I think the thing that struck me the most while reading these short stories was the fact that almost every single one of these stories was humorous, yes, but humorous in a different way than seeing Ernest Goes to Jail or something as relatively ridiculous. This humor was a more serious, truthful look at the real life injustice and biases that exist in our world. In some of the stories the inequalities and negativity are triumphed over, but in others, like “Nelson’s Run” by Peter Bacho, we are left with this feeling that racial disproportion will continue in our world for years to come, tracing through the veins of the sons and daughters of the ignorant.
And I was also wondering how much more humorous these stories would have been if I had ever been in situations like that. For example, I found Daniel Chacon’s “Godoy Lives” to be my favorite of the stories. I thought it was hilarious. But I wonder if I had ever been in a situation similar, if I had ever tried to illegally cross the border, if I would have found the situation to be ten times more hilarious. And if I also would have understood the emotions the main character encounters as he leaves his life in Mexico behind and creates a new one in America.
I think these stories are great ways to approach the racial discrimination that still exists in the world today. I think the ability to laugh at the past and the crappy things that happen to you in your life is the best way to keep moving on and getting ahead of the rest of the fools in the world. But I also appreciate how although there is laughing and there is humor, there is still this sense of empowerment, this sense that “although I may get kicked and although as a minority I sometimes get dealt a crappy hand, I am not going to let it stop me.”