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Memo From Middle America | Assimilation Fail: Why Isn’t Chicano Comedian George Lopez A Loyal American?
“…Sheriff Joe in Arizona, f--- you, you f---in’ puto. [Loud applause] How about that? F--- you, you fat motherf---er f--- you. I said I was gonna talk some sh-t, f--- you, Sheriff Joe, you f---in’ puto [Spanish-language profanity]. F--- you.” [Loud applause].
—George Lopez, “It’s Not Me It’s You” HBO Special
Lopez is a successful Mexican-American entertainer who has based his career on being Mexican-American. Born in 1961 in California, and eventually abandoned by both his parents, George was raised by his maternal grandmother who provides many of the anecdotes in his stand-up routine.
Besides his long career in stand-up comedy, Lopez has hosted a radio show, been an NFL commentator, acted on television and in movies. From 2002 to 2007 he was the producer, writer and star of the “George Lopez” sitcom, which was followed by hosting TV talk show Lopez Tonight, from 2009 to 2011. George Lopez has published his autobiography, Why You Crying? co-written by CBS’s Armen Keteyian and has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
So George Lopez is a celebrity in today’s celebrity-crazed society. And he’s richer than most of us will ever be. And yet, like Eva Longoria and other prominent Mexican-American celebrities, there is something in George Lopez’s soul that doesn’t identify with, and even seems to resent, the historical American nation.
If Lopez weren’t a Mexican-American, he wouldn’t even be famous. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t his whole shtick based on his identity as a Mexican-American?
When the George Lopez sitcom was cancelled in 2007, Lopez made a racial case out of it, bellyaching that “TV just became really, really white again.” (According to DNA testing, George Lopez is 55% white, but of course he doesn’t identify as white). Complaining about another program entitled “Caveman”, Lopez reasoned that
So a...Chicano can't be on TV but a...caveman can?" "And a Chicano with an audience already? You know when you get in this that shows do not last forever, but this was an important show and to go unceremoniously like this hurts? [Lopez apparently can't stop swearing for ten minutes--The three dot ellipses are the LA TIMES’s for what they call “ colorful language that cannot be printed in a family newspaper”.]
”TV just got a lot 'whiter,' says a canceled George Lopez LA Times, May 14th, 2007
Well, I’ve never had my own sitcom, nor have most white Americans, yet Lopez had one for five years. So who’s being discriminated against?
Some might say, “Lopez is just a comedian, don’t take it seriously.” But there’s a Spanish proverb that says “Entre broma y broma, la verdad se asoma”—“Between joke and joke, the truth is shown”. Comedians have agendas too.
I did some random listening to some of Lopez’s work on YouTube. It’s sometimes humorous, but it can get old. And some of it would certainly get a white Anglo into trouble—for example, this routine here, about a limited-English Latino employee in the drive-through of a Jack in the Box fast food restaurant, with the accent and everything.
A common theme running through Lopez’ work is that Latinos are vibrant, exciting, spontaneous people, while white people are effete and uptight.
In this video of It’s Not Me, It’s You, Lopez boast of Latinos stealing warning signs for mopped floors to be used as soccer goalposts, about Latinos drinking in front of their children, and about stealing from the White House. When asked what kind of American would steal from the President, Lopez replies “a Mexican-American”.
Lopez boasts about Latino kids not being spoiled and contrasts them with white kids who are “entitled” and all on Ritalin.
Lopez says “Latinas are beautiful. The problem is you got to get ‘em before they get fat. “
Another Lopez line: “You can’t get 25 black and Latino people together unless you have drugs and alcohol.”
Lopez talks about his grandmother being racist against blacks and jokes about Sonia Sotomayor getting injured and collecting worker’s comp before entering the Supreme Court.
Near the beginning, Lopez indignantly declares:
“We [Latinos] get blamed for so much sh-t and we take it. I’m telling you tonight, we don’t have to take that sh-t anymore. It’s our time.” At the end of the video he cries “Viva Mexico, Viva la La Raza!”
In another video, Lopez begins with some Latino triumphalism:
Let me say this about immigration so you finally hear it from a Latino. We ain’t going nowhere… The stupidest thing to do is to assume that we’re all from Mexico. "Well, what part of Mexico are your ancestors from?” Los Angeles, bitch. I got a breathtaking view of the King Taco, it’s lovely, I watch people get shanked every weekend.
Indeed, Lopez almost speaks proudly of Latino crime:” We don’t go for extreme sports, you know, walking in our f---ing neighborhood is an extreme sport.”
The comedian ridicules deportation, depicting an illegal alien saying to his aunt “I gotta go back to Mexico, I’ll be right back, though, watch my plate. “
(Of course, he has a point here, with our ridiculously low deportation rate and lack of punishment for repeat offenders).
In the same video, Lopez ridicules California’s then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent, saying that it makes him a hypocrite to support “English Only”. Lopez curses both Schwarzenegger and President Bush with a “F--- that, puto!”
After all that pandering, this is the thanks Bush receives!
Near the beginning, Lopez goes off into a “Hispanics Decide the Election” riff:
This is an election year; we all know it’s an election year. Latinos have the most powerful vote in this country. [Applause building] The Latino vote is very powerful. We have to realize that our vote can change the course of this political campaign. We can elect the president. We!
Later, he makes fun of Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney wants the Latino vote. He ain't gonna get it. (BOOING) He ain’t gonna get it. And you know why? Because Mitt Romney is a f---in' Latino and he won’t admit it. His father was born in Chihuahua, México. Mitt Romney is a Chicano but he won’t admit it. "I’m not, I’m Danish, I’m French." [imitating Romney]
[Directed to Romney] If you want our vote, puto, come out of the closet. Get a hairnet and lean back and say,”My llamo Mitt pero me puede llamar guante.” [“But you can call me ‘guante’—Spanish for mitt, in the sense of glove.]
As for the Arpaio rant, there is no nuance to it, no explanation, it just burst forth. It isn’t even funny. Lopez seems genuinely angry.
Bu his audience loves it, as the angry comedian curses a man many Americans admire, a man who takes seriously the charge he has been entrusted with.
How many elections has George Lopez run in? Why is George Lopez so angry that Sheriff Arpaio is trying to enforce the law?
Why is George Lopez so angry about our immigration law being enforced?
What does this say about Mexican assimilation?
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A in 2008, after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.