This month, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage.
In a way, it’s ironic that we must set aside a month to celebrate the contributions that Hispanics have made, that these might otherwise be overlooked. After all, Hispanics and Latinos have been in America longer than anyone save for the Native Americans—we have shaping this nation’s culture since before the US was the US.
Yet we have also faced, and continue to face, waves of prejudice and unbelonging, from anti-Mexican sentiment and lynchings in the 19th century to the racist views of Donald Trump and others like him in the 2010s. This month, we hope to celebrate how, despite facing prejudice and hardship at many junctures, Hispanic culture in the United States has continued to grow, and to enrich and profoundly shape the culture of this country as whole—that we as Hispanics, from many different countries and with many different traditions, have continued to stand united with America, as America.