Esther Cepeda: I long for ordinary

What happens if people no longer want to see themselves as an “identity” but rather as just ordinary people?  Women with a transsexual history face this one with all the pressure from Transgender Inc.  Wanting to be just ordinary rather than part of the Transgender Borg Collective causes great wailing an gnashing of teeth on the part of the TGBC along with a memorized litany of accusations, recriminations and guilt tripping.

I remember a time before Reagan when people were freer than they are now.

From The Austin Statesman:

Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post

CHICAGO — In a world where everyone is considered special and believes themselves to be, like the residents of Garrison Keillor’s fictitious Lake Wobegon strong, good-looking and above average I’m striving for ordinary, general and mainstream.

Weird, I know. But like an overstimulated child, I’m worn and cranky from too much Latino-mania. We’re the largest minority! We have $1 trillion in buying power! Google, L’Oreal, and State Farm are culturally marketing to us!

Whoop-dee-doo. I’d rather be seen as a normal part of everyday American life instead of perceived as belonging to an alien population that requires special outreach.

When I was little, my Latino cultural touchstones were the rock band Santana, Freddy Prinze of TV’s “Chico and the Man,” and Jose Feliciano, who sang that show’s theme song as well as the ever-popular “Feliz Navidad.” They appealed to people of all types, not just Hispanics. I liked that.

But that was before the decline of mass media and the reign of the segmented target audience. Today it’s all about “reaching” Hispanics through segregated “culturally relevant” Hispanic TV programming, radio, social media and websites. Worse, many of these efforts are in Spanish even though, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 84 percent of Latinos under 17 and 56 percent of Latinos over 18 speak English fluently or exclusively.

I yearn for the Latino community to become un-niched. If by 2050 Hispanics do comprise one-third of the U.S. population, I’d like them to be an equal part of an American community that embraces its diversity as a strength, not a group maneuvering against disparate Asian, black, mixed-race and white blocs for whatever’s left of the American dream.

I long to see people with hair, skin and eye color like mine in all types of magazines, and on news anchor desks and big screens everywhere — not just in the ones that have been assigned to my minority group.

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