Julian Castro carries generations of Latino ambition into 2020 presidential election

When I think about Julian Castro running for president, I remember a phone call nearly 30 years ago. That was 15 years before I met my friend, who was then attending high school in San Antonio.

As for me, I had just graduated from Harvard, and I was back home in the farmland of Central California where, it sometimes seems, everything grows except opportunity for Mexican-Americans.

That’s how it is in farm towns in the Southwest. In the 1950s, when my parents were teenagers, a dream job for Mexican-Americans was to get out of the fields and work in an air-conditioned office. In the 1980s, when I graduated from high school, the dream was getting accepted into an Ivy League university. Today, the dream is keeping pace with white colleagues — getting the same jobs, promotions, accolades and paychecks. Good luck with that.

The Fresno Bee had run a full-page feature about my small-town upbringing, my time in Cambridge, and what lay ahead. An older woman named Diana Rodriguez tracked down my number and called me.

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