Monday, May 23, 2005

Fox Faux Pas

"There's no doubt that that Mexican men and women--full of dignity, willpower, and a capacity for work - are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States."

I know this old news by now, but very relevant news for our nation, as we move closer to becoming a Mestizo Nation. When Mexican president, Vicente Fox made this statement, he struck a deep cord of fear, concern, and hurt in our African-American brothers and sisters, and it is important to understand why?

Who exactly is at the bottom of the ethnic pecking order in our nation? Depending on who you ask, you will get passionate and emphatic answers. It's almost like being in a room with urban ministers who begin to talk talk about how bad their communities are. "My neighborhood in the poorest and most violent..." (which we begin to wear as a badge of honor) only to be out done by an even more dramatic statistic and quote of another community's even more desperate status.

It seems there is plenty of room on the bottom for all of us, regardless of the shade of our skin, unless we begin to realize that our future is dependent on our beginning to work together, not simply to keep our own piece of the pie, but to begin working towards 'Justice for All'.

Fox has begun the spin to retract and restate his statement so as to satisfy the negative reaction he has received. This may be the perfect opportunity for the Latino and African American church to begin a serious dialogue as to our common future in the 21st century, that will only continue to become more complex and mixed, both culturally and racially.

This weekend at UWYI, we saw a small picture of what the future could hold-- Latino and African American leaders working side by side for the advancement of God's Kingdom, not a brown kingdom or a black kingdom, but a mestizo kingdom, forged together by the our multi-cultural savior, Jesus of Nazareth.

As a follower of Christ, who also happens to be Mexican-American, I want to express my regret for President Fox's statement that sought to advocate for the desperation of one oppressed people, by talking down another. Like Dr. King said, 'Our futures are intertwined like a tapestry', Latino, Asian, Native American, African American, Anglo, along with everyone else created in the image of God!

Instead of being reactive, it is time that we began to be proactive, in our efforts to articulate a vision for a mestizo future, in the church and in our nation.


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