Well, from an educated Mexican American's point of view, it's really a toss up. Both Texas and North Carolina have many great and amazing people of all backgrounds, faiths, phenotypes, etc.
As a Mexican American, I've experienced many instances of racism in the state of my origin-Texas, particularly in Houston and Austin. In fact as a youth, during many of my previous shitty jobs, it was so blatant that even managers started calling me Frank, because Francisco was too-let's say, um Mexican. A funny side note is that one of America's premiere city is named-yes you guessed it, San Francisco.
Many of these instances have been open, troubling, aggressive and violent. Other experiences where I experienced racism have been quiet, institutional and psychological (see my experiences at the University of Texas at Austin and living in Austin Texas in general.) Others have been obnoxious and subtle such as the "you don't look like a typical Mexican" cliche. By the way, I was born in Houston. What's funny is that the census lady in Houston basically labeled me as "white." I guess I'm a spic all the time, but "white" when it comes to tallying up the American Race Game statistics, since some in my beloved country are so obsessed and even scared of people with more melanin outnumbering those with less melanin. For clarification on the latter statement, there are racists from peoples from many backgrounds.
The racist experiences I've endured in North Carolina have been obvious such as the countless times I've been followed at an "upscale" neighborhood grocery store by an undercover store security worker while I shop. Other instances have been plain rude such as that time an upper classmate at the law school I attended "othered" me by calling me "Fernando, or what ever his name is." Then there was that time one leftist law school classmate that reveled in combating Neo-Nazis in his home state of Kentucky "othered" me many times and once called me "ethnic." That latter time I responded by asking him "is that all you see?" He emailed me that night and said he had a breakthrough because of my response, by the way. Then there was that time a leftist law school professor talked about a movie that had a legal plot and how it had that "you know that Hollywood Mexican story line of the savage combating his savagery." These are just a few of the many times I've endured this kind of treatment.
Here's what matters to me; because I am a God fearing and God Loving man, I Love all peoples. There are jackasses from all backgrounds so responding to racism by hating those that resemble the ones that have inflicted it on me is contrary to my nature. I remain whole and pure. That is by the grace of my creator.
God willing, what I will predict this July 26th of 2018, is that those that have inflicted racism on me (this includes peoples of many backgrounds including my own background but that is more of a complex "inter-ethnic hate" phenomenon that I'll touch on soon which is really bad in the Mexican American community) and on others will soon enough experience a major wake up call as will their progeny and future generations if they are taught racism, until racism is completely eradicated.
And to those of all backgrounds that remain steadfast in learning from peoples of different backgrounds and are kind, decent and just and to those that look different than them, keep up the great work, as God watches everything. Your blessings will come sooner than later, God willing.
Francisco Jesus Aldana
CEO of Flyboyhalo Publishing
By the grace of God, my pop up snack bistro idea has been great for the last few weeks at the local Grove Street People's Market. I've created a new brand for our baked goods, welcome and applauds towards "Smiley's Treats". Smiley's Treats is about delicious and natural healthy treats. So far, Smiley's Treats has amazing Salty & Sweet Green Pop Corn, Classic American Fudge Brownies, Cranberry & Raisin Brownies, Jalapeño Garlic & Cheese Corn Bread and Sweet Corn Bread. I Love Aguas Frescas, and Watermelon Agua Fresca (Agua De Sandia) and Agua Fresca de Melon (Cantaloupe) are amazing in these hot summer months, so I included them in this week's menu. I also created a new drink, a Cinnamon & Apple Tea fused with Expresso that I'm calling the Cinnamon & Apple Teafee©. I'm so grateful to God and then to the Grove Street People's Market, the customers, artisans, organizers, friends, family and the community. Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of this.
Bismillah Rahmani Raheem
North Side Houston circa [Burbank Middle School] 1980-1990s, my African American brothers brutalized us Mexicans (especially the country Paisas), Mexican-Americans and Chicanos. I remember an African American kid used to go around running through the hallways while classes were transitioning, and slice up Latino kids with razors. He cut up my friend Marvin really bad. One time a crew of two or three African American kids kept knocking down my books as I walked. Then I saw (Lil) Jose. (Lil) Jose lived in the African American projects next to the school. All the African American kids feared him. He was smaller and thinner than me but he was as brave as God makes them. And he carried a large knife. The African American kids then left me alone. The Latinos with balls such as (Lil) Jose, the Latino Hip-Hop kids, the Latino headbangers, the geto vatos/cholos and some paisas were among the only ones that had courage to stand up against the brutal treatment we got for eating "beans," speaking Spanglish and or for simply being "DemMesskins." Those were the days that because of "Do The Right Thing" you'd get stomped for accidentally stepping on a black kid's shoe. That changed a few years later when Joe Zuniga stomped the African American school quarterback because the quarter back threatened him by stating he'd catch Joe Zuniga slipping for accidentally stepping on his shoe. Joe Zuniga said "do something now" and then proceeded to stomp on him. This shook the entire school and the African American football coaches. I was of the few that avoided the race riots-because I was cool with all races, even though an African American man killed my older brother and never had the decency to apologize to my mom.
Peace to (Lil) Derrick & (Lil) Jose. (Lil) Derrick was [African American urban black cholo type-basically (Lil) Jose in an African American way and vice versa] cool with Latinos so I've made him a saint like (Lil) Jose.
p.s. It was virtually impossible to fight an African American kid one on one. That's what made it hard at times or it seemed hard, because if you were fighting one African American kid, you'd end up fighting 30, and possibly people from the nearby projects.
Man I've got so many stories to tell.
The vain one looked in the mirror and saw beauty. The vain one then focused on that beauty. God would soon exercise his might by letting time pass. In the meantime, the vain one sought to be adored and to be liked and did anything to be adored and liked. Then time passed. The vain one changed. The vain one failed to cultivate anything beyond the vain one's outer appearance. When the vain one changed, the vain one was caught off guard. The vain one realized that there was nothing on the inside. Since the vain one's outer shell had deteriorated, there was nothing more the vain one had to show. The vain one's friends had left. And there was nothing more. What could have been sweet solitude was instead the loneliness of hell.
One of our writers recently visited the city he was born in. That city is one of the largest and most wealthy in the United States. He noticed that the city has changed drastically. There are more buildings, more people, more homes, more cars, and more wealth than he remembers seeing. There is also more poor people on the streets. There is still lots of hunger and lots of people that need to be reached. There is also more stress, more discrimination against the poor, more road rage, and more hate. That city was flooded a few months ago-so one would have thought that the generosity that the city showed during and after the floods would still be around. But nope. Be more generous. Be nicer than the average city dweller. Floods or no floods, being generous is something that should be a constant. Anyone can be generous during times of extreme weather or other events. But being generous in our ordinary and not-so-ordinary lives should be something that we can always do. Expect nothing in return for your generosity, do it for the love of being generous, and more importantly do it if you consider yourself a decent person in the service of God.
Audit the words you say and the thoughts you think. Have you ever heard of "speaking things into existence"?
The Flyboyhalo Publishing book debut is here! Flyboyhalo Publishing presents The Covenant, and then writing. The Covenant, and then writing which is a book dedicated to God, is a three part book that has healthy and delicious affordable food recipes, amazing short stories and insightful and powerful poetry. We present this labor of Love as an alternative to the trash and deceit in the "mainstream" world. Come get your truth on, get entertained and educated all while supporting honest independent American publishers that give a voice to those that need it and work tirelessly to remind the world of God.
Jesus talked about it. Muhammad talked about it. Buddha talked about it. Che talked about it. David talked about it. Moses talked about it. So why do we forget to Love God, and then to love each other? Instead, many act like enemies instead of friends.
Israelis deserve peace. Israel deserves safe borders, safe cities and towns. Palestinians deserve peace. Palestine deserves safe borders, safe cities and towns. Meet at the table of peace with a reasonable approach to the issues that both need to look at. Peace is completely attainable. The future generations will look at this time and be grateful if both parties establish peace. God willing. Oh by the way, it's also possible to Stand with Israel & to Stand with Palestine at the same time.