John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons (2018) Movie Script

There are people out there
trying to rewrite our history.
These are a dangerous people.
They'll say anything to be legitimized.
Someday, some little Latina
with a big mouth
is gonna read a few books
and convince themselves
they contributed to our country.
Now pray that those falsehoods
don't seep into the fabric
of this fine nation.
Because if they do, God help us all.
[man] Stand up, ladies and gentlemen.
John Leguizamo!
[cheering and applause]
No, no, no, no, settle down.
Settle down. No, no, settle down.
Settle down.
We got a lot of work to do here tonight,
and I got very little time to do it
'cause I gotta undo
your whole education...
and the entire way you think,
and it's not gonna be easy
'cause that shit's in there deep.
The only reason I'm telling you this
is because about a year ago,
my life was going so goddamn great.
I was on tour all summer,
and I come home, and, uh...
I get to my son's room,
and I hear the bed going...
[makes creaking sounds]
"Buddy, I'm coming in.
I'm opening the door."
[imitates hinges creaking]
And there he is, just jumping on the bed,
playing some Western video game,
going, "Yippee-ay-yay-ki-ay.
Shoot those red bastards.
Shoot those savages. Pow, pow."
And I'm like, "Whoa, Buddy.
You can't say that, man."
"But why not, Dad?"
"'Cause, honey, we're those red bastards.
We Latin people are mostly Indian, man."
"No, Dad, no. You're the red bastard
and the beaner, not me.
That's why I don't let you pick me up
from school anymore."
So then I find out that my son
is being bullied at school
by one of his eighth-grade classmates.
It starts in the schoolyard
when they're playing cops and robbers,
and the little punk says to my son,
"You beaners can't be cops -
I oughta know. I come from a long line of
captains and generals from the Civil War -
so you better start running away so I can
shoot you in the back, beaner. Pow, pow."
So, that little shit...
had the cojones to call my son a beaner.
Now, this wasn't supposed to happen to us
because he goes
to a very fancy private school,
and I've worked hard to be respectable.
Fuck you.
[raucous laughter]
So, yo, how is it that my son
is going through the same
racial rite of passages I did?
So I go to my wife for advice,
and my wife is Jewish,
so she's very intolerant of intolerance.
So she makes me
go talk to the little shit's dad,
so now I have to accidentally on purpose
bump into him at drop-off.
"Excuse me, Mr. Jackson.
I didn't see you standing there.
Hey, look, while I have you, um...
your kid called my son a name.
If he's gonna call my son names,
he should at least call him
by his proper slur
'cause beaners are for Mexicans.
My son's actually
a spic-greaseball-hebe-kike, okay?"
The little shit's dad turns to me,
"John, I'm terribly sorry.
I had no idea my boy
had called your son a beaner.
But, hey, at least he didn't call him
a wetback, right, John?
What, John? What? I'm not a racist, John.
John, my family donates
to the diversity program every year, John.
I come from a long, long line
of philanthropreneurs."
"Oh, yeah?I come from a long line, too.
A long line of people who, um--
You know, yo, diversity?
Yo, how you sound, man?
You know me, huh? You know me? Huh?"
Oh, fuck, man.
Fuck, man, I lost my shit. I didn't even
have a good goddamn comeback.
And, yo, I'm from the fucking 'hood, baby.
But not my son, no. My son
is one of those super-super-sweet shy kids
with an IQ seven points short of genius.
He's the first one they ask for homework
and the last one they ask to the dance.
And that's why I felt extra-guilty
I didn't have a comeback to defend my son.
But how could I, man?
I didn't have heros like captains or
generals, growing up, from the Civil War.
No Latin ones, anyway.
And where should I have learned that shit?
Holla, New York City
public-school system.
So, yo, in order to help my son...
I realized that I was gonna have to
get to the root of my problem -
feeling like a second-class citizen, so...
I started flashing back through my life,
to my child-- back in time.
Tear the roof off
We're gonna tearthe roof off
the mother, sucker
Tear the roof off the sucker
And boom - I hit the '70s.
There I am coming home
from school early one day,
and there's my mom
masturbating in the tub.
Oh, God! Too far back!
Please play forward!
[dance music plays]
And boom - I hit the '80s.
Whoo! So much better. You don't even know.
There I am
in my junior high school - IS 145.
[bell rings]
And, yo, we were 55
feral latchkey kids per class.
It was like Lord of the Flies,
but with a lot less adult supervision.
And my history teacher, Mr. Flynn...
was a mean, sadistic son of a bitch.
And he had a rear-view mirror
on the blackboard.
And, yo, he needed that shit.
'Cause when he was writing
with his back to us,
he'd be like, "All right, Legizmo.
All right, I see you standing there.
Sit down before I staple your ass
to the chair.
What'd you have for breakfast,
your Colombian mom's
illegal powdered cereal?"
"All right, shut up, class.
Open up your history textbooks
to a chapter
you will become familiar with in life -
chapter 11.
All right, shut up, class.
Now, class, what did the Greeks
contribute to the world
besides feta cheese?"
And, yo, my boy Crazy Legs
was like, "Yo, they invented anal."
"No, Mr. Hernandez. That was your mother."
"Now sit down and shut up."
And, yo, the whole class was like,
"You, man," but not me. I was like, "Ooh.
Ooh. Ooh, ooh. Oh. Ooh."
"All right, Legizmo,
before you crap your pants."
"Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, Mr. Flynn.
Mr. Flynn, what I really, really wanted
to "ax" you, just wanna "ax" you
why you always talk-ed about
everybody else's contributions to America
but my peoples?
'Cause, yo, my Uncle Sanny says
that this whole thing
about us being discovered-ed
by this nigga Columbo..."
"It's, like, bullshit, yo.
'Cause we was conquested-ed, man.
'Cause, yo, that's like me discovering
your wallet in your back pocket
and now it's mine, right? Right?"
[impish laugh]
"Mr. Legizmo, you wanna know what these
people have contributed to this country?
Drugs and violence.
Now sit your ignorant ass down."
"Yo, Mr. Flynn,
why you gotta do me like that?
You know me, huh? You know me?
Huh? You know me?"
I wasn't very good at comebacks
back then.
I don't know about y'all...
but I always felt my whole life,
my history was being kept from me.
History textbooks, movies,
television, everywhere.
Just like my mom was always
keeping my father's history from us
ever since he abandoned our asses.
My mother was always like, "Mijo,
I never wanted to bad-mouth your father.
No, because it would ruin the moment
when you figure it out all by yourself."
So, all I knew about my history
was what myPuerto Rican Uncle Sanny,
who was deaf, would teach me,
'cause he was our expert on everything
'cause he was always watching PBS,
way too fucking loud...
and he'd always be like, "Mijo,
don't say that, pendejo."
"You have to know about yourself
because, bebito,
we had pyramids and calendars."
"And my great-great grandmother..."
"was a Indian princess."
[imitates Indian war cry]
"But, Uncle Sanny,
my teacher don't give a carajo!"
"Jesus... mijo."
"Get... your shit together."
"Because Latin man..."
"has to work twice as hard...
to get half as far."
Now, it wasn't...
it wasn't exactly a wealth of information.
It was enough to get me
in trouble at school, that's for sure.
Luckily for me, my uncle
did teach me about our Latin time line,
which I wanna share with you, and that is
Mayans at 1000 B.C.,
and then we have now.
What is it, the age of Pitbull, right?
[singing, indistinct]
Get it, don't stop...
But, yo, what happened in the 3,000 years
between our great
indigenous civilizations and us?
How did we become so goddamn nonexistent?
Because if you don't see yourself
represented outside of yourself,
you just feel fucking invisible.
So, yo, I had good reason to panic
because as the great 20th-century
Spanish philosopherSantana once said -
oh, no, not Carlos - George -
who said,
"Those who cannot remember their past
are doomed to repeat it." Cono.
So, yo, ever since my son got bulli--
Yo, yo, yo, I put afatwa on that bully,
and I went on a intellectual jihad.
So now I'm a self-professed
ghetto scholar, holla.
So, people, tonight's lesson is...
Latin History For Fucking Morons.
And that's you.
I'm sorry, but it's true, okay?
Tonight, I'm only gonna be talking about
our founding forefathers and our empires,
the kind of shit that they keep out of
our history textbooks.
So pay attention
'cause you're gonna be quizzed. A'ight?
A'ight. So let's start
by looking at Latin DNA.
Now, I've done a lot of research
to find out that we Latin people
are all at least 40% Indian.
And by Indian, I mean...
[Native American Indian chant]
[Indian accent] Not, "Please to be
taking down your pants..."
"so I can be examining your rectum."
We are also 25% black. That's right, baby.
After the conquistadors enslaved
all the Indians, and they died off,
they imported black people
to fill in they vacancies.
So we are definitely blackified.
Shit, I bet you are, too.
I bet you I could prove it. Come on.
I said a-clap your hands now
I said a-stomp your feet
I said a-clap your hands now
I said a-oh-ah, ah-chi-ca
I said a-oh-ah, ah-chi-ca
I said a-oh-ah, ah-chi-ca
I said a-ooh-ah--
Okay, maybe not so much.
We're also 25% white, 25% Jewish,
25% Lebanese and40%
I don't know what the fuck.
For a grand total of 180%.
And that is us Latino people.
And trust me, I know it's confusing,
I know it's confusing...
because we Latin people
are a bastardly people,
and the reason we're such bastards
is because those white
European conquistadors
came here in the 1500s without women.
And these horny son of a bitches
were sexing up all our fine native honies,
and these conquistador would be like,
"Gonzalo, psst. Gonzalo."
"I never thought I was going to say this,
but can you fuck too much?"
"'Cause I think I'm sick of fucking.
I don't think I ever wanna fuck again.
I've reached the fucking end."
These conquistadors were like NBA players
at aKardashian pool party.
So that's how we Latin people
became their bastard offspring.
Now I'm-a be Bob Ross.
Remember that cool white guy
with the 'fro?
Eighth grade on cable TV?
I love me that dude.
"Let the lines breathe, let the lines
do what they're gonna do here.
The Great Lakes arrived.
There's about five of them.
I didn't do the research. New York City's
like a little baby penis here and there.
Florida's like a rotten colon.
And then Texas is like a dried-up udder."
"But California's like a smelly rear end.
But Mexico's
like a sexy lady with a big ass.
So big. I like that.
I could draw that ass all day."
"And then South America -
well, it never fits. Nobody really cares."
And now for the rest of
the so-called shithole countries.
We have Cuba.
-[man] Yeah.
Repblica Dominicana.
And Haiti.
Puerto Rico.
[raucous cheer]
Then all these little islands here
like little mojoncitos.
And, yo, way back when,
we were three millionTanos
in the Caribbean...
33 million Incas in South America,
30 million Aztecs in Mexico,
and seven million Apache,
Comanche, and Navajo in the West
for a grand total of...
73 million people.
Until... the great...
And then, yo, 95% of us
vanished off the face
of the fucking Earth.
How many's that left? Sir, you look
very intelligent. What is it?
No, you weren't gonna say five percent.
Anybody can say five-- That's one demerit.
Let's not get to three. Otherwise,
you're gonna have to get out. Ushers, ojo.
Ojo. Ojo.
That's 3.65 million Indians left.
And, yo, this genocide
really fucked me up, man.
"Why, John?" you ask.
You ask.
[audience] Why, John?
Thank you for asking.
'Cause, yo, I've always had these...
anger issues, man.
But now I know why. Because of some
unconscious conquest resentment
I've been carrying all my life.
But, yo, my resentment
was not totally unjustified,
because our ancestral wealth,
our inheritance,
our gold was stolen from us.
And, yo, we had tons and tons
of beautiful, sophisticated,
museum-type treasures
until they came here-- Okay, time-out.
Historic footnote time, people.
Why is all our art called "folk art"
and then all of European art
is called "fine art,"
and then modern art
is just our folk art gentrified?
You, sir.
You trying to be sneaky by yessing me?
He's a "yes"man. That's two demerits.
You better shape up. Otherwise... I don't
have to stay late and tutor your ass.
Now, for the rest of y'all,
'cause I like y'all...
when these conquistadors -
[speaks Spanish]
came here,
they melted all our golden masterpieces
into coins.
Yo, that's like going into
the museum in Florence
and seeing the statue of David
and going, "Larry, look at that statue.
It would make a lovely
marble kitchen counter."
Because this King Philip of Spain
stole 500,000 tons of gold from us,
and twice as much silver,
by dismissing us as pagan savages.
Yeah, I got your savage right here, buddy.
And this King Philip of Spain...
No, this King Philip of--
No, I'm-- This K--
People, I'm up here. Up here.
So, yo...
This King Philip of Spain
was always shitting on us, man.
Always trying to prove we weren't human
and didn't have souls
so they could keep robbing us
through the centuries.
And he was always...
[speaks Spanish]
"You bring me 500 of these savages,
and I'm going to put them in my royal zoo,
and you will see that
they're soulless animals.
Who would have thought that colonization
could be so much fun?"
Oh, robbing, raping, pillaging,
robbing, raping, raping
Pillaging, robbing, robbing, rape
Raping, raping, rape
Put us in cages. Thank God
that's not happening to us anymore, huh?
Hey, yo, I-I-I...
This was the biggest theft
in all of history.
I want my reparations, motherfuckers.
Because our gold not only funded
the Spanish Empire,
but also the British, French
and Ottoman Empires of the 1600s.
And just as I'm getting so turned on
by all of my research...
of course, that's when my wife
comes in all fakakta...
That's Yiddish for "boner-killer."
"John, I just got off the phone
with Buddy's history teacher.
Look... he's falling behind.
Can you talk to him?
I'm already overloaded helping Boo."
"Why can't I help Boo with her homework?"
"Okay, John, you can help her
with her trigonometry."
"Okay, I'll help Buddy."
"Thank you, John,
and can you please get on it?
Can you please not mess this up?"
"Don't worry, honey. I'm fucking things up
as fast as I can, okay?"
"I'm kidding. No, you do you.
I'm cool. I got it. I got it. Go, go."
So I wait for my wife to leave,
and then I coach my son
on my year-long project -
getting even with that goddamn bully.
"Buddy, honey, come on.
We're gonna practice.
We're gonna pretend I'm the bully,
and I step up to you.
No, you don't gotta be afraid.
We're just pretending. And I say to you,
'I come from a long line of Civil War...'
blah, blah, blah, whatever.
You say to him, 'It doesn't matter
because we were here first,
we jump-started America
even before Columbus,
that genocidal, pedophilic rapist.'"
"Buddy, it's gonna shut the hell
outta that bully, okay?
All right? So we good? We good?"
"No, Dad. We didn't even go over
my history homework, Dad."
"All right, honey, my bad.
So what's the assignment?"
"Dad, I gotta do my project
on heroes that I look up to."
"Dude, do it on some Latin heroes.
Come on, man. Come on, it's a great idea."
"We'll talk about it later ,
but you got your marching orders, right?
All right, so go play like a normal kid.
No, man. You got this. Go play, go, go."
And I thought my son
was gonna crush it in class,
but he goes to present onColumbus Day
in front of his class,
and he's all like, "Um...
I know we've got lots of Latin heroes.
I'm just working on getting their names
and dates right now,
but I do know for certain thatColumbus
was a genocidal,pedophilic rapist."
So of course the bully corners my son
in the boys' bathroom.
He's like, "Shut up. Your project sucks.
Go back to your country, asswipe."
"Ow. Why don't you go back?
'Cause we were here first, stupid."
"Oh, yeah? Prove it, dickface."
"Ow. I will. I just got nothing
on the facts right now."
"Damn straight you ain't got nothing
'cause you're the kings of nothing.
Come here, King of Nothing,
'cause I'm gonna crown your ass.
Come here. What, are you gonna run?
Run home and kill yourself, little bitch."
So my poor little, broken man
comes home, and he's all like...
"Dad, you just make up
all this shit, Dad."
"I'm never gonna believe you again."
And he runs into his room.
So... I put on my best dad hat.
I go to him and I says, "Buddy, honey,
I'm sorry but life is gonna
fuck you sometimes. it just is.
And you're gonna have to, I don't know,
just keep changing positions
until it feels good somehow."
That didn't come out the way
I meant it to come out.
-No. What I'm trying to say to you--
-[door slams]
Buddy, honey. Honey,
what I'm trying to say to you
is I made sure you grew up better than me
so you wouldn't have to experience this.
But in the streets,
you can't let nobody punk you, man,
so you got my permission
to sucker punch that bully's ass.
-My son opens the door and he's like...
-[imitates hinges creaking]
"But, Dad,Gandhi said..."
"Gandhi said that
if we all took an eye for eye
that the whole world
would just be blind, Dad."
"Oh, but, Buddy, honey,
Gandhi couldn't think straight
'cause he was always hungry."
-[door slams]
-You see--
My son. My son doesn't get it.
He doesn't know how the real world works.
But I do. Hell, yeah.
And as my father once said,
and I wrote it down because...
he never said anything else to me again.
I was afraid I'd forget.
Here, let me...
"Every man has to measure himself
in life.
And how do you measure a man's... value?
By when he's tested in battle." So, yo...
I was gonna go to war on my son's behalf
and get him real facts
on real Latin war heroes.
So behind his back, I get a copy
of his eighth-grade history textbook.
I'm looking for Latin heroes,
and I'm looking for Latin contributions,
and I'm looking from cover to cover,
and there is nothing.
Nada. Culo. Dick. I mean, it's unbelievable, man.
Not one fucking sentence,
not one fucking chapter,
not a goddamn mention.
As if we've been absent
all these fucking centuries.
And, yo, I gotta fess up.
That shit started to get me down.
That is...
until I get turned on toHoward Zinn's
A People's History of the United States.
Which should be required reading
for every kid in America
because, yo, this book
opened up the world to me, man.
Because even in the first chapter,
he proves that our contributions
were even bigger than what I thought.
Because we also gave you
tomatoes, potatoes, chocolate -
try living without that shit, man -
hammocks, canoes, chili peppers,
tobacco, anesthesia, brain surgery,
and people from Jersey and Long Island?
Fucking hockey.
And it's not like the Europeans
didn't give us anything, no,
'cause they gave us typhus, cholera,
malaria, measles, tuberculosis,
black plague, the common cold,
diphtheria, chicken pox, whooping cough,
and don't forget
rats, roaches, and pigeons.
Then after all the fucked-up shit
they do to us,
we gift you with
some of the sexiest dances
the world has ever seen.
-[music playing]
-Cumbia. iWepa!
-[music playing]
iWepa! iWepa! Whoo.
- I like it like that
I said I like it like that
Do it to me, give it to me
I like it like
Mambo. Huh. Huh.
[mambo music playing]
-[whistle blows]
[samba music playing]
[applause and cheering]
So where was I?
No. Mr. Obvious, I know I was dancing.
So, long before...
yo, we were happy-go-lucky tribes
living in what was called
a thousand-year peace.
And I know why thoseTanos
were so peaceful in the Caribbean, too,
'cause they'd be like...
Ding-a-ling a-ling, hear them ring
Booyaka, booyaka
Booyaka, booyaka
[Jamaican accent] "Hey, blood clot."
Batty-boo tell me something I don't know?
"Hey, man. Hey, man, you ever wonder..."
"You ever wonder..."
"what the speed of lightning would be
if it didn't..."
"Yeah, man."
[normal voice] Now, the Tanos
were the gentlest people
that the universe has ever seen
because they would also
fight their wars with wooden swords
so as to not kill their enemy. Aw...
Come on, that's so fucking cute.
Time-out. Historic footnote time.
Let's clarify some big-ass misconceptions
about Columbus, okay?
One - he never set foot in America.
Just here.
Two - he was sent by the Spanish,
but he was actually I-talian.
And three -
when he first encounters the Tanos,
he says to them
in his own inimitable words,
"Hey, you big brown mook, come here.
[speaks Italian] Yeah, you, come here.
You bring us tobacco, cotton, and gold,
we're gonna give you,
oh, we're gonna give you--
Hey, excuse me.
Guido, what are we gonna give
these mulyans?
We're gonna give you these broken mirrors,
and then we're gonna rape you.
We got grapes for you. Forget about it.
Who said that? Hey, forget about it. Hey.
Hey, forget about it."
Columbus was the Donald Trump
of the New World, y'all.
[cheering and applause]
Even a old G like Mike Tyson
would've been like,
"Say what you wanna say about me,
but that motherfucker's crazy."
Because Columbus
basically did a home invasion, man.
And on top of that, on top of that,
he gave themsyph-i-lis.
I gotta write that shit down.
Of course I don't know how to spell it.
Only people who have had it
know how to spell it.
All right, extra-credit time.
Extra credit for anybody here
who can tell me
how the Europeans gotsyphilis.
[man bleats like a sheep]
I'm not gonna ask you
how you knew that, sir.
I don't really wanna know,
but he's right - from fucking sheep.
Not "fucking" sheep. From fucking sheep.
I mean, I like lamb, too,
but I know where to draw the line.
But not these Europeans.
They'd be like, "Oh, Fluffy."
[Norwegian accent] "Your eyes
are so pretty. You're so fluffy."
"Can I call you Fluffy?
Oh, I loves you. I loves you.
Say my name, say my name."
All right, let's recap.
So Columbus brings syphilis
to the New World
by raping nine-year-oldTano girls,
and then enslaves all theTanos
until he exterminates them.
And that, my lovely morons,
is called theCaribbean Holocaust.
And that is the end of theTanos
and their time on Earth.
Then what do we do?
What do we do?
We giveColumbus a day to celebrate him
for fucking people over.
What were we thinking?
"Yeah, let's celebrate anybody
who fucks people over.
Next week, why don't we have a holiday
for my ex-wife's divorce lawyer?"
And I couldn't stop, man. I couldn't stop
obsessing about these gentle Tanos.
I kept thinking they'd be so perfect
for my son's history project,
and for my son, 'cause my son
was this gentle little creature.
And so I present it to him, right?
And he's all like,
"Dad, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Dad,
but there's this girl I really like,
and she already thinks I'm a wuss 'cause
I keep getting bullied all the time,
so I can't really do my project
on wusses right now."
"Why don't you impress her
with some of the other facts I gave you?"
"Oh, yeah, Dad, that's a great idea.
I'll just tell her I come from
sheep-fuckers who hadsyphilis."
"Thanks, Dad, but that's why
I don't talk to you about this shit, Dad."
"Oh, come on, Buddy.
Man, come on. That's not fair, man.
You know you can talk to me
about anything, my little man.
You know what? I wanna prove it to you.
I'm gonna show you.
I'll show you that you could be a hero
to your little girly friend, okay, my man?
Because I've got a foolproof... hero test.
Because in my book, you just need
three things to be a hero, okay?
One - don't be a dick. Because heroes don't discriminate.
They sacrifice their lives
to help everyone irregardless, okay?
And two... don't be an a-hole.
'Cause heroes act up
when they're called upon
to stand up for something
or to take a knee against something.
[cheering and applause]
And three - don't be a pussy.
Because heroes never back down.
It looks something like this.
I'm a married man, so it's been a while.
I know it's got that little thingy
right there..."
"Buddy, honey, are you paying attention?
Are you pay-- Honey, this..."
"goes in here."
"And sometimes on your birthday, in here."
"All right? This is our sex talk, okay?
But don't tell your mom. Don't tell her."
Buddy. So let's put all our guys
through our hero filter.
Let's forget about the Tanos for now
because they were too gentle,
but what about using...
the mighty Aztec warriors?
Oh, come on, man, they were so badass,
with those things through their noses,
and they invented basketball and shit."
"But, Dad, as a virgin
I can't really support them
cause they woulda sacrificed me, too."
"What? Where the hell did you learn that?
In school?"
"No, Dad, no, I watchedApocalypto
the movie."
Oh, great. My son is learning our history
from Mel Gibson.
Holy fuck, how demented is that shit?
So, yo, I had to double down
and get it right for my son
and, luckily for me, I find my ammunition
in this mad, explicit book
by this Spanish friar,Sahagn,
who was writing at the time of the Aztecs
and spoke the actual...
[speaks gibberish sounding language names]
All right, let me break it down for you.
So, Sahagn says
that in 1520, Spain sendsCorts
to colonize Mexico.
Now, back then, Mexico was called
the Aztec Empire.
And their capital city, Tenochtitlan,
was right here.
Oh, grow up. Now...
when theconquistadors first saw this
city, they said it looked like a dream.
because it was so beautiful
and pristine and white,
and it had 45 public buildings, temples,
marketplaces, aqueducts.
The city was surrounded by a giant lake,
so they were safe.
So how the fuck did we lose?
How could we fucking lose, man?
Well, the goingEurocentric narrative,
even in a progressive book
like Guns, Germs, and Steel
is that we natives lost
because we were somehow inferior.
Because the Europeans allegedly had
superior weapons, genes, intellect,
agriculture, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Bullshit, becauseEduardo Galeano
in Open Veins,
which should be
every Latin parent's bible, by the way,
proves that the only thing superior
that the Europeans really had
were their germs.
Because if the European colonizer
attacked before his germs took hold,
he always lost.
That's why Corts didn't beat the Aztecs
the first time he attacked.
No, he had to wait a whole fucking year
till two thirds of the Aztec population
died from European smallpox.
The other factor that undid the Aztecs
was their infamous KingMoctezuma,
who was polling very low...
so he colludes with Putin -
I mean, Corts -
to set him up as
the ancient Aztec god Quetzalcoatl.
I'm not gonna even try to spell that.
'Cause if Moctezuma
could prove that Corts was a god,
the Aztec people were sure he was there
to make the Aztecs great again.
I'm glad you're getting my meaning.
But Moctezuma got played by Corts,
so we have a word in Spanish
for Moctezuma.
Un pendejo.
So, Moctezuma
goes up to Corts and says,
goes up to Corts and says,
[feminine voice] "Your Lord, you have
finally come to your city, Mexico.
Here, sit on thy throne,
oh, Quetzalcoatl."
Corts was like, "What did you call me?
Quetza what? Quetza qu?"
"Well, surely you jest.
You're our god of earth and water.
Right, Quetzalcoatl?"
"Play along, stupid.
Everybody's watching."
"Oh, yeah, for sure.
My friends all call me Corts for short."
"Okay, Corts for short."
Corts seizes Moctezuma.
"Shut up, you. We're taking you prisoner
unless you get your people to open up
the city gates. I might let you live."
[sinister snicker]
"Okay, you leave me no choice
'cause you're so butch."
"So we're gonna have to
distract the masses with a sacrifice."
"Oh, shit, I know.Drop the beat."
Run inside, Corts, you stupid cunt
Ignore the ugly white people
walking to the city gates
One, two, I'm a captive bitch
in my own home
It makes no sense,
I gave him gifts, I let him in
I got my ass, I'm saving me as is
Corts wants my throne,
I won't let him, no, no
Let my people down, that's for sure
Sacrifice, let's give him a show
I'm-a get me outta this
I'm Moctezuma, bitch
You ain't gonna take my throne,
now watch me
Take me down to the floor
like this, this, this, this, this
[cheering and applause]
I'm too old for this shit.
I could've tore something.
As soon as Corts got in the city gates,
the Aztecs were fucked
and are reminded
what the great, late Stephen Hawking,
the British cosmologist, once said -
[imitating Hawking]
"Life would be tragic...
if it weren't so funny.
Ha. Ha. Ha."
Because Moctezuma's death
is tragically comical.
Because Corts spears him in the dick,
kills the man while he's asleep - aah -
and then runs off. But, yo,
when the Aztec people found out
that their puppet king had sold them out,
yo, they went apeshit.
[speaks Spanish]
"Only we can kill our king.
So the Aztecs actually thought
that their dope-ass dance
was gonna scare away theconquistadors,
but, sadly, it did not,
because theconquistadors
answered back with their cannons.
Nothing funny about these motherfuckers.
[indistinct chatter]
[imitates lighting fuse, firing cannon]
And the poor Aztecs, who had never seen
or heard a cannon before,
were like, "Holy shit, homes. Holy shit.
Was that thunder? God, I hope it rains
so nobody sees that I peed myself."
[imitates cannon firing]
"Oh, fuck! I shat myself!"
"It must be the end of the world!
It must be... 2012.
Run for your lives, chingones.
We're gonna die!"
[imitates cannon firing]
And a few remaining Aztecs
came out feverish for one last battle.
"Chipotle, Cholula, Flan..."
[speaks Spanish]
And theconquistadors were like,
"Oh! Joder.
Gabriel, Garca,Mrquez..."
[speaks Spanish]
And theconquistadors retaliate
in a circle-jerk of muskets.
And the last of the Aztecs...
were all gone.
-"No. Mom."
-[imitates musket firing]
"My son."
And now bloody and beaten
on the Aztec killing fields
the Aztecs still lost
by a slim-fucking-margin, man.
As they say in Palestine...
How can a god who is just
let people do this to each other?
And that, my friends, is the end
of the mighty, mighty Aztec Empire.
And I know they lost.
And I know it was the most successful
destruction of a people's language,
culture, and religion in history,
but, yo, they fought and died
so that we might live.
And I thought what a great lesson
to pass on to my son, right?
To fight until the bitter end, right?
So... I go to his room to pass this on...
but my son is all like, "Moctezuma, Dad?
That's your best hero, Dad?
Dad, he doesn't even pass our hero test,
'cause rule number two,
he was an a-hole, Dad,
'cause he sold out his people
just to save his own ass."
"Oh, but, Buddy, honey, you're missing
the big takeaway here, man.
'Cause the Aztecs were fighting against
the most lethal use of germ warfare
in history, man.
Just imagine if everyone you knew
and loved around you was dying."
"Okay, Dad. Okay, you know what, Dad?
I'm gonna do my homework by myself now."
"Dad, that means alone.
That means you gotta go." -Where am I gonna go? This is my house."
-[door slams]
I... gotta be straight up with you people.
I gotta be straight up.
I did not know how to father this boy.
And I knew I needed help,
so I went into therapy.
Yeah, I'm in therapy.
I don't look like I need it 'cause I seem
very confident and well-adjusted...
like somebody you wanna be
trapped in an elevator with, but, no.
I need lots of help, man,
because before I confront others,
I gotta learn how to confront myself.
And my therapist, Dr. T., who sounds
a lot like Tim Gunn on Project Runway...
"I know, Doc, I know. I'm relapsing.
I know 'cause..."
but is now starting to hold you back."
"John, stop. You keep using your humor
to avoid your core issues.
It's an outmoded survival skill
that helped you get out of the ghetto
but is now starting to hold you back."
"I know, Doc, I know. I'm relapsing.
I know 'cause...
I'm failing my son. What good am I, man?
I'm all obsessed with war and heroes
and I can't seem to find my son
a Latin hero."
"Well, John, the question is,
who's your Latin hero, huh?
How do you expect to have a hero for your
son if you don't have one for yourself?"
[stammers] "Might I make a suggestion?"
"What about your father?"
"My father, Doc, my father, oh, shit,
my father.Let me put it this way, man,
When the bullies
used to step up to me and go,
'Yo, John, yo. I bet you my pops
could beat up your pops,'
I'd be like, 'Oh, yeah? When?'"
"Terrific. Don't run away from this.
Go further, John.
Tell your father. Talk to your father,
the man who withheld his love from you,
yet instilled you with
the creative, yet pathetic need,
to seek the approval of strangers."
"All right, Doc. All right.
Dad, I forgive you. I forgive you
for my fucked-up childhood, but...
you can't forgive me for talking about it
in a place? Fuck you. I hate you, man.
No, Doc. No, man.
This corny shit's not working."
"No, John. Break through, John,
break through."
"John, we reached a critical juncture
in your repressed ghetto rage."
"If we don't tackle it this very minute,
you might never be able to function--
Look at the time."
"That's all the time we have for today.
Same time next week?"
-[imitates intercom buzzer]
-"Mr. Weinstein, I'm ready for you."
[laughter and groans]
So, I leave my therapist's office
with an untreated
chronic case of ghetto rage.
And-- Time-out. Urban Dictionary time.
Anybody here who doesn't know
what ghetto rage is?
Well, it's when the whole world
keeps telling you that you're worthless,
and you fight
these microaggressions daily,
but when you start to lose that battle,
you start drowning in this...
in this self-loathing, burning rage,
but... but as a Latin man,
as a Latin man,
you can't get angry,
'cause Homeland Security,
the fucking INS or the police
could decide you're a threat, and the next person
to be shot or deported could be you or me.
'Cause Latin life is cheap in America.
I didn't know how to deal with that.
I did not know how to deal,
so I ran away, I ran away,
and my drug of choice - books.
And I find more ammunition,
more ammunition
in this incredible book
by the genius Charles Mann,
who wrote this beautiful , beautiful
love letter to us called 1491...
wherein he says that in 1531,
11 years after the Aztec conquest,
Corts hooks up his cousin, Pizarro,
and gets him a ship to lead an expedition
against the biggest empire on Earth -
the Inca.
Now, the Inca were three times bigger
than any empire of the time, man.
Bigger than the Ming dynasty,
bigger thanTsarist Russia.
So advanced that they pioneered
the concept of socialism before Karl Marx.
And they had a binary code that
predated computers. How about that shit?
Now, can anybody here tell me
what five countries in South America
made up the Incan Empire for extra credit?
Come on.
Let's start from the top.
Let's start from the top. Colombia,
Ecuador. Sir, if I'm going too fast
for you, I'll slow down.
And Chi...
All right, let me contextualize you.
So douchebagPizarro
had three things in his favor, man.
One - Corts' playbook
outlining how to get Indian allies.
Two - his cousin's germ warfare
had made it all the way
from the Aztecs to the Incas
and killed half the population
because the Europeans
had declassified their diseases
as pre-existing conditions.
And thirdly, and most importantly,
the narcissism...
of small...
And my man Freud had explained that
phenomena beautifully, and he says,
[German accent] "Ja, people are naturally
jealous even of their brother-r-r-r-r
or their-r-r-r-r best friend
because people
have to feel superior-r-r-r-r,
und will look for the smallestminutiae
of differ-r-r-r-rence
to feel better-r-r-r-r than you,
the goddamn sons of bitches."
Yo, Freud knew his shit, huh, man?
Oh, hell, yeah, because even if
we were all the same people,
we would find some
stupid little fucked-up reason
to hate on each other, man.
And that's what happened here, man.
That's what happened here,
because the most hated enemy tribe
of the Incawere theChanka.
Not to be confused with la chancla.
'Cause that's every Latin kid's
worst enemy.
I'm sorry, chancla
is Spanish for flip-flop.
Our moms beat us with it
when we were little.
[speaks Spanish]
So theflip-flops...
the most hated enemy tribe of the Inca,
link up withPizarro,
and Pizarro says to them,
"Follow me.
Let's hide behind the blackboard.
"All right, friar, you go convert
those savage Inca.
And if that fails,
we're gonna go to plan B."
And the friar Valverde
was like, "Plan B. Plan B.
What is plan B?"
"Spear them in the dick, of course."
"Shh. Hide, everybody."
So the friar comes out to the town square
surrounded by 80,000 Incas.
[audience catcalls]
All jungle-ripped in leather Speedos.
Sexy as fuck.
And the friar goes up to Atahualpa,
the king of the Incas,
and he goes, "Atahualpa,
king of the Inca,
please, please take this Bible
and convert,
because the Catholic religion
is all-forgiving, soul-saving,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Our priests love children.
Spend a lot of time with them."
And Atahualpa, the king of the Incas,
throws the Bible down. Psst.
"Who is this motherfucker?"
"Okay, never mind, never mind.
Plan B. Plan B.
Spear him in the dick right about now
would be as good a time as any."
-And Pizarro comes out of hiding.
-[imitates horn call]
And with his huge legion
of Indian allies...
they ambush the Inca.
So Atahualpa, the king of the Incas,
tries to make a getaway on a litter.
A litter's some ancient
king-carrying fucking thing.
He's, "Run, motherfuckers, run."
"If you don't drop me, I'll get you
all the pussy you want in the afterlife."
And his attendants were like,
"We got you."
"I just need a few more hours to get in
the union soI can get my medical."
-But Pizarro cuts them off.
-[imitates horse neigh]
"Savage, your end is near.
Now put down your king
or I'll slice your arms off."
"You kiss my brown ass.
I ain't putting nobody down.
Oh, jeez, he got me! Don't drop the king.
Don't drop the king.
Come at me, Pizarro.
I don't need my arm.
I'll kick the fuck outta you.
I'll kick the fuck outta you."
"Savage, I'm warning you.
Put down the king,
or I'll slice your legs off."
"Hells to the no, bitch.
What you gonna do? Shit, what you gonna--
Oh, shit, he got me!
Oh, fuck! Don't drop the king.
Don't drop--
Come at me, Pizarro.
I'll bite the shit outta you. Come here."
"All right, savage. Last chance.
Put down your king,
or I'll slice your head off."
"What part of 'fuck, no'
do you seem not to understand?
Oh, shit, he got me!
Don't drop the king. Oh, shit. Oh, fuck."
Yo, those Incas had your back, bruh bruh.
They would not drop their man,
even if their life depended on it.
That's fucking loyalty, yo.
Why do you thinkMonty Python
stole that bit from them?
And that's how the Spaniards won.
This one really broke my heart,
because here was our history,
here was the foundation
of a brown race, of a Latin people,
with their ownJames Joyces
and Dostoevskys andProusts,
who lived deep in the Latin past
where we authored mythology,
pioneered in math and astronomy,
excelled in sport,
built aqueducts and pyramids
that put us on the same level
as all other great civilizations.
But now...
now just completely obliterated.
So I didn't know how to deal with that.
I didn't know how I was gonna
face my son with that one.
And, uh... then I get a text from my wife.
"John, meet me
at the headmaster's office."
"Oh, shit." So, I get to the headmaster -
that's principal to y'all -
and he's all like, "John,
I just received an anonymous video
of your son
punching another student in the face."
"I'm sorry, but that can't be right
because you know what?
My son's actually the one being bullied."
"Well, John, the video suggests otherwise.
I don't know what's going on at home,
but your son's grades have taken
a terrible nosedive, as of late.
And he might not pass this semester.
But don't worry about it right now, John.
We're gonna revisit this
after his probation."
"Probation? What are you talking about?
You're putting my son on probation?
Come on, man. My son was obviously set up.
What are we talking about here?
Is this because the bully's family
paid for the library?
Is that what we're really talking about?
Why you gotta do me like that?
You know me, huh? You know me?
Huh? You know me?
Hey, hey, hey, get off me, man.
Get off me."
So I'm escorted out
of the headmaster's office...
and on the walk of shame home
with my wife and my son,
I'm all like, "Honey, I'm sorry.
Come on, I lost my head.
Come on, I said I was sorry, didn't I?
Buddy, honey,
what the hell really happened, man?"
"Dad, the bully kept yelling and yelling,
'That's why nobody likes you.
Nobody likes you
'cause your dad's a celebritard.'
So I punched him, Dad.
I punched him,
and that's when they filmed me, Dad."
"Oh, come on, Buddy. Come on, man.
You know better than that.
Honey, I didn't tell him to do that."
"But, Dad, I sucker-punched him
just like you told me."
"And what,
now I don't pass your hero test?"
"Well, screw you and your stupid test!"
And my wife's all like...
"Oh, I hope you're happy, John."
"I hope you're happy."
"Encouraging this violent type of behavior
in my home."
"What's wrong with you?"
"And, Buddy, honey,
you don't owe anyone
any explanations for your flaws, okay?
Because nobody's born perfect.
So you tell that bully
that if he's gonna pick on you again,
he better damn well be perfect.
Otherwise, just let you be."
"Let's go get you dinner.
John, we'll see you at home."
"What are you talking about?
I wanna come, too."
"No, Dad, no.
You only make things worse, Dad."
So I was back in therapy...
"John, let's go a little deeper
into your subconscious.
We're gonna go-- We're gonna do
a little word-association exercise.
I'm gonna say a word or phrase,
you say the first thing
that comes into your mind."
"Uh, no, John.
No, uh, we hadn't started yet, John."
"How about proper nouns?
Let's try proper nouns. Here we go again.
Uh, success."
"Oh, oh, oh, um, Mark Zuckerberg."
"That's a hard one, man.
That's a tough fucking-- um, Steve Jobs?"
-"Uh, Billy Joel."
"But, John, what aboutMarc Anthony?"
[unenthused] "Yeah. Yeah."
"John, what about solo performers?"
"Dude, it's gotta be Spalding Gray.
He's the godfather."
"But, John, do you see
the pattern here, John?"
"Shit, Doc, you're right. You're right.
I'm brainwashed.
No, worse. I'm whitewashed.
I can't believe they got me, man."
"I can't believe they got me
in my own mind, in my deepest places.
They got me believing
white people are better than me.
Fuck. Where the fuck
did that shit come from?"
"John, other than history textbooks,
movies, television, and newspapers,
I really don't know."
"But, John, as a client of mine,
who shall remain nameless,
because, well, he's a political figure..."
"All right, let's say he ran for mayor,
and a dick pic was his undoing."
"Well, he tells me that there's this
conference in Texas on diversity.
Maybe you go give the Latino point of view
and reaffirm your Latinocentralness."
"Thank you, Doc.
But didn't you just violate
some doctor-patient confidentiality, man?
What do you say behind my back?"
"John, look at the time.
That's all the time we have for today."
"Same time next week? Oh, no, John.
I had an emergency next week,
and I had to give your spot
the following week toAnthony Weiner."
I leave my therapist's office, and
I sign up for this conference in Texas.
And Ihad a bad feeling about it.
Mostly because it was in Texas.
And the date comes,
and I fly myself all the way to Dallas,
and there I am, trying to stay away from
the alcohol in the green room.
Thank you, I'll have another.
Mm. 'Cause I never drink, man.
I don't drink, no,
'cause I'm always afraid
that all the ghetto shit inside of me
is gonna come pouring out of me
one of these days.
You know what I'm talking about.
Thank you. I'll have a double.
But I was nervous as fuck,
and they call us... out on the stage,
and this moderator, this Texan guy,
just rips right into me.
He's like, "Ah, Mr. Liquidzamo."
"I'm intrigued by this niche history
of Latin America
you're telling us about,
but you're an outsider and a foreigner,
and your comments are a direct attack
on Americanexceptionalism,
so I-I'm-I'm gonna have to agree with
Senator ThomTillis of North Carolina
when he says that Hispanics and blacks
are not traditional Americans."
And boom.
The alcohol hits me.
[cheering and applause]
"Niche history, motherfucker?"
"Exceptionalism, you honky-ass cracker?"
"You best, you best, uh,
back the fuck off...
with yourjingoistical, xenophobic,
inaccurate bullshit, 'cause you seriously
talking out the side of your mouth,
you punk-ass bitch!"
Because the establishment
of these here United States
was only made possible
through one of the most comprehensive
campaigns of ethnic cleansing
that the world has ever known.
Am I getting through to you now,
motherfucker? Do you know me?
Huh? You know me? You know me?"
Of course,
the Texas crowd was not like you.
Oh, no, yo. They turned on me, man.
They started booing the shit outta me.
But when I retold the story to my son,
I cleverly left out that booing part.
"Buddy, honey, promise me, man,
you're never gonna lose your shit,
especially in a argument, my man.
Especially if you're a person of color,
because then nobody hears the content
of what you're trying to say. Okay?"
Because what I should have said,
calmly and-and coolly and collected
to Mr. Texas, to Mr. Moderator,
was, "Sir, I'm not an outsider, sir.
Sir, we are not foreigners. No, sir.
We are a vast network of tribes
that commingled,
and freely migrated north, central,
south, Caribbean and Mexican Indians,
and we is all the same blood."
[cheering and applause]
Yo, we were so interconnected, man,
that when I had my DNA done,
they couldn't tell me
which specific tribe I was from.
And when I got my results back,
all it said was "Native American."
[woman] Oh, yeah.
It also showed that I had a STD
in high school, but that's another story.
You didn't have an STD
back in high school?
What, you weren't popular?
I haven't forgotten about you, either.
So, it was November by now,
and it was Thanksgiving.
I'm waiting for the meal.
I'm waiting, and then finally my poor wife
comes down, all meshuggana.
And she's like, "John,
Buddy's not coming down.
No, the bully turned the whole grade
on him, against him,
and... I don't even know
what else to do anymore."
"Well, let me go talk to him.
Maybe I'll have better luck. Who knows?"
[pounds foot]
"Hey, Buddy. Honey, what do you say
we go for a little walk?
I wanna share something with you."
"No, Dad. No, go away.
Just leave me alone, Dad.
I wish I were dead. Just leave me alone!"
"Oh, honey. Buddy, look, man. I know
what you're going through, I really do."
My daughter steps up, and she's like...
[whispers] "Dad, let me help.
Please let me help, Dad."
"All right, go ahead."
[taps foot]
"Buddy? Did you know that Dad
got booed by all of Texas?"
"Do you wanna see it?
I have it here on YouTube."
"And, Buddy, you know what?
If you really think of the bully
as sandpaper,
sure, of course it's gonna
scratch you and hurt you,
but in the end, he's gonna end up useless,
and you're gonna end up polished."
Wow. Wow.
"Buddy, honey, you know what?
She's not wrong, man."
"No, she's not wrong
because you know what?
People... are gonna try to hurt us
with their words, man,
because some people are unhappy,
and unhappy people don't like themselves,
and they want everybody else
to feel as shitty as they do.
You know what? Bet they don't have
the guts to admit this to themselves."
"Dad, do you not like yourself
sometimes, too?"
"Oh, honey. I only have the guts
to admit it to you."
"What do you say we go down
for Thanksgiving together?
We got a lot to be thankful for this year.
Open up the door for me, man."
"Buddy, open the door, come on.
Come on, man. Come on, open the door."
"I'm just curious,
where are we with the heroes project?"
"No, you're not gonna tell me? What do you
say we open up the history textbook,
and you and I look up
what Horace Greeley said?
Come on, man. That could be a lot of fun."
"Can anybody here help me? Extra credit -
what did Horace Greeley say? Anybody.
-[woman, indistinct]
-That's right, ma'am.
That's right. Horace Greeley
was the asshole...
who said, "Go West, young man."
But he should've never said that shit.
Because those
"real" illegal-alien pioneers
wouldn't stop fucking coming here.
I'm talking about the D-list
of white folks, so no offense.
The real OGs.
Crooks, murderers and rapists,
all out of the jails of Europe. Even Alexanderde Tocqueville,
my favorite French philosopher,
from the 1800s, had to address Congress
about these fucking pioneers.
And he says to them,
[French accent]
"I don't know how you people do it."
"You Americans
are so good at exterminating Indians.
Not even the Spanish are as good as you.
And you like to do it so much.
How do you do it?"
I must've got to my son
'cause he cracks the door, but he's...
"Dad, how could our Indian forefathers
have been so stupid, Dad?
How could they have not seen
that extermination coming, Dad?"
"Oh, Buddy, honey,
because it's been proven
that it's historically impossible to see
this kind of annihilation coming, man.
Because, Buddy,
even-even our Cherokee people
were bushwhacked
by bloody Andrew Jackson."
"And our seventh president
proclamates to theCherokee people,
[Southern accent]
'Now listen here, Chief Crybaby."
"You and youpapooses
can remain on this land
so long as you live by our laws.
So from now on, there gonna be
just a few new laws just for all y'all.'"
[imitates gun cylinder spinning]
I look more like Frederick Douglass
than I do Andrew Jackson.
But I'd rather look like Freddy than Andy
any old-fucking-day.
Especially after you learn
that those poor tribes
actually tried to live according to
those strict laws
of Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act,
which is so twisted and hypocritical, man,
because Ben Franklin
and the Founding Fathers
the Iroquois nation's constitution
to create our Constitution
because of the great freedoms
and independence
it guaranteed to each individual state.
And then they go and do it to us again
in the 1930s
with the "Repatriation Act"
where they blame Mexican-Americans
for taking jobs during the Depression.
Sound familiar?
So PresidentHerbert Hoover
"repatriates" 500,000 Latin people
that were born here.
Those of us that didn't leave
were lynched.
And between 1830 and 1930,
600 of us were lynched.
And now...
they're doing it to us again, man,
with all these anti-immigration policies.
Making us so afraid
of being pulled over and profiled
that we have to pretend
we can't even speak Spanish.
Making us so afraid
of being deported and carted off
that we have to pretend to be white.
We have to pretend
we can't even fucking dance.
"Officer, I always dance like
a frog in a blender.
I swear to God I loveNickelback."
Until they play somemerengue or a cumbia,
then we're like, "Oh, shit.
Oh, fuck. No. Motherfucking shit.
No. Oh, shit.
Fuck. Goddamn son of a bitch.
[dance music playing]
"Shut it off! Shut it off! Shut it off!"
-[music stops]
[music continues]
[music stops]
That shit always gives us away.
Every fucking time, man.
Andrew Jackson passes
his Indian Removal Act of 1830.
So a third of theCherokee people
die that winter as they walk -
together now, everybody -
the Trail of Tears.
I know it's a terrible human atrocity,
but can you imagine the guilt trip
those parents who survived
the Trail of Tears
could lay on their kids?
"You wanna hear about hardship,
little Buffalo Dingleberry?"
"I mean, compared to my childhood,
you don't know how fucking easy you have."
I don't know about y'all,
but I'm all about a guilt trip, man.
It's the leverage I got left as a parent
'cause my kids are bugging out
'cause they want
another iTunes album, video game,
another pair of ripped jeans.
And my daughter's wigging,
going, "I hate my life. I hate my life.
Why'd you bring me into
this world I hate?"
"Oh, you brat. You brat.
You don't know how easy you have it, man.
When I was a kid, there was no Internet.
We didn't have iPads orSpotify.
You wanted to steal music?
You had to walk to
the goddamn record store
and shoplift it yourself!"
Or you had to wait around all day
to tape it off the radio.
And the DJ usually talked over
the beginning of it
and fucked it all up!
And if you wanted to know
the lyrics to a song...
oh, my fucking God.
Oh, my God, you had to rewind it
and rewind it and rewind
and rewind and rewind.
That's why I never knew
that "Rock the Cat Box"
"Rock the Cat Box" was actually
"Rock the Casbah!"
As you could see, I was losing my mind.
Literally losing my mind.
I think it was because
it was months and months
of learning about our losers history
that I started suffering from
some kind of ancestral PTSD.
I don't know what the fuck.
But when I start taking it out on my kids,
that's when I draw the line in the sand,
man, and I was done. Yo, I was done.
I waited for spring break to break it
to my son that I was quitting on him.
I get to his room,
and I find him sitting in the dark,
looking all lonely and sad and,
"Hey, little man. I want you to know
I'm sorry I failed you, man.
I'm sorry. I tried to protect you
from all this, and I...
-And, man, I just..."
-"Dad, don't worry.
Don't worry, Dad, 'cause I realized
that a lot of the kids in my grade
are just-just never gonna like me, Dad,
but I also realized that
I highly don't give a fuck."
"So, Dad, I'm gonna focus on
my heroes project
so I could graduate
and get the hell outta this school
but, Dad, Dad. Wait, Dad.
I wanna do my project on something
-that no one has ever done, Dad."
-"All right, Buddy. All right, honey.
It's gonna be our secret mission,
you and me, okay?
Oh, shit, dude, I got it. Buddy,
I got the thing that no one's ever done.
My God, this is gonna rock your world,
because you know what?
It rocked my world.
When I found out that we Latin people
had participated in the Civil War, Buddy."
"Tell that to the goddamn bully,
because 20,000 of us Latinos
fought in the North and the South."
We'll go wherever they pay us,
you know how we do.
Buddy, you're right.
Let's forget the Civil War.
I'm gonna get you that Latin war hero
if it's the last thing I do.
I wanna check my notes real fast.
This is gonna blow your mind,
because you know what?
It blew my mind when I found out
that we Latin people
had helped out in the American Revolution.
Ten thousand
unknown Latino patriots
fought out of a total of
80,000 American troops.
That's one out of eight.
And some of us were generals.
And women, Cuban women in Virginia
sold their jewelry,
their hoop earrings
and their door knockers..."
"to feed the patriots.
But the illest... Latin hero
I found for you
was this GeneralBernardoGlvez.
And this homie
donated $70,000 worth of weapons
to George Washington.
So, between thejewelry and the weapons,
we also financed that war.
So we too are the sons and daughters
of the American Revolution, my man."
[applause and cheering]
Out of nowhere my daughter pops out
and rips off her headphones,
and she's like, "Seriously, Dad?"
"Like, 95% of what you've been
talking about is all military history.
Only focused entirely around men, Dad.
What a myopic and compromised,
gender-biased view of history, Dad.
I can't believe you're such a sexist!
I can't believe I came out of you!"
And she put on her headphones
and blasted some misogynistic rap song.
"Buddy, honey, I didn't realize
that I was being unconsciously sexist.
Dude, I'm gonna
have to revisit all the research,
but redo it
from a woman's point of view."
"No, Dad, no. She's better off
without your help, Dad."
"And, Dad, you keep throwing
all these random heroes at me, Dad.
All these war guys."
"Buddy, come on. Random heroes.
Don't you know that our history was
systematically cut out of history books?
How come you don't know that
30,000 of us fought in World War I
and almost 500,000 of us
sacrificed our lives in World War II?"
"Well, Dad, I don't care because to me,
violence is just the worst kind
of communication, Dad. That's why--
Look, I already got my project
so please stay out of it
'cause I'm working on it."
"So you don't like warriors, dude.
I'm cool. That's no biggie, man.
'Cause I got my secret stash here
that I been saving for you, my man.
This is my real jam. Political leaders.
Simon Bolivar, the George Washington
of South America.
Or how about a civil-rights activist
like Cesar Chavez? Hey, come on."
"Don't walk out on me, man. You know
how hard it is to find these heroes
-who were spics and beaners to them?"
-[door slams]
I guess he just didn't want my help
But now I had all this information
just stuck in my head, man,
and it started playing
over and over and over.
I started feeling like I was going insane.
And then I find out that
one in four people in America
suffers from some form of mental illness.
So think of your three best friends.
And if they're okay, well, then it's you.
Latin stats roll call.
Latin stats roll call.
So we Latin people are
the second-oldest ethnic group in America
after Native Americans.
And yet, at 22%, we have
the highest high-school dropout rate
of any minority in this country.
And at 32%, we are the most-bullied
ethnic group in the workplace.
And at 40% of the prison population,
because of this immigration detention,
we are now
the largest ethnic group in jails.
And 60% of hate crimes
are perpetrated on us,
so we've got the record there, too.
And we're almost 70 million
contributing Americans in this country,
and this president
has effectively declared war on us
by his zero tolerance,
by betraying our Dreamers,
by publicly denigrating Mexican Americans
and then by abandoning American citizens
in Puerto Rico and left to die.
And how dare he. How dare he.
When we're so American it hurts.
Because we're the only ethnic group
that has fought in every single war
this country's ever had.
We have shed blood for America
in each and every single one of her wars.
We're the most decorated minority
in each and every
single one of those wars.
But where are our contributions?
Where are they? Where are they listed,
mentioned or honored?
Can you imagine, can you imagine
if they were put back into history?
Written back into history textbooks?
Can you imagine how America would see us?
More importantly, can you imagine
how we would see ourselves?
And then I just fell asleep.
I don't know how long I'd been asleep,
but it was a long time and...
all I could think about is,
"God, is my son ever gonna graduate?"
Oh, God. [mutters]
[alarm sounds]
Oh, shit. What happened? What? What?
"John, wake up. John, wake up.
It's Buddy's graduation,
and, John, Buddy said he's gonna have
a big surprise for us.
Everybody's waiting for you downstairs.
You're gonna make us late."
"A surprise, honey? What surprise?
Why didn't anybody tell me?"
So we race down to the auditorium
for my son's graduation
from middle school.
-["Pomp and Circumstance" playing]
-That's eighth grade to y'all.
And my wife and I are so excited, man.
We're so excited because we never thought
this day was actually gonna come.
And, um... I go to take my seat
and guess who bogarts it from me.
The come mierda bully's dad.
"No, John, you don't get to sit down, no,
because you were such a grandmother
and went crying to the headmaster.
Now my son doesn't have a shot
at a good school.
No, no, thanks a lot.
I really appreciate it.
Glad I gave to the Financial Aid Fund
because you know what?
It's really done me a world of good."
"Excuse me, but it's good to know
you just give for your own benefit.
And just so you know,
we're not on financial aid.
Maybe because I'm Latin,
you assume we had to be,
like it's a rule or something? But, no,
my son got in 'cause he earned it."
"Unlike some people's kids
who probably benefited from
some white affirmative-action program
for lazy, privileged white kids,
as if that demographic could ever
really be underrepresented, huh?"
"Hey, you wanna step outside?
You-You-You wanna step outside?"
"Look, there is nothing I would love more
than to mambo all over your face..."
"but I'm gonna have to
deny myself that pleasure
because as a wisePuerto Rican,Colombian,
Jewish, Incan, Aztec kid once told me,
violence is the lowest form
of communication."
And bam - I had my comeback.
I was the father I wanted my son to have.
My wife just elbows the shit outta me.
"John, shh! Would you be quiet.
Buddy's about to talk."
And then at that exact moment,
I hear them call my son's name out loud.
This was the moment, man.
This is the moment I've been dreading
my whole life.
I couldn't go up there with him anymore.
I couldn't help him, I couldn't fix it
for him, I couldn't save him,
I just... I just had to let go.
"John, shh. Would you be quiet.
Not everything is about you, John."
"Okay, okay."
I see my son approaching the podium,
and I couldn't believe it.
I couldn't believe that was my boy.
"Who was this kid?
Who was this amazing young man
walking towards the podium?"
"Um... at the first,
when the headmaster asked me
to take my hero project
and turn it into this speech,
I really wasn't prepared but, um...
then something in the last few weeks
changed for me
because I learned from watching my dad
heroically fail.
"I learned that a hero
doesn't have to win,
and a hero doesn't have to beat up
an enemy or revenge himselfto be a hero."
"And I also learned we really haven't lost
because we've taken the worst beating
in history, and we're still here..."
"writing, inventing, dancing,
and just not giving up."
"And, um,
because of a situation that I had,
I was forced to, um... look inside myself,
and that's when I saw that in some ways,
I've got lots of heroes in me.
Because I amCesar Chavez,
and I amCspedes of the Mets,
even though he's always injured."
"And I am Menudo."
"And I amSonia Sotomayor."
"And I am definitely notTed Cruz."
"But the biggest thing I learned
while I was, uh,
failing outta school this past year
was, as one of my fellow classmates
once said to me,
'You're the king of nothing.'"
"But if the Mayans
invented the concept of zero...
then nothing is not nothing.
And if they can make something
out of nothing..." "then my hero is..."
"My..." "hero..."
"is..." "me."
[music playing]
[cheering and applause]
Thank you. Thank you.
["Soy Yo" by Bomba Estereo playing]