Texas math teacher Shirley Bunn told a student to “go back to Mexico” after he asked for a Spanish-language version of the Title 1 forms she was distributing to the class.
Apparently, it was instantaneous and it was a case of “I didn’t think before I spoke” — she said she had been having a bad day. The examiner for the issue said he didn’t think it was said in an aggressive manner or was meant to be racist.
Well here are my thoughts — I’ve heard people been told to go back to Mexico about a million times in this state. And similarly, I’ve seen people tell African-Americans to go back to Africa, or Asians to go back to Asia, or whatever, as if it doesn’t apply to white people because we have “always been here” (Ever heard someone tell a white person to go back to Europe? Don’t think so).
In Texas, our Latino population is escalating rapidly, partly because Hispanics now have the highest birth rate in Texas, and also because of immigration. So this leaves a lot of conservative white people feeling flustered and threatened. Every Hispanic person is looked at as an undocumented person by them that is out to “steal American jobs” or “get free (insert something they don’t get for free here)”. This is ridiculous BS, but unfortunately it’s reality. To show how bad this has become — many people I know have been asked how much they charge when mowing their own yards, simply because they are Hispanic.
So do I think that the teacher probably didn’t mean to say that? Of course she didn’t mean to say that — she knew that those kinds of comments don’t go over well. Does she probably have that opinion on Latinos in Texas? Of course.
Racism in Texas — will it ever end?
The old “I wasn’t thinking, therefore, I defaulted to racism.” Oh, Texas.
Haha, it disgusted me that that was her excuse. But that’s always the excuse. Or they play dumb — “Oh, that was racist? I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
When White People be saying “Go Back to…” I’m always like “you first, pendejo”.
I would lose count if I tried to tally the number of times I’ve heard “I had a bad day” argument. You know what, that kid had a pretty bad day too hearing you say that but that is nullified right? The Native American Student Union cause an uproar at my college one year on Columbus/Indigenous Solidarity day by giving white students (and to be fair Latinos and African-Americans) pretend one way airplane tickets back to Europe. The people of color who got them were for the most part understood the point but the white people flipped shit! Maybe we should all send Shirley Bunn fake one way tickets back to Europe and see if has a bad day.
OK, this is an aside to the OP (which, of course, is repulsive and fucked and the whole “I JUST HAD A BAD DAY” excuse for racism is bullshit, all that means is that you were too tired to filter your pre-existing bigotry, not that your tiredness/anger/bad mood created it, so fuck off racist asshole) but I think giving the tickets back to Europe to POC, while of course they’d understand and whatnot, is an egregiously fucked up thing to do.
Many Latinos ARE fully or in part indigenous to the Americas, and lest we fucking forget, forced slavery is what brought most African Americans here? Also, the conquered, imperialist Western land of the Americas unfortunately posed opportunities for many POC from other fucked up impoverished countries (most likely impoverished due to the same fucked up, white supremacist, genocidal forces that fucked over Native American and indigenous folks of the Americas) so I think in general that’s just a shitty form of victim blaming and doesn’t look at white supremacy and imperialism as a whole. Just give the cards to the white folk and leave it at that.
THANK YOU!^^^^^^^ Holy false equivalencies, Batman!