IN SEARCH OF BEING CHICANO PART TWO
So now there is the issue that being Chicano or Chicana is almost like being in a religion, although I don’t think that Chicanos worship any particular supernatural deity (that I know of). Nevertheless I am going to propose the following first draft of ten commandments which I think most Chicanos and Chicanas might want to abide by. If you disagree or want to add or delete any of the ten listed below, let me know, ok?
Here are the Chicano/a Ten Commandments
01.Thou shalt never forget the promises and obligations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to the peoples of Mexican descent and their descendants in the U.S., the people known ethnically as Chicanos.
02.Thou shalt cherish and never forget thine history and heritage in North America, and particularly from Mexico and in the U.S.A.
03.Thou shalt never forget your indigenous roots in the Western Hemisphere, because the majority of us are indigenous peoples with Spanish surnames.
04.Thou shalt not accept any attempts to ethnically cleanse Chicanos and Chicanas of their name, identity, self-concept, ethos, and/or history.
05.Thou shalt support the liberation and freedom of all oppressed peoples in America, regardless of gender, ethnicity, skin color, and/or other demographics.
06.Thou shalt make sincere efforts to be bilingual and bicultural despite any discouragement by monolingual and monocultural persons.
07.Thou shalt promote and support the study of the art, music, theatre, film, dance, poetry, and literature of Chicanos and Chicanas in America.
08. Thou shalt honor and exalt the memory of all of Mexican Americans who lost their lives in all of the wars in the history of the U.S.A.
09. Thou shalt honor and exalt all of the U.S. Supreme Court cases which have decided in the favor of equal educational opportunity for children of Mexican descent, and/or for children with limited English proficiency.
10. Thou shalt honor and exalt as many Chicano archetypes as possible in history or literature that give Chicanos and Chicanas positive role models to emulate.
For those of you who want get more down to earth and learn more about the demographics in the U.S. when it comes to Spanish-surnamed persons, Dr. Ortego y Gasca also sent me an article pertaining to the demographic breakdown of Spanish-surnamed peoples in the U.S. from the 2010 U.S. Census, which was published in the journal called Historia Chicana, in Sept. 2013, entitled “Latinos 101—The Hispanic Heritage of the United States.” Here is that brief excerpt:
“Essentially, American Hispanics may be sorted into five groups: (1) Mexican Americans, many of whom identify themselves as Chicanos, an ideological designation that identifies their generation, (2) Puerto Ricans, some of whom identify themselves as Boricuas, (3) there are U.S. Hispanics who identify themselves as Hispanos (found mostly in New Mexico) many of whom identify themselves as Manitos and are count¬ed as Mexican Americans; in Texas a vast number if not most Mexican Americans refer to themselves as Tejanos; and in California, many Hispanic Californians who are descendants of the founding families in both Baja and Northern California refer to themselves as Californianos rather than Mexicans, (4) Cuban Amer¬icans, and (5) Latinos–-Hispanics from countries other than Mexico, Cuba, Spain, and Puer¬to Rico.
Per the U.S. Census Count of 2010 the Mexican origin population grew by 54% and accounts for 63% of U.S. Hispan¬ics, about 32 million. Two out of three U.S. Hispanics are Mexican Americans. Not counting Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans make up almost 10% of U.S. Hispanics with almost 4 million of them in the continental U.S. Almost 4 million of them live on the island of Puerto Rico. Mexican Americans and Puerto Ri¬cans make up almost 75% of the U.S. His¬panic popula¬tion. In other words, 3 out 4 U.S. Hispanics are Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans.
Of the almost 60 million American Hispanics in 2014, Mexican Americans account for 66% of U.S. Hispanics, about 40 million. Puerto Ricans make up almost 18% of U.S. Hispanics with almost 4 million of them in the continental U.S. and almost 4 million of them on the island of Puerto Rico. T¬he almost 3 million Cuban Ame¬ricans in the United States, most of them in Florida, make up about 5% of U.S. Hispanics. Lati¬nos, almost 9 million of them with roots throughout Latin Ame¬rica, make up a little more than 11% of U.S. Hispanics.”
Now let’s look at bilingualism as a factor for Chicanos. A recent entry that appeared on the La Red Latina ListServ, quoted a recent PEW Research Center finding about who among the above-mentioned populations are bilingual. Here is what they reported:
“A majority of English-speaking Hispanics in the U.S. are bilingual! And Spanish is the second most often spoken language in the U.S.!
About six-in-ten U.S. adult Hispanics (62%) speak English or are bilingual, according to an analysis of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos. Hispanics in the United States break down into three groups when it comes to their use of language: 36% are bilingual, 25% mainly use English and 38% mainly use Spanish. Among those who speak English, 59% are bilingual.
Latino adults who are the children of immigrant parents are most likely to be bilingual. Among this group, 50% are bilingual, according to our 2013 survey. As of 2012, Latinos with immigrant parents (defined as those born outside the U.S. or those born in Puerto Rico) made up roughly half (48%) of all U.S.-born Hispanics. By comparison, a third (35%) of Hispanic immigrants are bilingual, as are a quarter (23%) of those with U.S.-born parents.
Widespread bilingualism has the potential to affect future generations of Latinos, a population that is among the fastest growing in the nation. Our 2011 survey showed that Latino adults valued both the ability to speak English and to speak Spanish. Fully 87% said Latino immigrants need to learn English to succeed. At the same time, nearly all (95%) said it is important for future generations of U.S. Hispanics to speak Spanish.
Bilingualism is measured in our National Surveys of Latinos by asking Hispanic adults to self-assess their language abilities. Respondents rated their ability to carry on a conversation in Spanish and how well they can read a book or newspaper written in Spanish. The same questions are posed about their English-speaking ability. Bilingualism is linked to age. Some 42% of Hispanics ages 18 to 29 are bilingual. That share falls to about a third among Hispanics ages 30 to 49 and ages 50 to 64, but rises again, to 40%, among those ages 65 and older.
Due in part to bilingualism, in 2013 Spanish was the most spoken non-English language in the U.S., used by 35.8 million Hispanics in the U.S. plus an additional 2.6 million non-Hispanics. Overall, three-in-four Hispanics (73%) ages 5 and older speak Spanish in their homes, when including those who are bilingual.
Given the expected demographic changes, what is the future of language use among Hispanics in the United States? According to Census Bureau projections, the share of Hispanics who speak only English at home will rise from 26% in 2013 to 34% in 2020. Over this time period, the share who speak Spanish at home will decrease from 73% to 66%.
And as a sign of the times, “Spanglish,” an informal hybrid of both languages, is widely used among Hispanics ages 16 to 25. Among these young Hispanics, 70% report using Spanglish, according to an analysis we did in 2009.”
So I ask all of my readers, which of the above information about Chicanos and Chicanas applies to you? Does any of the information I’ve give you describe you or how you feel or what you think or what you believe? Are you more clear as to whether or not you are Chicano? Have I left out a more important commandment from the ten I have listed? I hope to hear what you think.
Copyright 2015 by Margarito J. Garcia III, Ph.D. (All rights reserved)
Su Hermano Chicano