Happy Friday peeps. Have you taken my blog’s donation button for a spin yet?:)
You know, something came up recently that has come up many times before:
People simply don’t understand that I live full-time in Mexico with my husband.
As a writer and performer, I have my own website, complete with a super-short bio. Even have a quick FAQ section for my show, The Deportee’s Wife. (Where I reiterate that I live in Mexico with R)
And yet, I can’t tell you how many times people in the States ask things along the lines of,
“How often do you visit your husband in Mexico?”
“When did you two decide to separate?”
“Is it hard with the two of you living in different countries?”
“We need you for a show in the States in a week/two days/this afternoon…etc…” (And of course, no offer of travel expenses)
Sure, there’ll be moments when I’m in the States for extended periods of time, due to my artistic work. That information is also on my website.
But here’s what gets me heated – the majority of the time, the confusion about where I live comes from people involved in the pro-immigration movement.
They’re usually white, middle-to-upper class, and have the “best” of intentions:
They want me to come and perform my show. They supposedly want me and my show to be a space for dialogue.
But they’re not listening. Forget about listening, they’re not reading.
And what I find fascinating is the unspoken assumption: Because I have formal education, grew up in an upper-middle class environment, US-born, of mixed race yet “pass,” etc…the unspoken assumption is that there’d be no way in hell that I’d live full-time with my husband in Mexico.
No matter how great a guy he may be.
Now, let me be clear here – all of us who have an immigration situation that directly affects our lives have the right to make whatever decision we want to in regards to our living situation.
So I’m no better a spouse than my US counterparts who stay in the US when immigration hits and splits their own family’s life. We all have our reasons.
But if these supposedly pro-immigrant white and privileged US-based activists who want to hire me/interview me/photograph me asap and can’t bother to read a one-paragraph bio in English and my small FAQ section, well then, here’s my question to them:
How are you pro-immigrant activists purporting to give their voice to the voiceless, i.e. the undocumented people in the US?
Because if me with all of my privileges is met with such a degree of ignorance/lack of all types of listening, then how are undocumented people with a lot less privilege in the US being heard?
Let me put it to you like the New Yorker I am: If you’re a white, middle-upper class, formally educated pro-immigration activist who has no direct and personal examples of immigration decimation in your own life, then you must identify and deal with your areas of privilege BEFORE you dive head-first into pro-immigration reform.
And you must listen like you’ve never listened before. There is no other option.
If you don’t follow that rule, I’ll take dealing with an anti-immigrant neo-nazi any day over dealing with the likes of you.
At least with the neo-nazi, I know exactly where we both stand.
PS. A first-a PS on my blog! My friend directed me towards this short video, by News with Nezua. Perfect.