A young woman once told me, “You’re not American, you’re Mexican, and you should remember that.”
Now presume the color of her skin. White? That would fit the narrative.
No. She was “brown,” like me. We were about the same age and shared a common ethnic background, though that was about it. She insisted that I am not American, rather a Mexican in America—a Chicano or whatever.
This was the first time in my life someone told me that I am, as a minority, dispossessed in the nation I call home, the nation I adore. And it came from a Mexican national.
Interestingly, she is also a Mexican national who chooses to frequent the much safer, cleaner nightlife scene of San Diego. There’s a word for countries like Mexico that warn foreigners to steer clear of five states (one that’s just slightly bigger than Maine) because of a high chance of “homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery.” Sunny, with a chance of murder.
A Well-Documented “Undocumented” Victory
Then again, the lines between California and Mexico have been blurred lately.
Consider. California has appointed a Mexican citizen to state office. Born in Mexico, Lizbeth Mateo entered the United States at 14 with her parents. Now Mateo is a member of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee. That means Mateo will help illegal immigrants access taxpayer-subsidized educational grants, so they can go to school and enroll in the various “studies” programs, where they’ll learn all about why Thomas Jefferson was a bigot, Aristotle was a racist, and states’ rights were conceived right before the Civil War for the explicit purpose of keeping black people enslaved. That’s what I was taught in California schools, anyway.
In her spare time, Mateo is an “immigrant rights” activist. That means that in addition to helping illegal immigrants go to school on California taxpayers’ dime, she is also helping them bend and break federal laws, the kind to which the rest of us plebeians are subject.
The political trajectory of California is one of perpetual victimhood, welfare, and identity politics—all of which keeps the state government big, bureaucratic, and well-fed by taxpayers. The lunacy of California, now, is such that the state insists America cannot be American; that this nation must offer up its institutions, its principles, and what is left of its identity on the altar of progressivism.
Essentially California has declared that minorities are at odds with this nation and that all brown people need to be sheltered from Trump. Thanks, Kamala Harris—for a minute I was worried Trump might deport me, a citizen of the United States.
The Essence of California’s Politics: Identity Trumps All
Worse, California’s politics have conflated individuals like myself with petulant (legal and illegal) activists. My father did not come to this nation legally nearly 70 years ago to beg of it or to make demands of it. And he certainly did not come here to radically change the nation—all tasks which many so-called immigrant activists take it upon themselves to do. California’s identity politics have attempted to suit me up into the role of Reconquista alongside immigrants, solely because of the color of my skin. Political opinion and free will no longer matter. I cannot be fully a part of this country, say progressives, because I’m not white. This is the essence of California’s politics: non-whites are not and cannot be part of this country until some fundamental and radical change occurs, until we appoint more foreign citizens into state office, or fly foreign flags above the American flag.
This is not the America I want for me or for my children, because it wouldn’t be America at all. We are told that racism is part of the American DNA, and so America must be fundamentally transformed. But transformed into what? Radical transformation hardly ever results in anything good, one regime simply replaces another and entrenches itself and consolidates power.
California’s obsession with diversity means desecrating the salience of citizenship, destroying the substance of American identity, and to do all of this strictly as a means of consolidating political power. This is the state where taxpayers subsidize illegal immigrants at $25 billion per year, where the quality of life is the worst in all 50 states, and where those who bear the brunt of failed progressive public policy are, ironically, Latinos. Some 1.3 million Latino children live poverty in California, around 80 percent of Latino households headed by a noncitizen fall below nonprofit United Way’s “Real Cost Budget” level of economic distress. The Real Cost Budget factors in the costs of affording rent, child care, medical, health and transportation—and 80 percent of Latinos fall below that line.
There is no humanitarianism behind California’s progressivism. Mateo’s appointment is further proof that California is more interested in pandering to a Latino electorate than it is with redressing staggering levels of poverty and the miserable quality of life it has created for its people.
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