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Jimmy Baca and His Poems of Protest

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The author Jimmy Baca plays an extraordinary role in his poem of protest by showing how hypocritical Americans are of Mexicans since they categorize Mexicans with the discernable stigma of being corrupt/lying, idle laborers who only desire to come to America to abduct jobs. For example, in a sort of mocking and mordant tone, Baca explains how Americans view Mexicans as individuals who are sneaky criminals because they take away jobs. Baca asserts, “I hear Mexicans are taking your jobs away.

Do they sneak into town at night, and as you’re walking home with a whore, do they mug you, a knife at your throat, saying, I want your job” (7-11)? Through merely these four lines alone, not only does Baca mock Americans by saying they act like victims when they are not, he also demonstrates the bigotry of Americans. Americans affluent in wealth condemn to poverty-stricken ‘foreigners’ by taking their wealth from them.

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The hypocrisy is typified by the Americans mistreating their own people adversely because they are colored and their avarice is mirrored in the poverty of the lowest social class for whom they have no affinity. Basically, he is demonstrating the ‘urban myth’ of how Mexicans are perceived by Americans. More specifically, Baca expounds, “I see the poor marching for a little work, I see small white farmers selling out to clean-suited farmers living in New York, who’ve never been on a farm, don’t know the look of a hoof or the smell of a woman’s body bending all day long in fields” (24-29).

This renders that it is not that Mexicans are being sneaky and taking jobs from Americans, it is that Americans are too busy and occupied doing other things to see what Mexicans could be doing. Americans don’t want to work in the fields sweating. Baca’s bitter statements are backed up with sensory images when he refers to the smell of a woman’s body who’s been working in the fields all day which suggests that this is hard physical work which obviously produces sweat. This is very different than the cool, clean board rooms of New York, and the executive that “clean-suited farmers living in New York” know little or nothing about the labor of really running a farm, nor do they care.

Therefore, Baca plays a massive role in protest because he calls to question many of the issues surrounding our (USA) southern border neighbors. There are numerous issues/ social injustices in our country that should be tended to, and thanks to writers like Baca, these topics reach a wide audience and draw the attention to a large demographic group poised to fix them.


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