Undocumented and Awkward: Enlisted Man

Written by Luis Serrano, featuring Isaac Barrera and Jose Sanchez.

Problem Addicts. They are all around us.

As young fellas growing up in inner city working class communities, a figure that always dotted our horizon as a possible prospect to escape our situation was that of the military recruiter bearing false promises. They would approach us in our schools, bus stops, local hangout spots, homes, etc. It seemed as they were constantly preying on our ignorance and wonder, trying to appeal to our sense of adventure, using a variety of formal and informal tactics that at times were, in retrospect, absolutely atrocious and crude. Anything to get a reaction, anything to get us listening and swaying.

The military recruiter in this video is a Frankenstein of sorts that encapsulates nearly every negative experience that we’ve had with recruiters (military and law enforcement) while growing up. Crude, offensive, sexist, macho, misinformed, creepy, douchey, and absolutely problematic.

We know that this video is very straight-male centered, and we talked about different approaches to this video prior to filming. We knew that there would be many triggers depicted in this video, but decided to settle on something honest and let this video stand as a testament to our experiences. We realize that this might not be the experience for many people, but we also hope that our viewers understand that military recruiters like the one in this video exist and that they are in our communities RIGHT NOW, exploiting every opportunity and piece of misinformation possible in order to recruit another one of our young brown men, undocumented and otherwise.

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