America within the Americas

Cultural Insights — By on June 9, 2006 at 3:50 pm

There was an interesting column recently in the Los Angeles Times by Richard Rodriguez in which he discussed what he saw as the birth of a Latin American consciousness in the United States.  He suggested that in the future the U.S. was more likely to see itself as an integral part of the Americas.  Here is an excerpt:

A new Latin American sensibility is being born – here, in the U.S.! One of the things I’ve seen in the huge pro-immigrant demonstrations is not simply families walking together – the son walking with the father, the mother with her babies – but also Colombians walking alongside Mexicans, walking alongside Dominicans, walking alongside Guatemalans. These people are no longer members of their ethnic or national groups; they’re marching as some new nation of the “Hispanic” world. That is quite revolutionary.

At the same time, we are seeing the reunion of the hemisphere from another angle. America is discovering itself within the Americas. This is quite a new discovery for a country that has traditionally written its history from east to west. Now it is populated by millions of people, here legally and illegally, who describe the U.S. as El Norte. Their presence forces the country to also imagine itself anew along a north-south axis.

It’s interesting food for thought.  You can read the entire column here.

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