LatinaLista — Last week, a friend of mine who lives in Mexico sent me a picture of a map of North America and Mexico. It was part of an ad campaign for Absolut vodka.
The map was obviously a joke on the expansionist theory that Mexico wants to reclaim territory in the United States. Knowing that some of my regular readers are somewhat paranoid over this piece of fiction, and continually claim it’s for real, I decided against posting it.
Why fuel the flame of anti-Mexico hysteria?
Yet, now because of the absurd reaction over an ad campaign that wasn’t even appearing in this country â€” like Mexico is really going to plot with a vodka company to take over the United States, puhleeze â€” it’s time to set the record straight on what a fringe group of fanatics is trying to legitimize with their calls to boycott the vodka maker â€” Is Mexico plotting a Reconquista?
According to Wikipedia, “the term Reconquista (in English, “reconquest”) was popularized by Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Elena Poniatowska to describe the demographic and cultural reemergence of Mexicans in the Southwestern United States.”
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that statement but rather it is what it insinuates that has proved threatening to a group of people who are insecure about the strength of this nation.
If anything, the term “reconquista” was a bad choice and is a bad choice to use in this country. The more precise term, and less threatening, could be “rediscovery.”
Mexican-Americans settling in the Southwest constitute a rediscovery of the ancient connection that exists between the tierra (land) and those descended of Aztec and Mayan lineage.
Like Native Americans everywhere, whose society is built on the foundation of the relationship with the earth, so it is with today’s Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who are rediscovering their ties to ancestral lands.
What does that mean?
It depends on how spiritual you are. For the vast majority of Latinos of Mexican descent, it doesn’t mean anything.
Does this mean to say that there aren’t some Mexican-Americans preaching reconquista? No. As with any group, there are extremists who preach an ideology that is only palatable to them. Ku Klux Klan ring a bell?
To the rest of us, it’s so absurd it’s not taken seriously and ignored.
Until extremists on the other side start screaming for boycotts of a vodka company because they feel threatened by a make-believe map and a story that would be better as a Tim Burton animated film.
What’s worse is that you have the mouthpieces of these extremist groups, who have their own cable talk shows, giving credibility to their ludicrous claims.
To think Mexico is really plotting to overtake the United States, when they are in the middle of combatting the drug cartels, and are barely winning at that, makes this scenario even more insane.
To think Mexican-Americans are plotting to stage a reconquest is beyond absurd. But most of all it’s insulting.
1. It insults our patriotism and allegiance to the United States â€” our home and country.
2. It insults our common sense.
3. It insults the history we all have in this country.
4. It insults our contributions to this country.
5. It insults our value to this country.
Yet most of all, it underscores the blatant racism, not fear, but racism that people harbor against brown-skinned Spanish and non-Spanish speakers.
And for every media outlet, whether it be print or broadcast, that has allowed these racist commentaries to be published/broadcast, they have compromised their news credibility and have become nothing more than instruments of propaganda for a group intent on driving home the point of how superior is the white race.
As I write this, it sounds crazy to me but reading comments about the vodka ad and the boycotts being demanded and the cable talk show hosts dwelling on this stupid map, the facts are sadly adding up:
These outrageous claims are being made by sober people.
It would be a whole lot easier to accept if they were drunk.