Yo soy CHICANO !

Something you just don't grow out of, and nothing to be ashamed of!

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: October 8, 2008

Yo soy CHICANO !

Ok‘«™it's getting down to the wire, economic problems have now spread across the seas, and people are huddling, looking out for the No. 1's ‘«™

The rich are afraid of having to rub shoulders and hang with the poor, and the different Raza's are taking a closer look at each other‘«™deciding who to hang with should the bottom fall out como 1929‘«™and it's gonna fall out, believe me.

For my money, I'll hang with the Chicanos, because I am one, and we don't feel the need to put on airs so as to be accepted as "legal" when the inevitable IRS scapegoating and head-chopping starts coming‘«™and it will, believe me.

I still think it's a great time to be CHICANO. ?ŪVIVA LA RAZA!

I'm tired of being labeled "Hispanic" just because it has become politically correct, convenient, and denotes an aversion to being from less than comfortable means and not needing sun tan lotion on occasion. I'm not Spanish, I'm not from Spain, and I don't have any relatives or friends in Spain, and I've never been to Spain‘«™but I hear it's beautiful.

I don't mean this in a derogatory tone, just get it right. I'm not a Spaniard.

I'm CHICANO. I was born here in the United States. My parents were born here in the United States. Although my ancestral roots are from Mexico, and I am proud of those roots, I owe NO allegiance to Mexico. I do not mean that in a demeaning tone, and I shouldn't feel guilty for saying that, so I don't.

Please don't think of me as inferior because I don't celebrate 16th of September or root for the Mexican national soccer team in bars.

I'm sorry, but I don't fly a Mexican or Spanish flag at my house. I'm an honorably discharged BROWN U.S. Marine & Army soldier, so the stars & stripes flap in my yard! I've earned that!

I can handle the occasional "Mexican-American" jacket, but don't call me "Mexican", because I'm not from Mexico. Again, I do not say that in a negative or condescending tone, and nobody should make that inference, please. Just get it right!

I don't see CHICANO as a dirty word, or something I should have "grown out of".

You wants yours, and I want mine!

I don't sneak across any border or swim any ocean to any Country to wave an American flag and demand rights from a Country I haven't worked & sacrificed for‘«™and I would like the same respect in my Country, thank you very much.

It's for sure you won't find me in Canada or Greenland protesting the U.S. economic problems while looking for a cool barrio to move into, that's for sure!

I'm not responsible for anybody's trouble, struggle, or hard times they may have endured to "make it" here in the United States from any other country‘«™so don't try to make me feel guilty if I just choose to respect you just for who you are without contributing to your resentment and need to "get even".

Burn or spit on my American flag while you're here making money, getting an education, and living a lifestyle you wouldn't have in your country, and we got a problem, know what I mean?

I wasn't born on an island, and I'm sorry if your country is in upheaval, needed a revolution and governmental overthrow to make a point, and now offers no opportunity for you, but it's not my fault or problem to fix, so please don't wave your flag in my face and tell me I'm not a real Latino if I don't believe in your cause, or support your protests here in my front yard.

I done my time in a war zone, where were you then?

Welcome to the United States‘«™if you weren't invited, and you aren't making it or are not comfortable with the way things are, go back home! Don't try to make my country like yours‘«™it just makes you look disrespectful and ungrateful.

I'm not a racist, although I have endured racial discrimination and mistreatment from schools, the workplace, police, and "the system" growing up in this country. I hold no grudges, just memories as a reference.

Only the military and the streets were fair and equal ground for me, where you handle you own business on your own terms, and money and connections don't always get you by‘«™know what I mean?

I love children, not in the Michael Jackson sense, and I don't treat kids in a manner befitting their parent's indiscretions or faults‘«™I expect and demand the same respect for mine, and I'm not ashamed to say that openly.

Ignorance and stupidity should not be handed down like a family heirloom. Racial prejudice and isolationist ideology are way out of style‘«™on both sides of the coin, know what I mean?

I don't bad mouth any country or language, so don't down grade mine!

I shouldn't feel ashamed that as a CHICANO, I competently speak, read, write, and sing in English as a first language, and NO Hispanic intellectual with a deep spanish accent is going to make me feel different or guilty, no matter who they know, or what educational degree they hold.

I accept you as you are‘«™why can't you show me the same respect? You amd your kids don't poop any better than me or my kids, and it's time SOMEBODY put that message to you.

I love my Oldies but Goodies, Blues, Rock & Roll, classic rock, Salsa, Tejano, and big band music‘«™forgive me if I don't throw out a grito or feel obligated to hold in total adoration Mariachi or Ranchera or Tropical music, but don't condemn me for it either.

I'm not a big fan of Telemundo or Univision either, sorry, but that doesn't mean others aren't. Being different doesn't make you wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I like it and appreciate it, but I really can't appreciate the "March of Zacatecas" better than "Whittier Boulevard" as an anthem song for my people & generation, and that's just the way it is for me in my beloved Land of 1000 Dances.

I'm CHICANO! I am an educated man of color, with many friends & family members of all colors, and I have no problem with that.

I'm CHICANO! I speak two languages, and I know I'm not accepted totally in both cultures that only speak one here, but I sleep OK at night with that fact.

I'm CHICANO! I may piss off other Latinos for not flying the flag from another country, but too bad! I have no fear of being deported.


I may be an enigma to others who just can't stand the fact that I don't sit under anybody's thumb, don't fit neatly into a category for the gabacho's convenience, can make a move in two worlds, and I still have a job & a life‘«™but I'm OK with that.

No shame in my game! I know I'm CHICANO to the bone!
...can't we all just get along?

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul
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