Wendy Trevino, “Brazilian Is Not a Race”


A border, like race, is a cruel fiction
Maintained by constant policing, violence
Always threatening a new map. It takes
Time, lots of people’s time, to organize
The world this way. & violence. It takes more
Violence. Violence no one can confuse for
Anything but violence. So much violence
Changes relationships, births a people
They can reason with. These people are not
Us. They underestimate the violence.
It’s been awhile. We are who we are
To them, even when we don’t know who we
Are to each other & culture is a
Record of us figuring that out.


Why didn’t Anzaldúa write about
The Plan of San Diego? She mentions
“Mexican-American resisters”
robbed a train in Brownsville in October
1915 & the brutality
Of white vigilante groups & Texas
Rangers that followed, but she says nothing
Of the Plan, its appeal to all factions
Of the Mexican Revolution to
Cooperate in a struggle against
The United States, the way it echoed
Writings in Ricardo Flores Magón’s
Newspaper Regeneración, which had
Its share of subscribers in the Valley.


One of those subscribers––Aniceto
Pizaña wrote a 21-verse poem
About leaving San Benito after
Suffering anti-Mexican abuse.
He says, “With suffering and pain that grows
Greater / I say that there are Mexicans
Who hate and despise their own race…to lick
The feet of the Americans.” It’s hard
To say who precisely Pizaña is
Referring to when he says “Mexicans”
& there’s the familiar conflation of
Nationality & race, but the lack
Of solidarity among people
Of Mexican descent against Anglos…

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