This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Talking about Mexicans, and Indians, in Phoenix, Arizona

Maybe it's my age, but I tend to lower my voice out in public when I use the words “Mexican” or “Indian”. And I've been giving a lot of thought to that these days, as I research the importance of these people to the history of Phoenix.

I've lived in Phoenix for a long time, and somewhere along the line I must have been taught that these were bad words. As if someone saying “Italian” loudly in a restaurant would cause offense (I'm mostly Italian, by the way).

I've lived all of my adult life in Phoenix, and Los Angeles, and believe me, I know the importance of people with Mexican, and Indian, heritage. To me, these are not bad words. But I realize that a lot of people feel differently. I'm sorry they feel that way, and I wish they didn't.

I collect old photos of Phoenix and post them on the internet, and I just cringe when I think of someone making a nasty comment just because they see the word “Mexican” or “Indian”. But people from Mexico, and Native Americans, have been, and continue to be, an important part of the history, and success, of Phoenix, Arizona. So I will post about Mexicans, and Indians. And if people don't understand, well, it's time that they learned.

Pictured above: Gold Alley in 1915, Phoenix, Arizona. From the book Mexicans in Phoenix, by Frank Barrios.

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