"London: Do you consider yourself more Mexican or more American?
Rodriguez: In some ways I consider myself more Chinese, because I live in San Francisco, which is becoming a predominantly Asian city. I avoid falling into the black-and-white dialectic in which most of America still seems trapped. I have always recognized that, as an American, I am in relationship with other parts of the world; that I have to measure myself against the Pacific, against Asia. Having to think of myself in relationship to that horizon has liberated me from the black-and-white checkerboard.
London: Do you think of yourself as an Indian?
Rodriguez: Yes, although it was something I did not know about as a child. I had an Indian face, but I never saw it as Indian, in part because in America the Indian was dead. The Indian had been killed in cowboy movies, or was playing bingo in Oklahoma. Also, in my middle-class Mexican family indio was a bad word, one my parents shy away from to this day. That's one of the reasons, of course, why I always insist, in my bratty way, on saying, Soy indio! — "I am an Indian!" I think it's an important thing for a Mexican to say, especially now with the rebellion in Chiapas. Mexico has to confront her Indian face, and yet she refuses to do so. When you turn on Mexican television, it's like watching Swedish TV: everyone is blond."