Hola Hoosiers! And hello to all you wonderful readers of NUVO. I'm overjoyed to be the newest member of the NUVO family. I'll mostly be dealing with social and cultural issues in our Voices section but over time, you may see me pop up in other parts of the newspaper.
You could say NUVO and I met at the perfect time. I've recently relocated to Indianapolis, and it wasn't hard for me to figure that I was living in a city with a much lower Mexican/Latino population than I'm used to. It made me think so much about my race since moving to Indianapolis. One common question I've encountered in conversations is: "What do I think about Donald Trump?" And I'll speak more about that subject in a different piece.
For now, I will say that I'm hoping to move past this question, and the other most common question I get asked: "What do you think the best Mexican restaurant is here?"
At the end of the day, we don't have to all be the same to call ourselves Hoosiers. We all want to be accepted for who we are — having a mutual respect and interest in each other's cultures is how we can do that. I plan on going out into my community to see what people think about my culture here and what they know of it. I want to shine a spotlight, not just on my people, but all minorities. We'd like to establish a stronger voice for everyone who feels like they are not being heard from enough. I want to share my culture and experiences with others — my culture is your culture.
I'm sure by now you are aware of the fact that immigration has been the hot-button topic during this election year, particularly when we talking about the growth of Mexicans living in America. Mexicans/Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the USA. The numbers really stand out when you consider the amount of immigration into America from some many different countries. So what does this all mean when it comes to cultural assimilation into America? How much value should people put into that? There is no reason to ever sacrifice your roots, history or past, especially when Latinos have become such a large part of the culture in America's society. No matter what minority you are, you should be able to keep your identity and be comfortable even if you stand out from the crowd.
I've only been here for six months but I care very much about this city as if it was my place of birth. Anything I write will be out of love and respect for the people here and the culture that grows more progressive every day. I'll bring the perspective of the outsider. It fuels my curiosity to look at a city in many different ways — sometimes locals can forget how amazing certain aspects of their town are and it's easily taken for granted when you've lived here your whole life. I feel like NUVO will be a great place for me to spread the conversation about culture and race in Indianapolis. I welcome you to be involved: email, share comments, suggest things to look into — I'm all ears.
I'm just your average California-born, Mexican-American Catholic, college-educated, son of an immigrant, liberal PFLAG-waving, locally sourced artisan coffee-drinking, Joan Didion-obsessed, Yorkie-owning vegetarian.
You know, the typical stereotype you have of a Mexican.