Mothers Love: The "anchor" of my culture

    Using the current birthright issue as a fly off point, I began to analyze my existence. My parents were married and a year later I was born.They both instilled in me love and respect for my heritage as a woman, a Latina and an American. My mother showed her love in many ways. Both of my parents are immigrants. They both became citizens through the amnesty in 1986. I know my mother postponed her education, and other opportunities to make sure we were not only provided for, but so that her children could reach their maximum potential. Two years ago, I saw my mother graduate from the University of Utah. Last year she returned to complete a master’s program. She waited until we had grown up and didn’t need her as much to pursue her dream. When I think about this sacrifice and then hear the disrespect which men like Russell Pearce, speak of the sacredness of motherhood for immigrant women, I am disgusted.

   The blatant attack on the woman of color through the politics of immigration reform is reprehensible. It makes me analyze and embrace so many aspects of motherhood I know my culture holds dearly. I am grateful I have never been tempted to succumb to the idea that in some respect women of color give birth to children for reasons other than love.

As women of color, our love for our children has been questioned openly. We see and hear reports constructed to deconstruct families of color, because we are different we must be wrong. We are analyzed and scrutinized publicly and amid all this Latinas continue to be the group of women who have more live births each year. We are also only 14 percent of women that place children with adoptive families. Our mother’s love has proven strong through all the hardships.

   Returning to the birthright debate, now that other strategies of fear-mongering and attacks on the Latina/o family have proven ineffective for the most part and our families continue to grow and thrive, we see reemerging tactics. Historically, we can analyze the immigrant struggle and see the pattern of disrespect to the Latina. In Grace Chang’s book, Disposable Domestics, she states, “Men as job stealers are no longer seen as the major ‘immigrant problem’. Instead, the new menace is immigrant women who are portrayed as idle, welfare-dependent mothers and inordinate breeders of dependents .... Women are seen as responsible for reproduction and consumption, they are blamed for the strains thought to be imposed by immigrants on public resources.”

   Looking at the men behind these constructed attacks, we see that many of these men support the family system, and part of their political agenda is to protect the American family, but how then can they openly refer to an American child, or a family member of another human being as an object conceived for solely political reasons. Here we see the disregard for any family other than the white family. And if I analyze this as a woman of color, I see a direct attack on my culture’s integrity but also an open attack towards my sex.

   The Center for American Progress (CAP), published a report stating “Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), the architect of S.B. 1070, the state’s anti-immigrant law, conceded that his support for changing the Constitution is gender based. He circulated and publicly defended a statement by Al Garza, one of his constituents and a former top official of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, a group classified as a nativist extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The e-mail he defended reads, ‘if we are going to have an effect on the anchor baby racket, we need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that’s the way nature made it. Men don’t drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do.’”

   We can read this as Latinas/os and feel our blood boil, not only because of the racist hate we see but also because of the open attack to our mothers. The same mothers that taught us to have love and respect no matter what. Now more than ever we must hold close to the things we know are true in our hearts and resist anyone or anything that threatens the love we know our mothers had, cultivated in us and that we will pass on to the children we will continue to have regardless of immigration status.


Comments

This is such a great post! I love the points you make here! Thanks for dropping by today. I'm glad to have found your blog. :)
Heather said…
Flor,

This is an excellent post. I really think that at the end of the day, women are oppressed more for having babies than being women. It's a power that makes us vulnerable and something that must be changed at an economic level by women with children. Women who have babies are not the problem--a poor economic system designed by these politicians is! How can they not see this!?
Thanks Chantilly! I'm glad you found my blog too ;-)

Heather, Thank you too. I completely agree! Women are so often the target of these attacks by men whose agendas are to obtain more personal wealth and in no way represent the every day working class...

Thanks for reading and for stopping by!
This is such a great post! I love the points you make here! Thanks for dropping by today. I'm glad to have found your blog. :)
Thanks Chantilly! I'm glad you found my blog too ;-)

Heather, Thank you too. I completely agree! Women are so often the target of these attacks by men whose agendas are to obtain more personal wealth and in no way represent the every day working class...

Thanks for reading and for stopping by!
carmen smith said…
I'm so glad I found your blog, will be adding you as soon as I'm done posting this comment.

Popular Posts