Me: Hey Dad, I have a question
Dad: Alright, lets see if it's within my reach
Me: What do you think of cultural appropriation?
Me: Cultural appropriation.
Dad: I think you mean acculturation.
Me: yeah, I do. But I was using the term the Social Justice Morons use.
Dad: It's a necessary part of being human, you can't just keep the one culture all of your life!
Me: So how offended would you be if a bunch of white people started speaking Spanish?
Dad: Offended? I would be glad, at least they speak my language!
Me: What if a white guy made tacos?
Dad: what kind of taco? why would I be offended? Did I invent it and patent it?
Me: Nope, just an ordinary taco made by a white guy.
Dad: Why would I be offended? It would like a German guy getting offended because I grilled a hamburger
Me: Well, because it's a Mexican food, it was discovered and is integral to Mexican culture. What if a white person doesn't respect the history of the taco.
Dad: When the woman who first created a taco did that, did the Angels descend from heaven with a deed and a copyright form signed by God informing us that only Mexicans can make it?
Me: Nope. It's just a taco.
Dad: Precisely, it's a taco, eat it. I would actually be happy for that white guy, tacos are pretty good.
Me: What if Tyler wanted to celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos? On his own?
Dad: Tell him to pace himself the skulls are made of pure sugar.
Me: What if he wanted to celebrate El Dia de la Independencia?
Dad: Culture is not something handed to you by God to protect and nurse, it's just something that happens to you, and when you think you have it figured out, it changes. That's what cultures do. They change. You know what these people are trying to do, right?
Dad: They want us all to hate each other and not speak to each other. They want us Mexicans in Mexico, Afro-Americans in Africa, Asians in Asia and none of us talking or being nice to each other. With no resources, no trade, no rights, and only the one language that only we're allowed to speak so that we can't communicate with anyone outside. And that's after they'd kill off all the white people. They're like the KKK, if the KKK didn't have balls.
Me: I arrived at the same conclusion.
Dad: Make yourself a coffee.
Dad: Just be sure it's Mexican *laughs*
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”