Being Mexican AND American

Jose Rodriguez
8 min readOct 2, 2021
Courtesy of Renée Rodríguez Photography

I have written a few pieces on identity not limited to “Guessing Where I’m From” (Medium link) and “What’s Your Name (¿Cómo te llamas?)” (Medium link). Since I am of Mexican background, American by birth and the fact that we’re in Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought about writing this post to tie together these elements.

Living As An AND
For much of my life, I feel that I have lived my life through a series of ANDs. When I was on the call center Spanish bilingual team, I was a little bit of an “oddball.” I had (still have) tremendous pride in my Mexican background and American birth; spoke pretty good Spanish that improved from speaking with various clients, specifically South America and from the Caribbean; and, (still listen) listened primarily to hard rock, heavy metal, and, some blues. One of my good friends told me, “There are some parts of you that are super Mexican and others that are ‘white.’” To provide some context, they meant “white” as referring to things typically considered “American.” Although, one of my South American colleagues told me how heavy metal is HUGE in South America, so maybe I was more typical than what some might think.

I feel that both of my colleagues’ comments are two sides of the same coin. These comments spoke to preconceptions of what is “white” and what isn’t. In order to build on this point, I’d like to discuss hard rock and heavy metal.

Music Is Universal
I took a look at a few examples of some well known rock acts having some amazing concerts from South America.

Here is an amazing performance by AC/DC in Argentina at River Plate.

At about 1:25 into the video, you can see some dude wielding a bright red road flare.

Then, at around 2:00 when the song really kicks in, you can see the HUGE crowd in that soccer stadium PULSING in time to the music. I can’t fathom a stadium crowd moving like that!

To put this into perspective, the River Plate soccer stadium fits 76,000, whereas Ford

Jose Rodriguez

Content Creator. Everyday is a blessing, so we need to make the best of each one. To improve things, we should start with ourselves.