Ruben Navarrette's column "Am I Mexican Enough for the Role That Society Has Assigned Me?" (Opinion, Dec. 23) is an experience most U.S. Mexicans and probably other Third World minorities can identify with.
The colonization of Mexico by Spain and other European countries preconditioned Navarrette's ancestors and parents to be subservient and submissive to light-skinned people. Consequently, when they're confronted with white racism in the U.S., they accept it and negate their ethnicity and culture as a survival tactic. This denial of being Mexican and its culture is further impacted by undocumented parents whose fear of being deported forces them to prompt their children with "don't say you're Mexican. Tell everyone you're an American citizen, don't challenge the autoridades ."
Contrast this subservient attitude of Mexicans to that of African-Americans who have fought for their identity and instruct their children to demand justice. The ultimate damage of this conditioning to the U.S. Mexican community is our low-key, non-threatening politicians who won't confront the autoridades on our behalf.
A racist society that is intolerant and non-accepting of the human rainbow creates shallow, insecure and emotionally weak people who further weaken society's fabric. Rejection by the dominant group drives them to join gangs in their desperate need for identity and a sense of belonging.