Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am Mexican, hear me roar.

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.

TTFN,

The Incredible Hulk

19 comments:

  1. "Baby low-rider pimpmobiles".

    Brilliant.~ I'm just sorry for the incident that inspired said brilliant phrase. People can be such a**holes.

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  2. Dear Hulk,

    Please Smash them all. Especially those Land's End motherfuckers.

    Love,

    The Mrs

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  3. That's right you checked the damn box. My cousins are Arabic and I walk face first into that situation all the time. If I get riled up about them ... I can't imagine the sheer Hulkness that would ensue with my babies. xo

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  4. I admire your restratint because I was getting furious just reading it! Ignorance is really frightening! I will say though, even mad you are still very funny, sorry! Lol! I'm sorry you had to go through that, and that your son got the idea that somehow he did something wrong. He is so young to realize that grown ups can be really dumb!

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  5. Oh Georgia...how I love thee and thy racist ways (and your huge peach that stands off I-75)...just think AMo if you were in a classroom made up of a bunch of SumSum's...I believe I'm the reason they attempt controlling burrito overload.
    XO~
    Someone entirely white who is consistently mistaken for Hispanic and proudly lists Rosie Perez as her emergency contact.

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  6. Our son is Hispanic (and looks it) while we are not. Our son is adopted domestically and I start steaming when people ask if where we got him. If I'm by myself they just assume I married a Mexican. Thankfully in south Texas there are enough Hispanic/Latinos that discrimination is not quite as obvious. Like you, I get why the district wants to know but the woman - she was just asking for trouble.

    But then I blew a gasket when the census asked me if my child was adopted or biological. He is our son, period.

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  7. I'll say this, God forbid you get a class full of "Mexicans" together.

    As a child my mother registered me at a new school as having been in "Special Education" because I was in the gifted program. I spent the first week at that school looking/sounding like I was mentally ill because I was running up to the teachers screaming "I don't belong here! I'm scared!"

    That was totally unrelated.

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  8. @kat I wish I could remember the rest of the baby pimpmobile sentence. I think it had something to do with stealing all of the faculty parking.
    @TheMrs Land's End is the devil. I'm feeling less angry now, partially due to T-Pain.
    @K Oh man... just wait until you have little Hollyywoods. Sometimes The Hulk is very hard to contain.
    @Kathy he's a smart little boy, which is both a blessing and a curse!
    @SumSum, or shall I call you Rosie Perez Jr.? Do I need to award you with something else to get you to write again? Everyone go visit SumSum, you won't regret it. At least until morning.
    @Elizabeth I can only imagine how difficult that must be to restrain yourself with the bio/adopted questions. What is wrong with people?!
    @phildo you are "special" alright. I knew it from the moment I saw your gun-wielding panda.
    @jillsmo Back atcha!
    @Wombat My thoughts exactly.

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  9. I'm so happy you hulked-out. I'm more like your husband (though I wouldn't call it 'taking the high road' when I do it, I call it 'chickening out') and I wish I had your balls.

    I love you and your Mexican-by-marriage ass.

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  10. Good. For. You!!! My half sister is half Mexican but she has blonde hair and green eyes and growing up folks always thought she was white and said racist jokes around her. A neighbor of my mom/stepdad even asked my mom once, when my stepdad was mowing the front lawn, if her gardener could come over and do her yard too. That neighbor doesn't know how lucky she is...my mom owns a gun and isn't afraid to use it.

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  11. This is the worst part of living in the South. And also mosquitoes.

    I guess ignorance exists everywhere, though. It's hard to know how to handle it. I think you did fine.

    Also, I don't care what you say. This post had me laughing. Mostly at Land's End enthusiasts.

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  12. So sorry you had to deal with such an ignorant piece of work. As mom to biracial kids, I have a million stories, good and bad. We live in northern california in a city is notorious for its diversity and was even named a top place for multi-racial families to call home (Thank god!), but and I was raised in a small town and I'm pretty sure it was somewhow transported from the South - at least thats what my parents (from NC) always told me. We lived there until my oldest was 6 - and just had to move. I have NO tolerance for that ladies behavior, I love your hulk side!

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  13. Wow! I can't believe she said don't make him Mexican. Not only is that messed up that she thinks all Latinos are Mexican (which makes her sound like an ignoramous) but that fact that she said that in front of a child. This is where it starts. Racism starts with adults that are stupid. And I am Mexican ... hear me roar... I don't take the high road either.

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  14. “Well, we just need it for profiling reasons. Like, we don’t want all the Mexicans in the same class.”

    WHAT. THE. FUCK. DOES. THAT. MEAN?

    Sorry for the cap locks there, but that's just un-freaking-believable.

    Good for you for Hulking her racist ass.

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  15. I {HEART} THE HULK!!
    I have heard ignorant comments as well....
    My eldest daughter looks caucasian (hubs is). Someone told my husband--> "It is hard for kids of mixed backgrounds, but she passes for white-- she will be okay." Hold the FRONT DOOR! What?!? Are we in the same era, I thought we were moving past all that! You let your Hulk out!

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  16. Ok, this is going to be long-winded, sorry for that. First, love Hulk mode. Second, sorry that "educator" was a c****
    Third, and here is where it gets going. I believe that you should have all the information you need. So, about the basic info form; any institution; private, public, grade school, high school or college/university, if they want federal funding, must ask the demographics (race/ethnic background) of their students. This provides a snapshot to the gov. of the diversity of the country in-between Censuses. Also, for longitudinal study purposes, it will show if there is any group/area that is in need of more funding or programs. The student (or in your case, parent) can refuse to answer any of the questions, but the institution must ask. Also, there is no 'qualifier.' If you feel that you are in anyway Hispanic, Asian, or anything else, you can mark it.
    The school has to report it to the Department of Ed. After that, it can do what it wants with that info. Usually schools use the info to brag about how diverse they are.
    You are now smarter than the teacher :)

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