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In the past we would have remained silent because of fears of reprisals. Senators that Burns include the experiences of Mexican American veterans in his World War II documentary. We have come a long way since the time when a funeral home director could refuse the use of the facilities because a family was Mexican American. Garcia Women Chapter, San Jose, California, at their 2007 National Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mariana Tinoco, a long-time resident of San Jose, has dedicated her life in service to our veterans and their families.
Today, I see the fruits of my Papas labor in the outcry of Mexican Americans against the Ken Burns documentary.
My father was the second born male in the Garcia hierarchy. A., the cloak of authority defaulted to my father as the head of the Garcia family and arbiter of the code. Cleo and my father discussed "being Garcia" as providing community service in a career such as a physician, lawyer or teacher, involved in the Democratic political process, hard working, and having the Catholic faith.
Living by the code helped my father survive youth in a hostile society, service in the military during World War II, and as an activist for civil rights.
For more information, go to was an unwritten code of expectations and protocols for those of us born into the Garcia Family.
The documentary, shown recently to AGIF members in Fort Worth, Texas received a standing ovation and was heralded as "a documentary every Hispanic should see." This DVD or VHS can be obtained from the production company, Digital 2000, Inc., for only .95, plus S/H and tax if you are a Texas resident.
But I learned from my cousins these were universally held beliefs in the family and all Garcias were indoctrinated with the code.
My father chose to focus on where he was going because he believed that complaining would serve no purpose.
Few understood Papa protected his sensitive inner core by developing a thick shell in order to withstand the constant attacks and threats.
The code encouraged education both formal and informal for males and females and community service.
In the context of the times, it was a matter of survival for Mexican Americans to live with discipline in order not to attract attention.