April 24, 2014
Ruben Salazar was a journalist living in two cultures, like me
By Flor Flores, Borderzine
EL PASO – While viewing the special screening here of the new documentary on the life and death of Mexican-American journalist Ruben Salazar, Man in the Middle, I experienced a mix of emotions.
The documentary by Phillip Rodriguez address the duality of his life as a journalist, but, it felt to me that it lacked a wider explanation of Salazar’s private life.
Salazar came from a Mexican background and grew up in El Paso, but the documentary portrayed him as identifying more with American culture.
Salazar was an outstanding journalist who took risks and was not afraid to take assignments other journalists avoided.
I felt that that my image of Salazar had changed after watching this documentary, as it explained that his death might not have been an accident, but rather an intentional attack.
Salazar died in 1970 after he was hit by a tear-gas canister fired by police during a Chicano demonstration in Los Angeles. Before the incident he had said that he was followed and threaten by police who wanted him to back away from stories dealing with Chicano issues.
Thanks to the documentary I felt that Salazar did not embrace his Mexican heritage until he started writing about the Chicano movement and raised awareness of the Mexican-American plight.
That is a struggle for identity that I can relate to.
Living in a border city is almost synonymous with not knowing which side you belong to, which side of you do you show to the world. I understood Salazar’s decision to embrace one over the other, but as local artist and public figure, Rosa Guerrero said in a panel that followed the film, one must “take the best of both worlds.”Read the rest of Flor's blog post at Borderzine...
Bio: Flor Flores is a Multimedia Journalism major at the University of Texas at El Paso and a contributor to Borderzine.