While testifying at the his racial profiling trial yesterday, Joe Arpaio was confronted with an assertion from his book, Joe’s Law.
In the book, Arpaio states that second and third generation Mexican-Americans are separate from the American mainstream. When confronted with this nugget, Arpaio did the brave, no-nonsense and take-charge thing: he blamed his co-author.
Setting aside whether he wrote it or paid someone else to write it, I have a question for Joe…do I qualify as a “mainstream” American?
I’m thinking maybe, since my dad’s ancestors are from Eastern Europe. As we all know, immigrants from Europe at the beginning of the last century all showed up loving NASCAR and knowing the lyrics to all of Lee Greenwood’s songs.
My mom’s side, the Hispanic side, is dicier. My grandfather’s ancestors came up here in the 1770′s. It probably would shock Arpaio and his supporters to find that there are Hispanics here whose families didn’t immigrate to the United States, illegally or otherwise. Still, I suppose that they would grudgingly acknowledge that over two centuries of history would have to qualify as mainstream.
My grandmother, on the other hand, came up from Hermosillo as a child to escape the Mexican Revolution. That would make my mother, uncles and aunts maternally second generation.
So, which is the controlling gene, Joe? I need to know this for the next time we take a family trip to Maricopa County.