Hispanic Lives Matter

Some Hispanic people have dark skin, while others have light skin. No matter—God created all Hispanics in his image. “The term Hispanic alludes to a person’s place of origin, referring to persons from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America. These areas were all conquered and settled by the Spanish and originally called Hispania, a term initially coined by Romans to refer to the Iberian Peninsula.”[1]

I learned early in my childhood about racial slurs. I wasn’t allowed to play with the “little Spics” down the street, the Italians were “Wops,” and Asians were “Gooks.” There were more … but you get the idea. All this coming from a “Kraut.” I grew up, as did many others this way.

Fortunately, I learned over time that everything my Dad stood for wasn’t what I wanted to stand for. Furthermore, I had the privilege of traveling in many foreign countries with and without my husband, and I lived with him and our children in Asia for three years. Living as a foreigner in another country changes your perspective about the world and America. We aren’t as thankful as we should be until we’ve been away for a few years.

My most treasured job over all my years of working was in accounting at Mastercraft Industries, a cabinet manufacturing company. In addition, I was a minority, because the owners and most of the staff were Hispanic.

“Cecil J. Hernandez, a native Coloradan, vowed at an early age that he would start his own business to break out of the lowly means from which he grew up. After dropping out of school in the 9th grade, Hernandez took a list of jobs until he enlisted in the Navy for two years. Afterwards, Hernandez returned home to Denver and began the humble beginnings of Mastercraft Cabinets, Inc. The company grew steadily until he was able to hire employees and upgrade to his own building. Over the years, Mastercraft became one of the largest Hispanic businesses in the Denver Metro Area.

Outside of work, Hernandez was an involved community member and family man. He was on the board of the Natural History Museum, The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado National Bank, but above all he was a dedicated husband and father.”[2]

As you can readily see, I worked for a Colorado Business Hall of Fame member. A Hispanic man who, in my opinion, shows us what the epitome of the American dream looks like. Almost every day, either Cecil or Cecil Michael (the son) came through the accounting areas to say hello to all of us and encourage us to keep up the good work.

I saw young Hispanic men and women gain respect, confidence, and knowledge in their respective jobs at Mastercraft by learning from their Hispanic cohorts. I learned a lot about the Hispanic culture, but the one thing that stood out most to me was their ability to have fun, even when working hard.

Three people and I went to work in the accounting department on the same day. That’s because the business Cecil J. Hernandez started in his garage had grown from 2 million dollars in annual sales to 11 million dollars in a very short period of time. I learned so much at Mastercraft, including how to put business accounting models on a computer system. We had an entire room filled with computers (70’s style) and in what seemed like a miracle, we had ten-day closing cycles at the end of every month, in all departments, and the “bank” of computers spit out financials that covered every area of the company, from manufacturing to the finished product in a flash.

When we had our quarterly “fiesta lunches,” I ate fresh tortillas for the first time along with “Green Chile Stew” which had potatoes and carrots in it—very, very hot chiles—and the most amazing flavor.

The Hispanics at Mastercraft didn’t treat me like a minority. They treated me like one of their own. I will never forget the smiles and courtesies of the people at that job. No backbiting, trying to get ahead, and maliciousness I had encountered in other jobs, which I attribute to the fun loving nature of the Hispanic people.

Due to my experience at Mastercraft Industries, working for Cecil Hernandez, the urgency to remove Hispanic people from our country is something I have a hard time believing in. We have so much to offer in comparison to many of the Hispanic areas of the world that struggle with poverty, extreme oppression, and death. Yes, I know many are here illegally and therefore have broken the law. Still, I have broken the law in my lifetime. Haven’t you?

Until next time…

[1] http://www.diversityjournal.com/9724-hispanic-or-latino-which-is-correct/

[2] http://www.coloradobusinesshalloffame.org/cecil-j-hernandez.html

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1 thought on “Hispanic Lives Matter

  1. When li was left alone with three small children and only enough money to pay bills. Guess who came our side.????? The Hispanic community in South Alabama fed us and invited us to birthday parties. My neighbor told me : if you need anything just tell any of my community and it will be done. They treated us like part of the family. !!

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