It is disappointing to acknowledge that the very people who cry ??La raza unida jam?s ser? vencida!? do not understand this mere concept themselves. They insist on excluding ANY potential human resources that can be used for la causa; all because of their discriminatory, extremist ideals. According to Mr. Ollinkoatl?s editorial ("Chanting Down Athens" at http://latinola.com/story.php?story=588), I would fall within the category of a sell-out.
Just because I am not a revolutionary, I am not Raza, Latina, or Mexicana or ?lo que sea? enough.
My perspective on issues of this nature might differ a little bit from most Latinos raised in the U.S. I was born and raised in M?xico until the age of seventeen. And I ask many of these Mechistas to go live in M?xico for a couple years so you can experience what real oppression is. As you can see, I did not realize I was being oppressed when I got to college, I was born into oppression. I lived by the rules of a system where you are Mister and Misses Nobody. Rights are non-existent unless you are born into wealth, which was not my case.
Upon my arrival on this country, I was amazed at the numerous rights and opportunities I had. Yes, even though I am brown. I agree -- when I started college all naiveness disappeared. I learned about the inherent institutionalized racism that does exist in our society, and that continues to affect our people. However, I also recognized the need to join forces with people that shared my concerns. I found such support group in a sorority.
I was not aware of what a sorority was. In fact, I had never heard of the term before. I only remember reading ?Latina Women,? and I knew I belonged with them. I still remember listening in awe the voices of powerful, intelligent, outspoken and articulate Mujeres who inspired me to become who I am today. I am an educator. I work with Latino children who need me to fill their minds with hope and purpose by making them aware of their challenging position in this society, not by counting the wrongs this government has done on them.
My sorority has dedicated more than ten years to support Mujeres con talento, and to actually help our communities (a list of involvements can be provided upon request). We do not sit at our meetings to bash the government and to fill our hearts with resentment. Rather, our focus is to work together to put our philosophies into action, and to better ourselves, for we are not ignorant of the disadvantages we face as people of color.
I am proud to brag about our organization?s 100% graduation rate, and about the many accomplishments of our different chapters throughout the state of California, which include the highest GPA among Greek organizations.
I quote a co-worker that knows about our sorority, and who was a member of M.E.Ch.A during his college years, ?I admire you guys so much because you guys actually DID something, not like us (chuckles), that we just talked about things?. This and other appraisals as well as campus, county, and state recognition make it all worth it.
Maybe Mr. Ollinkoatl ought to educate himself about the purposes and accomplishments of Latina sororities instead of basing his arguments on assumptions and perceptions. Isn?t that what the ?white man? does to us?
I am indeed a proud Mexicana who joined a sorority. I developed community awareness, and harvested the rewards that come with ?doing? something about it. I acquired real leadership skills in a sorority, an organization that accepted me, supported me and worked with me without conditions and regardless of how I defined myself.
Veronica Martin del Campo:
More info on Latino fraternal organizations: NALFO (National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations) at http://www.nalfo.org/