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Maria Velazquez

Christen Enos
English Writing
Context Note
Genre: Commentary
Target Audience: Mexicans (in general but also those) who feel targeted by Trump and his
supporters. Also, other minorities who feel underappreciated or mistreated, especially when
coming to the United States in search for the American Dream.
Adding to conversation: While this topic isnt new at all, I feel that it personally affects me or at
least people I love and I want to defend them. Living in the U.S., I cant help but see how some
prejudiced Americans view Mexicans and I want to share some of my experiences. Even if Im
not the typical lower class Mexican, I am very proud of my heritage and country and dont want
anyone to bash on it without knowing it at all.

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Say No to Stereotypes
By Maria Velazquez
Beaners. Illegal immigrants. Border jumpers. Uneducated. Tacos. Sombreros. Donkey
transportation. Poor. These are the most common words that an American would either use to
describe the typical Mexican, or at least think of when hearing the word Mexican. These
stereotypes are not new, especially when it comes to the ones with negative connotations. But
why is it that Mexicans dont get recognized for all the hard work they do? Why cant we be
called hard workers? Persistent? Or Dedicated? While this isnt a new subject, the presidential
election period has caused it to be a trending topic. Republican candidate and now president
elect Donald Trump has continuously bashed the Hispanic race, especially Mexicans. His words
are considered as what everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say. However, this issue
precedes this years election by a long shot. Cultural stereotypes are a constant yet inevitable
obstacle that immigrants face when coming to America, and the fact that Trump just won the
election doesnt help at all.
Born and raised in Mexico, I have been fortunate enough to have a roof over my head as
well as the ability to move, study, and live legally in the United States. Nevertheless, I am still
exposed to the unjust prejudiced behavior towards Mexicans. One of the most striking
experiences I have ever come across was when I was insulted by my classmates comment. After
receiving our ACT results, we were comparing our scores, and she was stunned at the fact that I
got a higher score than her. But youre Mexican, she said. Words had never stung so much.
How did my heritage diminish my efforts in any way? Where I come from should not define my

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intelligence nor my effort. I worked hard to get where I am, and the fact that my heritage has a
negative connotation should not implicate my capability both as a student and as a person in
While I dont mean to rant, it infuriates me to see how immigrants are judged,
underappreciated and underestimated. Even my dad has gone through some rough patches in his
life, especially when we first moved to the States. He recently told me how he has been judged at
his job by the fact that he has an accent; how his credibility is immediately diminished when he
mispronounces a word. My dad has always been my biggest role model. He left his family
behind to go to a college in a different city, and, against the odds, graduated at the top of his
class. He then worked his way up to where he is today because of all the effort he put in.
However, this required a lot of time, effort, and bravery. Going against the stereotype was
definitely a challenge for him, which can be seen as he encountered problems at work. Some of
the people he worked with straight up disrespected him or didnt take him seriously; they felt and
acted superior to him. My dad never let that stop him, and he proved his worth by not giving up
and showing it through his effort. With tremendous courage, he went each day determined to
prove his worth. He has gotten very far in his career due to his hard work, but that doesnt mean
he didnt struggle to get there or that his co workers dont believe in the stereotype anymore.
In addition to the struggles in the workplace, low income immigrants (usually
undocumented) get treated the worst. Theres constant blame and pointing of fingers that
Mexicans are taking jobs away from Americans. In all honesty, Mexicans do what others dont
want to do. If you think about it, the usual job a Mexican migrant has is garbage pickup,
dishwasher, driver, or something along those lines. These are usually low paying jobs. As former

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Mexican President Vicente Fox once said in defense of undocumented workers in the United
States, "There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness, and ability to work are
doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States" (Fox). But why is it that
Americans keep complaining then, if they are not even able to do those jobs themselves?
Immigrants deserve to AT LEAST be respected for the hard work they do because of their
willingness to take unpopular jobs and ability to withstand being undermined. That being said,
there are also very successful Mexicans with higher positions. Yet the respect that everyone
rightfully deserves should not be taken away based off ones ethnicity.
Sadly, the issue of prejudice has been there for centuries. Ever since the United States
was founded, white Europeans exiled the natives from their land and they promoted and
encouraged slavery. While not all, the vast majority of European Americans has had a tendency
of discriminating against the minorities. So, while my focus so far has been on Mexico, this
doesnt mean the issue in concern cant apply to others.
One of the main reasons Mexicans choose to move to the United States is to be able to
provide for their families back home. They move to the United States in search of the American
Dream, with hopes of getting a better job and living a happier life. Yet the reality of this situation
is that although it is attainable, it isnt necessarily available for everyone or as easy at can be
perceived. The high demand and migration have been a struggle because the amount of people
wanting a job is high, but the amount of jobs available for them arent sufficient. Even before
Trumps election, Mexicans looking for the American Dream struggled to get hired for decent
pay or at all. However, since they earn in dollars and the conversion to pesos ends up being
higher, this enables them to successfully maintain a family. But after Trumps shocking victory,

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the lives of these illegal immigrants have been put at an even bigger risk with Trumps threats
and constant talk of deportation. Trump has been known to promote misogyny as well as racism
and xenophobia, amongst other things. Along with this, his words and behavior have incurred a
white supremacist attitude in the citizens who dislike Mexicans, making our situation even
worse. He had promised to get rid of the bad hombres, and although his intention is to get rid
of evil men such as drug dealers and others, his generalizations unfairly paint a negative light on
the rest of the Mexican population.
In terms of the economy, after the 2016 Presidential election, the peso underwent a
devaluation (meaning that the peso lost trading worth). It increased from 18.70 to 20.20 per
dollar (Fishwick). This has proven to both have hurt Mexicos economy and possibly Mexicos
ties with the United States. However, it can also be seen as an advantage for the migrants who
continue to work in the United States and send money back to Mexico with a higher worth. Still,
due to Trumps promises yet uncertainty of them, it is unclear as to whether there will be a mass
deportation of immigrants or if that was all just slander. It is saddening and devastating to see
that Trump doesnt realize how his actions have gotten way out of hand; he set off a chain of
reactions amongst U.S. citizens. Rallies and riots in search of freedom and respect of minorities
have spurred throughout the country. International relations as well as jobs may be on the line.
People are being attacked in their own homes by Trump supporters; having their homes
vandalized and damaged. Mexicans especially, yet definitely not the only minority, are afraid of
what will happen in 2017 once Trump actually becomes President.
While there is always hope for midterm elections, there is really nothing that can be done
about Donald Trump becoming our next President. Since the Mexican stereotype has been there

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for a long time, it didnt help that Trump enhanced and encouraged the negative aspects of it all
throughout his election period. In addition to that, he can build the famous and long awaited
damn wall himself. Him trying to kick us out will only motivate us to want to make our presence
visible, showing him how the United States works the way it does because of us. Our obstacle
though, will be his supporters who dislike us. However, we cant let that stop us from pursuing
what we love. Hard work and determination lead to progress and success. When my friend
made that comment, or when my dad told me about the hardships hes gone through, I realized
how proud I am of my heritage and how motivated I became because of my want to prove it to
the rest of the world.
But youre Mexican.
Yes, Im Mexican, and so what? I am proud of it! Sure, the American Dream that many
hoped to achieve as they move to the States might not be as easy as it seemed at first, yet it is
possible. Cultural stereotypes will always be there, but it is our duty then, our responsibility, to
prove the people who think in a certain way, as Donald Trump would say to Hillary Clinton,

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Works Cited
Fishwick, Carmen. "Mexicans on Trump's Election: 'The Power He Has over Us Is Terrifying'" T

Guardian News and Media, 13 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

"Fox 'regrets' Remark about Blacks." C
NN. Cable News Network, 17 May 2005. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.