by Scoobie Davis
Thoughts on the "Los Angeles, Mexico" Billboard
The big controversy in LA for the past week (other than the freeway shootings) has been the billboard put up by the Spanish language TV station in which the "CA" abbreviation (for California) after "Los Angeles" had been crossed out and the word "Mexico" added in its place (click here to see the billboard on a right-wing blog).
This pissed off a lot of Angelinos. Although I wasn't happy about the billboard, I was less pissed off because 1) I don't identify with Los Angeles; and 2) I have a more balanced view of things. On the one hand, there is the legitimate concern that many people who come to the US bring with them an identification with another country. True, but one phenomenon that is rarely brought up is how Mexico is becoming Americanized. I first visited northern Baja in 1990. It has changed a lot since then--for the better. For all the talk about people in LA not being able to communicate because they don't know Spanish, there's an overlooked phenomenon: if you visit northern Baja, you can get around really well if you only know English.
Nevertheless, the simple fact is that there are many people who view the LA area as the northern province of Mexico. This is a bad attitude--especially considering that many of the people who left Mexico did so because of corrupt government not particularly concerned about civil liberties (As a tourist, I have firsthand knowledge of this).
One's mindset about where one lives is a very powerful thing. That led to an epiphany for me yesterday when I was thinking about the matter. Right now, I live in LA but my heart is in San Diego. I changed my perception: I no longer consider myself as living in LA; I now consider LA as the northern part of San Diego.