I’m on a roll, folks! There’s been a new Daily Chicana post each day this week, for the first time in a long time, and in another first, I actually have a sustained weekly theme (comedy). It can only mean one thing: I’m procrastinating! Not only do I have my usual work to avoid doing (with an important, fast-approaching journal article deadline), but now there’s apartment packing to avoid, too! For a professional procrastinator like me, it’s a dream come true. I’m savoring this rare opportunity to delay several important, stressful projects all at once.
So onto our theme: Comedy week continues here with one of my favorite videos: “Mex vs BC (Born Citizen),” a creation of the Latino Comedy Project (LCP) that plays off those “Mac vs PC” ads that used to be on TV all the time. My favorite of the Mex vs BC series is on jobs:
I like to show this video to my undergrads in class after they read sociologist Tomas Jimenez’s excellent book, Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration and Identity. Jimenez describes the impact of Mexican immigration on Mexican Americans’ sense of ethnicity as a double-edged sword: on the one hand, having contact with more recently-arrived immigrants helps many Chicanos maintain a strong sense of cultural heritage and gives them a reason to keep up their use of Spanish. Yet on the other hand, because many people in the mainstream can’t distinguish the difference between Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, Chicanos experience the frustration as always being perceived as a newcomer to the US and an outsider to American culture.
This misperception is what leads some people to make those annoying comments (which I’ve written about as good examples of microagressions) such as, “You speak English so well!” Meanwhile, you’re thinking, “Well why wouldn’t I? It’s my first language!” In any case, I encourage you to check out Jimenez’s book; it’s very accessible to non-sociologists (like me!) and a fairly quick read.
But before I get too serious, let me get back to the LCP! Another popular video of theirs is a spoof of the film 300, and here were see the LCP cast bringing to life the worst fears of conservatives and xenophobes who rant about illegal immigration:
And while it’s hilariously depicted here, at the same time it’s scary to think that this is exactly what some people think is seriously happening. If you don’t believe me, just read through the racist, fear-mongering emails of Russell Pearce, the former Arizona state legislator who masterminded SB1070, that state’s masterpiece of racial profiling. I got bogged down the other night reading through those emails, laughing out loud at their absurdity.
Sometimes, when faced with such outright hatred of my people, I at least find some snarky comfort in marking all the grammatical errors that pop up throughout Pearce’s rants. I think to myself, “You think people who look like me don’t belong in this country, and yet I am more educated than you and can at least know basic spelling and grammar!” In that spirit, I leave you with a weary sigh and this iconic image.
Oh, you crazy racists of today and of yore! Please learn the rules of the English language, mmmkay? Then we can talk.