An open letter from an uneasy Mexican
Just some thoughts that rush into my head while wathcing Obama’s last speach as POTUS
You know, I feel uneasy. I’m not the only one, I know. It’s just… everything has been piling up. Is one thing after the other and today it feels real. As Obama says farewell to Americans I can’t stop thinking, what the fuck is going to happen now?
First thing, I’m not American nor I live in the U.S. I live in the country where, outside the U.S., the impact of this election is hitting harder. I live in the country where as for now, my local currency is worth $21.75 dollars and it’s expected to cost less when Trump is POTUS. I live in the country where the minimum wage is $80 pesos (around $3.75 USD on the current exchange rate: http://www.sat.gob.mx/informacion_fiscal/tablas_indicadores/Paginas/salarios_minimos.aspx) and the gas price went up an average of 15% (depending on the type of gas). That is an average of $16 pesos ($0.75 USD) per litre (http://www.animalpolitico.com/2016/12/precio-gasolina-aumento-2017/). I live in the country where our elected president, while addressing the mexican people about the rise of gasoline price asks “¿Qué hubieran hecho ustedes?”, “what would you have done?”
Yes, I live in Mexico, and I feel uneasy. I feel uneasy because while you say #FarewellObama with one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve ever heard from a politician, I can tell you we have no idea what it is to feel proud of the man sitting in the presidential office. I feel uneasy because the guy that will be your next president is already meddling in my country’s political and economical decisions(http://www.forbes.com.mx/videgaray-dejo-hacienda-trump-reconoce-pena-nieto/ & http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-38513931). I’m uneasy because I’m not sure that we are not going to pay for that wall. And most of all, because I have no idea what my country stands for.
Those were some hard lines to write. But, there it goes again: I have NO idea what my country stands for.
Yes, we are all angry about the rise of gasoline costs. Yes, we are all mad that a governor ran out of the country with millions of dollars the very next day he was on public television(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/19/veracruz-mexico-ex-governor-javier-duarte-missing). Yes, we are all mad about corruption and crime and drug wars and lies and poverty and politics and politicians and people protesting on the streets and journalist getting killed and that our media outlets are shit and that a foreign politician calls us rapist and about that wall and the fact that Mexico’s national team sucks on soccer and. So. Many. Things. But hey! There is always another match, maybe they will get better.
We all have an opinion on this topics. Most of the time we repeat someone else’s opinion. We address them any time we have a chance. The taxi driver? Yes, let’s fix our problems on the 30 minute ride from home to work. The meat sealer on the market? Yes, let’s fix our problems while you give me a pound of beef steak. I’m sick of all this conversations. They are all the same. Everyone has the same solution and everyone knows the “real” problem. You hear the same things on the news and on the 3 o’clock coffee.
But you know what? no, I don’t have “a solution”. No, #FueraPeña (hashtag as a demand for the president resignation) will not fix the problem. No, changing small things on your daily life, like stop littering will not fix the problem. No, #FuckTrump will not fix it either.
I have no answer for The problem, so if you were looking for one, it’s not here. I’m just un easy.
I’m uneasy, because, as a generation (call yourself millennial or not, doesn’t matter, we don’t like labels anyway) we are going to face our first crisis. Most of us were too young when the 2008 crisis happened. Now is not just economic but social. You, and by extension, the world, will have to deal with the fact that discrimination is acceptable again. We will have to deal with that fact because your culture dictates a lot of the culture in my country. So, bring on the next Transformers movie. You will have to deal with the people that enters your country while we deal with the ones “coming back”.
You as Americans have one or two people to look up to, politician and non-politician, that speak up and that you can follow. Democrat or Republican, you know what you stand for. Here? Well… left or right… there is nothing. We have been trying to copy you for a while now and it’s not working. I may not agree on a lot of things that you americans stand for, but as an identify, I see you. There are this way that you speak about “being American” that I really resonates. Not the ideals itself, but the identity. Yes, we Mexicans are proud of our roots. Our pre-hispanic culture, our food. But, what do we stand for?
We as mexicans, or I as mexican (I don’t want to speak for all of us), I have no idea what my country stand for. I can’t see any politician that speaks what I think (at least not honestly, we can tell the difference) or that I can look up to. I feel uneasy because as a country I don’t feel we have a way, good or bad. I feel we are just drifting and going where the stream takes us, and you are a big stream. I see people doing things to change it, but… I don’t know. Something is missing. I just feel uneasy.
If you are uneasy, I would love to know I’m not alone.
Sorry if some sources are in Spanish.