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From: [Name Withheld]
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Who Are You?
A brief note on Joe Guzzardi's recent piece.
Until a few years ago I worked for a company whose workforce was about 80 percent Mexican nationals.
When a new, "morale boosting," operations manager came in, I was given the unenviable assignment of trying to figure out company recreational activities to appeal to our employees.
I soon found out that virtually every effort we made failed with the Mexicans. We tried 4th of July picnics, group trips to national parks, Hollywood Bowl jazz concerts and beach parties. All failed; we never got a single Mexican to step on the sand.
The Anglo employees would more or less show up and participate— literally none of the Mexicans would.
Finally, some of us concluded that such events were "too Anglo" and that's why Mexicans would not participate.
But my take on it was slightly more comprehensive. Mexicans are not merely reticent about participating in American culture, they are really consciously "holding out" anticipating the day when they won't have anything to do with Americans because there will be so many Mexicans here that our culture will be washed away by the force of their numbers.
I don't think many Americans are aware of how prevalent and strong that belief is among recently arriving Mexican nationals: that assimilating into our society, learning and obeying our European concepts of law and order, and ultimately becoming Americans can be resisted because the time is coming — soon — when all this will be unnecessary.
The common idea in Mexico (promulgated, I suspect, by the Mexican government) is that Anglo-America is decrepit and dying, and all its traditions like Christmas parades and the Kentucky Derby are merely the last, stubborn vestiges of its vanishing culture.
The strategy is to hold out against it for just a few more years, and you won't ever have to become part of it.
Then, it will all be Cinco de Mayo parties and shooting live ammunition into the air on Christmas Eve (and it won't be illegal anymore, either.)
Whether this will soon come to pass or not, it is truly what many arriving Mexican nationals now believe in and expect.