You don’t know Border issues

and neither do I, though I lived within an hour of it for twenty years. The best and truest writing about the border and the people who inhabit it, cross it, or are obsessed with it is by Charles Bowden. The border is its own animal with its own peculiar behaviors, and Mr. Bowden is about half border animal himself, well and intimately acquainted with his subject. You won’t read anything as real and informed as his take on it.

There are a lot of cultural conservatives in love with the West, the American West, and in particular they love the cowboy and the rugged individualism that the cowboy symbolizes. They fret that the Latino hordes will dilute or otherwise besmirch our fine, clean western spirit. Never mind that the first meeting and melding of Latin and Anglo cultures in the southwest is what produced cowboys and the cowboy culture that conservatives so cherish.

The first Euro-Americans to work cattle were fresh Irish, German and Slavic immigrants who learned from and emulated the Mexican vaqueros and the Black cowboys who had quit the cattle plantations of Florida and the Carolinas after Emancipation. Listen to cowboy words — lasso, lariat, pinto, ranch, mustang, bronco, palomino, rodeo, loco, burro, latigo, remuda — cowboys, it would seem, spoke Spanish. And rugged individualism has more than a passing resemblance to machismo…


One response to “You don’t know Border issues

  1. This design is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
    ..HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

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