Proud to be an …

Heric Rubio

If you’re like me, you get a lot of information on the latest happening from Facebook statuses (stati?). So when Manny Pacquiao fought Antonio Margarito this past Saturday, I knew I could keep up with the battle through constant refreshing of my browser.

While I was keeping up with the fight, I started noticed a pattern. I kept seeing updates from my Mexican friends that were saying things like “Viva la Raza”, “Beat that midget Flip” and “Vamos Mexicanos!” and these got me thinking.

In his last championship fight, Margarito won but was later stripped of his title and suspended from the ring for using illegal hand wrapping, giving him an unfair advantage in the fight. So why is it that now people are still cheering for him? Was it simply because they were of the same race?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my heritage and wouldn’t change it for any other. But that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything and everyone that are a part of it. A problem begins to arise when people do that.

Let’s say that a group of white people got together and started raising flags and proclaiming their superiority over other races. Let’s pretend that this hypothetical, “proud to be white” motley crew decided to take to the streets and chant these feelings for everyone to hear. Let’s take it one step further and say that one day words weren’t enough for these people and decided to show their sense of superiority by becoming violent and hanging someone of another race from a tree.

Oh, wait.

I don’t foresee anything like this happening again but one can’t help wondering.

The Hispanic population in the United States is the fastest growing minority and you can see the influence that has on everything, from politics to popular culture. President Obama gears many of his messages to the Latino community while many major league sports are using jerseys with the team names in Spanish.

This signifies a shift in the paradigm by which this country is run and how minorities are viewed.

But we must be careful how that change is handled. It’s easy to get carried away with a sense of power, especially when, as minorities in general, we have felt powerless for countless decades.

We are in a position to truly make a change, to finally have all those things we’ve been asking for; education, health care and a voice that doesn’t feel like it’s being ignored. This would be beneficial to all minorities and people in less than favorable conditions.

It would be a tragedy to let this opportunity go for something as abstract as unconditional pride in a country in which one doesn’t even live.

In the end, Pacquiao won by decision. And I’ll proudly admit that I’m glad “my race” didn’t come out on top this time.