Salutations once again y’all! We’re heading into the end of another week as this year really comes into the fast swing towards the end. With that, television has brought me some happy and exciting feelings with CHRISTMAS (not “holiday”) commercials! Snowy scenes about gift giving and buying with kids, dogs, very expensive brand new cars in the driveways of multimillion dollar homes, and Santa Claus are filling the commercial breaks between shows now and to be honest, I can’t be any happier. I LOVE the Thanksgiving into Christmas season the most out of any other time of the year. I’m trying my hardest to NOT play my Blu-ray Christmas films right now! It’s that fierce this year!
That’s not what I wanna talk about this blog though. The thing I want to talk about is being Hispanic. Heck yea! I’m one of the 52 million people in the United States who can be counted amongst the people of various Hispanic countries. Personally, (and saying it jokingly) I’m an American made with Mexican parts. LOL! As funny as I put it, it’s true. I don’t think about it living in El Paso because as you can see here, El Paso is about 80.7% Hispanic. There are only a few spots, and I’d venture to guess certain areas of the westside and most of the northeast sides of town where you may encounter people who don’t at least understand Spanish. Everywhere else, though, sheeeeeesh… you almost better understand Spanish because especially if you look like me (and most of us do), people assume you speak Spanish first. It’s even more prominent in the areas close to the border to Juarez, Mexico. Most businesses along the area are run by Spanish speaking people, and you’d be really out of luck trying to go there and try to get somebody who even understood English. Luckily for me, my brain works well enough where if I’m having a good day, I can transition seamlessly from English to Spanish and not even think about it. Most days, though, my brain refuses to translate Spanish from English and I either forget my words or it takes me a minute to process the translation to say what I need to say.
I say all of that because I was able to see the first third of a new show on Netflix by the great John Leguizamo. I’ve followed this dude’s career from back in the early days of the late 80s and early 90s and absolutely LOVED his specials on HBO dealing with growing up Latino. Freak and Ghetto Klown really spoke to me and made me realize just how much in common Latinos live their lives. His new special, Latin History for Morons, goes away from introspective views of living life as a Latino and instead shows the audience just how we came to be. Even though I’m only a 3rd of the way through, there’s been so much information that he’s given me that I honestly didn’t even know, that I’m just blown away. I’m appreciating my heritage a lot more than I did before, but at the same time I’m a little heartbroken about it too. I know I’ve got a lot of Native American blood in me because of my skin tone and well the fact that I know my paternal great great grandmother was full blooded Comanche, and I’m pretty sure that I have a lot of Aztec blood in me coming from my mom’s side, but that can’t be verified because I really don’t know much of her history. In any event, the reason I’m a little heartbroken about it is because in the special, John tells us the story about just how we came to be. There were millions of people all throughout the American continent living in peace amongst each other until Christopher Columbus took a wrong turn thinking he was going to India that had him stumble upon the islands south of what is now Florida. Long story short, he and his people violated women and children, killed the men, and brought the diseases from Europe to the Americas and that killed millions more. The Spanish soon followed and went through what is now Mexico, brought their violence and diseases with them and soon killed the Aztec tribes, and most of them traveled north through here, oddly enough, and made their way a bit further north and then slightly southeast and west. Some also went south and ended up killing the Inca via violence and diseases as well. That’s as far as I’ve gotten into the show, and I can only imagine things remained crazy until that history started to blend in with the northeast section of America and the formation of the United States and all that violence and disease that was brought upon Native Americans from them.
It sounds so bad, doesn’t it? The Aztec people were very advanced for their time, all of the Native American tribes lived off the lands that looked so incredibly different back then, especially in what is now Massachusetts and New York (it was all super dense forest), and the whole American continent was full of people just doing their thing living in peace. Part of me wonders what would have happened if the Europeans wouldn’t have raped, pillaged, and killed the indigenous people to this land. Things sort of worked out in the end, I guess? Who’s to say, right? I guess if it wasn’t going to be them, it would have been the English and the French to do it instead, but what would have happened if everybody that came here from other continents just let these people just live their lives as they were? Well, I guess I wouldn’t exist. That’s for sure. Haha! My surname is Spanish and I’m Catholic too. I wouldn’t have those things if nothing would have happened. I might have still spoken English and Spanish (both badly as I do now, if you wanna know. LOL), but I’m sure I would be speaking a language native to this area (well, back in the day at least) as my primary language instead. It’s crazy to think about. I know one thing though. I’m glad that I’m me. All the guilt of the Spanish, but all of the pride from my Native American people too now lives in me. I just hope that if God blesses me with children, I can pass along all the history that I know so that they can know where they came from too. Now, I can’t wait to get back home to finish the show and tell everybody that I know that has Netflix to watch it!