My Culture Doesn't Define Me: You Can't Wall Me Out
Model: Katherine Arteaga
Photography: Victoria Righthand
Editing: Katherine Arteaga
I have been too angry, too sad, and too heartbroken. "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures" - Cesar Chavez. We are a nation of immigrants. We are a people of many skin colors, cultures and backgrounds. Too often Mexican Americans have been stuck straddling a line between being too Mexican to the Americans and too American to the Mexicans. Now they want to build a wall to keep our families apart; to keep us from going back; to keep others from following our path and our dreams. A wall that wishes to divide us further: from each other and also from our past. This wall is not only symbolic of a physical divide on the border, but also the wall that white America refuses to acknowledge: the wall that has kept Mexican immigrants from climbing the social, economical, and political ladders. The wall that has prevented Mexican people from being accepted as Americans, as deserving of the American dream as all the past white immigrants have been. This wall will not stand! It will not keep the spirit of Mexican immigrants out!