Archive for February, 2013

What’s Spanish for “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”?

It may be bourgeois of us, but my wife and I have decided that we need some nanny help with our newborn.

Not much, mind you, just someone who can help out for a few hours each week while the two of us are working.

So we’ve started interviewing potential caregivers, and at the risk of generalizing, I couldn’t help but notice something about the five nannies we interviewed.

We asked each of them what they planned to do whenever the baby napped during their shift.

Three said they would perform light housekeeping, run errands, and basically keep working.  Two said they would remain on the clock, but they would not do any extra work, unless maybe we upped their salary.

The three who wanted to keep busy were immigrants (from Latin America, Africa, and Europe, respectively). The two who declined work and/or wanted more money were American-born.

Admittedly, this is a small sample size. However, I was struck by how clearly the work ethic cleaved between the two groups.

By the way, we didn’t ask about their backgrounds, but the women either volunteered the information, or it was obvious.

Now, I’m not saying that American-born individuals are lazy. In fact, maybe they have the right idea. After all, why shouldn’t they negotiate for the best wage they can get? That’s the American way.

On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that immigrants are willing to do whatever it takes to snag a job in this country. And they don’t make excuses about a task being beneath them, or whine about too much work. That is also the American way.

I’d like to think that both aspects are admirable, under the right circumstances.

But for right now, we’re still interviewing.

 


Gulp

It’s never a good week when one of the few Latino national leaders becomes a punch line.

So even though I personally am not too fond of Mr. Rubio, I would prefer that he avoid making Hispanics look like bumbling amateurs.

So here’s a tip.

Hydrate.


Bang and Blame

I’ve written before about the fact that people who own guns are more likely to use them on themselves or a loved one than for self-defense.

And I’ve also written before about the tendency of Americans to make up imaginary assailants to cover up their real crimes. Invariably, the fictitious thug is black or Hispanic.

Well, these disparate elements combined this week in Texas, when “police in San Antonio say a group of friends panicked after one of them accidentally shot another in the back, and tried to pin the whole thing on a Hispanic male who never existed.”

Apparently, a 19-year-old kid, who had no problem getting a handgun (this is America, after all), was “handling the weapon in a reckless manner when it suddenly went off.” One of the ace marksman’s friends was hit, and although nobody died, they had to come up with a story when they hit the emergency room.

Naturally, they said a Latino tried to carjack them. The cops, to their credit, didn’t buy it, and the teen hotshot has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest.

So what have we learned from this fiasco? Well, for starters, it shows that many Americans still believe nothing is more plausible than a Latino or black man popping up out of nowhere to rob and shoot you. But it also shows that this particular racist trope is pretty much played out.

So as service to you readers who trying to cover up your own botched shootings and/or self-inflicted stupidity, let me offer some advice.

You’re going to have to get creative when you talk to the cops. That means no more “a big scary Latino guy did it!”

To fool the cops, you need to describe your imaginary assailant as such:

“He was half Chinese, half Finnish, with some black Irish on his mother’s side and a smattering of Chilean blood. He was left-handed with a limp, and he had a dueling scar in the shape of a mermaid across his chin. He carried the discrete sadness of enduring multiple heartbreaks, combined with the air of a former military man. His lower-class status belied his bourgouis ambitions, and his racial and ethnic makeup are the perfect encapsulation of America’s changing demographics.”

Then add, “Oh yeah. And he had a gun. Yup.”

Let’s see how that one works.

 


Quick Takes

As threatened, new fatherhood has sapped my time and energy to the point that I am barely able to rant and rave effectively. I have no doubt that this will change as my son gains maturity and I gain perspective, but for now my updates will be succinct (which is a nice way of saying that they’ll be really short).

First, as I’m sure you know, President Obama is at long last finished with attempting to compromise with conservatives who would gladly push him into a wood chipper if they could get away with it. The president is moving forward on immigration reform, joined by a few Republicans who insist that they never ever referred to a pathway to citizenship as “amnesty.” Of course, we could have had all this progress years ago, but as I’ve written before, some people always need to scream and fight and threaten to overthrow the government before we just go ahead and adopt the progressive idea. I have no idea why this is the route to reform, but it just is.

Second, I noticed that my infant son is part of yet another growing trend. Apparently, the state he was born in (California) now has more Latinos than white people for the first time since statehood. This was a surprise to some.

This news came out just about the time my son was born. Is it coincidence, or was he the tipping point?

What do you think?

 


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