I think I just might be…a Mexican Cracka

The most amusing thing about this Zimmerman/Martin fiasco is the mainstream attention that has been spent on the “White Hispanic” formula.

I actually read a mainstream article the other day that touched on the much-ignored distinction between race and ethnicity, and which attempted to lightly touch upon the subject of race as it exists in Mexico. I’ve even tried explaining to people (including Mexicans) that there is no Mexican race. This draws some harsh looks because a lot of Mexican people view themselves as a lofty sort of “race” of the Sun, a race of Solar Gods. They aren’t sure how to process such information, but many don’t seem particularly fond of the concept. Mexico is like the United States, I preach. There is no “American” race but what invariably happens (human nature, in fact), is that nationalism truncates racial identity and the most common racial representatives of a nation thus define its faux “race.” Americans are White. Mexicans are Mestizo.

I hoped the Zimmerman episode would illuminate such tired facts. This, despite the fact he harks from South America, which is decidedly not Mexico, thus lending credence to the common “American” refrain that they all look alike.

Mexicans, and Hispanics in general, come in a vast international cornucopia of gray scale spanning all colors and racial fragments. It’s odd for some people to see a “George Zimmerman” who looks more like Chuy from East LA than a Midwestern shoe salesman.

What the hell is a “White Hispanic” anyways? Is this something we define with phenotype or socio-cultural behavior? From personal experience, and by virtue of standardized genetic screening, it is safe to say there are very few purely European specimens in Mexico, and just as few purely Amerindian ones either. Mexico is one big intermingling pool of European/Amerindian genes. At what ratio does someone become “White?”

As for myself, I feel I have a similar outward palate to that of George Zimmerman. I have black hair, brown eyes, large facial features, but I’m Mestizo through and through. I’ve never subjected myself to DNA testing, so I can’t begin to throw out percentages, but it’s obvious.

Yet…in many ways, I am a total Mexican Cracka! I am. It’s my behavior, my thinking, my outlook. When I used to hang in predominantly Mexican circles, I was always called a “coconut” and one group even thought I was White because of my non-Spanglish, pure California, accent. When you hang with Mexicans and you act White, you are an automatic nerd who gets tossed to the end of the line. Even the hot chicas can spot you and they shrug dismissively.

I always identified, socially, with Anglo American culture because I shared more in common with them. Because of this, I’ve always felt I was the penultimate ultimate pocho. My spoken Spanish sucks. I understand it, but couldn’t even begin to utter a complete Spanish sentence. I wouldn’t know where to start.

I’m concerned with punctuality and I’m a tad OCD about lots of really innocuous and stupid everyday crap and I’m overly concerned with how my behavior affects others. I like alternative music and hate action movies. In fact, I love art-house movies. It’s true.

I am a Mexican Cracka.