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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

My name is Robert Worthington, and I'm one of the candidates featured in your article published this week [La Prensa, August 30, 2019, page 2] about the District 3 Toledo City Council race.

I was a bit disheartened to read “no Latinos filed to run for any district seats.” Not that it means a Latino candidate will work best for Latinos in the district, although I think I will work best for and with Latinos in the district, I am, in fact, half-Mexican.

 

My grandmother, Eloisa (Mendoza) DeAnda is an immigrant from México, and her husband, Felix DeAnda, is an Hispanic Texan [Tejano]. My mother, Alma Rosa (DeAnda) Worthington is listed on my website, although without her maiden name. Also, on my website, which your article linked, is posted a video of me at the NAACP forum, where I said "....I'm half Mexican...." and "....especially being a half Mexican person myself...."

I do not like identity politics; I think politicians and political parties, namely both the Republican and Democratic Parties, use race to chalk up votes by race. I think it's wrong. For example, it is beyond angering to me how Glen Cook keeps bringing up the fact that his wife "is Mexican, her last name is Hernández,” so he “knows the struggle.” And in the same breath, he has the nerve to bring up immigration and pretend nothing is wrong with how Trump is handling the crisis at the borders.

I don't shy from being half Mexican. I usually say “I'm half white, half Mexican.” The fact that I don't choose to live my life by race, or that I don't speak fluent Spanish, doesn't mean I'm less Latino than any other Latino. I'm mixed, and I was raised in a “white” household because my father is white, but those facts do not erase who I am.

I doubt your paper meant any offense, but I believe a bit of digging could have uncovered that I am, in fact, Latino. This is now the third time that a major institution (UT Dean of Students Tamika Mitchell, Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Joshua Hughes, La Prensa) has made the false assumption that I am just a “white male,” and I am again disappointed that I have to offer a “correction.”

Of course, I hold no hard feelings, and will continue to fight for racial justice and international justice, including for my own family. I just wanted to open up communication between us so that we can both, individually and together, keep the public accurately informed.

Thank you for your time and have a very nice Labor Day weekend (it's what we work for all year!),

Robert J. Worthington

August 31, 2019

Post script by Mr. Worthington: My mom’s father, mentioned under Felix DeAnda, is of genetic Spanish ethnicity (Hispanic), and as far as our family knows, his parents were both born in Mexico, and he spent a lot of his life in Texas, so we do also refer to him as Mexican. (My mom is pretty sure she's Native American, and my Ancestry showed 22% Native American/Central American, but we have not been culturally Native American for at least 3 generations, so I wouldn't go so far as to claim to be a part of any certain Tribe, out of both uncertainty, and respect to Native Americans. I'd like to know, but I'm sure I'll learn more as time goes on).

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: We appreciate your well-written “Letter to the Editor” concerning our article that appeared in the August 31, 2019 issue of La Prensa. My majors in college were Sociology and Anthropology and we learned then that for many decades, social and cultural scientists classified most Europeans and Native Americans [many with Asian roots] as “Caucasian.” Since then, terms have become somewhat mixed.

We at La Prensa believe that what is important is not “which side of the border one is born” but one’s cultural approach to life.  The last name of “Worthington” is not of Spanish origin and your specific name is not known as being involved in any of the area’s Hispanic, cultural activities or events. You may want to consider getting involved in the many numerous Hispanic activities taking place in the area. It may also be an excellent idea to learn a second language, especially one that has cultural or generic meaning to you.   

Today, various companies perform, for a modest cost, DNA profiles, but the ones that we are familiar with often refer to individuals with known roots from México, for example, as “Native American.” If their testing pools get larger, maybe the companies may be more specific as to the actual origin of “Native American.” We have also yet to see DNA results where an individual is 100 percent of one ethnic group, implying that we are all mixed, overlapping minorities. With that in mind, one wonders why there is racism to begin with since we are all minorities.    

Finally, we never “made the false assumption that [you were] just a ‘white male.’”

Wishing you well in your September 10th primary, we remain very truly yours,

Rico, Editor

 

On the Internet:  “District 3 Toledo City Council race heats up,” La Prensa, August 30, 2019, page 2:

http://laprensa1.com/Stories/2019/083019/council.htm

 

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2019 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/03/19 20:08:10 -0700.

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