Race and growing up in Mexico

Here’s the deal.  Being that I can’t open a single Facebook page or news app lately without being bombarded with a news feed of race left and right, I thought I’d give it a shot with my humble opinion.

I’ll give it to you plain and simple.  I was raised in Mexico where almost everywhere you turn you see brown skin.  Ok, some a bit darker and some a lot lighter in complexion but over all very similar.  To me growing up with “one race” allows me to think of the racial problems that America is facing in a different way than most.  But are we even facing a race issue at all?  Could it possibly be something else.

Mexico, one race and no crime, right?  If you know anything about Mexico is about it’s crime rate.  When I lived there I never, not once feared for my life.  Now I can’t even go there without worrying something bad is going to happen.  One race. If you are from Mexico, you are Mexican.  That’s it.  There is no African Mexican, or White Mexican or Indian Mexican or even Asian Mexican.  Nothing!  There is just Mexican.

How can it be that there is abundance in crime with just one race?  If American can learn anything from Mexico is that race is of little importance when it comes to crime.  It’s all about your upbringing, your environment mixed a bit with your own personality that makes the difference.  Just because you’re white you’re this or just because you’re black you’re that… makes absolutely zero sense if you’re from Mexico.

Life is tough in Mexico.  There is crime in Mexico.  That is it.  Lack of will make people do things that they otherwise would not. People still live in the trash in Mexico.  You see children digging through and hoping to find something to eat. Whole families live under cardboard boxes.   It’s about survival most of the time and other times you do crimes because you enjoy it.

This is America.  There is no survival issue here.  This is the land of plenty where the hungry are well fed and you make opportunities for yourself.  Why is there a need to keep complaining about the system?  There will never be a perfect system.  What we have is pretty darn good if you ask me.  When I went to school in Mexico I never had breakfast or lunch, we went hungry.  That never stopped us from getting our education.  There were no food stamps or free anything, you toughed it out and did without.  Growing up when I was little was even worse… No running water until I was 10 years old.  Survival.  That was life and it was a life I will never forget.  A life that makes me grateful every single day for what I have now.  It’s been an uphill battle for me, it was never easy but I found a way.

I am just a humble example of many who had it worse.  My mother survived through a 7 year drought in our village without running water.  Food was scarce, electricity barely and water, when there was, it was muddy but it was welcomed.  Holes had to be dug all the time to find a bit of water here and there.  My grandmother in charge of seeing so many suffer through this hard time managed to get through it. She is my all time hero. I don’t know how, but they managed. Survival.

Life in Mexico has never been easy but I have great hopes for it.  It is absolutely beautiful and a place I hope with all my heart will one day become the place I remember it to be.  This is what I mean when I say the people can make all the difference.  It’s not about race or about wealth but about humanity.  We must all take responsibility for our own actions and learn to co-exist because we all have a same purpose in life.  Survival.  Stop making excuses and dig.  Dig and you will find a way.  That’s what my ancestors did and that’s what I will continue to do.

Wow, I got a little serious, philosophical and creepy there for a minute.

Lorena Frith

Lifestyle Photographer in Houston, Texas

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