Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Dim, the Bad and the Ugly

You might recall that in my build-the-darn-casino-already screed I mentioned that a couple of the anti-casino people who approached me with their poxy petition used some anti-Mexican racism in what I will charitably call their argument. The filthy wetbacks, so it was argued, would get all of the jobs, and be walking through our precious territory to get to work, which of course we simply can't have, because naturally - naturally! - being a honky myself I have attachment to our little north-south strip of rowhouse whiteness like any good late 19th century blood-and-soil proto-fascist.

An influx of these people would undoubtedly lead to Frito theft on a grand scale, lowering property values.

Anyhow, remember that bit?

Setting aside for a moment that Philadelphia construction sites using undocumented labor are using more Brazilians these days (all those people look alike, no?), the irony of what I'm about to share is delicious. Walking to the Monday night quiz I passed the same people throwing a Cinco de Mayo block party; last night they were gonna party like it's 1863.

The party had many of the trappings you would expect, including fake sombreros and serapes made, no doubt, by Asian children and/or prisoners. Despite our proximity to the largest settlement of Mexicanos in the tri-state area, one thing the party was missing was any actual Mexican, all attendees being fish-belly white like me. I'd be willing to bet that despite the predominance of awesome, cheap authentic Mexican food - Puebla specialties no less, the region of Mexico that celebrates the holiday primarily - a 10 minute walk away, that these folks were eating Doritos.

Remember kids: Fake Mexican crap good, real Mexicans bad. These folks aren't even very good at racism.

For the record, because people always get this wrong, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican independence day, which is actually September 15. It commemorates a battle won over French forces at Puebla in 1862, effectively throwing whitey out of their neighborhood and raising property values. I've been to Puebla; it's a beautiful colonial town and a good deal of the restaurant workers in this city hail from there. Here's a photo of the city's well-known cathedral:

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