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Dear Mexican: I’m not a huge soccer fan but I always get excited about the World Cup. In preparation for this event next year, I wanted your opinion on who my wife and I should root for if the U.S. were to play Mexico. I’m a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Spanish was never spoken at home but thanks to our amazing public school system, I rarely need a translator when I speak to Spanish-speaking parents (I’m an administrator at an amazing public school). My wife grew up speaking Spanish and was raised in a home that was culturally Mexican. We both feel comfortable participating in events that are very Mexican and very American. Last night, I asked my wife who she should root for if the U.S. played Mexico. She wasn’t sure. I told her I wasn’t sure either, and that we should ask for your advice. What do you think? Who should we root for? Who would you root for? Who do you think your grandkids will root for?

Sueño Humido del Hombre Hispánico-Americano

Dear Wet Dream of the Pocho Man: I always root for the United States when it plays in Mexico, and Mexico when it faces off against the U.S. in el Norte, but only because I want to see the home fans in agony, because I’m a cabrón like that. You can root for either side, though, because they’re both going to flame out in the quarterfinals of el Mundial next year, anyway. About the only things fans can look forward on either side to is to see which player has enough huevos to kick Putin where Trump’s lips left a giant chupón.

 

I’m not searching for relationship advice, Mexican; just wondering why there is no love between Honduras and Mexico.

La Gordita

Dear Chubby Catracha: Mexicans might despise Salvadorans and have no use for Guatemalans, but Hondurans? We play “Sopa de Caracol” at all our parties, don’t we?

 

My understanding, lo these many years, is that Mexicans cannot give up their Mexican citizenship. I understand that under Mexican law, a natural-born Mexican is never legally allowed to claim exclusive other citizenship, and that Mexico will not recognize U.S. embassy legal process in Mexico on behalf of a Mexican naturalized as a U.S. citizen who is present in Mexico. Is that correct??

August in Austin

Dear Gabacho: You’re listening to too much Alex Jones. The Mexican Constitution says native-born Mexicans can never lose their nationality, which is just a fancy way for Mexico to claim more people subject to its authority—an important point we’ll use before the New World Order tribunal in a couple of years to reestablish Aztlán.

 

In 1990, some of my Mexican friends told me it cost $500 to come from Mexico with a coyote. Recently, a friend from Tamazunchale told me it now costs $2,500. How much of this money, paid to the coyotes, go to Border Patrol Employees?

El Pollo Loco

Dear Gabacho: $2,500? Try $5,000 to start, all thanks to Trump’s immigration policies. And Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly had the gall to take credit for the jacked-up prices. That’s like a big-game hunter saying that the antelope over his fireplace worked extra-hard to get there.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Maricela and Daniel, two helpful Mexicans at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange who helped this Mexican find another Mexican’s grave. May the Santo Niño de Atocha bless ustedes for your good work, and may you bury this Mexican with a bottle of mezcal when it’s time for me to go to the great DESMADRE in the sky…

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: I was reading an article about lowriders being modern pieces of art and displayed prominently in museums around the world. Having grown up in Española, New Mexico, it brought a sense of pride coming from “the Lowrider Capital of the World.” My question is where did the lowrider phenomenon begin? Española may be the lowrider capital, but I have my doubts it began there. It’s a small town and even smaller in the 1950′s, do you have any interest in writing a little history piece? I think it would be an interesting piece given it’s place in pop-culture and Mexican origins.

Low and Slow in Nuevo México

Dear Pocho: Española is a great little town that I visit every year on the way to the Santuario de Chimayó, but lowriders didn’t begin there. It’s only known as the Lowrider Capital of el mundo because NPR’s All Things Considered supposedly called it that, according to a 1994 article in the Santa Fe New Mexican (I say “supposedly” because an extensive archive search—okay, a quick Nexis® query—turned up no such citation). And I hate to break it to Chicano academics, but lowriders didn’t even begin with Chicanos. The term “lowrider,” besides being a sartorial adjective in use for over a century, was first applied to hoodlums of any race, then became lingo in Southern California kustom kulture—indeed, the earliest references the Mexican could find to cars as “lowriders” is in the classified section of newspapers in the late 1960s, under the heading “Hot Rods.” Telling is a September 13, 1970 column in the Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram that mourned the disappearance of greasers (in the rebel sense, NOT the Mexican sense) in the face of the counterculture movement. “He was and is, of course, a low-rider, a cruiser, a hot-rodder, a Levi guy and a hair boy,” the column stated, hinting that the original lowriders were more likely to look like James Dean than a homie from Eastlos. That’s not to deny Chicanos that the culture of fixing up boats and bombs, and driving them low and slow, is now dominated by them—if anything, we appropriated gabacho culture, for once!

When I take my wife out to a Mexican restaurant, I try and order and communicate in Spanish. My wife laughs because she says I even change my accent. Am I just a pendejo gringo that the waiters are laughing at behind my back and defacing my beans and rice, or are they on my side and appreciate a cracker trying to sound like he came from the barrio?

Muchos Grassy Ass

Dear Gabachos: Mexicans appreciate if you try to talk in Spanish, or use correct Spanish terms (“aguacates” instead of “guac,” for instance). Mexicans do not appreciate if you mimic a “Mexican” accent, mostly because there is no such thing as a universal one. Try that again next time, and don’t be surprised if your sour cream’s tang is due to the line cook’s crema.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: Los Marijuanos played at Seattle Hempfest years ago. Are they like the best pro-hemp Mexican band out there? Are there other Mexican hemp-related bands or products out there that I don’t know about?

Inquring Hempsters Want to Know!

Dear Gabacho: Remember Platoon, and how the troops were broken up between the “tweakers”—those who enjoyed the ganga while singing along to “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles—and the angry drunks who were known as “juicers.” The Mexican is definitely the latter—I’m like the old men in the rancho who drink 180-proof sugarcane alcohol and can’t be bothered with herb, so my knowledge or products is limited to whatever my home newspaper plugs on potplus.com. That said, #respect to those of ustedes who do smoke—Mexican musicians have been on that bit long before “Reefer Man.” “La Cucaracha” has a line about how former President Victoriano Huerta could no longer walk because he lacked marijuana pa’ fumar—to smoke. “El Tírili” (The Reefer Man), by Don Tosti’s Pachuco Boogie Boys, warns people about the dangers of beer, wine and tequila. But el zacatito? The grass? “Ayyyy,” Tosti sighs, before scatting so furiously he makes Cab Calloway seem as restrained as Paul Robeson. But the best Mexican musical marijuana masterpiece is “Marihuana Boogie,” by the legendary Lalo Guerrero, who combined the best of Benny Goodman and Cypress Hill to sing about the pleasure of getting lit while dancing your nalgas off. Too bad narcocorridos don’t have as much grace…

Do you think legalizing marijuana in Mexico would be a good way to create jobs and better their economy?

Chapo Chupa

Dear Pocho: Mexico just legalized medicinal marijuana nationwide, which will come as news to the abuelitas that have used marijuana-infused alcohol to treat sore joints and muscles for centuries. While the Mexican is for the decriminalization of all drugs everywhere, any economy created by Mexico making marijuana a legal industry will become subservient to the real marijuanos: Americans. And we all know how well NAFTA worked out for Mexico.

 

I’ve heard that marijuana is a made-up name for smokeable cannabis. It comes from Maria and Juan. This pejorative term was concocted in the 1930s to stigmatize pot smoking with Mexicans in the Southwest. During the 1930s Great Depression, there was a surplus of labor in America and attempts were made to arrest Mexicans for their smoking habits and deport them. Any truth to this?

Etymology Edna

Dear Gabacha: Only that there was a Great Depression. No one—not even the Real Academia Española—knows the etymology of “marijuana,” and it’s found in Mexican newspapers going back to the 19th century. Marijuana use in the United States has always been racialized, but gabachos have also stuck the demon weed to Filipinos, blacks, and “Hindoos.” But, as most illicit, wonderful things, marijuana only became acceptable when white people began using it. I’d end with a joke, but my marijuana humor begins and ends with a line that once came out in a Cheech and Chong movie: “Hey, that’s a pretty nice car, man. Better get it back to the circus before they find out it’s gone.” Um, yeah…

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: I’ve read that 75% of Americans are against giving illegal immigrants citizenship. I’m for full amnesty and citizenship for the current 12 million that are here, but I have two absolute conditions. First, the border is locked up by both the U.S. and Mexico, and illegal entries are reduced by 90% even if that takes the military of both countries. Second, that citizenship would require pledging allegiance to America and denouncing their Mexican citizenship. My question is: Do you think that the Mexican portion of the 12 million would agree to this? And do you think the Mexican government would agree to helping to close the border if full amnesty was given to those that are now here?

Wally Wall

Dear Gabacho: You heard about how Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and equip it with solar panels? Your idea is stupider. Primeramente, locking up the border accomplishes nada. There’s less Mexicans coming into los Estados Unidos right now not because of Trump’s pendejadas but because the United States is turning into Mexico—so why not just stay in Mexico? And putting both the American and Mexican military on la frontera is a waste of resources and firepower better used against the Saudis. Segundamente, any Mexican who would become legal has to pledge allegiance to the U.S.—it’s call the “naturalization oath of allegiance,” pendejo. And who cares if they have dual citizenship? Mexicans only get that so they can own land down there instead of having to give it up to the government—unless you’d rather Mexicans give that up and bring up their 91-year-old Tía Goya to live in el Norte? Gabachos like you need to get it into your mind that Mexicans (and other immigrants, for that matter) can simultaneously be American yet have another country on their mind, and not be disloyal to the Stars and Stripes. Why do conservatives get all pissy about that, yet cheer on losers who still love the Confederacy? Oh, yeah—because gabacho.

My husband has a disability that nobody in his Mexican family accepts (it’s a serious mental health disorder for which he receives government benefits, but they just tell him “Be strong, primo” and “How did you fool the government into giving you crazy money?”). Nobody has ever helped us with things he can’t do, but they expect him to help his mom with every home repair, because she raised him by herself. She’s verbally abuse and says nasty things about both of us when she’s alone with him, but to my face she acts like she wants us to be friends. Do we keep putting on the big, happy ethnic family act and explain away their ignorance of psychology and abuse? I understand that a history of oppression and struggle breeds dysfunction, but where do we draw the line? And don’t Mexicans watch Oprah and Dr. Phil?

Una Frustrated Gabacha-in-Law

Dear Gabacha: Confronting mental health issues among Mexicans is a serious topic that too often gets dismissed due to machismo. Without knowing his exact condition, all I can counsel is to ask your marido how he feels, and act accordingly. He might hate the familial abuse but is too afraid to say anything, and is waiting on you to say something. Or he might not feel abused at all. If it’s the latter case, keep him away from the primos and mom with promises of sexytimes—works on a Mexican man anytime!

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: Waze is launching Waze Carpool throughout California. I think it’s gonna be a hit, especially with tight Latino enclaves throughout the state. But…is there a history of raites within the Mex community?

Uber Wazer

Dear Gabacho: Everything that tech bros and their hipster acolytes think they’re creating, Mexicans did first. Ripping off music and movies? We call it piratería, and we know a guy at the Paramount Swap Meet who has Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on VHS. AirBnB? We’ve been renting out the couch to visitors since the days of the Toltecs. Uber? The aforementioned raiteros, what the gabacho media used to call gypsy cabs. Some app that you can use if you need someone to cut your lawn or fix your clogged toilet? Day laborers. Dia de los Muertos everything? BRUH…and all of this caca will continue. Because as I’ve written before, when hipsters do something that slightly outside the law yet an innovation over the old guard, they get a Series-C round of funding, Instagram influencers, and fawning media coverage. When Mexicans do it? We get code enforcement.

 

I need to be set straight. I’ve recently dubbed myself, “un loco pocho,” because I’m in the same pinche crisis as every other Mexican-American three generations in. I’m an artist, so in order to obtain scholarships and grants, I must illustrate what a sell-out I don’t want to become. My abuelita is güera, not white, speaks fluent Spanish (nothing else) and I prefer flour tortillas over corn any day. Sadly, I’ve come to the realization that I will never be Nahuatl, Maya or Chichimecan. Yet, I’m not white; I’m a dark-skinned, non-español, seemingly mojado wannabe. I don’t want to be white; I want to be American. I don’t want to forget the struggles of my grandparents, yet my baby-boomer parents already have. Like so many other children of immigrants from different countries, living off the fat of the land (now in a position to benefit from the Third World countries in which they fled). Can I just use pocho, the pejorative term, for “fake-ass Mexican” (may as well be la malinche in the flesh) as a symbol of hope? Or am I just trying to have my cake and eat it too?

Un Sonso Poco Loco Defecto Asking Who the Fuck They Are, LOL

Dear A Dummy but Crazy Defect Preguntando Quien Chingado Son, JAJA: Man, you’re so pocho you think Nahuatl is a people, not a language. You’re so pocho that Donald Trump just appointed you to his cabinet. You’re so pocho that Carlos Mencia accuses you of stealing his jokes. You’re so pocho that you probably think embarazada means “embarrassed” and not “pregnant.” You’re so pocho you drive a Prius instead of a 1979 Ford Ranger Supercab with “CHALINO” stenciled in the camper window. And you know what? It’s perfectly fine. The beauty of America for Mexicans is that we can sell out as much as we want, and it sometimes work—but at the end of the día, gabachos still think you’re just a dirty Mexican.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: My fiancé is trying to learn Spanish so he can speak to my grandmother when we get married next month. Lately, he’s been listening to CNN en Español to get an ear for the language. A couple of days ago, he told me that, after several weeks of seeing the channel, he noticed that there are ALWAYS chickens clucking in the background of the commercials. He wants to know, “What’s up with the chickens?” and “Is worshipping chickens a Mexican thing?”

Madre Hen

Dear Gabacho: Dear Wabette: Does your gabacho not speak English, either? Can’t he ask the Mexican a question on his own? Not only that, but your gabacho is either a liar or mistakenly tuned into the Rural Farm Network for his Spanish lessons. I see CNN en Español and have never once heard chicken clucks during a commercial. In fact, the only time I can recall hearing chickens in the background of any program is when gabacho talk show hosts rant about Mexicans. That sound clip cliché isn’t used exclusively for Mexicans, though: entertainers have associated chickens with the poor since the days of vaudeville, and even famed reporter Borat Sagdiyev unleashed a chicken on unsuspecting New Yorkers in his recent documentary to hilarious results. As for the chicken-worship question, your gabacho is wrong again: the Mexican reverence toward gallus domesticus is reserved for the gallo giro, the fighting cock. Rural Mexicans treat their hens as they treat their women: as purveyors of breasts, eggs and little else.

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Not long ago, I attended a Los Tigres del Norte concert at a small hall with no dance floor. The people attending were supposed to sit down and enjoy the music. Five minutes into the music, these jumping beans started dancing in the aisle. Within minutes, half of the attendees were going up and down the aisles dancing to the music. It’s not the first time I’ve seen Mexicans create improvised dance floors. Why do Mexicans love dancing so much?

Lambada Louie

Dear Gabacho: Anyone who needs to ask why people dance to Los Tigres del Norte—the norteño supergroup that combines traditional polka beats with socially conscious lyrics to create something that’s part Clash, part Lawrence Welk and puro mexicano—has no soul or is a gabacho. How can you not sway to their metronomic bass, their lush accordion trills, their canned sound effects, member Hernán Hernández’s mexcelente Mexi-mullet? Mexican music is among the most danceable outside Brazil because its practitioners understand that nalga-shaking stirs humanity into the realm of ecstasy. Almost all the genres that constitute Mexican popular music—the aforementioned norteño, the brass-band strut of banda sinaloense, son jarocho’s twinkling harps and guitars, even the dark riffs of Mexican heavy metal—put the focus on rhythms rather than lyrics (the exception is ranchera, the domain of drunkards and macho pussy men).

But dancing for Mexicans is more than a mere physical act. Every hallmark moment in Mexican society centers on dances—weddings, baptisms, informal gatherings, birthdays, anniversaries. More noteworthy are the dances held by hometown benefit associations that raise billions of dollars for the rebuilding of villages in Mexico. Tellingly, Mexican society does not consider girls and boys to be women or men until they begin to dance. Once they’re eligible to dance, Mexicans are eligible to take care of their community, too. Mexicans know that dancing solidifies trust, creates community, repairs the injured civic and personal soul. Besides, it’s a great way for Mexican adolescents to grope each other in a parent-approved environment.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: I’m reading the redneck rhetoric in your most recent column, and I feel retarded to continually be surprised by the hate guised as nationalism that so easily flows from mouths of these degenerates. At least we don’t have to worry about that “nice” stereotype like the Canadians. Isn’t it possible that no one wants to make taxpayers out of all of the illegals because this would entitle them to minimum wage? I agree that if you’re going to enjoy the benefits of this country, you should maintain your culture, but also become a legal American citizen. But can we afford to actually pay full price for the labor foundation that we currently enjoy at such a discount?

Dr. W

Dear Gabacho: Interesting punto! Gabachos don’t want undocumented Mexicans to become American citizens because they’re Mexicans, and they really feel that once we become the majority, we’ll rip out their hearts, wrap them in bacon, and serve them as a breakfast burrito. And they also want us to remain perpetual peons, even if making us legal brings more money to the American economy. A 2013 paper by the Center for American Progress found that if undocumented immigrants were granted legal status and the possibility of citizenship that year, the United States’ gross domestic product “would grow by an additional $1.4 trillion cumulatively over the 10 years between 2013 and 2022.” Not only that, but analysts Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford forecast the creation of 203,000 jobs per year in that time frame with amnesty. On the other hand, if said undocumenteds only got legal status in 2013 but weren’t eligible for citizenship for a decade, the GDP would grow by a relatively modest $832 billion. That’s more of an economic stimulus package than Trump could ever possibly conjure up—but since gabachos hate truth nowadays, the prospect of amnesty long ago went the way of the Paris climate accords.

 

I’ve been to a number of Mexican-sponsored events that include the typical banda, those bands with forty members and every instrument known to man. My question is why do those grupos bring such enormous speakers? For a party taking place in a backyard or a room that fits no more than 50, they’ll bring speakers large enough for a stadium. And since we’re on the subject of bandas, why do they have so many friggin’ people in them anyway?

Split Eardrums, but Happy

Dear Gabacho: The more speakers any Mexican band use, the angrier gabachos will get. This isn’t rocket science, pendejo.
Why is it that if you call anybody from Latin America that’s not from Mexico a Mexican, they get mad? But everybody from Latin America calls any white person a gringo, no matter if they are Canadian, English, German, French, etc. It seems to me that Latin Americans want to be called by their country of origin but don’t give a crap about a white person’s country of origin. Would this be racism or prejudice?

Gringo Greg

Dear Gabacho: Because a “gringo” is technically a white foreigner regardless of country. Besides, spare me: you gabachos call us “illegals” even if our families have lived in Aztlán since your ancestors were dying of the Black Death.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: I find Mexican women to be very prejudiced. Is it their lack of education or the fact that they don’t assimilate well? Is anyone schooling them on appropriate behavior, and are they being told that racial prejudice has reached a point where it’s barely tolerated in the U.S.A? I’m offended by their racist stares—I call this “racist stares” because it reminds me of the 1950s, when the white folks were doing it. As well as how many people live in one house with the multitude of trucks, leaving all the daily trash in from of their houses for the trash pick-up day from the business they run out of their houses. Do we pay for this in our monthly water bills because the trash debris fee is higher than the usage of water.

I now live across from such a female who gives out racist stares every chance she gets…she looks like a giant Godzilla. A shemale, with her tiny husband she probably picked up at the border and beats to keep him in line (no joke: it looks that way). And her 10 kids—five by the one that left her, and five by her border husband. When she is “dressed” up in her jeans and body shirt, she looks like a fat sausage.

I called another a racists because her kids were in the backyard calling out the “n” word—and no, they weren’t talking to each other. Guess what she did: she invited the one only black person she has ever had over to her house to show she is not a racist. Typical…I’m just curious because you go in the Mexican stores and everything is in Spanish yet American stores label everything in dual languages. Americans have been most accommodating to all immigrants, not just Mexicans. You can’t go anywhere outside of the U.S.A and live unless you are able to support yourself and not take jobs from the native population.

Toby Keith is Mine

Dear Gabacha: There is not one thing you mentioned that makes me think your Mexican female neighbor is racist. You, on the other hand…from the “giant Godzilla” to the “border husband” to describing her as a “fat sausage” and speculating about her husband, you sound like a bitter gabacha whose man left her for a Mexican woman long ago. Get over it, honey. Besides, Mexican women are only racist to Mexican women—you can look it up!

 

What’s the deal with hanging 15 feet of toilet paper in “el baño” to cover the gaps in the stall walls? I only see this coming from Mexican men, because I only frequent men’s restrooms, and only in the restrooms predominantly frequented by my Mexican coworkers. But frankly, what kind of man—other than the occasional Idaho Republican—wants to peek through the gap or catch a fleeting glimpse of another man taking a dump? Is this kind of male-on-male bathroom voyeurism a problem in Mexico, or are Mexican men simply more self-conscious than gabachos?

Degenerate John

Dear Gabacho: Assimilation at work. In Mexico, we freely shit out in the barn, the better to mix with other manure. In the U.S., we become as prudish as Jeff Sessions. Then again, staring through gaps is a habit for Mexican men—how else do you think we’re able to get over walls and fences so easily?

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: Not too long ago, you answered a question about the anti-Mexican slur “greaser,” then I read the info you provided for “illegal” and the N-word. I was wondering if you can break down for us “beaner,” “wetback,” and “spic,” too? What are their definitions historically, who “invented” them, and what are their connections to certain regions?

Etymologically Curious

Dear Gabacho: White supremacy invented these Americanisms, silly! “Wetback” came from the days when Americans thought Mexicans only came to el Norte by swimming across the Rio Grande—the earliest known reference is in a 1920 New York Times article. “Spic” isn’t really about Mexicans per se; the Oxford English Dictionary attributes it to Americans and Brits ridiculing how Panamanians working in the construction of the Canal pronounced “speak.” As for “beaner”: the earliest known printed reference is in a July 9, 1965 column for the Detroit Free Press, where an Orange County surfer told a reporter that “not much good can be said about ‘beaners’ (Mexicans).” But the slur is descended from previous terms like “bean bandit” and “bean-eater,” which go back to the days of the cowboys. The common thread, of course, is the Mexican love for frijoles, and the American anger that they can’t properly digest refrieds without ripping a bunch of pedos.

Why do Mexicans leave their cars in the middle of the street with their hazard lights on while they pick up their friends/kids/drugs? My friends and I deemed this “Mexican Hazard Light Syndrome”—MHLS, for short. Those blinking lights are supposed to be used when a car is broken down and a person is in distress, not when someone is too lazy to park and walk. It’s annoying enough when they do it on a two-way street and turn the road into an obstacle course—but when they do it on a one-way street, it’s just unforgivably inconsiderate and stupid. My (Mexican) friend hit one of these cars once and decided it was the MHLS-sufferer’s fault, so he just left the scene without even leaving a “sorry, you idiot” note. I don’t endorse this kind of hit-and-run behavior, but I’m telling that little anecdote so that the dumbasses who leave their cars in the middle of the street aren’t too shocked when they find their ’83 Buick Skylark in pieces…

Cross At Lazy Mexicans

Dear CALM: Patience is no Mexican virtue. We smuggle ourselves into this country again and again—you think we’re going to wait until a spot on the street opens up? Nah, we’d rather annoy pendejos like you and your pal—and it worked!

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My parents were born in El Salvador, which makes me a Salvadoran American—NOT a pinche mexicanos. Don’t get me wrong: I like you guys and my heina is Mexican. My problem is with the whiter breed. Maybe it’s that they’re lazy but they tend to classify all us brown folk as Mexican when in fact we’ve got a nice assorted pack on display. Salvadorans have our own food (pupusas, not tacos), our own language (decimos “vos,” not “tu”) and we’re obviously shorter. Please tell all the gabachos to think before they classify.

Guanaco Guillermo

Dear Pocho: No argument from me here, other than Salvadoran horchata is superior to Mexican and MS 13 [censored by the Mexican’s publishers lest his head become a soccer ball]

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 

Dear Mexican: There are less than 3% Latinos in the St. Louis area, and less than 4% of St. Louisans are immigrants. This is very, very, low, and it actually makes St. Louis look pretty bad. Why does everyone here feel like they have a say in the illegal immigration discussion?

Gaga for Gibson

Dear Gabacho: It gets worse than what you wrote. Out of the 25 biggest metropolitan areas in the United States, St. Louis is the only one with a Latino population than five percent—and the latest info from the American Community Survey clocks in the Gateway City at a whopping 2.9 percent. I could fit more Mexicans in the cab of my ’79 Ford Ranger than there are in St. Louis. The easy answer is to presume that the city is muy racist, but it’s also home to the largest Bosnian Serb population in the world outside of the Balkans—and most are Muslims. But it’s easier than that: St. Louis is just a bit over four hours away from Chicago, the ciudad with the second-largest Mexican community in the United States after Chicago, a community with roots that go back nearly 125 years. Nothing against the Lou, but why would Mexicans stay in the Jalostotitlán of the Midwest when they can move to the Jerez?

Why is it that people in this country seem to think that randomly sprinkling accent marks over something makes it Spanish, rather than realizing that an accent mark marks an accent? Right after reading your column, my eyes fell on an ad for a restaurant serving “authentic Mexican food,” including “mole.” ¿Qué cosa? Sounds like a cross between comida poblana and a bull fight!

Diacritical Diana

Dear Gabacho: You know what’s the weirdest thing about this phenomenon? How gabachos will put a tilde over “habanero” to incorrectly turn it into “habañero” yet always neglect the tilde in “jalapeño” and turn it into “jalapeno.” And then when they pronounce their mistakes! “Habañero” in an American accent to to the Mexican ear sounds like someone who likes restrooms, while “jalapeno” sounds like someone who likes to pull pitos. But it’s not a surprise that gabachos do such butchering—according to English, only French is worthy of proper diacritics, while the rest of the world’s language can go jala pene.

I’m from Bent, New Mexico (no kidding, and no pun intended), and my dilemma lies in my own idea for a performance piece. To simultaneously transcend all cultural AND sexual borders, I will be in blackface, lip-synching (flawlessly) a rather vocally challenging Sarah Vaughan song, draped in my evening gown consisting of nothing more than the Mexican flag itself. (And plastic, gold high-heels, of course). As political correctness goes, I understand that it’s oka for a black person to perform in blackface, but is it OK for this brown “mexicana hombre” to go so far? And garbed in the Mexican flag? Will I be offending or enlightening?

Pina (insert “tilde”) Culera

Dear Pochx: Do it in the American flag, and Hollywood will give you an overall deal—just ask Carlos Mencia.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 
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.


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