Our episode with Dr. Martinez really took me to a place that's constantly being reviewed, tested, and ultimately strengthened. It's my own cultural identity. It started to really take shape as early as my sophomore year in high school and continued through college and even today.
I'm a third generation American-Mexican, and grew up in South Texas. When I was tasked as a sophomore in high school to research a decade, I chose the 60's. We all know about the civil rights movement, but do we all know about Cesar Chavez and the Chicano or Brown movement? It was a precipitating event.
During this time I was a part of the National Hispanic Institute. An organization that takes (they're still doing their thing) any student, although predominantly Latino, trains them in oratory events like: extemporaneous speaking, cross examination and what I took part in - mock trial. It puts them on a college campus where you stay in dorms and the boys would wear suits and the girls would wear double knit pant suits to meet other smart kids and gain some great exposure. Couple these events with access to a real library (pre-internet, but, access to Infotrac - for those who remember that) on the campus of Texas State University (aka Southwest Texas State at the time) an inquisitive mind and you've got the makings of a young Chicano.
BOOM, Chicano History class with the help of Dr. Richard Milk at Texas Lutheran University where I attended as a freshman in college, and throw a book like Harvest of Empire on the fire, and seeds of dissidence have been planted. Do we know about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? Do we know all the shady shit that the King Ranch did in it's early years to amass such lands? They've got a Ford truck model named after them. Do we understand the concept of a book titled Harvest of Empire?
We didn't mention it on the episode, but I had the pleasure of taking one of Dr Martinez's class as a sophomore at DePaul back in '02, and it was a memorable stop in my journey. I learned a lot, but, I was made aware of what the the template, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, was based on. As a result, fuck the IMF, the World Bank and any other austerity vultures. Now, I'm reading Legacy of Ashes and it's becoming easier to over-stand the overtly American attitude of manifest destiny, and the origins of the "corporatacracy". I know this is an over-simplification of an identity, but, damn homey I only have so much room.
Why do you care? It's because we need these conversations. Learn how the US is complicit in Latin America, or, what the Missing 43 in Iguala are about. This is current, happening now, and very much real. We can argue that public education, charter schools and higher education just don't do the job when it comes to educating, but, whoever the blame should be on we still must work to educate ourselves. As I'm typing this out I realize there are some prominent language based professors "secretly" using their positions to raise awareness...here's to Noam and Susana!!