Why is OC Fine When Its White Boys Riot—But Angry When Mexicans Do the Same?

Photos by Kevin Warn/OC Weekly

You know you've hit it big in the conspiracy world when both the Drudge Report and Alex Jones features you on their respective front pages, and that's what's happening this morning in the aftermath of yesterday's anti-Trump protests in Costa Mexico. Worldwide, conservatives and namby-pamby liberals are slamming protestors for waving Mexican flags, for beating up people, for destroying cop cars, and for raising general DESMADRE.

We get it: rank-and-file citizens generally don't like chaos on the street, whether it's sports fans celebrating after a championship or anarchists smashing windows. But Orange County being Orange County, there's a massive double-standard whenever a riot or mass protest happens, and it boils down like this: when OC white boys riot, it's fine. When Mexicans riot? It's evil sedition by the sons of Montezuma, who obviously want to tear out gabacho hearts and eat them. 

Don't dismiss me as a whiny Mexican so fast. One of my many jobs at this infernal rag is historian, so I know nearly all the official, unofficial, hidden, and lost histories of Orange County. And despite its image as straight-laced, OC has always loved its riots and mass rallies—that is, if gabachos are the major participants. Oh, they get hammered when they're actually happening, but as the years go on, past riots take on a Instagram filter of nostalgia. So that's how free-for-alls by Yippies at Disneyland and outside a Grand Funk Railroad concert at the Anaheim Convention Center become funny historical tales. That's how a 30,000-strong rally at Anaheim's Pearson Park by the KKK becomes just something that happened, or over 10,000 kids getting indoctrinated at Anaheim's Glover Stadium was just a thing. I just realized I'm being too Anaheim-centric, so let's toss in other accepted riots in OC history: hippie brawls at Hillcrest Park in Fullerton during the 1960s. Hippie freakouts in Laguna Beach. Christian homophobes trying to fuck with the first OC Pride. More than a few punk riots ala the Vandals' "Urban Struggle." And, of course, surf riot after surf riot in Huntington Beach, with torn bikinis, broken storefront windows, torched squad cars, and our beloved Racky wereall victims. 

Racky #neverforget
Racky #neverforget
Courtesy of WOP Fridays...

All of the above riots and protests came and went and didn't lead to much tut-tutting and soul-searching. Now, let's turn to when Mexicans protest in mass numbers. There was the 1936 Citrus War, which led to over 400 Mexicans getting unlawfully arrested (no, seriously: a judge went on to declare the arrests unconstitutional). A riot involving over 400 black and Mexican youth in downtown SanTana where the two groups got together to beat up a cop and torch a Jack-in-the-Box; that one led to the formation of the OC Human Relations Committee. The 1978 Little People's Park Riots sparked Los Amigos. The 2006 amnesty rallies in SanTana—30,000 strong, with Mexican flags a'wavin'. And now, Mexicans taking over the streets of Costa Mesa because Trump is proof of final-game Reconquista

At every single one of these riots and rallies, Mexicans were reviled, slammed, and demonized in the aftermath, and all these events have either been swept under the rug or been slurred over time. Just look at the comments going on right now on the pages of the Los Angeles TimesOrange County Register, and even this infernal rag. It's as if every time Mexicans protest, Orange County's guilty conscience wakes up and remembers how terrible it has treated them over the decades—but then their massa side gets mad that the wabs are daring to get uppity, and thus must crush and destroy. It's as if Mexican in la naranja are supposed to take the sliming of their heritage and their relatives quietly, in a county that made Mexican-bashing into a political art.

These guys look like a Los Crudos album cover...BOOM
These guys look like a Los Crudos album cover...BOOM
Photo by Brian Feinzimer

Fuck dat.

I'm not for riots in general—they tend to be counter-productive, and serve as propaganda fuel for the haters (look at what happened in Anaheim earlier this year with Kluckers). But given it's an Orange County sport, I've learned to accept them as inevitable. And that said, OC Mexican riots at least have more of a legitimate reason—anger against a political apparatus that despises them—than gabacho riots, which usually involve beer or drugs or some other bro excuse for fucking shit up. But because Mexis try to stand for something, they get trashed—and the beat goes on...

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