Tonight my bedtime ritual included swear words. I am that sore.
[…] Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
Saluden Muchachxs, saluden.
While conventional fast-food companies like McDonald’s are receiving the bulk of public opprobrium for paying their workers a less-than-living wage, the reality is that what are perceived as more upscale businesses are not doing much better by many of their employees.
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013 RIP
Hearing someone say, “Everything will be OK” just makes things worse. #thestruggle
I just used a thousand island dressing for an egg sandwich. The things I do when we don’t have ketchup.
Newsflash, Everyone: Tom Daley Isn’t Gay
He’s queer. And yes, it does make a big difference.
Tom explicitly says in the video that he still “fancies girls,” and he never uses the word “gay,” “homosexual,” or any other synonymous word to describe his sexuality.
The fact that media outlets immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s gay not only contributes to the issue of LGBTQ erasure, it also misrepresents what Tom Daley said, which was exactly what he wanted to avoid by making the YouTube video in the first place.
So get your facts straight everyone. Tom made an incredibly courageous decision in coming out and he deserves our support and respect.