While trying to stay awake watching the healthcare summit play out on television, I decided to surf the Internet for some entertainment. The front page of the Drudge Report echoed my thoughts exactly by displaying a picture of a bored President Obama agreeing with my sentiments, as I can only assume he was pondering how old John McCain is in dog years and if it’s too late to get a VP who might be willing to help him out instead of continuing to be a punching bag for The O’Reilly Factor and Glenn Beck. Yet in my World Wide Web adventure, I came across a very small story about a very small personality. Growing up, he was a household favorite with his fast little feet, sombrero hat and Mexican accent. His escapades were rather simple and engaging as he ran through the poverty-stricken streets of Mexico in search of cheese. I am, of course, describing the Looney Tunes and Warner Brothers classic character of Speedy Gonzalez, who is about to have a movie made starring him, voiced by George Lopez, and, according to the film’s producers, they “[want] to make sure that it was not [about] the Speedy of the 1950s — the racist Speedy,” but instead about a misunderstood mouse in search of his life’s purpose. Once again, a leftist mindset is worried about something very few see, and many don’t care about.

Leftist mindset is basically concerned with two things: race and economics. This mostly stems from a liberal arts background received in college and the Marxist view that all issues can be labeled in the haves and have-nots categories. Most people don’t have a leftist or conservative mindset. In fact, most people’s worldview reflects a desire to work, raise a family, and do what is best for themselves and their loved ones. It takes a bored and overeducated person to try to find the social ills in a 1950s cartoon meant to entertain people, seven minutes at a time. This statement that the filmmakers want to stay away from the “racist” Speedy shows their ignorance of what true racism is.

Racism is the belief that a race of a people is superior or inferior based on traits found in a particular group of people that create a greater or lesser value or worth. Racism is not giving a character an accent and a large hat and having him run around getting food for his friends and family. True racism is forcing a group of people to sit on the back of bus, killing someone because of skin color, and deciding that a person is less qualified to work a job because he or she looks different. What Speedy’s seven-minute cartoons are is satire at best, innocent and silly humor at worst. The problem with the left is that they lose their sense of humor when any group is humorously portrayed except middle-age white people. Back in 1999, many claimed that the Speedy Gonzalez cartoons showed the Mexican characters as lazy and slow and got it booted off the air, but I don’t hear these groups complaining when Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin are portrayed as bumbling fools, who over the years, have demonstrated sexist, homophobic and downright lazy attitudes and behaviors. Maybe that is because many believe these groups see the white middle-class American as having those characteristics and beliefs. I hate to break it to everyone, but there are lazy, racist and homophobic members of every race, group, gender and population.

To overcome racism, people need to stop bringing it up every time they believe someone will get his or her feelings hurt. If anything, the filmmakers are perpetuating racist leanings on a Latino population that they fear is not capable of laughing with the eccentric little mouse across the border. Considering that Speedy Gonzalez cartoons regularly play on Mexico’s national television station, maybe the only ones uncomfortable about the whole show are the people making the film, which begs me to ask the question: if Speedy was so racist, then why create a feature-length movie that would promote people going back and watching the original cartoons? ¿Por quê?   

paulmoomjean@yahoo.com