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- When You Disagree with the Political Opinions of the Parents of Your Latin American Partner
Over a year ago, I met another American in Mexico City named Trevor.
I didn't know Trevor that well but he was a friend of another American living in Mexico City named Alex.
Alex and I happened to live in the same building in Roma Norte and I met Trevor through Alex one day.
Trevor was like a lot of North Americans in that period in that a lot of jobs were becoming remote during Covid and his job happened to be like that.
I forgot what he did exactly for a living but he had a remote job anyway that used to be an office job but now was remote so he could live abroad and travel.
Like a lot of folks, he chose Mexico City as a place to relocate to and already had at least a year of time in Mexico before I even met him.
One day in particular, we were all at a cafe (would've been a bar but Alex had a condition where even having a tiny bit of alcohol made him violently sick) and we got talking about life down here.
Trevor had a Mexican girlfriend.
While I never met her nor the family, I could guess based on how he was describing her that she was a fresa type of gal.
An upper class, white Mexican gal that was probably born and raised in Polanco or something.
I've gone on dates with gals like this.
Some are very likeable and others are very annoying.
Unfortunately for Trevor, he found her family to be annoying.
She was cool in his eyes if I had to guess since they were dating but he hated her family (at least based on what I could guess from how he talked of them).
Keep in mind that Trevor was a white American but he was basically raised in a black family.
From what I learned briefly, he was adopted and his adopted parents were black.
Had a few black sisters.
And, in Mexico over the last few years, you've had a migration crisis within the country.
A lot of Central Americans migrating up north illegally to get to the US (who tend to not be very black looking).
And some Africans and some Haitians or Jamaicans also traveling up north as I wrote about here.
At least in my experience, seeing a black person in Mexico over the last 2 years usually means of one two things: the person is either a wealthier black American tourist or is a migrant from a poorer country trying to get to the US.
Anyway, I wasn't a fly on the wall for Trevor's political differences but I remember anyhow the tension he mentioned that he had with her family.
To keep a long story short, her family I guess was shitting on these migrants. Maybe what they said was more "race sensitive" and Trevor didn't like it.
I remember him bitching to us (me and Alex) one time at a cafe about "how crazy" her parents are and an example he gave was the shit talking they did about "los africanos."
"The africans" as he (or her family?) put it.
If I had to guess based on how he described it, I guess they were giving "the Trump Treatment" to them.
Meaning they were describing them as rapists, criminals, etc.
And he didn't like it.
Now, to be fair, he wasn't Mexican as you know already.
He lives in Mexico.
Maybe has residency?
I don't know.
But he does live here.
He can have his opinions about if these folks should or should not be deported.
But we both know that his opinions quite possibly won't be as respected versus if he was a Mexican giving them.
Though I say "quite possibly" because it does depend.
Anyway, let's get into another example that I remember.
The Evil British Daughter in Law
As I wrote before on my blog, there was a more mature British gal I met years ago in Colombia.
Long story short, she HATED Colombian politics but she definitely had opinions.
Was never afraid of giving them.
She was more to the left politically and hated Colombian politicians.
With an ex that she had, she recalled to me the shit she got from the mother in law for her political opinions.
But more often the attack of the day was to dismiss her opinions because "she isn't Colombian."
Even though she has lived for over a decade in Colombia and knows plenty about the society down here.
That's one thing you'll notice about discussing politics down here with folks.
They don't expect you to know a single thing about societal issues down here despite LIVING down here for years or over a decade.
And, if you give opinions that they disagree with (we all got political opinions, they're like assholes), they'll dismiss them as "well, you're not from here. Therefore. you don't know shit."
Despite said foreigner having spent years or over a decade here, might have been naturalized even as a citizen and whatever else.
And so your opinion as some retard local who barely finished high school and whose life consists of selling artisan crafts or tomatoes in the local market matters more?
It can be annoying to hear such bullshit, to be fair.
No matter how much you spend time down here, you'll always be "the foreigner" and that can be their wild card to dismiss your opinions without giving any intelligent thought to what you said.
But I also think it represents something else: we foreigners from "the first world" tend to be more political anyway.
You never see anyone on Tinder down here saying "if you voted for x politican, swipe left."
That happens in the US.
So, to some degree, I wonder if the extra polarization or obsession of politics back home drives some gringos to come across as "too much" to the family in law down here.
But, on the flip side, as I wrote here, sometimes Latin Americans can come across as "less PC" to gringos living down here.
In such a scenario where you, as a more sensitive gringo, comes across the "less PC" Latin American, is there a greater likelihood that you get triggered?
Anyway, it is a fact of life down here.
While disagreements about politics can and do happen in families that you marry into in any country around the world, I think this is different.
The social context is different as I have described already.
That different social context in which you, as the foreigner, disagree with the politics of the family in law down here, makes the whole situation different as described already.
But that's all I got to say for now.
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Thanks for reading.
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