George Zimmerman/Jorge Zimmerhombre

Before you decide to shun me like we’re Amish, or, worse yet, defriend me on Facebook, let me say that although the evidence points to George Zimmerman being a bleeding douche afroth with issues he is also…

NOT

WHITE.

George-Zimmerman-racial-slur

He might act like the Minutemen but he would also get chased by them. Doesn’t he totally look like he’s waiting to get chosen outside of Home Depot in this picture?

I feel like I have to keep repeating the fact of Zimmerman’s ethnic complexity so that people will engage in public discourse about him and his role in the killing of Trayvon Martin differently.

See, this is what pisses me off about the public discourse: it’s stuck in 1955. It’s framed by polarity. A “white man” killed a “black boy.” That “white man” is using his “white” privilege in order to suckle the teat of institutional racism.  To me, it is an interesting day when a non-white man can reap the benefits of white privilege. Can such a thing happen? According to American public discourse, it can. Furthermore, according to this public discourse, it seems that Zimmerhombre has assimilated. Through his John Wayne style vigilanteism, he has assimilated into white culture and become a Saltine. Was it because he demonstrated Yankee machismo that he was then rewarded with conferred whiteness? Did his act of killing a black boy give him a race change? I don’t know, but these are questions my lesbrain asks and cogitates over.

My lesbrain is similar to Zimmerperson’s. It, too, descends from European and Latin American ancestors. Zimmercreature and I dangle from similar lineage, and our bodies communicate this ancestry through their skin and hair color and facial features. Last week, I was sitting at a campfire in a trailer park in Wisconsin when a blue-eyed man whose age I’ll peg somewhere around 75, slurred, all in one word, “Ilikeyourskintone.” He steered the slurversation towards my ethnicity, and I shared with him that I’m one quarter Polish and three quarters Mexican. The man slurgued, “Well,youlook99.9%Mexicantome!” I took some offense to this because I felt like he was TELLING ME WHO I WAS INSTEAD OF AFFIRMING THE KNOWLEDGE I HAD GIVEN HIM ABOUT MYSELF, AS IF PERHAPS I WAS FIBBING, OR, BETTER YET, ETHNICALLY CONFUSED. This has happened to me as long as there’s been a cognizant me. People have been wondering “what” am I and am quick to tell me “what” I am if “what” I look like disagrees with their version of “what” I should look like according to their stereotypes, i.e, “You don’t look Mexican,” or my favorite, which was told to my mother, “You’re Mexican? But you’re so beautiful!”

I asked the drinker who deemed me 99.9% Mexican-looking what his ethnic background was.

“HungarianandMongolian,” he supplied. He was 100% drunk.

Rather than engage in an intellectual contest of the minds with this inebriated Hun, I decided to make him into his better ethnic half’s barbecue and shoved him into the campfire. Just kidding. I ignored him and focused on a several-weeks-old half white, half black baby being held by her white grandma. They sat across the campfire from me, orange flames separating us, gnats eating me. How will this baby’s ethnicity be described? As Obamic? She does have his same ethnic swirl…Maybe, in the future, people who are half white and half Kenyan will be described as Presidential.

Anyways, what I’m trying to belch out is that I wonder if George Zimmerman has travelled through life with people telling him “what” he is. I wonder if people have challenged him about “what” he is. I wonder how he’s dealt with different groups that he doesn’t entirely fit in with “claiming” him. The fucker does have an extremely interesting background. On his dad’s side, German. On his mom’s side, Afr0-Peruvian, meaning that he’s BLACK and SPANISH and probably INDIAN, maybe even INCAN! Whoa…Incan DNA potentially had a hand in the killing of Trayvon Martin…doesn’t that edge make the case that much more problematic? Isn’t it interesting that a mixed race guy I think might often experience rejection because of his face is finally being treated like a white dude? I wonder if sadly, he finds this gratifying. Did it take his killing of a black kid to achieve this level of American respect? IDK but uno thing’s for sure: we need a new language to fully discuss the chocolate rainbow of racial reality. I add to this lexicon and a new nombre for Zimmerhombre. He’s no cracker; he’s Triscuit. And he committed a Triscuit on Black crime.

how-triscuits-work-2

Watch Roberto Zimmerhombre answer, “TRISCUIT!” when Bill Maher asks him, “What the fuck are you?”

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4 comments

  1. Only someone as brave as you, Lesbrain, would tackle this ethnicity issue/question/cosa. Thanks for amplifying the discussion. I think also internalized racism needs to be addressed. Why would a Afro-Peruvian Inca Semi-“Blanco” Trisket do such a horrible thing? Was he chasing down the dark shadow of his own bloodline and wanting to obliterate it? Regardless if Zimmerman is a trisket or a cracker, I think the general concept of “blackness” which exists in the American psyche (and I mean all of América so this includes Latinos) is pretty screwed up. It’s full of loathing and fear. My father, who was a pretty oppressed and disempowered immigrant in the U.S. was one of the biggest racists I’ve ever known. In another life, when I dated men, he disowned me and refused to talk to me for 3 years because I had a black boyfriend. He even told me that if I ever had kids to not bring them to him because they would be “manchados.” What a royal asshole, verdad? Anyhow, I guess what I’m trying to say is that Latinos and other “people of color” (whatever that means) can be racists puercos too. In the eyes and hearts of the Martin family, though, I imagine that whether a cracker, a trisket, a bagel…it doesn’t make a difference. Their son was shot down and killed for walking down the wrong street in the wrong skin.

  2. Thanks Olga…and agreed about POC being racist puercos, too. One of my grandmas talked mad shit about black people and there was some serious internalized racism going on in her loopy (Lupe?) head. SO MANY Latinos have some African blood in their family tree stemming only a few generations back and it freaks them the fudge out. Whitening themselves is their way of trying to undo it, I guess. And yeah, I’m sure the Martin family doesn’t give a crap what kind of baked snack killed their son who had merely gone out for a snack, whose slogan, ironically, urges us to taste the rainbow.

  3. I’m glad you dared to complexify an issue that people keep trying to simplify. A lot of people are talking about how/why appearing black seems to be equated with appearing threatening. But it’s equally relevant to wonder why appearing white (although I agree that Zimmerman doesn’t really) or wanting to appear white is equated with privilege, racism or self-defense, depending who you ask.

    1. Thanks Cheryl! What I find so interesting about this case is that Zimmerman’s acquittal is couched in an argument of white privilege. However, he’s not white, by his own admission, and in the eyes of most Americans, visually speaking, Zimmerman lacks what I would call “organic traits of whiteness,” i.e. doesn’t look like Thor. So then, how can this man have inherited white privilege? To me, it suggests that there’s a caste system in our country whereby darkness of skin tone leads to greater privilege and power. This is not a white/black dilemma. The American racial caste system bears more similarities to the Latin American caste system, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casta, and we have no language with which to talk about this.

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