Poetry for the Chingon

Verse for those not averse

Dear Readers: The Arizona pendejas have emboldened hundreds of Know Nothings in the past week to boast to the Mexican that they're not racist if they support S.B.1070 because, according to them, they believe in the law and they have no problems with immigrants as long as they're legal. Nosotros los buenos know that argument is almost always demonstrably false due to culture, that Americans were bashing swarthy Sicilians even after the immigration officer at Ellis Island signed them through and shortened their name from Fabruzzo to Faber.

But I feel magnanimous this week. Maybe it's the pre–Fourth of July Herradura before me, but I'll indulge the anti-racist protestations of Know Nothings with a test. If—with apologies to Rudyard Kipling—if . . .

If you can keep your cabeza when all about you
Is banda and mariachi blaring near you
If you can see six Mexi kids and their pregnant mom in front of you,
But make allowance for their tough times too;
If you can wait in the emergency room and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied to about a rooster in the backyard, not report to Animal Control those lies,
Or, being hated by Mexican soccer fans, not give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good in a sombrero, nor talk like Glenn Beck, who isn't too wise;

If you can dream of Ozzie and Harriet America—and not make sueños your master;
If you can think about cars parked on front lawns—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with an Aztlanista and an Arizonan disaster
And treat those two babosos just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth about Mexican assimilation others have spoken
Twisted no longer by pendejos to make a trap for fools,
Or watch our border, broken,
And stoop and build it up with humane tools;

If you can pool your lifetime winnings
And risk it on a business in a barrio where soccer balls get a toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never blame illegals about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nervios and sinew
To not sell your home long after your white neighbors are gone,
And so hold on when the only English speaker is you
Except for those pochos that say to usted: "Hold pinche on";

If you can talk with Mexican crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with ICE—and not lose the ability to allow a DREAM Act student's story to touch;
If neither George Lopez nor "Press one for English, two for Spanish" can hurt you;
If truly bigoted relatives count with you, but none too much;
If your local pool gets disturbed every minute
With 60 Mexicans in jeans—and you don't make them run—
You're not a racist and truly about laws,
And—which is more—you're a chingón, cabrón!

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

 
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