Growing up in Southern California, it was hard for me to believe that I being a Latino meant that I was part of a minority. The town I lived in had a majority of latino residents, and many of our city’s leaders past and present were of Mexican American descent. However, when I turned on the TV, or picked up a newspaper I always got the message that I was part of a minority group in this country.
Of course the numbers were rapidly changing in California. More and more Latinos were coming to this state, or simply being born here. I was first generation American on my father’s side, while my mom’s side has roots that run deep in old California. Turns out it was not just a California thing, and Latinos were making their way out of the traditional areas such as the Southwest, Miami, and New York. We are everywhere it seems. As the year’s go by, I have seen the proliferation of the Latino, and our culture. For several years now, I have rarely used the word minority to describe myself.
One observation that I keep making in my daily meanderings up here in my Redwood Curtain home is the staggering number of people who have ink. You know, a Tatoo, or in many cases, several. They are on arms, upper leg, lower leg (ankle, calf), neck, back, face, foot, and any place you can imagine.
I have had a few occasions when I pondered the idea of getting ink. However, the idea never rooted in my mind long enough to get it done. It just does not appeal to me. I love the art of the Tattoo. The creativity of the tattoo artist and the ideas of the patron come together to make some memorable art. I admire a good tattoo, but I have never felt compelled to join what I now perceive as the majority. I have a hard time finding a person with a blank canvas like me. We are the ones who stick out like a dislocated thumb now. I have considered wearing nothing but long pants and long sleeves from here on out.
So I now find myself in a new minority group; one that replaces the old. I doubt this new group will ever qualify for government assistance. Hate Crimes? Doubt it. Internment Camps? Please! We will just take our place among the albinos, the double jointed, and the conjoined twins.