Most Americans think of Mexicans as short and dark, despite the fact that Mexican President Vicente Fox is tall and white. So what really is a Mexican, and who is in charge of Mexico? Americans are getting a confused picture, while illegal immigration is rampant, with all its attendant ills. Americans see hordes of swarthy, illiterate workers, yet American media flaunts a “white,” professional Mexican, as president. The reality is the white upperclass really does rule Mexico. Their chauvinism – and the lack of patriotism shown by most of the Mexican population – has helped create America’s illegal immigration problem.
The rulers of Mexico have always been Spanish, or what we might call, Castilian. They are indeed Caucasian, but they are very few in number. Today they make up less than 10 percent of the total population of over 106 million people. The indigenous groups (Mexican Indians) total about 30 percent of the population, and the predominant group, the famous “mestizos” (mixed Indio-Caucasian), comprise about 60 percent.
The mestizos, of course, represent most of the Mexican population migrating (legally or illegally) into America. They definitely do not appear white, but nor do they appear Indian. The 2001 estimate put 40 percent of the Mexican population below the poverty line. Most of what Americans see immigrating, particularly illegally, are in this sector.
Now, Presidente Vicente Fox, son of a wealthy Irishman (who was living in Guanajuato) has shown “exemplary” (should we say, typical?) concern for the Mexicans: he’s pushing them all out of the country, just as fast as they can cross the borders. He offers them nothing within Mexico, but instead claims they have a right to be American. A real patriot he is, Presidente Fox, for all nations concerned.
Spanish television and American media also flaunt the “white” Mexican as representative of the great country of Mexico. (CEO Mr. Robert Rose has done little to alter that public image.) This is as if to say, if we must have Mexicans, let’s have a white image, as far as possible. Never mind all that brown tide from the south. Why, Mexicans are all white and wonderful people, just like their president. Never mind those Leftist brown shirts out there in California and the Atzlan fantasy that Mexicans own the American southwest.
A confusing picture, indeed. So what shall Americans make of it?
Historically, there have always been “Mexicans” north of the Rio Grande. There were mestizos with long lost tribal connections. They had but a dim memory, if any, of their long past connections to the Acaxee, Cochimi, Cocopa, Cora, Huichol, Jova, Jumanos, Kiliwa, Maya, Opata, Papago, Pima, Sari, Suma, Tarahumara, Tepehuan, Tipai, Tubar, or Yaqui tribes. The mestizos of American history are simply “Mexicans,” and represent the one simple contrast that the American mind comprehends: Mexican people of indigenous heritage, and those of the Spanish rulers (mostly military). This simple division endures even today.
I learned something of this when I lived in Tucson, Arizona. I rented an apartment near the University of Arizona, where I was doing my doctorate. My landlady was a beautiful Mexican woman, married to a white American man. Elida was very intelligent, though not formally educated. Her specialty was social wisdom.
“There are basically five families that rule Mexico,” she told me once. “They build a wall around themselves, become richer and richer, and they don’t give a ____ about anyone else. They just don’t care. They don’t care about poor people.”
And it seems the Mexican immigrants don’t care anything about Mexico, either. And they don’t care about the United States. They have become a mass of expatriated orphans, unwanted where they were, and unwanted where they are. This is tragic.
But if there is resentment in them, it should be toward Mexico, not the United States. Mexican leadership has always robbed the natives of their land. That’s what the Mexican Revolution of 1910 was all about—the recovery of the land by the people. Given the realities of today, I’d say there’s a need for the Mexican people to focus on Mexico, if they have any national pride at all. The claim to own the American southwest is a pathetic piece of Communist propaganda, and makes absolute fools out of those who buy into it.
What happened to Mexican pride? Where are the Mexicans who care? Crossing the river doesn’t make them a different kind of human being.
I say, where is Emiliano Zapata when you need him? Where is Poncho Villa? Where are the leaders of the people, who will defend them against the careless, endless abuses of the generales in ciudad Mexico?