Cinco de Whatevs

I am not of Hispanic origin. Nor am I Latino. Nor am I non-white of Hispanic/Latin ancestry. I am, in fact, a European-American a.k.a. Caucasian a.k.a. Whitey—and therefore possess no formal distinction between any of the previous terms. Doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good party.

Which, by the way, where was the party? Last year, apparently, it was at a park I can see from my window. No este año. There was supposed to be a parade down Mission street, which is in the Mission District of San Francisco, which is where I live. But I didn’t see much of that at 5:00pm when I finally got around to leaving the house… and by then I looked darn festive, you better believe. So no parade. That’s OK. I notice the bars are a little cup-runneth-over with people drinking Margaritas and Coronas… but then again it is a Saturday. Fewer ice cream vendors. More people on the street, I suppose. Need I remind you, but this is The Mission, the most Latino district in the whole city. If I walk down past Caesar Chavez street, I see Salvadoran, Honduran, Peruvian, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian, and (I suppose) a few Mexican restaurants too, but If I were to do it today, how many revelers would I see, how many true Latinos, or Hispanics, or just plain well-tanned individuals, on this, “the all-Latin holiday?” None too many, and none too many that look like they might enjoy a bullfight or an iguana taco. No me gusta. Most Latin thing I did all evening was give a street interview for a radio show about burritos.

Some say I’m part of the problem. I’ll agree with them for now. See, I’m white and I think this place is cool: the food is great, the rent is cheap and the community is good, it’s an easy ride most places and the weather’s nice too. But too many of me, or people like me who are young and hip and have zero children and want thrift stores and nice Vespas but don’t but salted pork or paint freedom-fighter murals and the whole Latin culture that made the place’ll be gone. That’s the fear, and that’d suck. So we made a compromise, my woman and I. We didn’t visit an packed taqueria or purchase overpriced Corona, chilled as it might’ve been. I’ll tell you what we did do, to get some nice spicy flavorful food in us. Latinos forgive us. Has anyone ever had Tapas before? They’re delicious.