April 27, 2001


The Battle of Puebla a.k.a. CINCO de MAYO

La Prensa San Diego has written and reported for 25 years on the "Battle of Puebla" and on the activities undertaken by the Mexican American community to commemorate this historical period and its significance to all those who trace their roots and lineage to Mexico. It has been an article of faith that if one is to know one's self, one must know his roots and history.

Mexicans who were born and raised in the United States and whose lineage reaches into the heartland of Mexico, have been historically caught in a contradiction. They are United States citizens by birth. As a result of having been raised within a cultural milieu that is more European (Anglo-Saxon) than Mexican, we have been suspended within the vortex of the two major powers of the American continent: Mexico and the United States. Both countries sustain competeting ideologies, cultures, languages and historical imperatives. These differences have been antagonistic at times, and mutually supportive and beneficial at others.

A common refrain from people of Mexican heritage who are born and raised in the USA, has been "No Somos de Aqui Ni de Alla"; (We are neither from here nor from there). It was difficult to be accepted by the majority of the Anglo-European U.S. citizens. In spite of swearing allegiance to the U.S. and fighting and dying in its far flung battlefields in defense of our country, we were not accepted as full-fledged citizens. We still suffer from rejection and from the wounds inflicted by racism and discrimination. Neither do the citizens of Mexico accept us. We are rejected as "Pochos," denigrated as a lower form of human being and treated with disdain. The inevitable outcome has been the psychological damage that has been inflicted upon a group of people; the Mexican Americans.

There is, though, a ray of light that is glowing with greater and greater intensity as time progresses. Today's Chicano/Mexican American is taking more and more control of his everyday existence and of his future. He is emerging from his cocoon and spreading his wings to fly. We have been nurtured in a curious cultural milieu, and have learned to take the best that Mexico and the U.S. have to offer. We are forging a new paradigm to guide us through the emerging nexus of time & space to a new future.

The newly emerging Mexican American will be the instrument for the forging of a new society that will merge the two Americas and bring about a new nation of peoples with common roots, philosophies, and ideologies. This new race of people will have been forged in the caldron of heat necessary to bring into being a new creation: The new American will form the basis for a New World society.

As more and more Anglo-Americans join in with us and shout "VIVA CINCO DE MAYO," it is a sign that our community is sharing its culture. The Battle of Puebla was not just a battle between the Imperial Forces of France against a badly equipped army of Mexicans and Indians. It was a historical moment when Mexico rose up to defend their right to gain freedom and independence from an oppressive French Emperor ... Anglo/Europeans, and Mexicans are sharing a common ideology. The battle between the Anglos & Europeans against the King of England was based on those same ideologies. These are some of the bonds and linkages that are churning in the caldron of race creation.

Join us in shouting "VIVA CINCO DE MAYO" as we join you on the 4th of July, and together we will succeed in making our world a better place to live.

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