Thursday, August 31, 2006


Many newer Mexican immigrants are mistakenly called Chicanos, but the term Chicano literally refers to their American status. It was used as a pejorative in the early part of the last century by Mexicans against Mexican Americans, but soon became a badge of honor. The term Chicano quietly faded away but was resurrected for a short time in the forties during the Zootsuit era, and then emerged with a much stronger image in the sixties during the Chicano movement when young Mexican Americans were trying to find their place in American Society.

For the most part Chicanos have been very successful in realizing the American dream, becoming homeowners, small and large business owners, and politicians, authors and entertainers, both in acting and music, and serving with distinction in all branches of the military unmatched by any other ethnic group in the country, garnering more medals of honors than any other group. and in the world of boxing truly a force to be reckoned with. During the last half of the 20th century Chicanos have started migrating to many different states and have found it in themselves to stake their claim in this country. 

All chicanos are Mexican American, but not all Mexican Americans are Chicanos. Being Chicano is at its core, a state of mind. Some Mexican Americans shy away from the term. A Chicano at his very core is a rebel, someone who absolutely will not back down in any situation, which is both a blessing and a curse, but it is motivated by his desire to succeed in this country, despite the many obstacles. Perhaps the only other groups of Americans that could understand what being a Chicano is , would be Southerners, who after the Civil War, suffered prejudice and cruelty and scorn from Northerners, and remained rebels at heart, even to this day. The other group of course is the Irish, who have been who have been rebelling since time immemorial.

Chicanos and Mexican Americans in general, are unique and distinct from any other group that has migrated to America. We are the only people to have become citizens through annexation, and suddenly become foreigners in their own homeland. But still we persevere and seek the American dream. So as you can see, we are not illegal immigrants, we are Americans just like you. In fact blaming Chicanos for illegal immigration, is like being angry at Cajuns because of France's stance on the war. Chicanos and illegal immigrants are two separate issues. We can read and write and speak English quite well.

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