Let me start by warning you that I am in a mood today. Therefore, this post will most likely not be funny at all. If you just said to yourself, “But her posts are never funny”, then I suggest you go back to eating your lima beans and looking at your Land’s End catalog because YOU SIR/MADAM obviously have no sense of humor.
See? I’m in a mood. If you want funny, go over to the right side of your screen and click the links to any of the fabulous blogs in my blogroll. Peace out.
Today I registered my child for kindergarten. DMo and I excitedly walked into the school welcome center with our 9.5 billion pieces of identification. To register for school in GA, you need every piece of paper short of a notarized letter from God stating that you are, in fact, alive. We were missing some documents, so we went on a 2-hour wild goose chase to find more proof that we were actually GA residents (because my driver’s license and mortgage bill wasn’t enough). BUT, ladies and gentlemen, this is not why I’m in a mood.
Besides having to provide your life history, you must fill out a form containing basic information about your child. This should have been the easy part, but the first question stumped me.
Q1. Is your child Hispanic/Latino?
I am white. My parents are white. Their parents were white. This question was never an issue for me to answer. This question for my husband, however, was not as easy- his father is white, his mother is not. My husband looks stereotypically white, just as my children do. That blue-eyed child featured in the post below (you know, the one that’s trying to kill me)? His grandmother is Hispanic. Genetics are crazy.
Going back to Q1. I called a woman over to ask her two questions so I could fill out the rest of the form.
Here’s where I get stabby, y’all.
My first question: What qualifies you to be Hispanic?
The woman came over to our table quickly and greeted us with a smile. People from the South have been EXTREMELY pleasant to deal with. She introduced herself and asked how she could help me. I told her I was having a little trouble filling out the race question. My son is partially Hispanic, should I check the box? Her response sent chills down my spine. The woman made a face that resembled the look that you would make if I told you I only brushed my teeth once a week (TOTALLY not true, by the way- it’s more like 3 or 4 times a week. No really, I’m kidding… that’s disgusting. Please forget we ever had this conversation).
“Oh sweetie, don’t make him Mexican. He’s not Mexican, just mark ‘no’.”
No? Because he’s only a quarter Hispanic? But I knew that wasn’t what she meant. I’ve seen that look before. I could feel the Incredible Hulk starting to tug on my stomach signaling he wanted out. So I asked her why. I kept asking. She backpedaled a bit, she hemmed and hawed, yet I continued to ask. I could tell she was getting flustered, so I let it go.
My second question: WHY do you need this information?
My issue with this had more to do with HER, not with why the school system needs to know my son’s racial make-up. I’m sure there are logical reasons why the Government needs to know just how many Pacific Islanders there are in a particular region, but I wanted HER answer.
“Well, we just need it for profiling reasons. Like, we don’t want all the Mexicans in the same class.”
HOLY S%1T. What?! And with that, the Hulk made his appearance. I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation; mostly because I don’t remember a lot of it (it happens when I “Hulk out”). I vaguely recall uttering the words “burrito overload” and “baby low-rider pimpmobiles”. Somehow, we completed the registry and quickly left. As we were driving down the road, I noticed my child’s concerned little face in my rear-view mirror. I asked him what was wrong- he put his head down and asked one question.
“Mom, am I in trouble for being Mexican?”
As I mentioned earlier, my husband LOOKS stereotypically white. Because of this, there have been many times when a person unfamiliar with his ethnic background felt comfortable enough to make Hispanic racist slurs, jokes, etc. directly to him. I won’t get into this because it’s not my story to tell. But could you IMAGINE that? How that would make you feel? He always takes the high road and walks away. THAT is the difference between us. I’m not always the high-road type of gal.
It dawned on me as I looked at my concerned child that this was the first time out of what I’m sure will many times that someone made him feel bad about who he is. And that is unacceptable.
To end this extremely long and unfunny entry, let me just put this out there.
Do you tell racist jokes? THEY AREN’T FUNNY.
Do you make racist comments? THEY MAKE YOU SOUND INCREDIBLY IGNORANT.
Please know that I love and appreciate ALL types of humor, from corny to totally inappropriate. But let me tell you this. I’ve never heard a racist joke that was funny. Not once. And I’d like to think I know funny (shut up SIR/MADAM. Finished with your Land’s End? Try Quilter’s World. Bastard).
My kids are Hispanic. Therefore, so am I. You’d never know it by looking at us. So if you insist on making comments that would offend an entire race, you’d better be damned sure you know who you’re talking to before you say it.
And yes, I checked the box.
The Incredible Hulk