Tag Archives: mexican

Why I Don’t Use the Term African-American

8 May


As I sat here watching TV, potentially blogging or studying, I heard a recount of someone’s interaction with a criminal. When the investigator asked them for a physical description, the person replied that they looked European. That caught my attention.

How do you look European?

And for that matter, why do we call black people African-American or Hispanic people Mexican or Mexican-American?

First, there are so many countries in Europe, and such a variety of people, that I don’t think someone can look European, just like I don’t think its possible to look American. Then, there is the term African-American. I’ve had several discussions about the term, and some people prefer to be called African-American, some prefer to be called black, and others prefer whatever comes naturally. I hear its also “politically correct”.

I don’t like it. I don’t use it. The people we usually refer to as African-American aren’t actually from Africa; They are from the United States.  The people who are from Africa, aren’t necessarily black, either. Ever seen The Color of Friendship? The girl gets a foreign exchange student from Africa, who ends up being white, much to the dismay of the host sister. For all we know, the child on the left in the picture was born in the US, and the child on the right was born in Africa. The same goes with the term Mexican, or Mexican-American. I am not from Mexico. My grandparents were, yes, but I amnot. The only people who should rightfully be called Mexican are people who live in Mexico, and the only people who should rightfully be called Mexican-American are people who have moved from Mexico to the US (even though Mexico is part of America – I’ll not discuss this now). Future note – don’t call me Mexican, I prefer Hispanic (I’m actually a halfer, so I prefer to be called a halfer, but whatever).

Another point I’d like to make is on the use of the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’. Another situation I was overhearing or reading (I don’t remember) involved a father telling someone about a person – lets say Joe. The person the father was talking to didn’t remember who Joe was, so the father said something along the lines of “the black man that was over here the other day” to which the person became somewhat offended, and asked why it was necessary to say ‘the black man’ and that it was racist.

My theory on this is that it all depends on the context and variety of company of which normally visits the household. If the family normally has non-black visitors, then it would be easiest to say that Joe was the black visitor. If a family normally has black visitors, it would be just as easy to say Joe was the white visitor (assuming that Joe was white). Its a means to contrast the normal with the novel. If there were multiple races of visitors, however, it would become necessary to use other means. Say there are two black men, two white men, and two hispanic men visiting. It wouldn’t make sense to say that Joe was the black visitor, because that doesn’t help the person understand who Joe is. This is when you would say Joe was the tall oneJoe was the short one, or Joe was the really skinny one. Its just the same as if Joe was actually a woman, when most visitors are men. It is acceptable to say “she was the woman”, so why would it not be acceptable to say that “he was the black man”?

Which terms do you use? Do you have a preference for what people refer to you as? Do you agree with me about the use of contrast when describing people? 

Egg Roll Wraps: Not Just For Egg Rolls (A Few Tasty Recipes)

25 Apr

Egg roll wraps are these nifty little things that are the biggest reason why I love egg rolls. Because they are my favorite part, I like to use them for other things. Here are a few recipes to try if you ever have some left over, or are just in need of trying something a little new:


  1. Deep Fried Burritos: Everything is better deep fried, right? Isn’t that like…the American dream? Well, burritos are no exception. Personally, I use refried pinto beans, some cheddar cheese, and some cut up green chili. A simple enough recipe that you can adapt for whatever you need and the green chili definitely adds good flavor. Just spoon a little bit of beans in the middle of your wrap, add some cheese and chili, and fold the edges over. Use some water to keep the edges from unfolding. Now, use a deep fryer or hot oil in a pot. Dunk your burrito in the oil and leave them in there until they are golden brown and bubbly on the outside.
  2. Chicken and Rice Stir Fry Wrap: This is a recipe that you can use with pretty much any foods you like to stir fry with your chicken. I am a huge fan of chicken and broccoli stir fry over rice. Whatever it is you are cooking, just spoon a little bit of it into an egg roll wrap, add some rice, and you have another tasty menu item! Just cook them like I mention with the burritos. This can be a little plain for some peoples tastes, so adding butter to the rice and maybe lemon-pepper to the chicken could kick it up a notch.
  3. Ravioli: You can use whatever ravioli filling you like, albeit spinach and ricotta, or 5 cheese italiano, or a variety of meat. Spoon that into your egg roll wraps, and it makes a convenient ravioli. The instructions say to deep fry them as I’ve mentioned before, but I wouldn’t say its too big of a leap to bake them in the oven. If I was going to try that route, I would probably dip the whole ravioli in water to soften the wrap, and them place them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until I thought they were done.
  4. Chili Rellenos: I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I’m not doing my Mexican heritage justice by saying I’ve never had one of these. My family and friends swear by them, but I’m afraid the texture will freak me out. This recipe calls for 3 cans of whole green chili (or, if you’d prefer to take the home made route…just cook whole chili from your local market on a skillet until they are blackened, then peel) and the cheese(s) of your choice (I would most likely use cheddar, jack, or colby and I know some people who use cream cheese…which is the part that freaks me out). I won’t go into the details of how to make the filling, but basically just spoon that in like I’ve said before and deep fry. I always put a ton of garlic (and garlic salt) on any chili that I eat, so I would definitely do that here as well.

Those were just a few things out of I’m sure a variety of things you can use egg roll wraps for. Maybe even light and fluffy chips? Well, happy cooking!

How have you creatively used egg roll wraps? Have you tried any of these recipes? What were your favorites?