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Let's not be in such a hurry to leave El Paso -- it takes time to digest madness

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

Before the El Paso shooting, many Mexican Americans thought they could "pass" for white. Many of us tried to separate ourselves -- from Mexican immigrants, from family members who live in poorer neighborhoods or have less education, from what President Trump calls "bad hombres" and former President Obama called "gangbangers," from members of our tribe with darker skin, harder lives, and bleaker prospects.

What do you expect from a community that lives on the run? My people are either chasing something or being chased by something. If we're not chasing the American dream, then we're being chased by the ghosts of Mexico.

Even if the media forgets El Paso, Mexican American folklore will create a record so people remember.

Corridos are Spanish-language ballads that tell stories, often performed either without instruments or simply with a single guitar. It's a powerful form of musical poetry that dates back a hundred years to the Mexican Revolution. A new corrido is making the rounds -- "El Llanto de El Paso Texas" -- and it tells the story of what happened in the West Texas town. "El Llanto" means "the crying," in a city where "many people are mourning." All this, the song says, because a "monster" tried to break the Mexican people but wound up uniting them.

Let's hope that, just this once, life imitates art.

 

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com. His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.

(c) 2019, The Washington Post Writers Group

 

 

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