In my previous entry, I highlighted an author’s criticism the folly of the Us vs. Them mentality as concerns immigration. One of the reasons the insistence on separation is so absurd and futile, is because so many of us are not just Us, but also Them. We are many shades of gray. This was poignantly brought home to me while reading a piece on Alternet written by one Michelle Garcia, discussing her Tejano family and what building a border fence means to people who’s identity is rooted in being a bridge over than border.

When I arrive at a family reunion in the San Antonio Hill Country where my paternal grandmother’s clan has gathered at an uncle’s ranch retreat, it is family and land that my elderly tias (aunts) are talking about.

“The rumor was that he had been poisoned,” says one tia, Berta Guerra, retelling the story of the early demise of my great-grandfather, Mauricio Gonzalez, who mysteriously died after attending a political meeting.

“This was my grandfather and my great-grandfather,” Tia Berta croaks into the microphone, standing before picnic tables filled with a young generation of teachers, lawyers and journalists. “They were big-time ranchers,” she says. “They had cattle drives to Kansas, just like a John Wayne movie.”

The Gonzalezes owned massive acreage on both sides of the Rio Grande and did a good job of holding onto it — until they, along with other wealthy Tejanos, bankrolled a coup attempt in 1891 against the Mexican dictator Porfirio Daz. Catarino Garza, my great-great-uncle, a journalist who married into the family, led the would-be revolution….

Read on….

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