Hispanic Heresy

Dear Sirs,
Just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoyed your book-- Hispanic Heresy. As a 48 year old Hispanic (of Mexican descent) woman whose white husband often tells her is “prejudiced against her own people”, this book was right up my alley. I’m not prejudiced, but I do wish “my people” would try harder in some respects. I absolutely believe that education needs to be made a much higher priority in Hispanic culture AND that getting pregnant  as a teen needs to quit being treated as if it’s to be expected, not that big a deal or a rite of life.

Regarding the immigration process, I am very sympathetic to the situations in which some of our immigrants and their families find themselves. However, it disturbs me when I sense that some immigrants are making every effort to go through the process legally while others try to beat the system.  For years, I have taught ESL classes for adults from varying backgrounds at different locations in the Richardson/Garland area. I used to do so through LIFT and now teach only at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Vietnamese Catholic Church, largely because it’s very close to my home. At a teachers’ meeting a couple of years ago, one of the teachers who taught at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Garland asked the director what she should do when her students, almost entirely Hispanic, consistently asked if they could skip the chapter in the book which gave an overview of citizenship (including the requirements and some basic government concepts). I thought this was odd because my Vietnamese students tended to be the complete opposite with an added enthusiasm for this chapter and always with more questions regarding the process than what the book covered. I was saddened, and even embarrassed in front of the Vietnamese teachers, when the director told the teacher from Good Shepherd, that she could just go ahead and skip it. I realize it’s a simplified example of the attitudes of our Hispanic immigrants, but it truly bothered me. Why wouldn’t such information matter to these Hispanic students?
 
As the daughter of a 30 year U.S. Marine, I am especially proud of my father and all the Hispanics who serve in our military, recognizing that this is not a small number.  
 
I realize that I’m lucky, having had parents who always prioritized education and discipline despite, or possibly because of, their own simple backgrounds. My dad’s enlisted man’s salary, along with a lot of sacrifice on my parents’ part, paid for private school for their four children. Their making my education a priority are the reason I ultimately got my degree and became a CPA.
 
I knew I’d ramble. I didn’t mean to. I am a mere simpleton, but wanted to be sure and give my two cents to the three of you. Thanks so much for writing this book.
 
Berta B. Sisemore  

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