Read Related: Proud to Be Marrying a Latino Man!I still remember their faces—contorted with anger over some minor kickball dispute and reflecting the bigotry served with dinner at their kitchen tables. And I still remember the knot that twisted tight in my gut, a blow that sent me staggering. Yet, inexplicably, perhaps instinctively, the word also filled me with pride. A spic? If that meant, as I quickly guessed that it did, someone whose roots ran far to southern borders, whose house reverberated with the rhythm of Spanish, whose family came in shades of caramel and tan and peach, then that’s what I was.
It was a four-letter word I had never before heard. But when the kids from down the street hurled it at me with all the fury and filth of a spitball, I immediately knew it was bad. Even in elementary school, I could sense all the ugliness and hate and hostility the epithet contained.. Spic! You’re a spic!