Dual Pride at the Olympics?
With all the ridiculous obsessions about “unfair advantages,” “light-skinned, exotic beauties“ and “disgraceful hair-dos” flooding around the Olympic athletes these days, it’s hard to avoid the negative hype. It seems there is a never-ending supply of insults flying around and a whole lot of not-so-wholesome Olympic finger pointing going on.
Earlier today, CNN published a story on the insult of a Mexican-born, U.S. Olympian who showed pride for both America and Mexico by presenting both flags after his win. Basically, the story pointed out that it’s not so bad for Mexican Americans to show their pride, but when Americans who were once Mexican immigrants do it, it’s just in poor taste.
Is there something special about Leo Manzano being an immigrant? That’s the part that rubs me the wrong way about this story.
Are we to believe that a Mexican American born and raised here can have dual pride, but if you’re an immigrant – you can’t? Interesting.
It seems the author somehow feels that this Mexican-born, U.S. Olympian is minimizing his tribute to the USA by paying tribute to his birth nation. I can see the point, especially for a country that sees dual identity as a threat. How will mainstream Americans perceive this? It’s a valid question.
In America, you have to choose, right? You can’t be both. Even speaking a second language can get you into trouble here…since many still view a second heritage and pride as a form of nationalism.
I agree that it’s debatable whether or not making a point of your dual heritage or ’bicultural identity’ at the Olympics is acceptable (I personally love it…but that’s just me). True, he’s there representing the U.S.A. But why is there a double standard that prevents immigrant Americans from expressing their dual identity, while an American-born Olympians are free to express themselves?
Immigrants have every right to their dual pride and being an immigrant shouldn’t make you any more “suspicious” of ill intentions or foster assumptions that your pride for America (your home and the catalyst of your successes) is lessened by your pride for the country that gave birth to you and raised you with the determination to make dreams possible.
It’s a double standard that minimizes the immigrant experience in this country. Maybe he shouldn’t have had two flags at the Olympics, but let’s not question his allegiance because of it.
Jonathon Rodriguez commented on the article,
So it was alright and “symbolic” for De la Hoya to do it but unacceptable for this guy to do it? I don’t see the difference or what is wrong with it. As far as I can tell the American flag is the one flying and the one he is embracing, the Mexican flag is just crumpled up in one of his fists. Nothing wrong with embracing your new culture and still keeping your own, that’s what the United States of America is all about.
I couldn’t agree more. Let this Olympian celebrate fully…by embracing both his roots and the country that gave him wings.
© 2012, Multicultural Familia. All rights reserved.