El Día de los Muertos is amongst the most holy and the most human of all our holidays. We are reminded of how precious life is, and how sacred our relationships with the people we love. And not least, we are reminded of how death cannot steal our joy if we embrace it and keep the connection to the dead.
We register on the American imagination in three phases. First we are ignored. Then we are vilified. Finally, we are accepted -- but only as a consumer group. We are hardly ever thought of as intellectuals. That has to change.
Because the Mexican American community suffered abuses that originated during the Mexican American War, it is easy to understand their fear of a violent death. Yet, despite those abuses of power, they simply wanted to fit in and be a part of the larger culture.
I can be educated and be Latina. I can be in love with a white man and be Latina. I can drink Malbec and be Latina. I can also dance a mean cumbia, bake up a capirotada, and call my son "mijo" as a term of love and endearment and be me, too.
The theme of duality is everywhere in Corchado's memoir. The reader can't help notice all the back and forth exchange of pronouns in the narrative. At times he uses "I" or "we" to refer to himself both as Mexican and American.
What evidence did he present, which metaphors did he use, which rhetorical strategies did he utilize for his legal argument that swayed the United States Supreme Court to finally recognize us and ensure that we would be granted all the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution?
Recently I was listening to a radio program on NPR and the guest speakers were talking about the life expectancy for Mexicans and Mexican Americans throughout the United States, in comparison to other groups.