So, last night I did what a lot of people did. I showed up at a mexican restaurant with some of my co-workers. (My day job co-workers went someplace else. These were my test prep co-workers.) I put our name in at 5:30 for a table and it took until 7:30 to seat us. I'm really anal about not drinking and driving, so I ended up just having one strawberry margarita that Jennifer Beautiful bought for me when I wasn't expecting it.
At some point in my night, between the sticky sweet margarita and the greasy nachos and the flirting and the teasing and the shotgun career and relationship advice that characterize a night out with one's buddies, I started to wonder. What were we call celebrating?
Our group, which was probably about a dozen people at its biggest, had three asian women and an african-american guy, the rest were white. (And how white we were. People who leave their academic or civil service or law firm jobs and go teach MCAT preperation to a bunch of aspiring med students tend to be as preppy-aspiring and uncool as people get.) We were so British-looking as a group that it was almost more likely that we would be celebrating a French loss than a Mexican victory. As far as I could tell, the only latinos in the whole restaurant were the ones running the place. I had planned to tip 50 percent and did, though my waittress turned out to be African-American.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I wondered why we did what we did. Truth be told, I am no great fan of the mexican government. In terms of the immigration question, American conservatives are quick to blame the undocumented workers for being poor and seeking out a better life, the liberals are incensed that conservatives dare see our financial resources as being finite. Nobody thinks to blame the Mexican government and the corrupt politicians who leave office hundreds of thousands of dollars richer. People in Mexico who protest the government tend to get shot or disappear. Maybe they would have been better off if Napoleon had won.