The Gringa That Cried Wolf
Last week I had my first article enjoyed by nearly six thousand people from my social media posting alone. This number doesn’t include readers from the San Miguel Times it appeared in or other social media sites that published the piece also.
I was shocked! That’s an astronomical number for me, or anyone. Plus the article generated a lot of responses which all except for 3 or 4, were positive. Something about the piece struck a chord and I percolated over what.
The piece, in a nutshell, was about a local ex-pat promoting in social media she was slapped by a Mexican woman on a busy street in broad daylight. Her attacker was then led away by Mexicans who did not help the elderly foreigner. Knowing the victim personally I knew of her racist comments and wondered if there was another perspective to the incident. Most whom responded to the article felt the entire incident was made-up stressing, as a culture, Mexican women don’t go around slapping Senior Citizens. Several referred to her as “The Gringa That Cried Wolf” as an attention getting device.
Personally, it was a perspective that never occurred to me, and I’m unwilling to spend any more energy on the matter because no matter how I approach it, including conversations with the woman, every perspective is a sad one.
That made me consider my second most popular article about the weekend following the US elections. Ex-pat supporters for Hillary Clinton were aghast at her loss and staged a protest that Sunday, in front of the Parroquia during a parade for Revolution Day. (Revolution Day celebrates Mexico’s freedom from a long ruling dictator in 1920.)
While giving a tour and stumbling upon the scene I immediately pictured how it would look like in my culture. If, on July 4th that fell on a Sunday, a group of Mexicans picketed elections held in Mexico in front of my minister brother’s Southern Baptist Church during a parade. (That’s a different brother than the one that left the seminary to marry a Jewish gal and become a traveling circus clown. Their act was Farmer Toone, his wife and their kid, the goat.) Back to the John the Baptist (as my father called him) and his church, I’m pretty sure there would be violence.
Now, with this article I did receive five or six negative comments out of hundreds, mainly focused on how the protesters felt they were trying to display unity with local Mexicans. However, what was communicated more clearly was that there was a small group of foreigners feeling entitled enough to be both bullying and oblivious to what was literally happening around them. In essence, they just elected an entitled, bullying and oblivious president that was “just like them”. (I didn’t print that comment at the time knowing it was, in fact, too soon.)
The thread through both articles, and countless others, is several ex-pats in San Miguel view ourselves as in total control of any situation (the bully) or the hapless victim (the bullied). I’ve seen it time and time again. For example, when I raise money for one charity, another charity will bully the receiving charity to stop accepting funding. The bully feels if their charity isn’t getting cash from my fundraising, no one should. The same goes for when cash or goods go directly to those in need. Ex-pats in leadership positions insist that money must filter through their charity first to help cover their expenses. You’ll note not one charity publishes how “88 cents per dollar goes directly to those in need” like you’ll see up North.
I’ve seen the same in politics. When going to pick up an absentee ballot from Democrats Abroad I had to swear allegiance to Hillary or I wouldn’t get the form. Nothing against Mrs. Clinton, but I was so offended on being told whom to vote for, or I couldn’t, I simply downloaded the form on-line instead.
Sadly, I’ve seen the same in foreigner run houses of worship. Again, if you aren’t actively supporting my beliefs you are somehow against them. Ditto with an article on the racist history to gated living from resident foreigners feeling a skin tone approach to access is acceptable.
This “Bully or Bullied” approach I didn’t experience living in the US for nearly half a century, nor when I visit the US, nor do I experience it among visitors and part time residents I interact with daily. I’ve posted these articles in publications for other ex-pat communities in Mexico and never once received a similar response to those from a handful of resident ex-pats here.
One resident ex-pat clearly stated to me “I don’t care what the locals are doing.” Not just that, but my fellow countrymen will actively try to prevent other foreigners from understanding what the locals are doing in bullying attempts to suppress social media and journalism.
I don’t understand why you want to live here and, despite a level of education, choose your ignorance. Maybe with all this recent rain it is something in the water, but the bully, or be bullied, approach has been around much longer.