On getting scolded and lectured for celebrating my Hispanic heritage

A few years ago I put together a National Hispanic Heritage Month story for 9NEWS that featured my grandmother. 

It focused on how Nuevomexcianos are a wonderful mix of Native and Spanish cultures and how we, as a people, have lived in this region under different governments for generations. Our bloodlines extend back to Native and Spanish peoples and I made that abundantly clear in the piece:

Here’s a quote from a historian from the video: 

We all have Native American roots. How could we not, after 400 years? So much of what we eat, the music, all aspects of culture are kind of a kaleidoscope of different cultures mixed together.

Today the video has more than a million views and overwhelmingly has positive responses, especially from people who have a hard time explaining their complex heritage. 

Thanks to the Facebook memory feature, this video gets shared exponentially again this time of year. 

The White Savior Comments

Yet, there’s a somewhat annoying and sometimes aggravating phenomenon that occurs every time this video is shared. 

I’ll receive angry inbox messages and comments from people who are upset that I didn’t refer to the Spanish as “invaders” or “conquerors” in my celebratory piece about—and let me scream this out here via my keyboard–HISPANIC HERITAGE. 

Here are just a few examples I’ve received over the last three years: 

These people are mostly anglo and don’t live in New Mexico. Of course the term virtue signaling comes to mind too. 

The first year my video went viral, I had to address one of the above blatantly false comments (Amanda Flory) since it generated more angry comments.

To these people, I ask: 

Why aren’t you angry when we DON’T reference Nazism when we talk about Oktoberfest celebrations on the news?

When I posted about Independence Day this past year, why didn’t you get mad at me for not referencing the Founding Fathers as being slave owners when I posted a photo of my American flag? 

When I posted photos about Thanksgiving Dinner, why didn’t you get angry when I failed to go on a tangent over my dinner plate and declare the pilgrims as “invaders” or “conquerors?” 

I engaged with some of these people over private messages and in comment threads. They’re all entrenched in their behavior and said I should be accurate when I reference the Spanish. 

Perhaps in their minds National Hispanic Heritage Month should be replaced with….. Spanish Conquistador Cruelty Acknowledgement Month?

What do these people have against Hispanics in New Mexico? 

There’s no doubt the Spanish who came to New Mexico were cruel to natives. This is widely known. Do we really have to reference this to appease the woker-than-thou crowd when we celebrate our Hispanic culture?

My bloodline has people who were conquered and who were conquerors.

I’m fully aware of history and have explored the likely Genízaro roots of my mother’s maternal side.

All of us, no matter your ethnicity or background, have ancestors who were assholes. 

Let’s honor our ancestors who were the good people who just wanted to farm, raise families, and live in peace. 

Don’t be a virtuous asshole.

Afterall, maybe your descendants may see your Facebook comments some day.

2 thoughts on “On getting scolded and lectured for celebrating my Hispanic heritage

  1. Fred Trujillo

    we all have a heritage with good and bad moments. The only way we will be able to move forward as one nation and family is to listen, talk and accept.

    Like

  2. Teofilo Tomas Baca

    Your piece was on point, bravo, my ancestors are from La Jolla New Mexico and love my roots and culture, my grandfather worked the railroad and farmed, and are also mixed in race, thank you for all your positive reporting and honesty.

    Like

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