You're Not Like Them

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "But you're not like Mexican Mexican" meaning that my accent free English, my education, and my attire somehow make me better than the speaker's stereotype of a Mexican: Spanish-speaking, uneducated and dirty. The comment always bothers me and I struggle with how to respond.  So it was interesting to hear a Nigerian woman talk of a similar experience on Fresh Air.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah, explained to Terry Gross:

"And I think that when people say to me you're different, and you're not angry, in some ways it's that I also feel that I'm being made complicit in something that I don't want to be complicit in because in some ways they're saying you're one of the good ones.

And I think to say that is to somehow ignore, you know, the reality of American history. And so for example people will say oh, you're so easy to get along with, and then they'll tell me a story about some African-American woman they knew who just wasn't like me and - you know, which I find quite absurd"

The thing is I am Mexican Mexican.  But Mexicans, neh Hispanics, are not a homogenous group.  Isn't that abundantly clear by now?