Here we are in 2011, and the Lowrider is still as misunderstood now as it has ever been. Sadly, I fear that this label may stick with us forever. It’s obvious that some people just don’t know about or care to understand our roots, values, and dedication to what can only be defined as a resilient way of life. Many people outside of our automotive culture are quick to define us as Mexicans with a fondness for decorating automobiles and turning them into large bouncing toys. They also very deeply believe that Lowriders reflect Mexican gangster culture transplanted into mainstream American society. This is unfortunate and it must mean that they are blind to the countless African-Americans, Asians, and Caucasians hitting the switches, too. Do other nationalities become Mexican because they own a Lowrider? In defiance to these negative outside connotations toward Lowriding, one could say that these naysayers are simply ignorant, which is certainly true. It’s deeper than that, though. I would rather not use that often-pulled card of race, or chalk these stereotypes up to lack of education, because I believe that the underlying ignorance is just a starting point. In fact, I believe that the ignorance breeds two other emotions; jealousy and insecurity. Sometimes, people mock things that they can’t or don’t understand, because it’s easier to place a label on something so that one can dismiss it and feel superior. We have a lot to be proud of and to share through our glorious culture, and those that would downplay our passion are simply missing out. You see, jealousy and insecurity can rob and rot any one person slowly, so collectively we can actually take some sort of solace in the pathetic efforts of those who would go out of their way to disrespect us and pull us down. Remember to keep an open mind yourself however, because as many naysayers as there are out there, there are an equal amount of curious and would-be students of our culture, just waiting for the proper introduction to our lifestyle. For those outsiders who want to understand us in order to form a mutual respect, it’s important that they are able to feel the unity among us. A person doesn’t have to study our history, or even have to own, drive, or build a Lowrider to become hip with our program! They have to know that though this cultural invention and tradition has survived for decades, it has done so because Lowriders are built by families and friends; not Chevrolet!

We have that spirit, so let them feel it. Our fathers passed onto us their love for a certain brand of automobile. Our uncles rebuilt the engines for us, and our mothers approved the colors we picked out to paint the cars that attracted our girlfriends. Brothers and friends made their way into the mix, forming and molding the car clubs we became a part of. Girlfriends became wives, giving us support and children, so that we may repeat our devotion and start the tradition all over again. Through it all, Passion, Poise, and Grace become the rendered images painted on our rolling metal canvases. Our gratitude for all of this shines as bright as the rims we ride on, as they carry us for a family cruise or to the show where we will all stand behind the car that was family-and-friend-built. Our smiles reflect in the one-of-a-kind masterpieces that we call paintjobs, which are unlike anyone else’s in the world. We are more proud, more fascinating, and much more inspiring than we sometimes get credit for. We do make a statement because we strive to be original, and that can make anyone jealous, insecure, and even greedy. We are here to stay regardless, thanks to the very resilience that intimidates those who would want us gone.