A Sad Cinco de Mayo

Sometimes you have to ir contra la corriente

By Edie J. Adler
Published on LatinoLA: May 4, 2006

A Sad Cinco de Mayo

Although my ancestors were originally from Lithuania and went to Mexico in the late 1800?s, all my life I have been proud of my ?adopted? Mexican heritage. I have always loved the country, the culture, and most of all, the people.

Unfortunately I am sad to say that all that changed on May 1st. I know what I am about to say won?t be popular; after all, everyone in the Latino media and even some elected officials are elated by the so called success of the rallies in support of illegal workers.

Yes, I said illegal workers. That is, by definition, the correct term to describe someone who has entered a country uninvited.

I know that most of my Latin friends, and even some who may not be Latin, will now consider me a ?Malinchista? (Aunt Tomassina), and a traitor to ?my? people. And it pains me to have to write this; but one of the many wonderful things I learned from my grandmother is that sometimes you have to ?ir contra la corriente?, go against the tide. In this case, I strongly feel that one of ?us? has to say it.

Up until May 1st, I had mixed feelings about illegal workers. Although I never condoned people coming here illegally, I also understood the powerful reasons that would make someone leave their families behind to try and make a better life for those they love.

But after witnessing the embarrassing displays on May 1st, you must ask yourselves: What other country in the world would allow you to ?demonstrate? against a government, a people, a nation that is not your own? You demand rights?! What gives you the right to demand anything? You?re here illegally, uninvited, and from now on very possibly unwelcome.

If things are so bad here in the USA, why don?t you go back to your own country? Try demonstrating there against the government. Try to demand benefits. Let?s see how far you can get.

My husband and I used to patronize a Mexican seafood restaurant near where we live. The owners are from Mexico. It is a family owned business, so successful that they are opening another restaurant soon. We drove by it on Monday; the place was closed. I found it very ironic. Whom were they demonstrating against? Themselves?

I was very glad when our gardener showed up to take care of our lawn. I like his work, but if he hadn?t come, I was fully prepared to fire him.

When I was growing up in Mexico City I learned both at home and at school, that the flag was a sacred symbol that deserved respect. This applies to any flag, of any nation. When I saw some people on TV with the American Flag upside down, for the first time in my life I was ashamed to be Mexican.

My husband and I usually have a Cinco de Mayo celebration at our house. This year I feel embarrassed to invite anyone to anything having to do with Mexico.

Benito Juarez, one of the most beloved presidents and heroes in Mexico, often compared to Abe Lincoln, said ?El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz? (respect for your neighbor?s right means peace.) I?d wish people would understand that the United States of America has the right to invite or refuse entry to anyone at any time.

About Edie J. Adler:
Edie J. Adler is a free lance writer and comedian who lives with her husband in the San Fernando Valley.

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