The Name Mescan
I realize that some may have some questions about the blog title. Let me clear that up.
I am what is known by some as Mexican, or Mexican-American, or Hispanic, or Latino. I don’t like any of those labels, mostly because I didn’t have a say in them. My wife says I am rebellious and that I maybe should tone it down some, but I don’t care.
Why I am not Mexican:
I was not born in the Republic of Mexico. My dad is from Dallas. My mom is from Michigan. The last person to come from Mexico in my line of predecessors was four generations ago. He came across legally in the early 19th century when the US was encouraging people to come here and work the farms. So he did. I am a United States-ian.
Why I am not Mexican-American:
See above. I know that there is a desire to get an idea of what I look like when my ethnicity is spoken. Mexican-American means that I am probably brown-skinned with dark hair. You know, a Mexican. It is still a little too close to saying that I am from Mexico, for my tastes, and really, my tastes are all that matter.
Why I am not Hispanic:
Read this. See that? The name Hispanic historically is a roundabout way of saying that I come from a Spanish speaking country. I don’t. I can barely speak Spanish. If you say that the US is a Spanish speaking country, then you maybe have an argument. But you don’t.
Why I am not Latino:
This is the same type of thing as above. It comes to us from Latium. Long story short: Latin, the language comes from Latium. The Romans spread Latin, it morphed into Spanish (amongst other things) and we named the whole of South America Latin America because they speak Spanish there, which is a Latin language.
There was a whole lot of laziness going on there huh? Technically we can call Spain Latin-Europe, along with France, Romania, Italy and proabably more places. If you got really picky, you could call the UK and US Latin-whatever too.
Again, English was my first language so labeling me according to what my great granma spoke first is well, not an accurate label.
Why in the hell I picked Mescan:
I liked it. Amongst us youths, when pronounced quickly and with the hip-hop influened english we use, Mexican comes out sounding like Mescan.
Now I know its still a version of Mexican. Fact is, Mexican is the way most people referred to us. Its either black, white, or mexican.
I am too young to call my self chicano. That is the older, California way of talking. I didn’t grow up with that.
So now you know. That is why I call myself Mescan.
*Note: I am probably one of only a handful that do this, so name-call wisely o traveler.
This was originally published here