Thomas Wictor

Should I learn how to be a Mexican?

Should I learn how to be a Mexican?

I don’t follow sports at all. Today on the radio I learned that a football player named Richie Incognito was suspended for using racial epithets against his former teammate Jonathan Martin. Here’s where it gets completely deadly for us as a culture, indicating pervasive rot that will bring us down if not excised immediately.

Incognito—I got interested because his name reminded me of “Carlos Danger” or “Roger Mexico”—is white, and the man he insulted is half-black, which means he’s deemed all-black. But Incognito’s black teammates consider him an “honorary black man,” while the actual black man is not seen as being authentically black.

Some anonymous imbecile was quoted as following:

Richie is honarary. I don’t expect you to understand because you’re not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It’s about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you’ve experienced. A lot of things.

So what you’re saying is that only blacks can understand complete devolution back to the Bronze Age, and all blacks have to carry themselves a certain way? We’ll get to the deconstruction of that garbage in a moment.

I’ve got tons of Mexicans in my family tree. Here’s my maternal grandmother Carolina on the left, with her sisters Elvira and Clara.


My cousin Filbert, who was a United States Federal Marshal.


Yorbas and Pilarios injected buckets of Mexican DNA into me. Should I learn how to be a Mexican? What does that mean? Is there a certain way I should carry myself? In a fireman’s hold over my own shoulder, maybe?

There are persistent rumors of black ancestors among the Rowlands. Mom had a portrait of one.


Does that make me black? What’s the cutoff percentage for blackness? I’ve got two red-headed brothers. Are they black?

When I interviewed Gene Simmons, he asked me about my ethnic background (In Cold Sweat, pages 60-61). I told him I was part Mexican, part German, and maybe had some black.

“Nobody sees that,” he said. “You’re a white guy.”

Sure. But according to where we are today, I can be an honorary black if I act a certain way. Could I be considered an inauthentic white under the right circumstances? Is Miss Hannah Minx an inauthentic white because she’s obsessed with being Japanese?

The article about Incognito says that black players didn’t like Jonathan Martin.

His background—Stanford educated and the son of highly educated people—was not necessarily seen as a strength or a positive by some players and it perpetuated in the way Martin carried himself.

Are we really going there? A black man can’t be educated because then other blacks won’t accept him? Am I the only one who sees that the Ku Klux Klan is no longer necessary if blacks voluntarily assume the role in society that racists tried for years to impose on them?

I had my passport stolen in Yugoslavia, a toilet of a former nation where soldiers from other countries have to keep the (white) people apart because every chance they get, they initiate mass slaughters. During World War II, they did things like use two-man lumber saws to decapitate each other. There’s a famous series of photos of the Croatian Revolutionary Movement (Ustaše) killing prisoners with axes while onlookers smile broadly. The Croatians committed atrocities that sickened the Nazis, who launched a human rights investigation!

The stupidest thing I ever heard was that when Yugoslavia disintegrated, and the newly independent nations went to war against each other in the 1990s, all the AMERICAN bands that played traditional Slavic folk music broke up. These Americans’ ancestors were Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian, and because of tribal loyalty, they could no longer associate with people they’d known for decades. Though heartbroken about it, they still broke up the bands and ended long friendships.

On my mother’s side of the family, there were Jews who passed for gentiles. I’m sure of it. These three are named Levi, Eli, and Abram; they wear their fedoras and wide-brimmed hat on the backs of their heads, the style popularized in nineteenth century Russia; and Mom, Tim, Pat, and I were blessed with giant hooked noses.


Since I have Germans on both sides of the family, should the Jew in me hate the rest of me, excluding of course the Mexican and possible-black parts?

Just to be clear, I feel neither proud nor ashamed of my heritage. I feel no loyalty to any particular race, religion, or ethnicity. “My people” are the human race.

Which brings me back to the idea of what makes an “authentic black.”

One of my heroes is Eugene Jacques Bullard, a combat aviator in World War I. He was one of only two black men who flew aircraft in the war. Bullard is not my hero because of his race; he’s my hero because of his superhuman perseverance. I admire courage and the refusal to give up.

How many of the black football players who think of Richie Incognito as an honorary black man have heard of Eugene Jacques Bullard? Does the fact that I know more about black history make me more black than many American blacks? Do you see how utterly moronic this all is?

Recently, I was lucky enough to buy an original postcard of Bullard. I’ve never seen this image anywhere. It arrived today and is now my most treasured possession.


Bullard flew an aircraft with a heart painted on the side. The heart was pierced with a dagger, causing it to bleed. Around the heart Bullard had written, “Tout le Sang qui coule est rouge.”

The most common translation is, “All blood runs red.”

I don’t give a damn about race, ethnicity, or religion. A comedian once made the following joke; I can’t remember his name, since I heard this over twenty years ago. If he contacts me, I’ll correct this post.

He said that his grandfather told him, “If you pulled off everybody’s skin, we’d all be the same. It’s only our screams that would be different.”