Tag: slurs

Finally

By now, you’ve heard about President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The plan could help as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants avoid deportation. It marks a major development in the ongoing debate over immigration, and millions of Latino families could see their entire lives changed because of the decision.

Republicans, of course, are apocalyptic. It’s amnesty, or an impeachable offense, or the downfall of America, or some combination of all those things.

No, they really don’t like it.

republicans_fiscal_cliff_disarray

Already, we’ve heard the GOP say how Hispanics are now going to overrun America and start ethnic cleansing. I’m not exaggerating. This GOP guy thinks it’s a possibility.

Now, I’ve addressed the countless myths, untruths, and slurs that have been hurled at undocumented people over the years. So I’m not going to get into it all over again.

Suffice to say, nobody really knows what effect this decision will have. But it is, as the kids say, a game changer. And it will have very real effects on myriad Latino households.

Of course, if we do start ethnic cleansing, just say that you’re a regular reader of mine. I’ll put in a good word for you.

 


Everybody Does It

Think about the many times a celebrity has been caught muttering — or in some cases, shouting — racist comments.

mad_gibson

Or ponder how often somebody in the public eye has issued a bigoted tweet or did something else that made his or her fans say, “Give them a break. They didn’t mean it. They’re not really prejudiced.”

The list of excuses always the following accusation: People who object to such behavior are hypocrites because, after all, “everybody has used those words.”

But is this even remotely true?

 

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The Ultimate Insult

I was at a wedding reception when I saw her — a blonde woman trying in vain to get down with Kool & the Gang’s Jungle Boogie. A man seated near me gestured to the woman and pronounced her, “the whitest person I’ve ever seen.”

We all knew what he meant, of course. She couldn’t dance. She was awkward. She was way uncool. And he summed up all that negativity with the single word “white.”

the-21-most-awkward-family-photos07

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Walk the Line

Let’s be clear. Nothing is funnier than Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The combination of the surreal, the obtuse, and the plain vulgar is still hilarious decades later.

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The Python comedy troupe was well-known for skewering religion, social class, and other touchy subjects. But even these brilliant Brits had an Achilles’ heel. Python’s few forays into racial humor were uninspired, coming across more as juvenile than biting.

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Some of My Best Friends Are…

Every time I write about the GOP’s image problem with Latino voters, some conservative sends me an angry missive insisting that it’s all the liberal media spreading lies. I discover that not only does the Republican Party respect Hispanics, but it has their best interests at heart. The missive usually ends by telling me that Republicans are actually the most open-minded and tolerant of Americans.

And then approximately fourteen minutes later, a GOP leader will say something like this:

“My father had a ranch. We used to have fifty to sixty wetbacks to pick tomatoes.

That’s Alaska Representative Don Young, a Republican, who recently said this during a radio interview. Honestly, I don’t know what point he was trying to make, because I can’t get past the casual use of the term “wetback.”

Of course, Young’s fellow Republicans were quick to distance themselves from his offhanded bigotry, while stressing, “Hey, hey, we’re crazy about Latinos.” But this was not some risqué joke or harmless gaffe. This was an elected official resorting to slurs when referring to the fastest-growing ethnicity in America.

Now, I’m not saying that the Democratic Party is immune to racism, but honestly, when was the last time you heard of a Democrat saying something so prima facie bigoted? Yes, I know all about Biden’s “back in chains” comment — something that is not even in the same universe as far as offensive language.

So I have to wonder why wildly derogatory and/or lunatic statements seem to spring solely from the mouths of Republicans.

Sure, such comments are not as egregious as the GOP tendency — even eagerness — to excuse rape. As such, perhaps misogyny is still the Republicans’ number-one issue. But you would think a political movement that, by its own admission, has an image problem with ethnic minorities would take just the smallest care not to fling around racial epithets like its 1950.

So let’s go ahead and accept the congressman’s apology that “there was no malice in my heart or intent to offend,” while dismissing his slur as a simple “poor choice of words.”

But just this once, will you conservatives spare me the corrective email insisting that I have it all wrong? Can you just drop the denial about the white-hot strain of racism in your party that you have allowed to fester and grow? Instead, spend that energy by actually trying to drag your GOP brethren into the twenty-first century.

Or just keep doing what you’re doing. Then sit back and wait from that big group hug from Latinos, because deep down we know that you really, really love us.

 


The End is Here

There’s a new horrifying sign that America is on the decline.

I’m not talking about the chaotic state of our politics, or the struggling economy, or even the fact that half of us refuse to acknowledge basic scientific facts.

I’m referring to the recent implication that white conservative guys can’t casually throw around racial slurs anymore. Truly, it’s a sign of the apocalypse.

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story

All residents of Los Angeles spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for our cars. This is because the gods who devised our car culture decreed that, throughout the land, valet parking shall be the law. It’s not a question of choice.

One of my favorite restaurants makes you hand over your keys, and then watch as the valet moves your car about six feet from where you pulled into the lot. The IHOP in West Hollywood has valet parking (think about that; an IHOP…). And the parking garage where I waited for my car just yesterday had mandatory valet service, even though I could have easily parked it myself.

In any case, I was standing at the counter, claim ticket in hand, when I heard a voice behind me.

“Excuse me.”

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Is Everybody Racist Except You?

I’ve officially lost count. For a while, I could tell you exactly how many times I’ve been called a racist, but now the number escapes me. I do know, however, that it’s quite a bit.

People on the right have hurled that term at me for saying that immigration reform is needed, or for pointing out that SB 1070 might make Latinos nervous, or for implying that ethnic minorities often have different perspectives than the majority culture does on some issues (that last one is a huge no-no).

However, people on the left have also tossed it my way (the term “imperialist” is also popular with them). Most recently, I got it for using the word “Hispanic” instead of “Latino”… or it may have been the other way around. I can’t recall.

In any case, whenever I am accused of being a racist, I wonder if I should ask the person to reconsider and choose another insult. I can supply a lengthy list, if they so desire.

You see, I’m concerned that we’ve watered down the terms “racism” and “racist.” Once upon a time, these words conjured up images of guys in KKK hoods, or of George Wallace in the doorway, or of old women shrieking slurs in public. This was hardcore stuff.

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