Have you ever been talking to someone and they are talking about people from Mexico, i.e. Mexicans, but lower their voices as if they are saying a bad word or a racial slur? This happens all the time to me around here. You don't lower your voice in self-conscious paranoia when you refer to a Canadian or an Italian, so why when you refer to a Mexican. Do you think you're going to offend a Mexican? That crap drives me crazy.
This reminds me of a true story I was recently told by a friend. She works at a local fast food restaurant and decided to go in on Halloween in-between hitting the various neighborhoods with her kids. When she arrived she was shocked to see a 16 year-old employee behind the counter dressed in a low-cut tank top, a denim skirt that barely covered her butt, and fishnet stockings. My friend told her that if she had been on shift she would have sent her home. The 16 year-old tells her that the owner approved her costume however she goes into the back and gets a coat on.
The next day my friend talks to the owner and finds out what had happened prior to her arrival. It turns out that what the owner approved was cowboy boots, a long denim skirt, and a t-shirt. She changed after the owner left. The owner assumed the girl was a cowgirl and when she asked the girl if she was right, the girl responded, "No, I'm a Mexican". The owner responded with, "You can't be a Mexican. You can't say that." The girl's response? "Should I say Hispanic?"