprotected, as well as your own moral beliefs...and Brown women make the best dancers!
To me, nothing represents strength more than that of a Brown man working hard and taking care of his family, respecting females and himself, hungry for education, while wanting a better life for his children, and those children in his family...and when a Brown man kicks your ass, it's been kicked !
To me, the institutions of familia, togetherness, camaradas (or homies), and tribal protection from persecution by society, and the perpetuation of our people, as a people, is something mis or non-understood by non Latinos.
....but WE KNOW!...It's a Brown thing, baby!
We look the best, sing the best, cry the best, fight the best, make the best music, dance the best, write the prettiest poems & stories, have the most beaurtiful women, have the most handsome men, make the most beautiful children, tell the best jokes, have the best parties, make the worst enemies...and when we die, we don't ever leave!
...get it now?
Thirdly: "where can I can a piece of this Brown thing de Aztlan?"
Check out & visit regularly the following websites:
Check out all links listed on these pages, check out the calender pages, attend the events, listen to & buy the music, paricipate in the chatrooms, ask questions, make requests, and most of all...share this 411 and the love!!
Frankie Firme's e~mail: FrankieFirme@yahoo.com
Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano ldies but Goodies on the world wide web every thursday at 6:oopm, pst, on www.kclafm.com