Washington DC is holding its mayoral elections on September 12. Tomorrow. Are you excited? Calm yourself, damn it. This isn’t the time to act like a Peruvian cheerleader on meatloaf Wednesday! This is politics! This is the time to be serious.
Serious? No, not really. In mi opinion, the DC mayoral race is very much like any high school student body president election, you always get promised a soda machine in the lunchroom, but always have to settle for a second-hand drinking fountain instead.
But, like any high school election, we all have to act like we believe the candidates are going to actually make a difference.
So who gets my vote this year? Take a look at the candidates. Can you believe this? I know you had the same thought that I did: Not one Latino candidate! But then, I looked closer and realized something that few people had realized. Adrian Fenty is Latino.
There is something that Latino mothers sometimes do when they have children born in the United States: they Americanize names. Roberto becomes Robert; Miguel becomes Michael; Alberto becomes Albert and so on and so on.
There are some mothers who buck this trend and find American names that go back and forth between two worlds, like, for example, Adrian. In English, well, you know how to pronounce it. In Spanish, it becomes Adrrrrriiiiiiahn. It’s sexier in Spanish, but it does the trick.
I told Miguel about my theory and he was amazed. For once, he was amazed about something I said.
“El Guapo, I don’t think he’s Latino, but I think he’s the perfect politician. He was made for politics. He won’t scare the gringos too much. He’s black, but not too black, so this makes the average white person subconsciously think he has some white heritage and, again, like him more because they can tell themselves that they aren’t racist because they support a black man. The African-American community may wonder why he is light skinned, but see that he will push for their issues because at the end of the day, he is, still, a black man. The Latino community, like you, will wonder if he is in fact Latino because of his name and his complexion. He probably speaks a couple of key words in Spanish. I tell you, it is genius.”
So, you’re going to vote for him?
“No. I don’t vote.”