Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of eating dinner at West Town Mall. Oh the joy, nothing quite like enjoying a Taco Bell meal while dining with the teenage freaks of Madison. I wanted Mexican food, thinking either Laredo’s, Mi Cocina, or Abuelos. Nope, Taco Bell at the Food Court was the best I could coax out of Missy and Halle. I am beginning to think the only time I will ever get Mexican food is when Missy and I travel to Mexico. God forbid I ever get the craving for Italian or good Chinese food!
I did get to look at some big LCD TV’s that I cannot afford, so that was kinda fun. Halle, with help from Missy, talked me into spending $170 on Rock Band for the XBox 360. I didn’t really want it, we already have Guitar Hero 3 on the Wii and Guitar Hero 2 on the XBox, but I said it was okay. I should have made that conditional on getting some real Mexican food.
So, back to the dining experience at the Food Court. It was delicious, and I had plenty of freaks of nature to look at. I don’t say anything out loud about them when Halle is around, and even when she isn’t, Missy usually doesn’t appreciate my comments about other freaks, err, people. So I just make funny comments in my less and less tolerant head, enjoying my own sick form of humor while eating that truly wonderful taco. Where is the meat? The cheese? I bet they use at least a 1/2 pound of beef at Taco Bell every day.
So we are eating, I am watching a 6 foot-something teenage boy with dyed black hair with blond streaks hitting on a cute pink-haired girl. Between them they probably had enough piercings to sink a ship, the dude was wearing more makeup than the girl. I chuckled to myself, thinking how much fun it was at that age. I never did the hair and makeup thing as a teenager, but spent the mid-80’s in a weed induced coma. I was no better than these kids, just different. Had I dressed like that boy in 1986 in North Carolina I would probably have been killed. Of course, back then I dressed either like Rob Halford from Judas Priest, or Don Johnson from Miami Vice, on alternating days. The mullet was ever present, as were the bloodshot eyes from the pot. Funny, I actually thought my parents didn’t know 🙂 Stupid boy I was. No, not stupid, just being a kid, same as this freak sitting across from me. Unlike me, this kid probably has a 4.0 GPA and will be at UW Madison next year! The girl will likely be President of the United States someday. I gotta find a way to see the world different.
I am smart enough to realize my own prejudices, but not smart enough to not have them. Missy is much better at this than me, she seems to not see color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or anything else about a person. This is one of her traits that I truly admire and respect, though I don’t have this ability.
I do agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. My brother-in-law is black, and is also one of my best friends. We enjoy losing money together at Ho-Chunk Casino, and are both technology junkies. It’s funny, when I first met him I saw him as a black man, married to a white woman, with mixed kids. This is something that I have struggled with in the past, and really, it makes no sense at all.
I have known them for a while now, and I don’t think about him being black, or the kids being mixed, they are just handsome little boys. They are in the process of adopting a biracial girl now, and she is the cutest little girl you’d ever meet. Biracial. That is a new word for me, thanks to Missy, and it does sound better than mixed, milato, or zebra. Those are words that I grew up with. None were meant to be derogatory, other than maybe zebra, which was used by George Jefferson on TV, but compared to biracial, they could certainly be taken as racist.
I am far from politically correct, but not a racist. So if I say mixed or milato every now and then, it is not because I am a white-trash cracker, it is simply because that is the vernacular that I am accustomed to. What I really cannot stand is the term “African-American”, “Mexican-American”, etc. I realize those are the politically correct terms in common use today, I just don’t like them. For one, if I am white, then you are black. And I am not really white, I am sort of pinkish-tan with a hint of red. Do I require that other people refer to me as pinkish-tan with a hint of red? Of course not, white will do. If I wanted to get super politically correct I would want to be called Anglo-Saxon-Native-American, but just plain old American will be just fine. So I am a white American. If you call me honky or cracker it is not likely to bother me, but of course it depends on who says it, and the context of how they say it, but not the color of their skin. I my eyes you are either an American or you aren’t, there is no in-between.
American by definition means you are a mutt. We are all mutts. Unless you are a true native American (as in indian), you are descended from immigrants from other parts of the world. So it’s time to drop the African, Mexican, French, Canadian, whatever prefix before American. The prefix is divisive, and usually flat out wrong. If your most recent relative from Africa died 200 years ago, you are not African any more than I am English. I don’t claim England as my home, I’ve never even been there, and won’t miss much if I never go.
I am an American and I am proud of that. I am proud that it is looking like in November we will elect our first biracial president. I hear a lot on the news about Obama being African-American. See above, and please just quit it. He is brown with a pinkish hue, hell half of him is from Kansas. His wife Michelle? She is just plain old Hot-American.