Danny Thomas Ruiz – Author of “The Blue Mexican”
Special to Bilingual Weekly –originally printed on August 1, 2010
“South of the border, down Mexico way.” An old tune sung by “Ole Blue Eyes”, Frank Sinatra, epitomizes a time when friendship and respect meant something with our neighbors south of the border. It’s troubling to see the decline of our relationship with the country so influential in our (California’s) tradition, history, and culture. The cities, missions, food, people, all those things that we share with Mexico have now been demonized by the politics of hate and mistrust.
In a time where terrorism continues to plague our country, Mexicans have the forefront of political rantings and ridiculous rhetoric. When’s the last time a Mexican strapped a bomb on his body and killed innocent women and children? When has a Mexican led the destruction of financial institutions through greed and fraud at enormous costs to the populace?
Racial profiling? How about the next time you see a “homeless” person with his hand out, see what his race is. It won’t be a Mexican. They’re pushing little ice cream carts down your street, selling tacos out of roadside trucks, or as the case by my house, she stops and sells me tamales at a decent price after spending hours cooking them in her home, packaging them and then walking house to house selling her goods. Mexicans have too much pride and self-respect to do anything more than to ask to work for a living for a decent wage, and even then, they continue to be exploited and ripped off.
Much is made of the crime committed by “illegal aliens” (Mexicans), but my experience in law enforcement, as chronicled in my novel “The Blue Mexican”, has shown that the percentage of crime committed by “illegals” is far below those of “legal” resident status. While the political hacks are whining about stopping the flow of Mexicans, those of another race and culture have been flying back and forth to our country, funded by terrorist groups, in an effort to blow up New York city again. Where’s the outrage for that? Who is killing our young soldiers day after day while the casualties seem to be buried in the back pages of newspapers? Is it politically incorrect to rebuke that group for its history of violence, hate and murder against the United States? We (Mexicans) are a convenient scapegoat and diversion for those in office to pretend they are doing something to protect the U.S. borders, but the reality should be self evident. This so-called problem has existed since I was a kid working the fields during the summer alongside our friends south of the border, down Mexico way. I never feared being hurt or killed because I was an American. They worked hard, and I trusted and respected them. “South of the border, down Mexico way, that’s where I fell in love when the stars above came out to play.” I think it’s time to return to the ideal Frank sang of and bridge the gap with our neighbors, a time when peace, love, and happiness demolished hate and racism.