Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is it ever ok to say "Stupid Mexicans?"

It was a team of young men that beat up Luis Ramirez
detail of image from Arrochar & Tarbet, for link click here

In the late 1980s, in a Houston community named West University Place, as my kids and I walked by their elementary school (which was 5 blocks from our house) we saw a group of boys, about ages 6-8 or so playing in front of the main building. They were throwing a ball around.

What happened next really surprised me. Thank goodness my kids didn't hear what they said. The boys decided to throw the ball up in the air when we walked by, while screaming out "stupid Mexicans." Which is what they did. I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. The memory of this still haunts me now.

One of the boys was the son of our next door neighbor - who had an Hispanic last name but was Italian.*

There are a couple of thoughts that come to mind when I remember the incident. First of all, if the editor of the New Yorker wanted an image of this on the front page, judging on his previous decisions, someone would draw a picture depicting what is imagined to be a group of stupid Mexicans.

Maybe (I am hoping) someone else would probably handle this type of situation differently - with a drawing of the boys playing ball while two kids and their mother (who are Latino) walk by. A bubble with a few words would be next to the boys, depicting what they actually said twenty years ago.

Each image would present an entirely different story. Which would be more accurate? If you draw Mexicans then all you see are three people walking down a sidewalk - if you want to present them as "stupid" there are many ways to depict this, but they all focus on the negative evaluation of the two kids and their mother. If you draw little boys screaming nasty things as the Mexican kids walk by, then you depict an interaction that starts in the mouths of the boys playing - it is the boy's nasty language - there is no connection with anyone around them, except for their own imagination.

Too bad the New Yorker didn't think of this when the magazine published the Obama cover last week.


P.S. A few years later we moved to the Jewish side of town. People were much nicer -
...
below is an article about another group of young men who called someone a stupid Mexican. Different time frame though - the first story is from 1988, the second from 2008.

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Immigrant's beating death exposes tensions in Pa.

MICHAEL RUBINKAM

The Associated Press
Philly.com

SHENANDOAH, Pa. - Luis Ramirez came to the U.S. from Mexico six years ago to look for work, landing in this town in Pennsylvania's coal region. Here, he found steady employment, fathered two children and, his fiancee said, occasionally endured harassment by white residents.

...The 25-year-old illegal immigrant was beaten over the weekend after an argument with a group of youths, including at least some players on the town's beloved high school football team, police said. Despite witness reports that the attackers yelled ethnic slurs, authorities say the beating wasn't racially motivated.

...An investigation continues, and no charges have yet been filed, but police say as many as six teens were involved in the fight, which ended with Ramirez in convulsions and foaming at the mouth. He died early Monday of head injuries.

Crystal Dillman, the victim's 24-year-old fiancee, who is white and grew up here, said Ramirez was often called derogatory names, including "dirty Mexican," and told to return to his homeland.

...Arielle Garcia and her husband, who were with Ramirez when he was beaten late Saturday, said they had dropped their friend off at a park but returned when he called to say he had gotten into a fight.

She saw someone kick Ramirez in the head, she said, and "that's when he started shaking and foaming out of the mouth."

The Garcias said they heard the youths call Ramirez "stupid Mexican" and an ethnic slur...

Despite the witness statements, Borough Manager Joseph Palubinsky said he doesn't believe Ramirez's ethnicity was what prompted the fight: "I have reason to know the kids who were involved, the families who were involved, and I've never known them to harbor this type of feeling."

for complete AP/Philly.com article click here:



*Part of Italy was Spanish territory during the Renaissance period.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isnt it apparent yet that a MAJORITY of US citizens do NOT want mexicans in this country? So our government does not care what we think or they would not be here. I was under the impression that our goverment worked for us.

What we can do:
Use what rights we have left to boot them out. Our freedom to form an opinion. And our freedom to choose where we want to shop.

1 Stop shopping at businesses that hire mexicans.
2 Tell the business why you are not shopping there any longer.
Problem solved.

Delete this if you will. There are a million other places to post this.

konkretekirk said...

Another way to combat undesirables in your community is to peacefully send the message they are not welcome. Get creative there are still many legal options to just not make them feel welcome.Most whites don't get it, this is a racial issue. Don't dodge the bullet. Their biggest weapon is name calling. You just have to consider the source.

Marie-Theresa Hernández said...

Interesting about what you term is an "undesirable?"

Did you read the post? The people being called names were myself and my children. Can you call a 7th generation Texas with a masters degree she completed at age 21 an "undesirable?" You call two children, ages 3 and 8 taking a walk with their mother undesirable? We were not transient residents. We had been renting there for a year, and later purchased a home in the neighborhood. We ended up living there for 8 years and both the children attended the neighborhood elementary.

Yes, use legal means to get rid of murders, rapists and larcenists (like Madoff), but why think of regular people as undesirable? Just because we are not blond and blue eyed like the kids who were calling us names?

konkretekirk said...

My comment was directed at the one above me but since you called me out I'll give it to you straight. Undesirable to me is one who will either at present or in the future will have dire consequences to those children you described as blond and blue. The white race is under attack from all angles and will face extinction unless something is done about it.Just trying to do my part to see that what I am lives on. I can imagine name calling would be the last concern of those white children if they lived in a world dominated by darkness.I'm sure all the darks would just love them and accept them for who they are and give their jobs and future to them because they are different.

Marie-Theresa Hernández said...

Thank you for your response. I think a dialogue is important.

I can see why you would say the "white race is under attack." I don't necessarily agree, but can see how some people would think that way. The white race as represented by the majority in the U.S. and northern Europe is truly getting closed in. For example, France and the UK have huge populations of people who were originally from "the colonies" (i.e. India, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco etc). That happens when you start a colony. Eventually the colonials start coming to the "home country." It is a normal response that happens over time.

Yes, the numbers of "white people" are diminishing, partly by immigration and partly by inter-marriage.

I would like to ask you how you think this will ruin the white race? It could mean the next few generations won't be so fair haired. But what other bad things could happen?

The way you approach such a volatile subject is noteworthy, but I must say I was taken aback when you used the term "the darks."

Another question I have is about the term "white race" - what does it mean to you? My children are so fair that people usually think they are "white." They are affluent young people who are world traveled. This type of situation makes you wonder what the definition is. Would they be white because of their skin? Or their social/cultural background? Or would they be considered white at all?

In Mexico, during colonial times (and until the early 20th century) the term "white" was used in distinguishing Spanish speaking people from Indigenous people. Those white people often had brown hair instead of blonde, and might have been olive skin. But they saw themselves very different from the different Mexican tribes.