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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Gustavo Arellano Archive
Dear Mexican: I was wondering if you could shed some light on the debate on whether 29 percent of Mexicans/Hispanic voters really voted for Trump, or whether it was much less like other polls show? The Poll y Voces Dear Pocho: Exit polls are like the PRI: full of shit, full of money, and incredibly... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why is Mexican Spanish so maligned by the rest of the Hispanic world (even Dominicans!)? It doesn't make any sense to me, but nonetheless I find myself worrying about my intended trip a Mexico para cursos de Español. Am I making a mistake in learning Mexican-accented Spanish? No Puedo Usar Accentos Dear I... Read More
Dear Mexican: I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the use of Lotería cards as decorative elements, specifically when used by people without Mexican heritage. Lotería cards are beautiful and interesting, but is using an image from the cards without a connection to any specific history, culture, or meaning (like on a tote bag or... Read More
Dear Mexican: How come you call yourself a Mexican? By definition, you're a Chicano, not a Mexican. A Mexican is a person that was born and raised in Mexico, not beautiful Orange County. A Mexican is a person that is proud of his country and appreciates and respects the Mexican flag even though he left... Read More
Dear Mexican: I recently saw a picture of you in a newspaper article. I was quite shocked. You appear to have more of a European skin tone. You look more European. However, I guess since your relatives lived in Mexico in the past 200 years, you think of yourself as a Mexican. I guess however,... Read More
Dear Readers: As usual, I turn over a December edición of my column each year to new Chicano-Mexican books you should stuff into a tamale leaf and give to folks so they have something to unwrap. While 2016 was a horrible year politically, the Santo Niño de Atocha saved it with a lot of amazing... Read More
Dear Mexican: Sooooo...your boy René Redzepi is moving to Mexico. I'm curious to hear your thoughts. From Lagos Dear Loco: Unless the acclaimed Danish chef behind the world-acclaimed Noma is into tamborazo and Antonio Aguilar, he ain’t my compa. But the Scandinavian very well could be nowadays: it was recently announced that he’s opening a... Read More
Dear Mexican: What’s up with pochos and their disrespect for their origins? I’m a Mexican born and raised in Mexico, a proud chilango, and well, I gotta know why do pochos, or Mexican-Americans or whatever, try to make our reputation as bad as possible by acting all like gangster, and drug dealer, and like a... Read More
Dear Mexican: We have Mexican teenagers here in my apartment building who are chronic troublemakers. My question to you is: why do Mexicans break the rules, refuse to be corrected, and harass us senior citizens? Why is it always the Mexicans who are the worst? Is it in their culture? Or, are these just uneducated... Read More
Dear Mexican: Math problem: If there are 20 Mexicans, 20 Indians, 20 Chinese, 20 Puerto Ricans, 20 Blacks, and one white person on a room, then how many people are there in the room who's identity is used as a benchmark to establish the identities of the rest of the people in the room? (Hint:... Read More
Dear Mexican: I found your column about Mexican men and spousal abuse, and my question is: Is there any help for this ever ending? I’ve been with a Mexican man, who is also an abuser of alcohol, although it has slimmed down some. He gets angry out of the blue and starts hitting on me... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why is it that even though we Latinos have similar backgrounds (Indian-Spanish) across America, there is a lack of unity among us here in the USA? We could be a powerhouse during election times, and definitely obtain a more friendlier immigration deal. El Peruano Dear Cholo: I usually only answer preguntas about Mexicans,... Read More
Dear Mexican:¿Por que no hay un pinche líder entre nosotros o de nosotros los mexicanos? Para que tuviera los tanates bien puestos y hablara frente al congreso y les dijera sus verdades a los hipócritas políticos. ¿Será que “nuestros lideres” son unos miedosos o vendidos? No hay uno solo (solo el Chapulín Colorado) que nos... Read More
Dear Mexican: As a kid, I grew up with Mexicans who stole things just to steal. As an adult, I see much of the same behavior from adult Mexicans and their children. And I don't mean just the poor Mexicans. Why is it in their nature for Mexicans to steal? Larcenous Lester Dear Gabacho: The... Read More
Dear Mexican: I’m asking this question for my best friend, who also happens to be my ex-girlfriend. Both she and her guy are educated Mexican-Americans. She moved in with her fiancé, who is also Mexican, at his home. The problem is that his parents also live there. His overbearing mom has seven dogs and numerous... Read More
Dear Mexican: Help a pocha out—what can I do to reclaim my heritage? I grew up in Orange County with my white mother and half-brothers and sisters who used to tease me that I needed a green card to get home after trips to Rosarito Beach. I now live in my Mexican father’s home (he... Read More
Dear Mexican: I seen black homeless people and white people being homeless. How come I never seen a Mexican and a Chinese person being homeless? Get a Pinche Job, Bum Dear Pocho: I can’t answer for chinitos, because the most Celestial thing about me is my love for an orange chicken-chow mein-brown rice lunch combo.... Read More
Dear Mexican: Is pinche considered a “bad” word amongst Mexican-Americans? Or is it like güey? Where it's generally alright? Mandilón in Manhattan Dear Pussy-Whipped Pocho: Don’t forget that among Mexican-Americans, #fucktrump is considered appropriate for children five and over. But among Mexican Mexicans, pinche (which technically means a short-order cook) is still mostly a synonym... Read More
Dear Mexican: I heard you on NPR describing the various ways that Mexican food images are used to scare white people about the brown hordes from the South coming up here to steal their stuff and take away their ketchup. You used the phrase "greaser" as an example of a culinary-related insult. But I thought... Read More
Dear Mexican: I employ two lovely ladies who clean my home and take care of my toddler two days a week when I go out to run errands. They are loving and kind and take superb care of her. My daughter adores them and they adore her. From the minute I brought my baby home,... Read More
Dear Mexican: A young California high school boy of Latino heritage asked me why did us whities stole California from Mexico? I asked him who told him that, and he said his father. I told him we purchased California from Mexico, via the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to discuss... Read More
Dear Mexican: I'm not bilingual but I have a fascination with the differences and similarities between Spanish and English words and idioms. They often point to interesting differences between the cultures. Some words, like “vejigazo” (to get smacked in the ass with an inflated cow bladder) are self explanatory, but there is one that I'd... Read More
Dear Readers: The Mexican is currently in the hills of Kentucky, drinking white dog with the good ol’ chicos while doing tamborazo covers of “Molly and Tenbrooks” and bluegrass versions of “Las Isabeles”—because hillbillys and paisas are brothers from another madre, you know? Anyhoo, onto some oldies-pero-goodies. Salud, and yee-haw!   Dear Mexican: It seems... Read More
I’m a gabacho living in a barrio. It took a year after we moved in (we’ve been here for five now), but I grew accustomed to the bicycle-horn=honking guys selling churros out of grocery carts, the tamale lady selling out of a stroller, the couple selling new clothes out of a panel van, the fruit/vegetable... Read More
Dear Mexican: So how long can you keep up this racist shtick in a Los Angeles where Latinos are the majority? You're clever enough to use irony as a device to blunt your own just-kidding racism, but most of the Mexicans and pochos I know don't care enough to bother with such clever tricks. I've... Read More
Dear Mexican: The word “cholo” means “mixed race” or “mestizo.” So isn't using “cholo” to refer to gangbangers or other delinquents racist? I'm Cuban, but please don't group me with idiots like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Cubiche Chula Dear Pocha: There are multiple meanings of “cholo” we’re dealing with here. The word derives from... Read More
Dear Mexican: Over the years, I've had several different American doctors digitally violate me to examine my old prostate. Always, before they examine me, they play Cat Stevens’ music. It explains why old American men uniformly hate Cat Stevens. I'm moving to Mexico soon, and assume that my next annual physical will be performed by... Read More
Dear Mexican: I have a few questions for all your Mexican columnists. Why is it so wrong for Americans to expect people from other countries to follow our laws when entering this country? What reason do you have that should make Mexicans entering this country illegally okay? Secondly, why aren't you as concerned about the... Read More
Dear Mexican: Tell me one thing Mexico is good for? MAGA Man Dear Gabacho: Paying more taxes than Donald Trump. Read on… The other weekend, I met a Mexican girl at bar. Hoping to score some points, I pretended that I, too, was Mexican. Between my non-descript ethnicity, (Eastern European and Vietnamese…chabacho, perhaps?), my command... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why do SO many chamacos of this generation, that are Mexican, refuse to learn Spanish and/or speak it? What's the big deal? Are they THAT embarrassed of their native tongue because they've been so Americanized, or what is it? It's been bugging me for years! I'm Mexican-born and raised in San Diego, and... Read More
Dear Mexican: I have visited other countries. None would appreciate me waiving my flag in their country. It all comes down to this, MI AMIGO. If you enter this country from any other country, you must have the necessary paperwork to allow you to stay and or work here. If you enter without paperwork, you... Read More
Dear Mexican: I’m an Asian female, and for some time now I’ve been fascinated by the Mexican culture. I find Mexican males to be very attractive. Their food, language, and music are just amazing! How much of a chance do I have dating a Mexican hombre if I’m Asian? Muchacha China Curiosa Dear Chinita: Dios... Read More
Dear Mexican: My beloved mojado has crossed back over the border into his native Mexico. Family emergency. He seems to think it's going to be a cinch when he comes back—I mean the desert, pumas, mountains, electric fences, people trying to rob and shoot you, being short on cash…where's the difficulty, right? I know it... Read More
Dear Mexican: Please allow me a little latitude. I'm a resident of Northeast Dallas, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood near the heart of downtown Dallas. I've lived here for many years and wouldn't even CONSIDER moving north, south, east or west. However, I have one issue I'd like to address: What's the deal with Mexicans’ propensity... Read More
Dear Mexican: I read an article you linked to about how it could be hard to order a lime in Spanish-speaking South American countries. The bottom line was that, depending on where you where, un limón could mean a lemon or a lime; it was all a matter of local dialect. Curiously, limes originated in... Read More
Dear Mexican: We had a torrid and passionate romance for about a year. I could have done anything for her, meaning I loved her. After the first breakup, for about six months, we had make-ups and breakups. Once, I broke the relationship because I understood she was and is commitment-phobic. After the breakup, I told... Read More
Dear Mexican: Believe I've heard from you, in an interview, that “gringo” is either out-of-date or inappropriate and that gabacho is the better choice. I've checked online and most sources say that gabacho is a pejorative and/or generally refers to Europeans. Is this the case, or is gabacho just a better word than “gringo”? Also,... Read More
Dear Mexican: Recently, I took a DNA test to find out about my genetic heritage. It turns out that my “Mexican” side (maternal side) may not really be Mexican at all. The DNA test has 100% matched me to that of Native Americans in what now straddles the US Southwest and Northern Mexico, with no... Read More
Dear Mexican: Dude, can you please write about why Mexicans are voting for Trump? My cuñado and I were talking about the candidates over dinner yesterday and about how this will be his first presidential vote. He became a U.S. citizen last year. He's from DF. He started from the ground up in this country... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why do white guys still think it's cute to call a Latina“spicy”? Serene Serena Dear Pocha: The term hasn’t just applied to mexicanas; I’ve found newspaper clippings from 1866 hailing the virtues of a “spicy woman.” But referring to the better sex by her hotness nowadays is almost universally applied to Mexican mujeres.... Read More
Dear Mexican: I’m a Latina with Mexican parents—well, “parent,” since my father has been non-existent since I was 13, but, you know, you still respect him cause he’s your sperm donor? Anyhoo, the point of this letter is not only am I a lesbian, but my partner is white. We have been together for about... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why can’t U.S. citizens take responsibility for their own actions? It's so common to encounter ignorant people blaming Mexicans (and many, though not all, other Latin Americans) for their own plight. But let's look at the facts: First, Almost as soon as the Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Dutch left their colonies in this... Read More
Dear Mexican: A friend of mine says nobody calls themselves Chicanos anymore—que dice, Mexican? ¿Cierto? Is it just a term for us old-timers, like hippies or beatniks? Saludotes de Tulsa Town Dear Pocha: I’ve always maintained that one learns they’re Chicano, usually in Chicano Studies classes where the term is placed in its proper historical... Read More
Dear Mexican: Our grandparents came from Mexico. The entire next generation spoke Spanish. However, in my generation, pretty much none of us do. One cousin's daughter does because the cousin married a fluently bilingual spouse. Most white people I know have long ago lost both awareness of what their actual ethnic roots are and the... Read More
Dear Mexican: What are Mexico's residency requirements and how do you apply for their version of a green card? Because if that racist fuck Trump gets elected, I'm outta here. We've gone too far in the past forty (20, if you're from the South) to go back to the days of Jim Crow. Eight years... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why must gringos insist on changing my preferred name of “Rose” during introductions to “Rosa” or “Rosita” or “Rosarita”? When I respond with, “No, my name is Rose,” you would think I had committed a crime against my heritage to deny what can only be an assumption on their part. Nicknames, Nicknames Everywhere... Read More
Dear Mexican: I’ve noticed that many Mexicans have pet birds, and most of the time, they’re obviously neglected. One time I saw a live parrot in a cage next to a cage with a dead and decaying parrot! WTF? Is this a Third World thing, an exercise in not feeling bad about another animal’s feelings... Read More
Dear Mexican: I'm a misplaced half-Mexican in Mississippi, of all places. The area I live in is WHITE as WHITE can be, and has been for many foreign-hating years. I've been in MS now for almost four years and have seen the Latin community more than double. This makes me feel more at ease since... Read More
Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans applaud first-generation Mexicans that assimilate completely but criticize (and apply the term vendidos) first-generation Mexican-Americans (why is it that there is no real name for U.S. citizens in English forcing us to use the name of the continent? Someone should translate estadounidenses) for doing it? Take my case, for example.... Read More
Dear Mexican: I enjoyed reading the letter some years back from the lovely Mexican lesbian about lip liner. I have met several guys from Mexico who come to the U.S. so they can come out of the closet. Nothing warms my middle-aged gay heart more than when a nice Mexican young man says “Hola, papi”!... Read More
Gustavo Arellano
About Gustavo Arellano

Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America’s spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column, and was published in book form by Scribner Press in May 2007. Arellano has been the subject of press coverage in national and international newspapers, The Today Show, Hannity, Nightline, Good Morning America, and The Colbert Report, and his commentaries regularly appear on Marketplace and the Los Angeles Times. Gustavo is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2007 President’s Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.” Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one whom was illegal.


Past
Classics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?