This is something that I have had many conversations with my dad. I consider myself to essentially be Latino. My dad considers himself American. I can understand his argument. He was born in American thus making him American. I was in the Navy and served his country. Of course he holds true to his roots. As I have explained in my post over the last month, my dad is very much into our culture. I learn most things from him.
I consider myself Latino. I feel that I represent my people no matter where I go. I think that this best describes me. Yet, I often wonder how my identity is looked at when I leave this country. I am almost certain that what my passport says is more important than any ethnicity I identify with. In the eyes of the world, I am indeed an American.
This isn’t a point of what I am proud of being more. I think that being a citizen of the United States despite its deep rooted issues is something that we all my take advantage of. We do not live under tyranny or a dictatorship. We all have the basic ability to live life to the fullest. To me being Latino just adds flavor to what being an American is.
I also have a great sense of nationality. I never thought that I would root so hard for an American swimmer during last year’s Summer Olympics, but Michael Phelps did a lot for me in my thought process of nationalism. I think that being able to stand by your country in sports is a great sign of pride. The funny thing is that when Puerto Rico beat Team USA in 2004 in Olympic basketball, I was rooting for PR all the way. I think at times like that I find myself in a bind because in my mind, we win so much that a small team needs to shine every so often. There was also the World Cup this past summer that made me very excited to be an American.
So when it comes down to it, I am more American than anything else. I am more familiar with the culture of this country even though the real culture is borrow from others.