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El Weekender

No 73

Brown on Brown Racism:
It starts early, it starts at home

Perhaps not many remember the big debate between Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales.  It was mano a mano, macho a macho, it was billed as the first debate between two candidates for governor, entirely in Spanish.

Of course, it was a show, pitting a candidate that spoke Spanish against one that did not.  It was a putdown.  Brown on Brown discrimination has existed from the beginning of Texas.  It was thoroughly logical in the time of royalty.  There was a pecking order.  That pecking order was passed down over generations.  So much that when Anglos saw this pecking order they liked it so much they adopted it.  Why change a good thing?

In a way, we were doomed from the beginning.  The mayordomo was at the top of the pecking order.  Anglo bosses called on the mayordomo to enforce their rules and policies.  If you wanted a job, you had to please the mayordomo. 

Perhaps, this explains the lack of political activism on the part of the Mexican American community of Fort Worth.  With political bosses telling you what to do who to vote for, it was easier to given in than fight.  Mexican Americans were used to this atmosphere, that is how things got done in Mexico.  When leaders stood up to try to change things for the better there was always someone there to prevent the leader from rocking the boat. 

Consequently, the Mexican American community did not develop the political skills necessary to improve education, social and economic situation.  Unlike Dallas that has a vibrant Latino community Fort Worth has nothing.  Dallas has the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, a museum, and a strong LULAC district.  This folks is not disrespecting Fort Worth, and I am not moving to Dallas, this is reality. 

What we are talking about is changing a mindset.  I have been disgusted with the negative comments regarding race made by political campaigns.  Brown on Brown discrimination begins at home.  It can be parents forcing their child to learn Spanish.  Children that do not speak English as categorized as having parents that do not want to preserve their culture.  It can be parents describing others as “sellouts” or “vendidos”.  Or, “se quiere hacer blanco.”  There are always everybody’s favorites, oreo and coconut. 

I have heard more Brown on Brown racist remarks than all the racists remarks that I was called when I first joined the Army.  Leaders lead by example.  Anyone trying to get elected must set the right example.  The school districts need to confront the issues of children that do not speak Spanish being bullied at school.  If anyone says that it does not exist they have not listened to the children.  What advice do I have to give to politicians, “cut it out!”

To fight SB4 we must come together as a unified voice.  We cannot allow anyone to take us for granted.  Our children need to best example and leadership possible.  There are no more mayordomos to control us.  What do you do with politicians that don’t want to listen?  You vote them out of office.

Felix Alvarado



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