FAQ's on my heritage
Question: What kind of name
Answer: It's Basque. Lots of people in Northern
Mexican have Basque surnames.
Question: You don't look Mexican.
Answer: What does a Mexican look like? Mexico
is a mestizo culture, with a range of coloration from
Indian to European.
Question: I thought you were
Answer: Many of my favorite people are Jewish,
so thanks for the compliment. On the other hand it would
be nice if, when people saw someone with olive skin,
dark hair and eyes, and who seemed pretty smart and
together, they said, "Oh, you must be one of those
half-Mexicans I've heard so much about."
Question: Do you speak Spanish?
Answer: Yes. But because I studied it for many
years, not from speaking it at home. Most of my maternal
cousins grew up speaking Spanish.
Question: What do you think
Answer: I think it's great. Most people seem
afraid to talk about ethnicity, class, gender and privilege,
but it is possible to do so in a useful way - there's
a business argument and there's also a justice argument.
Both are important.
Question: Why do you make a
big deal about your heritage?
Answer: Because it's mine. And because most of
the millions of Mexican-Americans and other Hispanics
in the U.S. have not had their fair share of education
and job opportunities. Empowered Hispanics have a responsibility
to make the path wider, not just for us, but for everyone.
Everyone deserves a fighting chance.