Huh? Did you call me Rascist? What?

First, I would like to describe myself. I am Mexican, and can trace direct members of my family through 400+ years of Mexican history. However, because my family settled in Monterrey, here no indians lived, and didn’t mix, I am very, very, very pale. Actually, I look Jewish, and thanks to having some Jewish ancestor somewhere, I have the most stereotypical Jewish name in existence. Most people think I’m Jewish, and combined with the fact that I speak english fluently, no one would ever guess I was Mexican.

All right, now my story:

So I am a shotputter/discus thrower in high school. This year is a rebuilding year, and a consequence of that is we have no girls shotputters. This is a problem. However, it seems the problem was solved, as two days ago I was told that we were getting a thrower from Mexico, who had just moved hee, and she was a throwing champion of her state. Well, this made me happy. So I goo to another friend, and shout, “Hey ****! We’re getting a new girls shot putter from Mexico! We’re importing now!”

This causes our glorious leader to turn around and say, "you know ñañi, you have a really wierd way of looking at the world (I would like to point out that this was all said in a ‘you-rascist-bastard’ tone of voice). I didn’t get it at first. I said yeah, I know. then he said, “great job making her feel welcome!” and walked away.

Well, this stopped me dead in my tracks. Apparently, coach had forgotten I was also an import. So, worried tht I had just made myself into a racist, I went to some Mexican friends and a teacher who I knew at the school and related the story. Here is where it gets interesting. When I related the story where I say “We’re Importing!” they all, without exception, laughed, congradulating my wittiness. they did not have an answer for me concerning my coach’s response, although my teacher pointed out to me that I don’t look Latino, and that he could have forgotten. Not convinced, I head home, and tell my parents, and later, my cousins, grandma, and various uncles. Again, they all laughed at the joke, and were at loss to my coaches reaction. My father, (who, FTR, has never laughed at anything remotely inappropriate), pointed out that it wasn’t even an insult, that you import when you have lower quality domestic products. Armed with this new knowledge, I went to school.

I I talk to my coach, and here is our conversation:

Me: Uh, Coach, you know I’m an import too, right?

Coach: Well, it doesn’t matter, you shouldn’t say that about…

Me: But I’m talking about my own people.

Coach: What people are you talking about?

Me: The Mexican people.

Coach: But shes not Mexican. I just know shes from Latin America.

Me: That’s not what you said yesterday.

Coach: But still, shes different from you. She speaks little english, shes new here, I mean, do you feel foriegn?

Me: Yes

Coach: what? with the way you speak… No, I’m not going to get into this argument. Fine. you have poetic liscence.



First of all, i would like to talk about who can say what. As a mexican, I can say things about Mexicans. This is because when other Mexicans hear me, they know I am joking. After all, I am mexican, and even If I am serious, I am only dissing myself. But if a non-Mexican says something, it is bad, because we can’t know if they are serious or not, no matter how jokingly said. We have no idea how to react, and this causes offense. However, As a Mexican, I don’t operate under the same rules in regards to other Mexicans.

Secondly, it is my experience in mexico and Latin America that teasing, peer pressure, insulting, etc. is a very lare part of the culture. It is perfectly normal and expected for youths to take shots at each other. Now, If this girl gets upset from a pretty tame comment from a countryman, then she really needs to get help, because, speaking from experience, being an immigrant is not easy. If we are going to succeed and create a better life for ourselves, we need to grow a thick skin. Better that she gets it from jokes by her paisanos then from some real rascist dickhole.

Now, I am not saying that America is a big rascist country. Quite the contrary. However rascism is still active here. How do I know this? I can not count the times I have been in a group of people, who, looking around, and thinking they see no Mexicans, proceed to bash. I can’t tell you how many times when I could not speak english that people came up to me, perfectly nice, only to have complacency turn to revulsion in their eyes when they realized what I was. I can’t tell you how many “Virgin of Guadalupe” remarks I have heard over the years. Every time this happens, I am reminded of who I am. I am never allowed to assimilate. Sure, I can speak like a natve, but who cares? How you look and talk doesn’t define who you are.

Now, I have lived here many years, and I have seen much bad things. However, I have seen many, many, many great things. I owe an unfathomable amount to this country, and I am proud of my adoptive country, and will defend it against anyone. But if I had let eery joke or remark from Jose or joe Blow upset me, I would be a lot less happy today. And so will this girl, if she lets everything bother her.
This was a pretty big MPSIMS, And I don’t really know where to go with it. I feel I kind of ran out of steam midway thorugh. Any questions are appreiated, and if I am at fault here, (I feel I came off a tad angry towards Americans. That was not my intention please point it out. Thanks.

I’m sorry to hear about your experience, ñañi. People definitely are racist, and I have had similar occurances happen to me. I have had a number of anti-Mexican things said in my presence (I am from Northern California, where there is a significant Mexican and Mexican-American presence) and I do not stand quietly by.

What people don’t know from my physical appearance is that I have Mexican family (in DF), and I visit them fairly often. I love Mexico, and I’m so happy to have family that I can stay with when I visit.

I get a lot of weird, weird responses when I mention I am visiting my family in Mexico, like: “So…you have some Mexican blood in you?” Um, yeah, whatever. My mother’s sister married a Mexican, and my cousins are dual citizens. When my eldest cousin turned 18, he was forced to choose a citizenship by the Mexican government - and he picked Mexico. I mentioned this to a coworker a while ago, and he couldn’t get over it. My cousin picked Mexico over the US! WHAT? Why would anyone be so STUPID as to do that? I suppose it’s meaningless that my cousin was born in Mexico, grew up in Mexico, and if you ask him his nationality, he’d tell you he was a Mexican! But a US citizenship is ALWAYS better! (Well, two of my cousins were talking about taking a trip to Cuba a while ago…not something you can do readily with a US citizenship! BTW, Mexico changed its laws and my cousin reapplied for and recieved US citizenship, so he’s dual again.)

Oh. And this kills people: my cousins are Jews. Mexican Jews. They’re white. Two redheads and a blonde, all three with blue eyes. Surprise, surprise: Mexico City has 18 million people. That’s enough room for a LOT of diversity, stupid people of the world.

Eh don’t sweat it.

I work at a large teaching hospital that employees over 5,000 people of every race and ethnicity. In addition, we have a new round of med students every month each as varied as the mix of employees. Just for the record I am a white female in my 40’s.

A few weeks ago someone was looking for an employee and asked what she looked like. I replied. "Well she’s in her twenties, tall, thin, black, has her hair in a pony tail and I think she is wearing green scrubs. The person thanked me and went on. Then another employee said “Well gosh did you have to say she was black? That just doesn’t sound right.” I replied “Why not? She is black. Would you feel the same if I pointed out that Jen has long red hair, or Larry has a mustache?”

It all came down to that she thought I was being politically incorrect to mention a co-worker’s race. I think she was taking her diversity classes a bit too seriously.

Huh? You’re describing someone. Talk about stupid.

As for “we’re importing!” it doesn’t sound racist AT ALL to me, and I"m not even Mexican. It sounds more like you’re saying, “Yeah, we’re recruiting people from all over the world to come here!” Or something like that.

People are weird.

The story is very interesting and meaningful, I wish I had something interesting to say about it. So don’t take this personally – it’s “racist”, not “rascist.” I don’t normally correct spelling, but when I saw “rascist” it just made me think of some weird combination of “racist” and “fascist” and it broke my brain. :slight_smile:

At my college there was a great debate on the benefits of PC language. A white prof waxed poetically about how black was wrong and yada yada for 20 minutes. At the end of her speech a black guy stood up and said “Thanks for speaking on behalf of my race, but I’m black.” and sat down again.

Then there was a time when a girl here in Prague was talking to me and when I described a guy I kickbox with, she said “Shouldn’t you avoid using the word black? Isn’t African-American better?” to which I replied “Not when he’s from Ghana…” People actually replaced the word black with African-American, without thinking about what it really means.


In the US, someone asked if we had African Americans in the UK. I replied “yes, if they’re on vacation”.

Now, if your teachers are able to “forget” that you are of hispanic descent, and the majority of people don’t treat you any differently than they would their anglo friends, how can you say that you haven’t been allowed to integrate?

I’m serious, this is an ongoing question that I have yet to find an answer for… what IS integration, and how much does it vary from person to person, and culture/race to culture/race?

My fiance is a fifth-generation Texan, who also happens to be of Latin descent. Most people would call him a Mexican, but I find this silly and faintly insulting to both sides. He isn’t any more “Mexican” than I am “Irish,” seeing as his family has been here as long as mine. If I were Mexican, I’d be pissed if half the world were called “Mexican,” too, just because they had brown skin–like somehow everyone in Mexico looks alike, and anyone who has brown skin originated in Mexico…but I digress.

My point was to agree with your OP, Nani. My fiance gets very frustrated because he wonders when he will be considered just an “American.” As he is, of course. People have big mouths and short attention spans, and a lot of the remarks they make are based on thoughtless assumptions that would probably really piss them off if they were reversed. He has no ethnic accent of any kind, so a lot of people assume he must be Hawaiian (?), or “from one of the islands,” or something…and assume he’s cool with it if they share racist jokes about “beaners” and “spics” and “wetbacks,” etc., etc…as people do with me. (Oooh, does that just get under my skin! “Oh, look, a white girl! Let’s swap ugly racist generalizations with her and pretend we’re joking!”)

And then there’s the other half…the people who think that, because he’s brown, he must be an immigrant. He works as a bartender, and shortly after 9/11, a customer asked him, “So…how does Mexico feel about this tragedy?”

And he just looked at the guy and said, “I don’t know. Never been there.”

The guy was at first confused, and then embarrassed, by his ignorant assumptions…but the point is, people make these kinds of remarks because to do otherwise would require intelligence, thought, and courtesy. Most people have a very short supply of all three.

So I do feel for you. I think your coach is crazy…and I hope the new girl isn’t nearly as pointlessly sensitive as he is. (And if this comes off as rambling, pardon me…I’m a little sleepy. :smiley: I had a point in here somewhere.)