Culture

This Son Of Immigrants Posted A VERY Honest Tweet About The Loneliness Migrant Parents Feel And It Will Make You Want To Hug Your Mom

Immigration is a topic that is on the news daily but do we really understand the kind of hardships that migrants go through when adapting to our culture with their migration. We know that traveling across the border ⁠— whether legally or without documentation ⁠— can be a dangerous and emotional venture. We also know that living in a xenophobic society like ours is also highly risky for immigrants who seek a life in the United States.
However, the change from one community to another is an issue that makes a large impact on these lives but is not often discussed.

One issue that comes from this situation is the depression and loneliness that accompanies immigrant parents when they build new lives in the United States.

Twitter / @the_levantist

A viral Twitter thread posted on July 28th by @the_levantist brought to light a very important discussion about immigrant parents and depression. As the tweet points out, many migrant parents go from growing up in a very tight-knit community with a strong base of supportive friends and family to being in a new world that feels isolated from uninterested neighbors and co-workers.

While immigrant children are able to go to school to make new connections and friends, adults usually find that the stigma of being an immigrant stifles their ability to branch out. Broken English, a valid mistrust of government officials and programs and separation from their mother communities is common. It makes it that much harder for immigrant parents and adults to find the kind of human support needed to function in this world.

This loneliness results in depression. Mental illness is already a greatly stigmatized issue in most minority communities but is made even worse when a person experiences a distancing or cutting off from friends and family. As such, it makes it even harder to confront these problems and improve the situation.

Twitter really felt this thread and it soon received over 34k retweets, 125k likes and hundreds of comments.

Twitter / @dknyjade

This Twitter user explained that she has seen the same sort of struggle first hand. She tells about how difficult it was when her mother came to a new country, with no connections, no English proficiency and with a newborn baby. This a common picture of immigration in America and the loneliness of this situation is easy to feel.

This tweet suggests that the best way to handle this loneliness is for adult children to become counselors to their parents.

Twitter / @MHus66

Completely uprooting one’s life does take a huge toll on a person’s heart and mind. This tweet suggests that adult children of immigrants should remain conscious of this heartache. Of course, immigrant children have a lot on their plates already but helping a parent to get the mental attention they need is important to minimize depression and mental illness in the immigrant community.

Let’s not forget that these parents deserve big props.

Twitter / @BojorqueSophia

As this Twitter user expresses, we have to give it up to any immigrant parent who has gone through this transition and remained strong and determined. It takes a lot of bravery and dedication to decide to change your life for the better ⁠— even in the easiest of circumstances. To do so when everyone is rejecting you is an incredible act of courage.

Migrant mothers have an extra obstacle in their way when it comes to connecting with their communities.

  Twitter / @cazwithbeans

When immigrant mothers come to the United States and become stay at home moms ⁠— either by choice or necessity ⁠— it limits the number of adult interactions they are able to have. Without the immersion of daily conversations with other adults, it can stifle language fluency. That combined with a lack of time to socialize without children greatly impacts their ability to form important connections.

Of course, since it’s the internet, not everyone felt bad for immigrant adults and parents.

Twitter / @the_levantist

The human reaction to this painful reality would be empathy. Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of this. Some of the responses to this thread were ugly Nationalist talking points telling immigrant adults and parents to “Go back to where they came from.” The grossly racist sentiment is another problem that adult immigrants experience that add to the depression and anxiety they develop.

Luckily, not everyone feels this way about adult immigrants.

Twitter / @daavid_prhys

Most people realize that being an immigrant isn’t a free ride. It doesn’t come with easy access to the things one needs and it’s often very lonely if one doesn’t have a support system. Let’s not allow this conversation to end here. This is something that we as a community need to take seriously so that we are there to build support for those who have had to live without it.

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Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Culture

Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?

Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”

We got the chance to talk to Alaina Castillo, musical artist and TikTok Queen, about how she identifies with Latinidad and what this TikTok video means to her.

@wearemitu

Checklists don’t define you so don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not enough! 😤@alainacastillo #AreYouLatinoEnough #FamiliaLatina #hhm #orgullo

♬ original sound – we are mitu

What does being Latina mean to you? – mitú

“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.

Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.

What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of? – mitú

“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.

While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!

What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú

“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.

La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú

“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.

You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…

Where is your family from? – mitú

“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.

Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋

Have you ever been to those places? – mitú

“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.

What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú

“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino? – mitú

“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.

One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.

How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú

“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.

What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú

“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.

So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!

Did we mention quarantine has not stopped Alaina Castillo from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight,” below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com