DEAR MEXICAN: I know that Mexicans and pochos can be black, white, Asian and indios, but I just got my United States Census form. Figured you would be the best person to ask about Question No. 9—Race.
I know I’m not white, (I’ve been pulled over too many times for BS reasons), I’m not black (I haven’t been beaten by the chota like my black amigos), I am not Asian (I sucked at math and have a perfect driving record), and I am not Native American (I don’t have long hair or a dream catcher). The census has been kind enough to allow me to identify myself as Hispanic of Mexican ancestry, but not as my race. Instead, I get to make up my own race. Any suggestions?
Viva La Raza
DEAR WAB: I haven’t heard so much unnecessary whining from Mexicans about an issue since Carlos Menstealia decided to call himself a beaner. Primer point: Since when are we supposed to take the U.S. Census’ racial classifications seriously? This is the same clump of the government caca pie that has spent a good century trying to exactly determine whatMexicans are—“white” one decade, of “Hispanic” origin the other, maybe “masters of Aztlán” soon. We’ve proven a clusterfuck for the government because, well, that’s what Mexicans are to this country—a grand, glorious, tequila-soaked chingazo to American racial taxonomies, and anything we can do to further destroy racial classifications in this country is bueno. Government can’t decide what we are? Good.
All this said, the ninth question in the census—despite its rigid caste classifications—doesallow people to decide what race they are (the Mexican picked “CHINGÓN” as his raza and urges the rest of ustedes to do the same) if you don’t like thinking of yourself as a gabacho, negrito, indio or all the different chinitos they list. Prefer the conquistador in your blood over the mestizo? Fill it in. Think you’re full-blooded Nahua despite the bigote on your lip and your güera grandma? Fill it in. Happy with Question 8, which has a category for anyone who has any roots to Mexico? Check it. But stop the grand existential dilemma and teeth-gnashing over the imperfect census, banda: Do we really expect anything right to come out of Washington regarding Mexicans and public policy? It’s been one disaster after another since 1846.
Washington is still able to look down on Arizona. Or at least they used to be able to, as the fine legislature of that proud state has recently changed clarified their immigration law to explicitly ban racial – read: skin color – profiling, in favor of the far less offensive “dangerous criminal Mexican-looking person profiling”. So, instead of using a paper bag to determine if someone of indeterminate race doesn’t belong in Arizona, police will use a paper bag with a picture of the Frito Bandito on it.
You’d think that would pretty much make everything all better, but apparently big whiners like Los Suns de la Reconquista, the President of the United States of MECHA, and even Shakira can still find something to complain about. “Blah blah blah,” they say, “let’s just let hordes of swarthy foreigners trample our marigolds at 3AM like the terrorists want.” Just imagine an Arizona where Shakira was allowed to move around at will: