Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Culture Is Costume: Penn State, Baylor, Ann Coulter & AntiMexican Racism


The latest saga of on-campus racism by frightened whites has taken an anti-Mexican turn in addition to the hatred experienced by Asian American students. When people talk about the lack of power talking heads like Ann Coulter have, all one has to do is point to this week as a perfect case in point. I’m not going to link to Coulter’s racist filth, but claiming that Latino/as depend on government benefits more than their population is not only untrue, it’s really a racist stereotype, that people of color are inherently lazy and destined to be dependents on the goodness of whites (circular logic really, and really, isn’t all racist logic circular?).

Step 1: Talking head: spreads nativism on Fox News and other right wing outlets.

Step 2: Sorority girl watches Fox News on her boyfriend’s television, and consumes racist ideology, and then acts on it (this is not excluding other factors such as parents, peers, etc.)

Enter: Baylor And Penn State Universities. I am sure there are other colleges that this has happened before on campuses, just no pictures or witnesses, but costume parties making fun of other cultures, Mexicans smoking weed, taking their green cards, and crossing the border (in spite of the fact, for Baylor at least), Mexicans were here in Texas before white folks! Historical facts do not matter, anymore than numbers and statistics matter for Ann Coulter. Given conservative anti-intellectualism, shouldn’t really come as a shock. Right, Rick Santorum? It’s not that “smart people” AREN’T on the social conservatives’ side, it’s that in many cases this group tunes them out. Something about engaging others critically is risky business. It means you have to actually talk to people who don’t look or think like you, or *GASP* talk like you.

Whether it is black face, yellow face, or now even brown face, parodies of racial minority groups reflect racist attitudes and practices that have yet to be confronted. Rather than running this risk of dialogue (and actually learning something), the status quo, the Greek system on college campuses, the right wing media, the glorified whiteness of Hollywood and the like would prefer to remain staunch in their racist ways.

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