Hispanics are used to being insulted and denigrated. After all, there are a wide variety of colorful slurs and cultural putdowns from which the bigot can choose.

However, “lazy” has never seemed to stick. When it is applied to us, it seems to tumble out in an almost haphazard way. It’s as if the racist doesn’t really believe it, and is just hurling epithets that sound good. After all, how can Latinos be lazy if they’re working hard to invade America and then steal everybody’s job? That sounds like quite a strenuous chore to me.

The stereotype of the shiftless Latino pinnacled back in the days when welfare cheats were the biggest boogieman that white America had to face. Even then, it was scarier to paint African Americans as lazy. That imagery still resonates with true haters. After all, Hispanics don’t have a Stepin Fetchit as cultural shorthand.

In recent years, the claim that Hispanics are lazy has been further diminished. The cliché of the sweaty Latino knocking himself out to install your roof or finish your garden or clean your hotel room has come to the fore.

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