I am not an American.
I was born in the continent known as “America”, yes. But somehow this United States has given itself the name of the entire continent.
Ronald Reagan demoted the rest of this magnificent continent to the mere “Backyard of America.”
That’s when I came here, to the “land of the free,” when Ronald Reagan sent billions of dollars to military dictators so they could use the money to rape, torture, and massacre my people. I didn’t want to come here. Oh, how I hated coming to this land so full of restrictions, prohibitions, and people kept so ignorant of their own history!
Once I came here, almost no one I met knew where my country was. They all assumed I was Mexican. Except for Mexicans. They knew where I was from, and knew they couldn’t trust me because if I was from where I was, I had to be a drunk, a rapist, a criminal, a thief, and a repulsive human being. Few others ever knew where I was from.
After Reagan was done paying for the killings and tortures of 100,000 of my people, I was able to settle in this bastion of democracy–where I had to prove at every turn that I had the right be here, that I had the right to work, and that someone like me, too, could be educated.
Donald Trump gave the label of rapists and criminals to Mexicans, right when he announces his candidacy; so as to signal to his people that he will make this country great again by getting rid of all the human shit that is now stinking up the place with their Spanish and their colored skin and their desire for freedom.
However, that doesn’t remove the labels from me. After all, if he ever met me he would think I am Mexican.
The truth is that it is hard for me to say what I am. I was born in El Salvador, and its land and people are synonyms with love and freedom in my heart. But the country itself is an invention of an invader from another continent. Its language, its religion, its traditions all were imposed by the invaders, burned into us with fire and cauldrons. Our 500 year old resistance has left its mark in a perennial PTSD so ingrained in our bones that we don’t even know any other way of feeling is possible.
I am Salvadoran, even if the term was imposed by Spain. I am American, even if the US thinks they own the name. I am güanaco, even if you think it’s an insult.
I am not Mexican. Mexicans call me “cerote”–a piece of turd.
Today, Trump agreed with them. Today, he said he didn’t understand why liberals want to bring people from those shit-hole countries.
I am a piece of turd from a shit-hole country in the backyard of Ronald Reagan.
Yet, I am here. And I come from the Land of the Jewel, Cuzcatlan, the last bastion of resistance.
I am here to stay, and to change this land, this entire continent, into what it truly is: the mother land in the process of awakening.
You may see in me a turd from a shit-hole country, but I see in you and me and all the true silver light of the empty mind, the freedom from the past, the glory of the New Sun that heralds the coming of the True Human Being. I am here to share that future with you, my reader, without hatred in my heart, without resentment, and without any names to hurl back at you.