How can Latinos be in the Inner Circle of Change in Future Decades?

In life, there are two kinds of people. There are people who make things happen and there are people who have things happen to them.

You can either be an active participant or an actor of history, or you can be the subject of history. In other words, you’re this passive recipient of all these historical decisions, many of them happening behind the scenes, and you are the last to know.

It really would suck to be in this latter group because you don’t want to be the last hired and first fired. You don’t want to always get the short end of the stick. You don’t want to always end up at the business end of any unpleasant situation. Unfortunately, this happens to everybody, at least at one point in time in history.

The world is round. The wheels of fortune always turn, and guess what? Just as one can find oneself at the top, one can easily find oneself at the bottom. In fact, many people are actually being ground down and crushed by the steel wheels of karma and destiny.

Given all of this, how can Latinos ensure that they are in the inner circle of change in the future decades of America’s development?

For the longest time, we have been a marginalized community. For the longest time, we have been an open minority. What I mean by that is that it’s very obvious that we are a minority group and we form a large chunk of the population in certain parts of the United States, but we do not have the same level of political recognition, political power, as well as social and cultural weight as far as the dominant culture is concerned.

Well, things are drastically changing just by sheer participation. And that’s the key. Even if you’re not a big fan of voting for Latino politicians because you live in a largely Latino area, the sheer fact that we are present in many areas of the United States, we are put in a tremendous position of political, cultural and economic engagement.

In other words, by simply being part of the equation and taking advantage of opportunities to engage, though not necessarily on some sort of official leadership level, we change the discourse.

Now, the change may not be all that dramatic. Let’s not kid ourselves. It may not happen overnight. We’re not talking about like some sort of black and white, 24-hour drastic revolutionary change. But make no mistake about it, by simply being part of the conversation, we at least get a say in what things get talked about, and the intensity and extent of the conversation and dialogue.

By adding our own two cents into the mix, we actually change the flow of the direction. It becomes harder and harder to marginalize or totally take our community for granted.

These are, of course, baby steps, and the steps will become bigger and more profound as time goes by. Still, by having a place at the table, so to speak, we have already begun to change the narrative.

The way things were done in the past no longer takes place on an autopilot basis. There is at least some form of resistance or at least some sort of feedback mechanism that helps ensure that the system, at least, is cognizant or aware of us or aware of our role in the big scheme of things. It may not play a tremendous role in shifting it, but the greater culture can no longer take us for granted or assume we do not exist.