Monday, December 1, 2008

Mexicans, Mexicans, everywhere

So I totally got a small round of applause during class today. I was sitting in film theory, and we were supposed to get into groups, select a film theory, and apply that theory to a commercial we would all watch together. This other guy named Trevor and I decided to use a theory that deals with the "resistant spectator." Basically, the spectator tries to resist stereotyping and what the film is trying to get you to associate with. We then watched a thirty second commercial. Basically, a guy is talking about how much he hates to change his mind with a girl, and it totally sounds like he is breaking up with a girl. At the very end he says, "Okay, I've made up my mind. Could you make them strawberry pancakes instead?" Only then do we see that he is talking to a waitress. The whole commercial was for a Denny's-style restaurant and their big breakfast menu.

Well, the waitress looked Latina to me (no joke, she could be one of my aunts), so when it was our turn, I mentioned that I was half-Mexican, and saw the commercial as a subjugation of Mexicans by making them the working class who has to take orders from the white male. Anyway, it caught my professor off-guard, and she just said, "Wow..." A couple of people clapped, but a lot of people were laughing. As I was leaving class, my professor was smiling and shaking her head. She said, "As intelligent as you are, I can't believe you pulled the race card." That got a few more laughs from everyone. Hey, we were applying the theory correctly, so what can you do?


Michelle said...

I pull the race card all the time.

I took a linguistics class once that had a lot of ESL students, the professor assumed I was one of them and was always extra nice and helpful. Wahoo!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I get white cashier's at the store - grocery or Walmart - who will start talking to me in broken Spanish. They already assume I am full Mexican. I love seeing the shock on their faces when I answer in English without a hint of an accent. Other times I am so bad and keep the ruse up for a while just to see how they'll treat me.

Lili said...

Michelle, you're funny! I get the race card pulled on me-cops following me around at music stores in the mall...asking for help at a store only to have them help the next 'white' person that walks up to them...I never get the race card in the nice way!

Rebecca said...

I pull the race card. It's the only way I get to tell Mexican jokes without repercussions . :-D