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Reply #45: My parents retired to the Rio Grande Valley in the late 1960's, [View All]

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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-29-06 12:34 PM
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45. My parents retired to the Rio Grande Valley in the late 1960's,
and during my frequent visits there I learned a great deal I never would have known otherwise.

First thing I learned was what it felt like to be a minority! My young husband and I found ourselves waiting in a Diary Queen until every Latino in the place had been served before they would look at us or take our order. SHOCK! My goodness, could minorities living farther north have been experiencing anything like this for a long time? Amazing how one's eyes are opened by even one such experience in life....

Another significant thing I learned from "tourista" visits across the border -- usually to shop for items sold for much less there -- occurred when the driver of the van we'd hired for the day got lost (perhaps on purpose?) and we ended up driving around for a long time in the backstreets of a village we white folk were never meant to see. I learned that POVERTY was a way of life on a massive scale in our neighbor country to the south, and it stunned and horrified me. To this day, I cannot think of Mexico without seeing those images of forlorn shacks and people flashing in my mind....

Suddenly I understood why so many Mexicans were heading north into the U.S. to find work and improve their lot in life -- and it made perfect sense. As my interest grew, I made it my business to learn a lot more about the Mexican government and found (not to my surprise) that it was corrupt to its core. Not unlike my own, but the whole thing seemed to be more blatant, less subtle than here.

As time went by and I'd seen the flood of immigrants northward increase, I wondered at times why the poor who struggled for a decent life didn't revolt inside their own country in the same large numbers they emigrated in, but I knew there were reasons. Now what I'm seeing appears to me to be a matter of oppressed people reaching a tipping point, a boiling point of outrage that leads to action even in the face of great risk to life, limb and wellbeing.

I figured it must surely be just that: action taken at very high risks to the individuals who are brave enough to be seen in public decrying the corruption and theft of their government, all the while it's proclaiming to be democratic. Strange how closely their "democratic elections" seem to mirror our own....

I applaud the courageous Mexicans who are fighting for their own country. I am very poor myself so I cannot contribute financially to support their noble cause, but my heart is certainly with them! I recognize that their fight IS our fight, and the implications for our own nation of the millions of Latino immigrants -- documented or not -- must be profound.

I would think that if only a few thousand DUers have their eyes opened by reading threads such as this one and then those good folks share what they've learned with people they know, the word may spread with great rapidity. Thanks for the OP; I feel a resurgence of HOPE!

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