This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

One of great things about researching entries for the Saturday Night Card Game series is that it doesn’t require much work.  Since My Dream has not yet come true, there is plenty of low hanging fruit to pick.

Another great thing about reasearching entries for the Saturday Night Card Game series is that I learn new words and get to study the meaning of language.

And tonight the word is Chola, which is not the same thing as Challah. 

Chola apparently is a slang term for female latina “gang bangers,” not to be confused with the masculine Cholo, or the “Cholas” of Tamil ancestry (and the restaurant of the same name), or the epithet “Cholo” which is a derogatory hispanic term for mixed-race American Indians.  I had not heard any of these terms prior to today.

Chola has a “ch” sound at the start, like “Child” whereas Challah has a “xheh” sound at the start, like, well I can’t think of another word, but if you grew up eating Challah you’d know what I mean. 

For those of you who have no idea how to pronounce challah, try clearing your throat starting from the back of your palate, as opposed to your throat, just like Pop-Pop used to do while napping on the plastic slip-covered couch after a healthy portion of Schmaltz

So what does Chola have to do with it?

It seems that Lady Gaga used the word in the song Born This Way, and some people are not happy about it,   Here are the lyrics in question:

“No matter gay, straight or bi

Lesbian, transgendered life
I`m on the right track, baby

I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made

I`m on the right track, baby
I was born to be brave”

The use of the term Chola led to charges that the song was Racist, Simplistic, Condescending Garbage!(emphasis mine):

“Organizations like Chicanos Unidos Arizona and MEChA do not like Lady Gaga`s use of the words `Chola` and `Orient` in her lyrics, viewing both as being racist and derogatory.

The word chola according to the critics refers to Latina girls in gangs, Latinas from the barrio who have a certain look about them and conjure very negative stereotypes.” ….

As an Hispanic liberal who has been writing essays supporting gay rights for twelve years, I agree with the pro-gay sentiments of this song. But just because a song has life-affirming lyrics it doesn`t necessarily means it`s a great work of art. Lady Gaga`s new single has no subtlety or nuance, it sounds like something that a beauty queen who yearns for world peace would write.

Are Latinos supposed to be grateful that a white superstar, born of privilege, included a racist shout out to our community? Not all Latino ladies are “cholas” in the barrio, some of them are teachers, writers, engineers and nurses and doctors.”

And to prove the point, a protest is being organized for the Grammy’s because Lady Gaga plans on singing the song (emphasis mine):

“This weekend, Phoenix-based Latino civil rights groups joined and bashed Lady Gaga for what they feel are racist lyrics (not to mention unoriginal). Several local Asians have joined in the condemnation.

“Why is this talentless, White Madonna rip-off artist who was born into privilege stereotyping Asians with the term ‘orient?’ asks Maricopa College professor Peter Wong. Mary Kim, one of his students, agrees.

“I think it is disgusting that gay people look up to her. She hates them. Lady Gaga is an obvious homophobic who is using reverse psychology in order to make gay people look bad. But now she’s going after Asians and Latinos. It’s pretty sick what White corporate men in suits will come up with.” Mr. Wong and several Asian students plan to travel to Los Angeles in order to protest Lady Gaga’s performance of the song on the Grammy Awards next week.”

[Note:  I can’t find a “Peter Wong” at Maricopa College.]

As if calling her racist were not enough, the group planning the protest strikes a low blow (emphasis mine):

“Even though Lady Gaga is considered a gay icon, some Gay writers have condemned her as well. Orange County gay rights activist Fernando Palazzo has recently denounced Lady Gaga as an insult to the gay community and notes that even her piano playing isn’t sincere.”

In addition to being potentially racist, the song also may have stolen lyrics:

Lady Gaga is getting criticism from all corners with her new song “Born This Way.” What was intended as a civil rights song – or at least that’s what Lady Gaga says – is under fire from Hispanic, Gay and music fans.  The LGBT community is calling it a ripoff of a Carl Bean song, who has a song also named “Born This Way,” with mysteriously similar lyrics …

So where am I going with this post?

Lady Gaga stands accused of being a Madonna-rip-offing, lyric-stealing, insincere-piano-playing racist.  It doesn’t get any worse than that.

I don’t think Lady Gaga is going to care, she was born that way:

One last point.  If “Chola” is an anti-latino racist term, what does that make George Lopez?

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Related Posts:
Time to Rejigger The Race Card
“>”Jew Hear The One About The Black Ho?”
Black Friday

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