Aaron E. Sanchez is a Texas-based writer who focuses on issues of race, politics, and popular culture from a Latino perspective. He holds a Ph.D. with a concentration in U.S.-Latina/o intellectual history. He is a happy husband, proud father, and an avid runner. He blogs at www.commentaryandcuentos.com.

Posts By This Author

Miracle: A Love That Lives Beyond Loss

by Aaron E. Sanchez 10-03-2019

Revelations are supposed to happen on roads. Prophecies on the road from Delphi. Epiphany on the way to Judah. Miracles on the road to Damascus. You don’t expect them to happen on empty highways in East Texas.

Bob Dylan's Overlooked Christian Music

by Aaron E. Sanchez 09-03-2019

Image from Xavier Badosa via Flickr 

Dylan’s Christianity had less in common with Jesse Jackson’s and had more in common with Jerry Farwell’s. It fit comfortably within the perspectives of a reactionary Christianity that blamed liberalism and the Civil Rights movement for the nation’s religious, moral, and economic decline. The end times were near and the nation needed to prepare for God’s wrath.

Singing 'Amor Eterno' Feels Different Now

by Aaron E. Sanchez 08-13-2019

Shocked and saddened citizens of El Paso, Texas paying their respects to the memorial wall created just outside the parking area for the Walmart store. August 8, 2019. Credit: Shutterstock. 

“Amor Eterno,”or Eternal Love, was written in 1984 by the famed Mexican singer and song writer Juan Gabriel, or JuanGa, after his mother passed away. It has become a standard that is played at funerals, wakes, get-togethers, and even restaurants across the U.S., Mexico, and the world to remember family and loved ones who have passed away.

When American Christians Were Socialists

by Aaron E. Sanchez 08-09-2019

Construction worker on the frame of the Empire State Building. 1929. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Shall Christ or Cain reign in our American civilization?

The Emerging Latinx Political Moment

by Aaron E. Sanchez 07-11-2019

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Clint, Texas, where migrant children are beng held. 29 June 2019. Via Shutterstock

A Univision poll found that millennial (ages 18-33) Latinx voters believed that Julián Castro did the best among all presidential candidates in the first Democratic primary debate. This demographic is important because nearly half of all Latinx voters in the U.S. are millennials. Castro is connecting with this emerging generation because of his shared experiences and shared convictions.

The Writing and Rewriting of the United States

by Aaron E. Sanchez 06-12-2019

Wikimedia Commons

My family walks a palimpsest, on translations and mistranslations of rivers, of people, of places, of faith. My family walks on unfinished words that have yet to be formed, stuck on molar, in mouths, being shaped by tongues that twist two into one. My family walks on places unfinished and already traversed.

The Bodies the Desert Hides

by Aaron E. Sanchez 05-14-2019

Sonoran desert near Phoenix, Ariz.

I stared down at the bones. Whether covered under centuries of sand or exposed to sun, the body was claimed by the desert in life and afterlife. Even though it had been uncovered decades earlier, the dust of the desert never released it from its grip. Father Francisco Eusebio Kino died far from his Italian home. Migrants along the way had told me of the crypt of the Jesuit priest who had missionized the Sonoran Desert 300 years prior. He first entered this desert on a mission in 1687 and it swallowed him in 1711.

In My Mexican Heaven

by Aaron E. Sanchez 04-12-2019

Via Shutterstock 

In my Mexican heaven, my grandfather's hands would be calloused from turning pages of poetry. He would be sitting at the dinner table, sipping coffee, and reading, looking up as I walked out the door to tell me “que dios te bendiga mijo.” He wouldn’t sing hymns or shout hallelujah, but every evening at the same time he’d sing the song “Gema” to my grandmother.

In 'God's Country,' But Far from Heaven

by Aaron E. Sanchez 03-04-2019

Photo by Ja'Corie Maxwell on Unsplash.

In that small town, we were told that we were in "God’s country." The physical and spiritual evidence that surrounded us made us all the more certain. If this was "God’s country," then this too was God’s community, God’s actions, God’s relationships. The community, its actions, its families, its relationships were sacred. Nearly every aspect of the community was transformed into some great action of the Kingdom. And we were reminded, almost as often, that The World was a threatening force trying to make its way in and it was our duty to keep it out.

I Will Be an Impatient Prisoner of Hope

by Aaron E. Sanchez 02-12-2019

Photo by Yousef Al Nasser on Unsplash

“For us America is our own country, and it’s all the same: hopeless,” the general told his solider.

General Simón Bolívar had lost faith. The great Liberator of Latin America who fought for independence from Spain, with a vision of a continent united as a single nation would never happen. His men wore the wounds of the revolutions his words inspired and only the frail old man at the end of his life knew how worthless they had been. Political and social change was impossible. He had known the cause was lost for years and kept fighting out of despair, with no dream of any meaningful end.

The Contradictions of 'Assimilation'

by Aaron E. Sanchez 01-29-2019

Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When my white wife held her baby boy and girl to her chest for the first time, she cried. Falling from her cheeks onto their heads, her tears baptized them into a world that was confused and colliding and in desperate need of grace.

But she did not cry because she had brown babies.

Can Julián Castro Counter the Trumpian Narrative?

by Aaron E. Sanchez 01-23-2019

NEW YORK CITY - Julián Castro, March 23, 2016. Editorial credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com

It is said that politicians must campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Presidents, perhaps more than any other national figures, must tell the nation a story about itself — of its heroes and villains, of its problems and their causes, of its promise and future.

This Is the Face of the Reconquista

by Aaron E. Sanchez 11-21-2018

Steve Shreve / Unsplash

The first cast in the ochre light of the dawning sun is a morning prayer, filled with hope and faith that ceremonies sought in earnest will feed the soul. I reel dutifully, waiting for a faint tap on the end of my line. My father stands at the front of the boat, scanning for ripples on the water in the low light. “Wachale!” he exclaims in joking Spanglish as he reels in the first largemouth of the day. Two Mexican-Americans bass fishing in Texas. This is the face of the Reconquista.

Seeking Communion: Religious Rites and Civil Rights

by Aaron E. Sanchez 10-04-2018

And nearly every Sunday, as broken bread stands for broken bodies, I am struck with the words of James Baldwin, when he wrote that to be born black or a person of color in America means that you must “give up all hope of communion.”

When Baldwin wrote those words he believed that the nation was both a Christian nation and a white nation. White supremacy was the foundation of American rites and rights. Whiteness was a prerequisite to be encircled by compassion and included in citizenship. The denial of communion — the denial of the body of Christ and the rejection from the body politic — was connected to the nation’s original sin.