A Question of Raza
Dear Mexican: Why won't Mexicans vote for a black man?
Dear Readers: Dozens of ustedes have sent the above question since the Iowa caucus, forwarded mainstream media reports on this supposed phenomenon, and cringed with me when pundits took as gospel this assertion by Hillary Clinton pollster Sergio Bendixen to the New Yorker: "The Hispanic voters — and I want to say this very carefully — have not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates." So to all parties who buy into the hype: cállensen el osico. Shut up. Stop with the racial pendejadas, and go tell your pols that sharing tacos with Mexicans for the news cameras is one step removed from blackface.
The negrito-hating Mexican voter meme floating around America these days is the biggest ball of political mierda since Tom Tancredo. It presupposes that Mexicans choose candidates based only on race, whether backing their own or opposing another. The funny part about this claim is reality: Mexicans largely ignored the presidential run of New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and have supported black politicians, from the days of Vicente Guerrero (the mulatto Mexican president who outlawed slavery in 1829) to big-city mayors like Tom Bradley and Harold Washington, to even Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama in his various Illinois campaigns and this one. Concluding that Mexicans won't elect blacks because they've so far mostly sided with Clinton instead of Obama during the primaries is a continuum fallacy as ridiculous as the Sorites paradox. In otras palabras: How many Mexican votes must Obama earn before people will stop insisting that Mexicans won't vote for him because of his skin? Five? A thousand? All the banda in Texas? Heaven forbid Mexicans support a nationally known personality with whom they're familiar instead of a first-term senator from a flyover state. And anyone ever think Mexicans are more inclined to vote for Clinton because they like her centrist policies more than Obama's liberal promises? But try making either of those points to gabachos, who forsake logical explanations for the easier rationale that Mexicans just don't like negritos.
Are there Mexicans who won't vote for Obama solely because he's black? Absolutely — and they deserve deportation, just as anyone who refused to cast a ballot for Mitt Romney due to his Mormonism and not because the half-Mexican is a flip-flopping Know Nothing merits the damnation of Gehenna. If you need a better litmus test of potential Mexican love for Obama, refry this: If the man openly proclaimed support for amnesty instead of the qualified mumbo-jumbo he currently offers, Clinton would be reduced to eating at famous taquerías for the wab vote — oops, too late!
As for the Mexican's personal vote, I sided with Obama in the California primaries, but mostly because I despise the idea of the Clinton and Bush familias occupying the White House since 1980. But come November, I'll be stumping for the same candidate I've supported these past 52 years: MAD Magazine icon Alfred E. Neuman. What, yo worry?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.