Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural Sensitivity

So we all know who won and lost in the recent USA elections and that it wasn’t pretty from any angle.  However it isn’t the first time the Electoral College decided a winner and like Gore before her, Clinton bowed off the world stage with grace and dignity.  If only her supporters here in San Miguel de Allende had followed her lead.

It all started with an odd announcement for a gringo-led Anti-Trump rally on a recent Sunday.  When that day arrives and I was leading a tour through centro the town was actively celebrating a three day weekend for the national celebration of Revolution Day.

The military and local cheerleaders were on display celebrating the revolt from the oppression of not allowing the indigenous certain human rights including ownership of property.  Locally seven families owned all of town until one hundred years after freedom for Spain and the revolution being celebrated occurred.

rev1When approaching Parroquia, the primary center of worship in town, there are the gringos in a group of about fifteen waving giant images of the president-elect with arrows through his head.  I am mortified on many levels.

First off, the day is a national celebration about a conquered people able to own property and advance within society.  The streets are literally littered with processions and celebrations of Mexican culture and history.  This is when a group of foreigners want to protest losing a democratic election in another country?

Secondly, we foreigners are guests enjoying the good fortune of being able to hop in and out between Mexico and the USA, legally and safely and at will.  Most Mexicans don’t enjoy this privilege.

Thirdly, the angry protest is in front of the town’s primary house of worship.

rev2

We foreigners tend to forget local churches aren’t museums but active houses of worship worthy of respect and dignity.  Why of all the options in town, this location, on this day, is where a guest of this country chooses to vent their frustrations about the recent election where his fellow countrymen went another direction than they desired, baffles me.

I wish instead of moaning about who our countrymen elected there had been a prayer circle with the expressed purpose of asking God’s help for the new US administration to be provided the guidance to support the interests of all of us in the Americas.    That is something worthy of getting together in public for, the power of prayer, aptly located in front of church.

There is another rally scheduled for January 20th,   when President-elect Trump takes office.  When I first read this I kindly wrote the organizer , a pal that went to college with me though I didn’t know him then  (Hoot, hoot go Temple Owls!), that the date was Ignacio Allende’s birthday (my Mother’s also, but her impact on present day Mexico is somewhat less).  January 20th is another national holiday celebrating freedom from an oppressive dictatorship filled with parades and celebrations.  I can only hope our foreigners’ approach is this time more culturally sensitive and positive.