"How's it going?" broke my meditative trance as I strolled down a neighborhood street, last Saturday. I glanced over to the left side of the asphalt road. In the front yard of a shaded, yellow adobe house, I saw two 30-40 something white males. I reciprocated with a friendly hello. I continued on my walk. Then I heard him call out, "hiring Mexicans!"
I stopped, no one else was around. I glanced at these guys. One with short hair and a smattering of whiskers and the other with rusty-red hair and maybe a mustache. I was rattled by the comment. Some thoughts ran through my mind. Yes, I'm brown skinned. Yes, I'm Mexican. Is this guy serious?
"Are you kidding?" I sarcastically replied. I started walking again mumbling some people's ignorance is staggering. Then I heard him say, "no, I'm serious, I have a job, blah, blah, blah…" My anger-filter stopped working. In no mood to have a confrontation I walked away, thinking of several expletives in Spanish I could have said.
No, my anger was not because he thought I was Mexican. My anger was because of his privileged ignorance. Rather than pay for an ad in The Taos News or post a 'help-needed' flyer in Cid's, this guy displayed a lack of core values: Respect for others.
This incident took me back to my childhood days, when in my rural, New Mexican bi-racial village, being called a dirty Mexican was common. How sad that this type of ignorance continues to exist in 2017 not only in Taos, but everywhere in our country.
I am proud of my mestizo identity. My European, Mexican, Indigenous heritage. I am Indo-hispana, I am Mexicana, I am Nuevomexicana. I am! Yo Soy!
– Maria Dolores Gonzales, Taos