Now with the story out of the way, we can move on to the weightier question: which strain of The Greaser we got here - Eastern Greaser (Italian/Puerto Rican/Cuban)or Western Greaser (Mexican)? Although one might assume Western, since it's a Bronco Billy flick, the credits don't identify actor Lee Willard as The Greaser, but as The Half-breed - with no indication what the halves are.
No other option but to consult a dictionary:
Which means we got a Mexican I guess (although a more precise name might be the one Tonto is called in Lenny Bruce's Masked Man: "spic half-breed"). That also would explain why at 9:10, beneath the sign "No Drinks For Injuns", The Half-Breed is only allowed a Half-Drink - get it? Ha, ha, ha.
noun [offensive]: a person whose parents are of different races, esp. the offspring of an American Indian and a person of white
So what we actually got here is "Bronco Billy And The Spic Half-Breed". Whew...never expected that understanding a Bronco Billy flick would require a degree in Early Twentieth Century Ethnic Slurs.
But the issue could have been immediately resolved by consulting the dictionary to find the proper definition of Greaser:
noun [informal, offensive] a Hispanic American, esp. a Mexican
So where did I get the incorrect notion that a Greaser could be Italian? Of course, from the movies: the title scene in Goodfellas.
But I was remembering incorrectly - the actual quote was: "It was among the Italians - it was real GREASEBALL shit":
And the dictionary definition of Greaseball confirms this to be the correct slur to use:
noun [informal, offensive] a foreigner, esp. one of Mediterranean or Latin American origin
- If Goodfellas were made in 1914, it would have been called Henry And The Greaseballs.
So although there are two varieties of Greaseball (Mediterranean or Hispanic origin), there is only one kind of Greaser (Hispanic American). Got that? Quiz on Friday.
(Extra credit: how many Crackers does it take to lynch a Spic Half-Breed Greaser for queue-jumping? Don't forget to factor out the Nigger servants!)
Enhance your viewing experience: know your ethnic slurs!