Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bicentennial of Mexican Independence

This summer I visited a small town north of Mexico City named Dolores Hidalgo. This town was small yet huge in historical importance to Mexico's independence. It was in this town that the leaders of Mexico's independence convened to successfully organize against the oppression of Spain's colonialism. Despite being Mexican, I had no idea of the importance 2010 has to Mexicans. This year Mexico celebrates 200 years of independence and 100 years of its revolution. The month of September is bound to have many parties, yet I wonder if Mexicans can honestly celebrate our independence? How free or independent are Mexicans today?
When we look at the effects of neoliberalism to the businesses and economy in Mexico, we can sadly see the devastating effects it has had on its citizens. Many who have had to migrate to the U.S. and face even worst exploitation as they are a population of that does not exist. A population that is only visible to the employers seeking cheap labor to maximize profit. Leo Chavez (UCI anthropology professor) states that undocumented immigrants are in a situation that is worst than slavery because they don't even have food and shelter guaranteed, slaves as property were protected by the slave owners. What do you think?  

1 comment:

  1. I think its an interesting idea to refrain from celebrating independance if one doesn't believe the country is indeed independant, and I totally support the idea. However, I personally think "El Grito" and the traditional, prideful, and joyful celebration of Mexico's independance is one I wouldn't be so quick to girlcott.

    As far as undocumented status here in the US, I find it interesting that Chavez first, pitted black slavery against modern day wage slavery, and second, that he framed black slavery as having something MORE than what the undocumented have today. Not to say that there aren't things (citizenship, to an extent) that black slaves did have that the undocumented do not, but I think its fair to say neither group of people are empowered and I'm not sure how productive rating oppression is. No person in the US is guaranteed food and/or shelter, and certainly those excluded from the human right to work are at high risk to become homeless. However, in my basic understanding of the statistical makeup of the homeless population, it is women, veterans, and the mentally ill who make up our largest demographic (which I think this is partially due to family and community networks in place for recent migrants).

    Also, the idea that slaves were "protected" by their slaveowners just seems off. Being kept alive for the purpose of exploitation is not what I would consider protection. Yes, both slaves and the undocumented are stripped of their liberty and their human status in the country, but in different ways.