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Coconut – Brown On The Outside, White On The Inside

by Lucas Molandes

I ask myself why I watch George Lopez. I think it’s because I get some sort of catharsis out of subjecting myself to what he does. I liken it to a person who cuts themselves as a way of putting a tangible pain to the amorphous angst they feel.

Yeah, that’s it. Watching Lopez is like putting a rusty, musky, opportunistic blade to my creative arm just so I can replace helpless feelings with focused pain and anger. Sometimes watching Lopez alone isn’t enough, Sometimes I have to up the ante just to feel the high of creatively cutting myself.

That being said, this week I decided to check out a clip of Lopez’s appearance on The View.

The clip was a clinic on how selling out your culture is okay when pandering to a room full of real housewives who lock their car doors when “one” gets to close. And can you blame them? Twenty-five seconds is all Lopez needed to lightheartedly imply all Mexicans are criminals on national television.

I paused the clip, grabbed a bottle of vodka, and decided to turn this 3 minute segment into a drinking game. Whenever Lopez made a joke I might hear at a Klan rally, I had to take a shot. I know…I know. What was I thinking?

For the next two minutes, as Lopez spewed stereotype after stereotype, I was unable to put the vodka bottle down. I began to worry that I might speak Russian at any moment (see, I can do it too). I think my computer sensing my impending doom, took pity on me and crashed itself.

I rebooted my computer and tried again. And I’m happy I did.  At the 2 minute mark, Lopez finally decided to get serious and offer his thoughts on immigration. Finally, I was able to put the bottle of vodka down…oh wait, it ended up being a joke about how electing Sarah Palin would be enough to make all Latinos want to move out of the country.

After about 3 minutes, the clip fades out, which I’m assuming is when the camera fell asleep. I followed suit, letting the large quantity of Russian vodka I’d just consumed work its way through my veins.

My name is Lucas. I am half-Mexican, but most of my cultural understanding has been defined by what ethnic box to check on surveys for colleges, sketchy dating websites and, subsequently, STD tests. I grew up in a predominantly white, small East Texas Town – which disconnected me from any sort of diverse tapestry. Growing up, I never even dated anyone who was Mexican – mostly because the only girl in the small town who was Mexican was my sister. Though dating one’s sister is socially acceptable in some parts of Texas, I never could do it myself.

Around the age of 10, with no understanding of what melanin was, I asked my mom why my tan skin looked dirty compared to all of my white friends. My mom told me, “Your skin isn’t dirty, it’s just covered in the blood of our people.” I took a bath immediately after hearing that, feeling dirtier than I had before I asked the question.

Watching Lopez makes me feel dirty, but not in that “this girl turned me into a finger-puppet” kind of dirty. It’s the kind of dirty that you can’t bring home to mom.

Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.”

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