Listener Feedback: Lee Trevino AND The “MERRY MEX” Story
I recently wrote an article about PGA legendary golfer Lee Trevino's, possibly racist, nickname, "The Merry Mex," and people got really riled up!
I asked the question, is the nickname possibly racist, when Lee Trevino is the only Mexican in the sport?
The options were: Kind of racist or no big deal.
On a side note, it was incredibly cool to receive a ton of listener feedback and I want to say thank you to everyone who let me know their thoughts, it is truly appreciated.
Below is a selection of emails sent to me about our Lee Trevino discussion on-air and my article regarding this legendary golfer, AND Mexican-American's nickname.
No big deal Nico. Everyone loved/loves Lee... the Merry Mex‼️ Nonetheless, interesting article that was discussed and voted on in our family. 14 NBD votes vs 0 that thought it was racist.
-Lencho Cara de Mench
DALLAS BY BIRTH
Just thought you should know that Lee is from Dallas, Texas.
Yes, he did reside in El Paso, Texas for a few years.
But not all of his life as you mentioned in your article.
Thank you, sir.
50 SHADES OF RACISM
Hi Nico, sorry this email is so long…
I was listening to the show this morning when you guys were talking about your article about Lee Trevino.
I was going to call in but I was listening on the app, which is always several minutes behind and Buzz went immediately to commercial after the one caller agreed with him. I didn’t get to hear if anyone called in to back you up, but I wanted to share with you what I wanted to say, so if you happen to go back into the conversation about it again you can bring it up.
Basically, I agree with you that the comment is racist. I am in no way offended by the nickname “Merry Mexi,” as the one caller made the point, that there is nothing offensive about being called a Mexican, I am proud of my Mexican roots. But that being said, it does not lessen the fact that it is a racist comment.
The reason it is racist is that it takes a great golfer, and attempts to degrade his status as a golfer by referring to his ethnicity. If he had a more “American” sounding last name, he would just be Lee Johnson, or whatever his last name might be.
I’m sure there are white golfers with nicknames, but those nicknames are always empowering things, like “Boss of the Moss.” (The actual nickname of a white golfer, I just googled it) the nickname referring to his dominance on the green. What if his nickname was “the Agreeable Irishman.”
Again nothing offensive about his Irish descent, the racism comes in referring to the stereotype that the Irish are Angry and the Boss of the Moss is not like the other Irish.
Even though Mexicans aren’t referred to as Merry as often as we are called lazy, dirty, or invasive, his nickname is still a put-down, because:
1. It insinuates that Lee is somehow out of the ordinary in his "Cherrieness" and that Mexicans are not often Merry, which is a stereotype (think “pictures of Mexican banditos, were they ever smiling?”).
2. In the 60s and 70s, when Lee was most active as a pro, being referred to as a Mexican was and still is by many Anglo people an insult. When a minority person begins to “come up,” in a sport(or really any profession) traditionally dominated by Anglos, they are referred to as the “Mexican/Black/Asian/fill-in-the-blank, phenom.” Rather than “this man/woman is a really great golfer.”
It’s the white players'/spectators' way of reminding themselves that, “yes he’s better than us at golf, but he’s still a Mexican.”
The leading cause of racism is the majority's fear of being displaced on the great status ladder, and a minority Mexican putting a tiny white ball in a hole better than the majority of white guys’ is a direct threat to the white majority’s status.
Like the grasshoppers from “bugs life”, they survive on their status as being above the ants, if the ants figured out they outnumbered the grasshoppers 100 to 1 the grasshoppers’ would be just another bug foraging for themselves.
The white majority is dwindling, and the fear most whites have is not being replaced, it’s that they’ll be downgraded to the level of a minority. That they’ll just be another bug scratching to survive.
Lee Trevino, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Bill Russell, Serena & Venus Williams, all had to endure racist comments and threats because they are/were all reminders that one day, whites in America will just be another cockroach eating the crumbs that fall off the table.
Just another Cockroach named Gabe
WOKE NO JOKE
Oh please! Just stop with the woke Bs
I suggest you look up who created the moniker. You may be surprised.
As an individual with Mexican Heritage, I feel this is a term of endearment, unlike several other derogatory remarks. Also, we aren’t as thin-skinned as so many others who become offended and defensive over some words that are not that offensive.
Just shows how ignorant some others really are. Lee Trevino knew better than become offended, if he were he would never ever enter the PGA.
Why would you assume that all Asian people are of Japanese descent?
You do realize you insulted tens of millions of people by writing that.
Do you want to know if "Merry Mex" is offensive? Ask Lee Trevino. His opinion would be the only one that counts.
You being offended is just another example of whining pining politically correct sniveling.
Below is my favorite Lee Trevino story. After you read it, ask yourself if you should laugh, or label Trevino sexist, perhaps even misogynistic.
One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in 1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer, and married man were at his home in Dallas, Texas mowing his front lawn, as he always did.
A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in front of his house, lowered the window, and asked,
" Excuse me, do you speak English ?"
Lee responded, " Yes Ma'am, I do "
The lady then asked, " What do you charge to do yard work? "
Lee said, " Well, the lady in this house lets me sleep with her ".
The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.