Actress, dancer, and model Zoe Saldana, known for her roles in various blockbuster films like 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and 2009’s Avatar, recently sat down with Latina Magazine to discuss her frustration with the immigration debate, the Nina Simone biopic, and the current evolution of the Latino community in America. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Her thoughts on “real” Americans, the evolution of the Latino community, and the “Latinization” of the United States:
The only true American here is the Native American. Everyone else is a transplant. We’re going through the exact same thing the Italians went through, the Irish, the Jews, and the Asians. In different ways, but it’s been very similar.
Latinos are overall very respectful. Once we started being discriminated against, we chose the high road: Keep quiet. Keep working. Don’t teach our kids Spanish because we don’t want them to get picked on. Now we’re entering that phase where the first and the second generations are so in love with our ancestry and want to keep it alive in the best possible way. So it’s more like, ‘I’m not keeping my head down. This is who I am, and I’m just as American as I am Latina. So you need to move out of the way. I’m not asking.’
I love this proprietorship, because this country does belong to Latinos, too. We’re working here, and our sons are dying at war for the U.S. So it belongs to me as much as it belongs to my neighbor. You can’t kill us. You can’t send us back. We are millions and millions here because it is our time to migrate. We are the youngest culture. We are doing what your people did. So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away. We’re great people. We’re gonna do great and better things for your country. Trust me.
Her feelings regarding the very controversial immigration debate:
This topic of immigration hurts because I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t believe that what anybody else is saying is true about me or my people. I’m kind of embarrassed when you see all of these people talking on national television, and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, if your grandfather were alive today, when he came here from Ireland, from Italy, escaped the f–king war in Russia.
You’re rotting his name to shame. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or how many degrees from Ivy League schools. You’re such a bigot. You’re such a hick right now.’ People have to be open to the reality of what’s happening in our country.
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