It's one thing to be a cholo, but quite another to be a Cholo--someone whose surname is the word denoted to mean a gang member in Southern California, and a mixed-race mongrel virtually everywhere else in Latin America. And that's the apellido that Orange County resident Ana Beatriz Cholo grew up with during the 1980s, to much grief--and one she must deal with today.
"Even in Disneyland's Critter Country, I can't escape from my name," Cholo wrote in her intro for a Huffington Post essay. "The lady at the Hungry Bear restaurant was holding my credit card in her hand and looking at me quizzically. She admitted she had never come across a real Cholo in all her years living in the United States."
The Seal Beach resident (who's of Colombian and Portuguese heritage) describes her life as a Cholo, doing the customary Stanton ding ("a working-class town in Orange County filled with tacky strip malls and cheap motels favored by the local prostitutes") and a life that took her from the Navy to the South to a reporting job to her present day as a blogger--with a big ol' "CHOLO" tattooed in Olde English on the back of her neck. Why?
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"Why not?" Cholo concludes. "This is what happens when you get old. You no longer give a crap about what others think."