So I get an envelope in the mail from Nielsen Ratings asking if we’d participate in their ratings. I send the postcard back saying yes. I used to work at a radio station and I know how much those ratings are worth to the media.
I get a call from Nielsen on my cell phone. When I answered the phone, the man starts speaking in spanish. Then he asked asked in English if I speak spanish. I told him no, and he continued on in broken English with verifying who I am and how many TVs I have. I told Scott after he was done that he started speaking to me in Spanish right off the bat. I told him it must be b/c I wrote I was hispanic on the card I sent back.
That sent Scott into a fury. He asked why I do that. And I said “well, I am hispanic. I have always wrote on questionnaires that I’m hispanic.” He starts laughing like I am joking. It is true. My mom is Mexican, 100% full blown Mexican. And my dad is caucasian. Growing up, my siblings and I always tell people we are half Mexican.
Scott tells me that I “act” white. I don’t speak Spanish. I was born and raised in the United States. I don’t celebrate Mexican holidays. And I don’t even look Mexican. He tells me to stop writing on things that I’m hispanic b/c I’m “screwing up their demographic.” He says they are looking for people that have escaped to the US that are straight from Mexico and have Mexican culture/tradition in their family.
That made me mad. I do have some Mexican culture/tradition within my family. I am the one that taught him what the difference is b/w a tostada, an enchilada and a tamale. Ever since I was born, Mexican food was on my plate at least three times a week. Like real, homemade Mexican food. I laugh to myself when people say their favorite food is Mexican food, then later come to find out they are talking about tacos and burritos from Taco Bell (which is delicious but I wouldn’t call it Mexican food). My grandma speaks Spanish fluently, as did my grandpa when he was alive. I can tell you the exact town my grandparents came from in Mexico. I’m sure there is still family there. And the only reason I do not speak spanish fluently is because my grandparents spoke English only in the home when my mom and her siblings were growing up. My grandparents thought if their kids spoke Spanish they would be discriminated against even more than they already were. So my mom doesn’t know any Spanish and thus, neither do I.
Scott still said I’m screwing with the demographics. And I’m still mad at him for thinking like that. True, I am just as much “white” as I am Mexican. But they don’t have a half option or even an “other” option. If I have mixed blood, what do I claim as my race? Why do they even ask that in the first place? Unless you’re Native American, aren’t all of our ancestors from another country? The United States is and has always been a melting pot as soon as the Mayflower came over.
I tell Emma and Kate they are Mexican. I cook my mom’s Mexican food recipes for Emma. I tell her that her great grandma speaks Spanish all the time just like Dora. I like teaching them about where they come from. I will not cave into Scott’s thinking and tell them they are just “white”. They are not white. We are mixed.