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Bound By Honor

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"Blood In...Blood Out"

Bound By Honor.

In the movie "Blood In...Blood Out," there are three young Chicano teens just trying to survive in a white man's world. First, you have Paco, a rebellious teen that loves a fight, and is in a small East Los Angeles street gang called "Vatos Locos." Then, there is his half brother Cruz, he is trying to stray away from the gang life by painting, however, he still is and hangs with the Vatos Locos. Lastly, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and white skin, there is Miklo the cousin of Cruz and Paco, who ran away from his white father to reconect with his Mexican roots. The only problem is Miklo does not look Chicano, and the Mexican community, including Paco, have a hard time accepting him into the world he so much wants to be a part of. His friends call him names like "white boy" or "guero" to make fun of his skin. Miklo though, is determined to gain the respect of his peers, he decides that he too wants to be a "Vato Loco," which doesn't sit very well with Paco. He tells Miklo, "Do white boys get VL placas (tattoos)? No, it doesn't happen. Unless..." and that's where it all starts.

Paco decides that his cousin can be part of the Vatos Locos, but since he is half white, he will have to prove himself to the group, by doing something big for them. Miklo quickly obliges, and bashes out the window of a rival gang called "Tres Puntos." With that Miklo gets to be in the "in crowd" as he always wanted to be. Tres Puntos not agreeing with this, takes it out on Cruz, and thus starts a gang war. Things become even worse when at a war between the two gangs, Miklo shoots and kills the head member Spider. This brings on even bigger problems then Miklo can imagine: San Quentin Prison.

Suddenly, everything Miklo learned in the street gang becomes obsolete, and he is back to being an outsider with no one to turn to. The AV'ers, a clique of white males in prison, want Miklo to side with them, but Miklo does not want any part of them. Instead, he wants to hang with the Mexican clique, La Onda, which do not want anything to do with this "guero" (white boy in Spanish). They pick on him, call him names, and do not want him within their sight. Still yet again though, he is determined to be a part of a world that does not want him in. La Onda's world is where he wants to be, and he goes to talk to Montana the "jefe" (Spanish word for boss). Some of the best dialogue in the movie occurs here with the confrontation of Miklo and Montana, when Montana tells him, "White is the enemy. White is the system. You're stuck in the middle." Miklo comes back and says, "The color of my skin shouldn't keep me out. Chicano is not a color, it's the way you think...the way you live." Montana is not buying it, and still tells him no. So, Miklo finally goes for the clincher and says, "All my f*ckin life I have been kept out. You know what that feels like? Knowing you're a Chicano, and nobody accepts you 'cause your skin came out white? Use me, use this (pointing to his white face). You said it everything is based on color, right!? I can get into places you can't 'cause my skin is white on the outside...But I am brown to the bone on the inside." With that speech, Montana finally gives in. He tells Miklo that he can be in, If he kills one of their biggest enemies using his skin color to their advantage. Miklo does it, and finally is accepted by La Onda. As the story goes on Miklo is constantly proving loyalty to this prison gang, and gets into more and more trouble as the movie progresses. The story continues with many more trials and tribulations including eventual betrayal, however, Miklo's race problem is the one I chose to focus on.

I can relate to him somehow, which makes me appreciate his character that much more. I personally, have gone through times in my life where I have been 'kept out.' I have the skin color, just not the "attitude" that most Mexicans and Chicanos are affiliated with. I do not speak fluent Spanish, I did not grow up in the "barrio," I grew up



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