Friday, December 29, 2006


I took my dogs to the vet Wednesday on my motorcycle - Apellido up front, The Virgin Mary in my day pack behind me. My pickup is STILL in S. Jose at the taller - everyone's on vacation and there's no one available to drive it back on a flatbed. Like me, my dogs love to ride!!! The Virgin Mary needed another round of vaccinations. They both needed worm pills (every three months). And I wanted the vet to look at the fungus on Apellido's face. The tea I made from the arbol madero has actually helped, but the fungus hasn't gone away completely. So the vet prescribed alternate days of applying a half-and-half mixture of water and vinegar on one day, and baking soda dissolved in water the next. The fungus will die if you can change the pH of the skin, she told me. We'll see.

There was one thing that I hadn't noticed before that caught my eye: on The Virgin's vaccination record card under 'raza' (race or breed), the vet wrote "SRD"...

...I'm not big on race. I really don't care what color you are or what you're heritage is. I hate listening to white people from the US or Canada, who are decendents of European immigrants, talk about being an eighth Norweigian, an eighth Irish and 3/4 Italian. In most cases you're in the US or Canada because your grandparents left the Old Country because life there sucked. Some of them may have even changed their names to hide their ethnicity. My black friends in the US, those who are descendents of slaves, never have this conversation. Their heritage was robbed from them. You never hear a black person say they're 1/4 Nigerian, 1/4 Ghanaian and half Congolese. They're just black (except in the office and media where they are "African American"), from Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama or Michigan. Their heritage starts in North America because the memory of wherever their forefathers were from before being loaded onto the slaver was erased.

But then there are those black folks who somehow derive their African lineage based on their facial structure, height, build, cup size, ass size or whatever. They like kinte cloth (like my white friends of Scottish or Irish descent love plaid, all having no idea of the significance of the patterns and colors). They've never been to any country in Africa, not even Morroco. In fact, Africa is a country in their minds, not a continent consisting of many countries. They can't identify Mali on a map of the world. They have no knowlege of the history of colonialization and how borders drawn by Europeans on a map to this day mean nothing, and everything, to those living over and between them. They've changed their names to names that sound African, but aren't. They give their kids the same names. The fact that black Africans and white Europeans were complicit in trading human lives - bodies for goods - is news to them. "Stolen from Africa"? More like, "Sold by my father-in-law". People thirst for money and power, no matter what color they are.

But I digress, and that's what blogs are for...

...So I noticed that the race/breed of my dogs is "SRD" - "Sin Raza Dominante". Which translates literally to, "Without a Dominant Race". In other words, they're mutts, zaguates - like me. When someone, usually a white person, asks me, "What's your background?", I always say, "I'm a white guy from North America." Deer in the headlights stare. End of inquiry. Their question is usually a segway into telling me THEIR heritage anyway. Who freakin' cares?! Like your Swedish blood somehow elevates the quality of your character?! We're living in the here and now. I'm more interested in whether or not you showered today because something smells a little ripe down there at the end of the bar.

Next time someone asks me that question, I'm going to tell them I'm "SRD" and let them figure it out. My friend, Blackie (yes, he's a very black Costa Rican and that's his real nickname - we're not uptight about that crap down here), loves the idea. We're thinking of selling t-shirts.

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