La Realidad: The Realities of Anti-Mexicanism

“Where have you been, my darling young one.”
A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan

U.S. anti-Mexicanism is a race premised set of historical and contemporary ascriptions, convictions and discriminatory practices inflicted on persons of Mexican descent, longstanding and pervasive in the United States.

This essay conceptualizes, historicizes, and analyzes anti-Mexicanism, past and present, concurrent with some references to sources. Here, the emphasis is conceptual, not historiographical. Anti-Mexicanism is a form of nativism practiced by colonialists and their inheritors. Mexicans, being natives, became targets of aggressive practices inclusive of the violence directed at Indigenous and African peoples. The words “Mexican” and “Mexico” speak to Indigenous heritages. The origins of the thought and meaning of “Mexican and “Mexico” speak to historical native roots. White supremacist ideologues have understood this.

Mas…La Realidad: The Realities of Anti-Mexicanism

That time when Sylvester Stallone was a Mexican cover boy (toons)

argosythrillfWith all the press he is getting, you would think that Pendejo-of-the-Century Donald Trump had invented all the twisted tales of Mexicans floating on the interwebs.

But our pasty-faced, combover fatboy is not the first and not the last of the foolios who will get rich (and famous) for spouting hate-laced bon mots on the hygiene, sexual practices, and criminality of Mexicans or any other Latina/o for that matter.

Here, in some graphics from the 30s, we see some early 20th Century meditations on Latina/o/Hispanic subjectivities from the pages of Argosy Weekly.

As you can see, pulp magazine editors and illustrators were not ethnographers and whether the subjects depicted are Spanish, Argentine, or Mexican (or Italian — Sylvester Stallone?) is impossible to determine — though I am pretty sure the Buzzard Bait issue features some prehistoric Califas bandidos, and Señor Flatfoot’s “pampas” rogues look like they stepped out of the Mexico conjured in John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (which had not been made yet! Time travelers?)

Mas…That time when Sylvester Stallone was a Mexican cover boy (toons)

R. Crumb ‘Zap Comics’ 1975: Mexican kid just lookin’ to make a dime

zapcomicstopOne of the peculiarities of my tendencies when it comes to semiotic hoardings, as you well know, are cameos by Latinas/os in mainstream American media artifacts.

Now Zap Comics were anything but the mainstream back in the day, but they have, over time, entered the effluvial, miasmic flow of pop culture leavings that typify a certain moment, a certain groovy time in American cultural history.

So it is that I chanced upon this cover at the REMARKABLE site, The Golden Age Site.

Mas…R. Crumb ‘Zap Comics’ 1975: Mexican kid just lookin’ to make a dime

Dance along with The 1491s: ‘I’m an Indian, too!’ (music video)

indiantooIf you’ve got to dance to keep from cryin’ — well then, dance to I’m an Indian, too! by the 1491s.  All the kool kids are doing it!

Careful listeners will note actual Native Americans cracking jokes with stereotypical Indian names like “Running Nose,” the same jokes that offended the sensitive extras on Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six movie set.  

Mas…Dance along with The 1491s: ‘I’m an Indian, too!’ (music video)

Wonder Woman and Marya la Giant fight Mexibandidos (1945 toon)


wondairfulI love it when my vocation and avocation converge as they do in this wonderful comic installment of Wonder Woman from the one and only Pappy’s Golden Age Comic Blogzine. Pappy explains:

This delightfully oddball tale is set in Mexico with a beautiful eight-foot-tall señorita, bandits with bandoleros, Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, chains, bondage, and even Wonder Woman in bare feet walking over hot coals. Wow.

This Mexican melange is drawn by H.G. Peter, and is scanned from Sensation Comics #45 (1945).

An illustrator and lover of classic comics and a curator of artifacts focused on constructions of “Mexicans” in U.S. mass culture, rarely do I chance upon an artifact that blends these worlds (not to mention my not-so-secret fetish for fantastically strong women!)

Here’s a page from the issue featuring bandit “Mexicans,” Wonder Woman, freakish “Marya the Amazon maid” y mucho mas more [click to enlarge.]

Mas…Wonder Woman and Marya la Giant fight Mexibandidos (1945 toon)

Ugly Mexicans and sexy gringas — pulp fiction history of hate (toons)

spicy640Bill “Memo” Nericcio, author, professor at San Diego State University and proprietor of the Tex[t]-Mex Gallery Blog, collects representations of Mexican-Americans in pop culture.

He just posted a set of scanned 1936-37 covers from pulp fiction magazine Spicy Western Stories and its siblings that all exploit the same stereotype — the leering (ugly) (brown) bandido and the (scantily-clad) (white) chica/victim in distress. Hate much?

The image above is just one slice of the four covers Memo found; the big images of all four are below (click to enlarge):

Mas…Ugly Mexicans and sexy gringas — pulp fiction history of hate (toons)

When ‘The Hobbit’ took back Aztlán: A Latino nerd reads Tolkien

Today the names Smaug and Thorin Oakenshield will enter American pop culture. Dwarves rambling on a reconquista while Gollum plays riddles will reach a new audience because Peter Jackson filmed the nerd classic, The Hobbit — prequel to Lord of the Rings.

Film has more impact than the written word in today’s society and this version will reach a greater number of people than J.R.R. Tolkien’s book ever will. I am overjoyed that this classic will reach a greater number of gente, but I am filled with sadness that a child’s first encounter with The Hobbit will be in a loud theater instead of a quiet library.

Regardless, I look forward seeing my mental images from the book acted out in the big screen. And remembering the hours reading the book, which played a monumental role in my becoming Eres Nerd.

Mas…When ‘The Hobbit’ took back Aztlán: A Latino nerd reads Tolkien

Sofia not Latina? Disney preps real Latina princess: Meet Malinche

(PNS reporting from BURBANK) Now that an embarrassed Disney has explained that the animated character Princess Sofia the First is NOT a Latina princess, the studio was quick to announce that a real Latina princess is in the works, this time for a feature-length film.

Princess Malinche will be the heroine of Disney’s next animated film, due for release in the summer of 2014, according to a statement issued today.

The tentative cast already includes Catherine Zeta Jones as the voice of Malinche, Justin Bieber as Cortés and Paul Rodriguez as Fray Xicken.

The story of Malinche follows her idyllic upbringing in the then-Aztec empire in what is now Mexico during the early 1500s to her whirlwind romance with Spaniard Hernán Cortés, and finally to the epic drowning of her own children in the river.

Mas…Sofia not Latina? Disney preps real Latina princess: Meet Malinche

The Gap cancels entire ‘Final Solution’ line of t-shirts

(PNS reporting from NEW YORK CITY) After the public outcry sparked by its “Manifest Destiny” t-shirt, the Gap is now cancelling its entire line of t-shirts in what was to be their signature “Final Solution” collection.

“Guess people aren’t as wild about genocide as we had hoped,” a Gap insider told PNS, “which is a damn shame.We had some great designs planned which we felt would appeal to the coveted ‘racist hipster douche’ demographic currently locked up by Urban Outfitters.”

The news came as a shock to loyal customers.

Mas…The Gap cancels entire ‘Final Solution’ line of t-shirts

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month? Money won’t buy you love

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Break out a novelty sombrero and a bottle of Patron, because like a taco smothered in salsa, heritage is waay more palpable when it’s smothered in consumerism…

I often encounter people who don’t understand why I identify as Hispanic. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think it comes down to this: they’re eating the shit sandwich.

The shit sandwich is served-up fresh daily by consumerism. Let’s process culture, strip it of all that gunk we don’t need (like knowledge and power), and behold — now you can buy a poncho at Urban Outfitters. Culture itself has no value outside the bounds of consumption.

Culture is no different than a box of cereal.

Mas…Happy Hispanic Heritage Month? Money won’t buy you love