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Tuesday , November 5 2013
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White People are Killing Day of the Dead

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Photo Credit: Lalo Alcaraz

 

Written By: Luciano Picasso

It used to be a lot easier to call out racists of the Texas Minutemen variety. They were at least upfront. Their predecessors at least had the decency to wear White Hoods. They felt some shame.

That is not the case with today’s racists. Nu School Racists might have gone to the New School.

They probably went to school with you, or bought you a drink once, went out on a date with you or one of your friends. Because of that they think they are too cool to be racist. Worse, when you call them out on it, they break down.

The Klan never broke down. You never expected the Tea Party to come to your party, let alone co-opt your party.

If the Aryan Brotherhood organized the Texas Book Festival and out of 230 authors included only 15 Latinos we could under stand that. And then we could call them out on that. Well that’s what happened with the most recent Texas Book Festival. And the organizer were called out on that.

The Nu School Racists who organized the book festival, responded, said they were sorry, and replied singing the same old song we hear from Nu School Racists. Their answer is equal to them saying: “I didn’t know being racist was racist.” And the same as saying, “I’m from New York, I’m too cool to be racist.”

This is the same garbage the University of Houston Creative Writing Program gives for not having enough Latino students and only one Latino professor in its entire existence. Their nonprofit arm, Inprint, is no better, paying lip service to Hispanics by bringing in one Latino author per year and presenting him/her in their traditional White style.

Of course, Nu School Racists say they aren’t racists ’cause they know you or you went to their party once, and yeah, you were the only Chicano there.

They know 20 words in Spanish.

They are multicultrual because they have loteria card shower curtains. However, they have never been to one of your marches or protests, though they do support you . . . karmicly.

The Nuf School Racists White Nonprofits are the worst.

They get money from other White philanthropic or governmental agencies.

They speak White, so they get the grants. Sometimes those grants are for Latino Outreach-in name only of course.

They look good on White paper. They put on White versions of Latino events, and than think that our people are barbaric because we didn’t show up to their Brown-face events.

We are not on their mailing lists, their email lists, we don’t follow them on Twitter, aren’t their friends on Facebook or in real life.

And if there is a world beyond that pale pale, well .. . their isn’t.

This gets worse with Day of the Dead, which means way more to us than Halloween does to you. So stop calling it the Latino Halloween.

And no, I won’t tell you in one damn sentence what it means.  Until your mom lights candles to remember relatives who were lynched in Texas during the “Good Old Days” or “relatives killed falling off trains trying to cross here” you will never understand what Day of the Dead means. So stop fucking with it.

This also goes for Disney that tried to trademark Dia de Los Muertos.

How about I trademark your ma, Walt Disney, and put her to work.

This goes for Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas. Their 26th Dia de Los Muertos exhibit is the 26th time they turn Day of the Dead into a cultural garage sale to make money. They lump in Dia de Los Muertos with a Gala and Retablo Silent Auction so they can insult us twice over, and there is not one actual alter on their premises that speaks to that day. They make money off this mess to pay for their White programming all year long. I’m sure they will give us the same lip service the Texas Book Festival gave: we have a Hispanic intern  . . . yada yada yada . . . the equivalent of “I’m not racist because I shagged a Hispanic once.”

This goes for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). This is another example of a White arts group taking money for Latino outreach and never reaching Latinos. They’ve got several events for “Day of the Dead” including a DJ party with IKEA-the Swedish plundering of our demographic, and a couple of sorry ass lectures by Germans showing slides of their cool adventures in Mexico. Wow, deep. See, this proves that MFAH stands for Mother Fucking Ass Holes.

I wonder what new tools the Nu School Racists created in your towns? If you want to call them out, please send them to me.

I guess part of this disconnect is because cool White kids refuse to recognize that they DO hold something sacred.  Oh, but they DO. They worship being hip. They die to be cool. Well, being racist ain’t cool

So, please, Nu School Racists, before you kill Day of the Dead, get a life.

24 comments

  1. It is maybe just a lack of education on the subject.
    I admit to yes painting my face and buying sugarskulls. But, I have also educated myself on what this day means and how sacred it is. I have made alters to only 2 people through the years. none of them were killed in violent ways like yours were. But it is about honoring those that we love that have gone before us.
    It is just as I said a lack of education on the subject. But I see no one out there trying to educate these white people you speak so badly of on what Day of the Dead really is and what it means to so many, dare I say it for fear of being called a racist?, Mexicans.
    I despise those hipsters myself but I can also be considered one in a way I guess. I find the faces beautiful and am grateful for the Hispanic race for bringing this tradition with them here to the states. I find the faces beautiful and haunting, but I see it for what it is, an honoring of those who we love that have gone before us. They want to remember them and who they were and their particular personalities and the things they loved and lay them at an alter in their honor to be remembered. So, maybe before lashing out, try writing a more productive article that educates everyone of us white people on the history, etc. of what Day of the dead really means in Mexican history and today.

    Oh yes, and P.S. I did see a lot of Hispanics out with their faces painted and I wonder how many of them or their families have alters at home that honor their dead? Do you know since you seem to be such an expert on the whole population of Houston.

  2. It is maybe just a lack of education on the subject.
    I admit to yes painting my face and buying sugarskulls. But, I have also educated myself on what this day means and how sacred it is. I have made alters to only 2 people through the years. none of them were killed in violent ways like yours were. But it is about honoring those that we love that have gone before us.
    It is just as I said a lack of education on the subject. But I see no one out there trying to educate these white people you speak so badly of on what Day of the Dead really is and what it means to so many, dare I say it for fear of being called a racist?, Mexicans.
    I despise those hipsters myself but I can also be considered one in a way I guess. I find the faces beautiful and am grateful for the Hispanic race for bringing this tradition with them here to the states. I find the faces beautiful and haunting, but I see it for what it is, an honoring of those who we love that have gone before us. They want to remember them and who they were and their particular personalities and the things they loved and lay them at an alter in their honor to be remembered. So, maybe before lashing out, try writing a more productive article that educates everyone of us white people on the history, etc. of what Day of the dead really means in Mexican history and today.

    Oh yes, and P.S. I did see alot of Hispanics out with their faces painted and I wonder how many of them or their families have alters at home that honor their dead? Do you know since you seem to be such an expert on the whole population of Houston.

  3. Utter garbage. This writer needs an education.

  4. I imagine you’d be on people’s mailing lists if you weren’t so angry. I get it. I was angry all the time too but it’s such a waste of time. There’s a cogent argument in this mess somewhere. I just can’t see past your Angry Brown Guy/ Poor Little Pocho fuming.

    P.S. Please follow up with a piece on how elaborate and wonderfully authentic your family’s DOTD ritual was this year.

  5. Cultural Appreciator by way of appropriation

    “And if there is a world beyond that pale pale, well .. . their isn’t.”

    *there

    I suppose, by the same logic, that means only the appropriate cultures should celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving, right?

    I really take issue with you calling out nonprofit organizations that do so much for the community. Making money off the holiday? I’ll give you a few lessons in nonprofit accounting, which might open your eyes a bit. And Lawndale’s white programming? OK, I wonder how many of their ethnically diverse resident and exhibiting artists agree with you. Their Dia de Los Muerto may be a venue for a lot of white (and other ethnic) people to familiarize themselves with the holiday. And that’s a bad thing? Seriously. Get a grip.

  6. Cultural Appreciator by way of appropriation

    I’ll correct my own grammar- “I really take issue with your* calling out…”

  7. Cultural Appreciator by way of appropriation

    ‘ll correct my own grammar- “I really take issue with your* calling out…”

  8. Why would it be racist to call it Mexican when it is in fact a Mexican tradition? That’s ignorant. We have no obligation to teach anyone about our traditions, if someone wants to participate THEY can put themselves out there and ASK NICELY. If we have the GRACE to initiate the education, that’s because we are good people not because we own it to anyone to correct them on their ignorance. In fact isn’t this what the article is trying to do, inform people? This is exactly the problem, people claim to partake in the tradition but don’t know diddly squat about the people behind it, that’s cultural appropriation and it’s another form of colonialism, which is the idea of cultural superiority based on race. It’s racism. Punto.

  9. Why would it be racist to call it Mexican when it is in fact a Mexican tradition? That\’s ignorant. We have no obligation to teach anyone about our traditions, if someone wants to participate THEY can put themselves out there and ASK NICELY. If we have the GRACE to initiate the education, that\’s because we are good people not because we own it to anyone to correct them on their ignorance. In fact isn\’t this what the article is trying to do, inform people? This is exactly the problem, people claim to partake in the tradition but don\’t know diddly squat about the people behind it, that\’s cultural appropriation and it\’s another form of colonialism, which is the idea of cultural superiority based on race. It\’s racism. Punto.

  10. Really, Selena Romero? Folks should educate themselves on the things they find themselves to eager to participate in and appropriate - white and otherwise. Nothing like throwing the labor back onto those that are trying to express their exasperation and fatigue rather than taking about it amongst yourselves - or heck, just doing a google search! Start with some self-relection on why and how Dias de muertos has become Disneyfied — and your role in it presently and in the future.

  11. And all you Protestants getting drunk on St. Patrick’s day, FUCK YOU, TOO!

  12. Interesting and exhausting. Responding to some of the comments… First ‘Mexican-Am’ aka U.S History is not included in the curriculum, now we (Mex or CLD/People of Color) are expected to ‘teach’ mainstreamers about ‘our’ culture and traditions? Easy to say when the world revolves around ‘mainstream’ traditons whose histories are shoved down our throats via our institutions of schooling. It’s hard to put yourselves in our shoes, moccasins, chanclas/huaraches y menos q caminen una milla en ellos. (Yeah, code-switching is my privilege). Y pa acabarla, me choca q piensen q todos Mx somos imigrantes…another form of ignorance, silencing and erasure. Lots of good points in the write-up…keep the discussion going.

  13. Hire a copy editor to sift through your torturous prose and maybe more people will pay attention to your whining. But I doubt it. It’s pretty insufferable. Get over yourself.

  14. wow, white people. calm down with the defensiveness. Maybe take some time, a day, an hour at least, and think about power and privilege. Just try hard to think what this world, this culture might look and feel like if you inhabited a different body than the one you do. You’re clearly smart, and really good at grammar, so I’m sure you can get your head around it if you give it a shot. And (I’m looking at you here, Cultural Appreciator) maybe start with the fact (and the way) that we *all* celebrate Christmas and ‘Thanksgiving’ here. Just chew on it for a little and see what you come up with.

  15. Hi. OK. I get it. But I can’t help but to use mockery with mockery. Hold on…..the whambulance is calling. They want that chip on your shoulder so everyone can continue on enjoying other cultures in many forms. Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Cheers. Barkalla. 謝謝 [谢谢]. Vorbàis Gott! Danke. And if you didn’t not see your “thank you” on here, please write your congressman.

  16. Cultural Appreciator by way of Appropriation

    Calm down the defensiveness? I think it would require great effort on our parts to match the irate tone of the author.

    And here is where people should resist making bad generalizations: what makes you think I don’t spend a great deal of time considering power and privilege and how I fit into those dynamics? What makes you think I’m not concerned with the integrity of other cultures and how we (us white folk) might best honor them?

    I think it best that we not make too many bad assumptions- on either side of this issue- as you’re liable to alienate potential allies and further these divides.

  17. Lolo Picasso was right. He called it. Love watching the reactions off all the Nu Racists. I\\\’m shocked at how differently we all read this piece. I got a kick at him knocking everyone out, but I thought everyone knew what was up with how our community is treated.

    Now that I see how the Nu Racists are reacting it pisses me off more. So Grammar Nazi is pissed because this Luciano is a better writer than her and types faster, so she wines about grammar. Not one of the Nu Racists batted an eye to know that only 15 of 250 writers at the Texas Book Festival were Latino?

    Another Nu Racists says we should be careful \\\’cause we might lose allies. Screw you. You are a useless ally. You are bitching and moaning and breaking down like Picasso called it. You should be straightening out the racists who are oppressing us.

    This is eye opening. I know more people like me getting mad at the b.s. Luciano called out, but they don\\\’t speak up for all the reason his says. Game over. I ain\\\’t putting up with Nu Racists any more. Here\\\’s your Klan Hood.

  18. Lolo Picasso was right. He called it. Love watching the reactions off all the Nu Racists. I\\\\\\\’m shocked at how differently we all read this piece. I got a kick at him knocking everyone out, but I thought everyone knew what was up with how our community is treated.

    Now that I see how the Nu Racists are reacting it pisses me off more. So Grammar Nazi is pissed because this Luciano is a better writer than her and types faster, so she wines about grammar. Not one of the Nu Racists batted an eye to know that only 15 of 250 writers at the Texas Book Festival were Latino?

    Another Nu Racists says we should be careful \\\\\\\’cause we might lose allies. Screw you. You are a useless ally. You are bitching and moaning and breaking down like Picasso called it. You should be straightening out the racists who are oppressing us.

    This is eye opening. I know more people like me getting mad at the b.s. Luciano called out, but they don\\\\\\\’t speak up for all the reason his says. Game over. I ain\\\\\\\’t putting up with Nu Racists any more. Here\\\\\\\’s your Klan Hood.

  19. Funny how irate white people get when you call them out-whiny and tiresome defenses of their ignorance -we were trying to be cool - we eat tacos. Small ignorant minds lurk underneath your blaming the author for being incensed- how about a good smack in the face for all the shit you ever said against Latinos-I can’t tell you how many times I heard “you could pass for…” I could write a book about all the “I didn’t mean to be a racist a$$hole” comments I’ve heard growing up-get over yourselves white people your days are numbered! And as for being cool-nah-give up!!!!!!!!!

  20. The litany of white supremist shite in these comments is hilarious, and I’m white. First of all, it’s not the author’s job to give you a cultural education. Actually, they did. It’s honest, and people don’t want to look at themselves. One way white supremist attack when they can’t stand being called out is to attack the person’s education. Pretty vile. Hipsters, or even “well meaning cool yuppies” often move into an aree, stripping it of it’s soul like locusts. Oakland is a great example of that. I think the article goes easy on you.

  21. White Guy Who Hates Whitey

    My dear fellow white people,

    If you can\’t take being called out, you\’re being racist.

    If you bother to correct the grammar of statements like these, you\’re being racist.

    If you object to legitimate critiques of white institutions, you\’re being racist.

    If you object to the anger of people who are justifiably angry, you are being monumentally racist.

    PEOPLE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY, AND THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR THEM TO SUGARCOAT IT FOR YOU.

    Pathetic. You people are an embarrassment.

    Sincerely,
    A White Guy Who Is Ashamed to be Lumped In With You Racists

  22. You should realize that ‘white people’ had our own traditions systematically destroyed through violent force and then trivialized and whittled down to meaningless symbolism until eventually our cultures have become extinct, and the ‘white system’ and ‘white culture’ that’s projected onto us is as alien to most ‘white people’ as it is to the rest of the world, and yes, taking aspects of other cultures and ‘supportively’ trivializing them is trendy among middle class white people, just as pointing out trends among middle class white people and using them to smear all white people in general is trendy among middle class ‘oppressed’ people, because if they make it about race instead of economics they camoflage how much contempt they show for the poor people of their own cultures.

  23. As a so-called “white” person, I find this article deeply disturbing.

  24. Next Halloween I’m putting a Disney/Dia de Los Muertos display on my front lawn. Thanks for the awesome idea!

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