NPR logo A Matter of Prejudice?

A Matter of Prejudice?

How quickly the U.S.A. forgets! We are a nation of immagrants dating back to and before Plymouth Rock, the Civil War, Santa Ana and the U.S.A. takeover of some of the Mexican peoples' lands, such as Tejas, Mejico, California and Arizona to name a few, and now renamed and called the United States.

I, as well as my father and my grandfather, are U.S. citizens. All of us were born in the U.S.A. My grandfather (Hernandez) lost his land in Texas and yet served the U.S. in WWI. My father (Rivera) served in WWII. and I am a Vietnam era veteran, 1963-65.

In full Army uniform in 1963, I was not served a meal in a Louisiana restaurant. I was told to read the sign outside the door ("If you can read English," said the owner). It read, "we do not feed dogs, blacks and Mexicans." He saw my name tag on my uniform which read Rivera, and assumed that I was a Mexican. Yet, I am not a Mexican and two months later I was on my way overseas to serve my country and to preserve the restaurant owner's freedom to continue to post the sign outside his business. To this day, people such as that restaurant owner, bring judgment on people due to their name or the color of their skin.

Yes we need immigration laws, but some people need to leave the white supremacist attitude at home! The U.S.A. is not made up of only white people! As a matter of fact, very soon, the white race will be the minority. The U.S.A. has to leave that mentality to Hitler. Too many have forgotten where they come from. Most of you are the offspring of the same people that years ago were also immigrants, or received amnesty, or received freedom from slavery. Did your ancesters or you have to apply to become U.S. citizens?

Some people tend to put down these so called illegal immigrants because of the color of their skin or because their last name is a Spanish name. I'd like to hear from anyone who will name for me just 10 folks that are willing to work in the hot or cold weather picking fruit or as a laborer at the minimum wage of $5.25 an hour. Or is the U.S. also going to outsource this work to Korea or China or some other country for less than minimum wage?

Relocate and deport 11 million? We can't even relocate 1 million from the Katrina disaster, but we do have trillions to spend and throw away on other countries...and we also can't even feed our own homeless. Is this prejudice too?

The point I'm trying to make is that I, as well as many of the people marching to protest, are also U.S. citizens protesting the prejudice that, to this day, so many people have. These so called minute people in Arizona and other states are not protesting and demanding the job that the Mexicans have at $5.25 an hour! They don't want it nor would they take the job! Who are they trying to fool? Therefore, I have to think about this issue. Is this a racial issue, or do they really want the minimum wage job?

Also, in the eyes of many, everyone with a Spanish last name or of brown skin, is a Mexican. Not so, and an insult to many... Why? Because be it Puerto Rican, Cuban, Panamanian, Peruvian, Costa Rican, Mexican, Filipino, Spanish or many, many other nationalities, we are all of Spanish blood and we all have similar last names... We are not all Mexicans! Some people need to go back to school and take some history classes. How about some classes in Spanish history? You might come to find out that the Spanish were here in the U.S.A. long before the U.S.A. was the U.S.A. Maybe then some of you might come to realize that some of us were here and are as much U.S. citizens if not so more than the immigrants that you came from who came after us, the Spanish...

What is about to take place if the U.S.A. doesn't wake up, is that I, and/or others, U.S. citizens, am/are going to sue someone when I/we get questioned, harrassed, asked for a green card, and at worse, get deported to Mexico... Just the protesting that has gone on, has given some people the freedom to be outspoken, and demonstrate their lack of education or bring out the prejudice in them. Just last week I had a man ask me if I was going to be deported.....

Is it all really just about immigration?