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, leprosy, and don’t forget rats, roaches, and pigeons. A long line of people who, um– You know, yo, diversity? I know ’cause…” but is now starting to hold you back.” “John, stop. Don’t run away from this. Well, the going Eurocentric narrative, even in a progressive book like Guns, Germs, and Steel is that we natives lost because we were somehow inferior. Until… the great… extermination. Let’s hide behind the blackboard. All right, let me contextualize you. Don’t drop– Come at me, Pizarro. What were we thinking?
I’m not a racist, John. Who knows?” [pounds foot] “Hey, Buddy.
Come at me, Pizarro. ‘Cause that’s every Latin kid’s worst enemy. Maybe I’ll have better luck. You bring us tobacco, cotton, and gold, we’re gonna give you, oh, we’re gonna give you– Hey, excuse me. You didn’t have an STD back in high school? Now my son doesn’t have a shot at a good school. But not these Europeans. 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? You know me, huh? I wanna come, too.” “No, Dad, no. “Hey, man. And my therapist, Dr. T., who sounds a lot like Tim Gunn on Project Runway… “I know, Doc, I know. You know you can talk to me about anything, my little man. One – Cortés’ playbook outlining how to get Indian allies. Our priests love children.
John Leguizamo On 'Latin History For Morons' NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with John Leguizamo about the evolution of his one-man show after performing it for six years.
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? -No. What are you talking about?
And that is us Latino people. No, he had to wait a whole fucking year till two thirds of the Aztec population died from European smallpox. I ain’t putting nobody down. Weinstein, I’m ready for you.” [laughter and groans] So, I leave my therapist’s office with an untreated chronic case of ghetto rage. “Who was this kid?
But in the streets, you can’t let nobody punk you, man, so you got my permission to sucker punch that bully’s ass. And, uh… then I get a text from my wife. 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 own James Joyces and Dostoevskys and Prousts, 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 Moctezuma got played by Cortés, so we have a word in Spanish for Moctezuma. Fuck, man, I lost my shit. 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. Please play forward! 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. So pay attention ’cause you’re gonna be quizzed. That’s why Cortés didn’t beat the Aztecs the first time he attacked. These are a dangerous people. 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? Mostly because it was in Texas. That’s two demerits. Now put down your king or I’ll slice your arms off.” “You kiss my brown ass. But the illest… Latin hero I found for you was this General Bernardo Gálvez. 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 plagiarized the Iroquois nation’s constitution to create our Constitution because of the great freedoms and independence it guaranteed to each individual state.
Like the best mimics, John Leguizamo administers large but precisely calibrated doses of exaggeration to make his impersonations pop. My wife just elbows the shit outta me.
Run for your lives, chingones. 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. We’re gonna go– We’re gonna do a little word-association exercise. [mambo music playing] -Samba. Everybody’s waiting for you downstairs. So that’s how we Latin people became their bastard offspring. Latin stats roll call. Otherwise… I don’t have to stay late and tutor your ass. “Excuse me, Mr. Jackson. 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, Sahagún, 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. At their best, his jokes get at something deep, whether he is serving up a Rat Pack Christopher Columbus, a French poodle de Tocqueville, a sassy, cross-dressing Cuban-American Civil War soldier or a deaf uncle with an idiosyncratic way of signing. So now I’m a self-professed ghetto scholar, holla. Drugs and violence.
Crooks, murderers and rapists, all out of the jails of Europe. I can’t believe you’re such a sexist! 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 just got nothing on the facts right now.” “Damn straight you ain’t got nothing ’cause you’re the kings of nothing. No, no, settle down. All original photographs and articles are copyright to their respective owners. “Let the lines breathe, let the lines do what they’re gonna do here. it just is. I couldn’t stop obsessing about these gentle Taínos. Written back into history textbooks?
It was like Lord of the Flies, but with a lot less adult supervision. That’s why I don’t let you pick me up from school anymore.”. All these war guys.” “Buddy, come on. [cheering and applause] And three – don’t be a pussy. Oh, no, yo. A’ight? [speaks Spanish] “Only we can kill our king. I didn’t know how to deal with that. And between 1830 and 1930, 600 of us were lynched. Come on, man. Eighth grade on cable TV? Too far back! All right, so go play like a normal kid. It blew my mind when I found out that we Latin people had helped out in the American Revolution. I gotta be straight up. I want my reparations, motherfuckers. And my history teacher, Mr. Flynn… was a mean, sadistic son of a bitch. Ojo. [chuckles] What, John? Don’t drop the king. Because those “real” illegal-alien pioneers wouldn’t stop fucking coming here. Hey, yo, I-I-I… This was the biggest theft in all of history. Now, the Inca were three times bigger than any empire of the time, man. What a myopic and compromised, gender-biased view of history, Dad. Forget about it. I’m talking about the D-list of white folks, so no offense. Because of some unconscious conquest resentment I’ve been carrying all my life. Wait, Dad. Literally losing my mind. This was the moment, man. They started booing the shit outta me. And if that fails, we’re gonna go to plan B.” And the friar Valverde was like, “Plan B. So, it was November by now, and it was Thanksgiving. And my daughter’s wigging, going, “I hate my life. New York City’s like a little baby penis here and there.
'” “But if the Mayans invented the concept of zero… then nothing is not nothing. What? And, yo, we had tons and tons of beautiful, sophisticated, museum-type treasures until they came here– Okay, time-out. Now, can anybody here tell me what five countries in South America made up the Incan Empire for extra credit? Wow. So, people, tonight’s lesson is… Latin History For Fucking Morons.
From fucking sheep. What surprise? 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. History textbooks, movies, television, everywhere. All right, let’s recap. What good am I, man? I’ll bite the shit outta you.
That is… until I get turned on to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. We’re taking you prisoner unless you get your people to open up the city gates. That’s what happened here, because the most hated enemy tribe of the Inca were the Chanka. Bullshit, because Eduardo 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. Look… he’s falling behind.
What, are you gonna run? John, my family donates to the diversity program every year, John. And they had a binary code that predated computers. So behind his back, I get a copy of his eighth-grade history textbook. 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.
Can you talk to him? I don’t really wanna know, but he’s right – from fucking sheep. -[music playing] -Cumbia. “No, John, you don’t get to sit down, no, because you were such a grandmother and went crying to the headmaster. You don’t even know. Puerto Rico.
I’m gonna do my homework by myself now.” “Dad, that means alone. But now I know why. DidHeLikeIt.com is your official guide and translator for all the Broadway theatre reviews by Ben Brantley, the chief theatre critic for the New York Times. “Officer, I always dance like a frog in a blender. 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, Moctezuma goes up to Cortés and says, goes up to Cortés and says, [feminine voice] “Your Lord, you have finally come to your city, Mexico. You brat. So I didn’t know how to deal with that. Huh. © 2020 Scraps from the Loft. [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. I wanna prove it to you. 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. Ten thousand unknown Latino patriots fought out of a total of 80,000 American troops. And my wife and I are so excited, man. But where are our contributions? But I’d rather look like Freddy than Andy any old-fucking-day. This is gonna blow your mind, because you know what? [dance music plays] And boom – I hit the ’80s. I know it’s got that little thingy right there…” “Buddy, honey, are you paying attention? 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. All right, shut up, class. Yo, I was done. I had an emergency next week, and I had to give your spot the following week to Anthony Weiner.” So… I leave my therapist’s office, and I sign up for this conference in Texas. 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.
You know better than that. Let’s clarify some big-ass misconceptions about Columbus, okay?
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