Gumbo Monster Supports Hispanic Heritage Month!!!!

In honor of the millions of citizens here in the United States who have made great contributions to our culture and economy, Gumbo Monster wants to take a moment and say Happy Hispanic Heritage Month. We know this school system and government are screwed up and don’t take enough time to teach the heritages and histories of people in this country who do not check the box labeled Caucasian in our schools, but encourage all of our readers and friends to take some time and learn your history, pass it down, and don’t let anyone wash your stories from the face of the earth. History is often told by those considered to be the victors of the story. As “minorities” let’s rewrite it together, remembering our victories whether mainstream America wants to or not.  Feel free to make mention of any people who had a serious impact on Hispanic History and, therefore, United States History as a whole below. GM would love to give shine to those making a difference.

I am going to take this opportunity to highlight some Hispanic Americans that have impacted me coming up.

No, I am NOT of any kind of hispanic decent, but that doesn’t mean these people didn’t make a difference in my life as well. Seeing them make strides in their communities, various fields, and in other ways adds more fire to my notion that no matter what your situation, back ground, or the challenges you face, anything is possible. Ok don’t be offended by this first person, but I want to start recent and work my way back.

Dora the Explorer rocks and you know it!

Whether you want to admit it or not, Dora the Explorer is a “G.” I mean the girl has to be what like 6 or 7 and she goes on these major adventures that I used to dream about as a kid! Having an imagination like Dora’s is the reason I would come home from school everyday with new cuts or bruises, the origins of which I had no idea. All I knew was I was a girl with a mission and I had fun achieving said mission.

Honestly, the creation of the show made me happy especially with shows like my favorite “Little Bill” (a show about a5 year old version of and written by Bill Cosby) leaving the scene, it was nice that finally the shows on television were reflecting more than just the Barbara Millicent Roberts of the world. I once baby-sat a young girl from Brazil. She knew very little English, but one thing she was certain of was that she was considered “Black” in her country. Her skin was a beautiful bronze color, yet she considered her beauty to be marred because of the color of her skin. She was 5 years old, and was obsessed with all things “White.” Guess who her hero was? Barbie. I had to go to great lengths just to convince her that Michael Jackson (her absolute favorite person in the world) was indeed “Black.” Dora’s introduction in my view meant that people were finally starting to integrate characters and new icons for children that reflected the fact that America is made up of many cultures, with no formal declaration of one in particular. And may I also point out that we DO NOT have an official federal mandated national language. So stop hating on those who don’t speak it so well and make do until they can! Patience is a virtue.

Sorry, off topic. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. There is nothing wrong with liking Barbie. However, one can always appreciate diversity.

Secondly, I have admired my next two favorite people of Hispanic decent because being in my field they do extraordinary work.

Antonio Banderas and Salma Heyek in “Desperado”

That’s right. Salma Heyek and Antonio Banderas in Desperado. That’s not the only movie they did that I love, but  you can not deny the awesomeness of said movie!!! Seriously! Heyek has done many projects such as Dogma, Frida, From Dusk till Dawn and many more where she represented in a major way for Latina women. If there was any doubt the lady could act, she definitely did her thing in Frida. That lady is true diva, that’s for sure.

Of course, nearly every warm-blooded woman with a pulse who has ever thought of meeting or being with a man of Hispanic decent has brought up Antonio Banderas. I mean…come on…look at him!! Aside from his looks, he is another amazing talent in the Hispanic community that I have watched my whole life. From all of the Mariachi movies to Original Sin, which was a ridiculously steamy movie starring him and Angelina Jolie, and even to his next project that I am anxiously awaiting The Skin I live in, although is said to be a gory and disturbing film (says Fox…ya’ll know how I feel about Fox) I have loved this man’s work. Whether the movie is as disturbing as people say, the point in the matter is that like the few great actors that walk among us, true transformation takes place within them. They evaluate a character, find his/her essence resonating within themselves, and communicate them as humanly as possible to the audience.  That is the basic goal of the actor, they accomplish it. Alright I can’t mention them without at least saying that I also am a fan of Penelope Cruz. That lady is cool.

Finally, I’m going to end this blog by stating that it is an absolute shame that we minorities do not support each other. I understand why there is tension along the black-brown divide, but honestly we stand to gain a lot more than we lose if we would get the heck over our differences and help each other. With the election coming up in 2012, and so many issues that could adversely effect each demographic, why is it that we still can’t find common ground when it’s staring us in the face? I’m not saying every Hispanic person should vote for Obama because he’s a minority. What I’m saying is that most of the issues regarding race, and middle and working poor classes hit home especially for us. I do not now, nor have I ever believed that being proud of your heritage means you have to hate, down play, or demonize other races or cultures because they do not share the same values. I believe that if we are in the land of the free, we should adopt the notion that the freedom to celebrate who we are extends to everyone and that the things that make our cultures different should intrigue and excite us. We should be happy to learn about other cultures and proud to share our cultures with other people. I mean hello, who does that sound like to you? Huh? Hating other people because you don’t know or understand their views or ways of life? Sounds like the same people who raped, murdered, and destroyed millions of people in Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, and many other places for their own benefit because these places didn’t fit into what they defined as “civilized.” Why are we repeating the same mistakes that were oppressed upon us? Why?

That’s why I did this post. Not to show off how much I know about hispanic culture, because I clearly don’t know as much as I want to. Not just to get the attention of those of Hispanic decent either (although we’d love to have you involved on the site! send us some vids! we’re a gumbo, we like it all!) But to start a dialogue by which maybe we can do what our political leaders can’t seem to: end this racial B.S. that has been separating us for too long. We, together, make up the majority of this country. (No, I’m not suggesting that we team up against the “white people” or discriminate against them no matter how much they do it to us.) But maybe if we took the time to talk to each other from a place of understanding, it may be easier for us to shape public policy that include us in it, too. United we stand, divided we fall. And we’ve been failing for  a while because of the fact that we divide our damn selves! Let’s rethink people. Support Hispanic Heritage Month.

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