And so, I am here in Scottsdale, Arizona over the Memorial Day Weekend celebrating my sweetie's birthday (that is my wife, Mrs. Sheila Kennedy Bryant, for those not in the know), and I kept noticing the young, sharp...what looked like Mestizo men (that is the ethnic, mixed race combination of the Spanish and the Indian together; part of the legacy from Spanish colonialization of Mexico and other border states prior to the Mexican-American War, and the subsequent independence of Mexico from Spain), but there was a subtle difference that I also noticed. These young men looked very....well, Indian. And that is because they WERE!
And then it dawned on me, I am in Arizona, the land of many pure-bred Indian tribes. I became so use to seeing the Mestizo in Southern California - who crossed the border from Mexico to seek a better economic life for themselves and their families in the United States - that I began to lose a little perspective.
You see, in Mexico the "ruling class" tends to be the Spanish, who look very much like a European Caucasian, who just happens to also speak Spanish. They are the decedents of the Spanish that colonized Mexico early on, and control most of the levers of industry and power in Mexico to this the present day. What and who we see in America, streaming over the borders, particularly in the border states, are the Mestizo, or darker complexion, mixed-race Mexicans; a group that unfortunately constitutes a significant population of the poor in Mexico proper.
In any case, the lesson I learned was not to "assume" anything. I thought I was experiencing the Mestizo, as I have time and again, and have greatly benefited from learning from them with regard to their culture and life in Mexico, but in the process I almost lost the opportunity to learn an entirely new lesson -- one of and about the native Indian, in Arizona.
Amazing things happen, when you close your mouth, and open your ears. Think God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason (smile)?
Make a great day. I will.
Onward, with HOPE