In Alabama, "Mexican" is Considered an Offensive Word--SERIOUSLY

A couple of years ago at an alt-weekly conference, I was able to hang out with some reporters and editors from Birmingham Weekly, drinking and trading stories about our respective homeland's bizarre politicians. Those same guys ended up leaving the Weekly recently to start their own paper: Weld for Birmingham, which is already raising all sorts of hell in the Magic City with their investigative chops.

They're kind enough to run my ¡Ask a Mexican! column, which comes at a great time given Alabama's SB 1070/Proposition 187 rip-off. Reporter Madison Underwood interviewed me this week on the issue--and that's when the fun started.

I'll let Madison take it from here:

This week, Weld got a voicemail from a lady at an America's Thrift Store location that receives our papers. The lady said they would like to stop receiving our paper because they're a Christian organization, and though our first issue was pretty mild (our first issue was Sept. 1, so we're still pretty new), recent issues have had a lot of editorial content they didn't like.

Since our paper has not had any increase in the amount of editorial content, I figured maybe it was the fact that I quoted you using the words "fuck Alabama" in my interview with you. That, I think, was the first "fuck" in Weld.

So, we Welders were, of course, curious about what it was that set the lady and the Thrifters off. So we sent our brave intern Daniel to the America's Thrift Store under the pretense of retrieving our paper rack, and we had him ask her what it was in Weld that pushed them over the edge.

She told Daniel that the word "Mexican" is offensive. Daniel asked if she meant the column, "Ask a Mexican," and she said, yes, sort of, but that the word "Mexican" is offensive. Daniel explained that the author of the "Ask a Mexican" column is, in fact, a Mexican. (And though I don't know if he explained this, I would note that when referring to Hispanic immigrant populations in my own immigration coverage, I've always used the word "Hispanic.")

This did not seem to phase her.

If "Mexican" is offensive, our state is truly, sincerely fucked.

HILARIOUS!!! Keep fighting the good fight down there, Welders! And may God help your forsaken state...


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