When I was young I used to hear mean jokes about people from other states in Mexico, from other Latin countries… racist and mean jokes that I used to laugh about, but deep in my mind I have retained these words and think: are these even true? Are these just jokes? Or are they hiding something else?
The last eight years were key in my life, I had the opportunity to travel around the UK in 2008, with a group of people from a lot of different countries. Although at that time I could not speak English, I learnt something very important: if you have not experienced other cultures, you should not be spreading wrong ideas about them.
As a Mexican, I have a lot of mixed feelings right now; Even at the time I sat and decided to write this, I was not very clear about how to approach such topic. Once you start typing the words that come from your heart, it all makes sense.
I am very sad because a lot of people fear Mexicans and Latins in general. I am sad that people will not respect human rights. Also, I am very disappointed with Mexico because, although we are going through a tough time with all the racism we are being targeted, our house of commons (or the equivalent in Mexico) have decided that gay people do not have the same right than heterosexual to get married. Any discrimination based on race or nationality in Mexico would be unacceptable. The fact that people discriminate based on sexual preferences is lame and hypocritical.
I do not understand why being different is becoming synonym of danger. If you are from certain country, you are catalogued straightaway as a terrorist, rapist or drug dealer. As if in first world countries there are no murderers willing to kill, drug addicts, drug lords that do hold the same passport as the people that keep saying that immigrants and foreigners represent a danger to their beloved country! There are terrorists, rapists, drug leaders, mafia and bad people from ALL countries, from ALL nationalities and with ALL different skin colours, so why do you have to discriminate against people who do not share the same nationality as you do? Since when it became a sin seeking for a better life? Is it a crime that I want to live in a place that I like more? Why? Am I worth less than you because of my nationality? Because of my skin colour? Is the confidence that you have in yourself so little that you are afraid that me, a person who has no contacts, no friends, no family and can barely speak your language could possibly ‘steal’ your job? Maybe the problem is not with me or with any other migrant. The vote for Donald Trump, who spreads a hate speech towards anyone who does not fit in his perception of ‘American citizen’ was the clear proof that the world is becoming an intolerant place. This is not about political correctness, this is not about ‘getting offended over nothing’ or ‘I have the freedom to say whatever I want to say’ Well no, you can have ANY idea that you want (no matter how uneducated it is) but the fact that you have your own opinions has nothing to do with the fact that you are spreading hate and violence towards other human beings. The right of freedom of speech ends when you show violence towards other people.
About the human rights, I just do not get it; beyond sexual preferences, beyond how we identify ourselves, beyond what religion says is right or wrong, there is the Law, which is supposed to be OBJECTIVE and FAIR, that is supposed to protect every single member of the society because they DO have the right to be protected and feel safe in their own country. Since when ideologies and religions started to control laws? It is not supposed to be secular? Then, what is wrong in giving the same rights to other HUMAN BEINGS just LIKE YOU? Is that going to affect you? You do not have to agree with them, you do not even have to understand them, just bloody respect them. Although they have different preferences, ideas, religions and looks, they have a lot of things in common with you, like, they love and want to be loved. They want to live happily as much as you do. So, why? Could someone explain me, why is it not possible to show respect? I cannot believe that in Mexico, a country that is being subject of a lot of racism and we are complaining about it, we have the guts to be incredibly hypocritical and want to deny the right of getting married to the LGBT community, based on incredibly subjective arguments such as: My priest says, the bible says, I think. Well, guess what? Your opinions are just that, OPINIONS, they have nothing to do with laws and the responsibility of the government to offer the same opportunities and rights to ALL Mexican citizens, despite what are their sexual preferences.
I do not want to go deep talking about politics, I do not think I am well informed and there are some things that I still do not fully understand to have a proper opinion. However, what I am convinced and I can express is that: I invite everyone who has a stereotype towards any culture, society, ideology or religion to try to experiment the other side. I have learnt so much from living here, I met people from all around the world, with completely different ideas, religions, goals and just different way of thinking and thanks to them, I grew as a person, as a human being, I am a different Perla that the one I used to be one year ago. And believe me, the more you learn about other countries, other societies, other people and other values, the more accepting you become. You want to embrace all this beautiful diversity and share it with all the people you love because it makes your life richer, your mind and soul richer, you will never be the same again. But that is good because you feel like a new, better person.
I wish everyone that think that Mexicans are rapists, that gays do not deserve being married, that Muslims are aggressive or terrorists, could experience and see the beauty of diversity. We are species that have evolved and the only way of keep evolving, not just as a race, but as a society is embracing diversity or at least respecting it.
What I just wrote, it might not make sense, but somehow I needed to say it with these words because I could not keep just swallowing it. It is very painful to think about the future right now, not for me, but I think about all the people who are going to suffer, who might lose their homes, their rights, their identities and are going to be left behind because others could not understand that, even if you do not like them, you could just respect them.