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 TeasersGustavo Arellano Blogview

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Dear Readers: Many of ustedes must be scratching your heads right now. “What happened to ¡Ask a Mexican!” you’re preguntando yourselves. “Who the hell is this cholo nerd where the Mexican logo used to be?”

It is I, gentle cabrones: your eternal Mexican. Gustavo Arellano, child of immigrants from Zacatecas, one whom came to el Norte in 1969 in the trunk of a Chevy driven by a hippie chick from Huntington Beach. And I’m triste to say that this columna is coming to an end. Ustedes probably don’t know this, but my day job during the life of ¡Ask a Mexican! was at OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, where I was born and raised (don’t believe The Real Housewives of Orange County: there’s a chingo of raza here). I started as a staff writer, then became managing editor, then was editor for nearly six years until October 13, when I resigned instead of laying off half my staff, just like the Weekly’s owner wanted me to. No me rajé, and I’ll never regret quitting my dream job because I know I did the right thing.

But with me leaving the Weekly, I also must leave behind ¡Ask a Mexican! See, I don’t own the trademark to the title, and I’m can’t pay muchos pesos for something that the Weekly’s owner (or the ones before him) should’ve given to me as a gift for 13 years of being the hardest-working Mexican this side of Beto Durán.

I thought about continuing under a different name (¡Ask a Pocho! ¡Query a Mexican! ¡Pregunta, Pendejo! But then I realized I don’t have to continue the column anymore. See, I’ve been to el cerro. And I’ve seen the Promised Land of Aztlán.

It sure doesn’t seem like that at a time when millions of our friends and familia are at risk of deportation, when Donald Trump wants to build a border wall (man, where’s Alex Lora when you need him?) and when gabachos keep mistaking Día de los Muertos for Halloween. But we’re now at a place where whip-smart humor is at the touch of a meme. Where our political and economic power continues to soar like voladores totonacos. We live in an era where everyone can be a defender of la raza against gabachos, whether said gabas assault us or try to claim Rick Bayless is great.

In other words, ¡Ask a Mexican! is no longer necessary, because Mexicans have won a war that began when Sir Francis Drake sunk the Spanish Armada. We’re here , y no nos vamos. We’re victims no longer; we’re actually chingonxs. And the sooner Mexicans realize this, the better we’ll be.

I’ll let others debate whether my attempt to fight racism with satire and stats was visionary or just vendido. I’ll still answer questions about Mexicans on The Tom Leykis Show on the last Wednesday of every month at 4 p.m. (tune in to blowmeuptom.com), because doing so keeps my mind Julio Cesar Chavez sharp and not Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. soft.

But in print, no más. Besides, let ¡Ask a Mexican! die, and let its passing join the pantheon of gabacho atrocities against Mexicans, like the U.S. stealing half of Mexico or Rick Bayless.

I wish modern-day journalism allowed me more print space, so my thanks must be brief. Gracias to: friends, Marge, family,my chica; All the papers that carried my columna over the years; Santo Niño de Atocha; Will Swaim; Daniel Hernandez. David Kuhn. So many more.

Nos vemos, gentle cabrones. Follow me on social media to see what I do next, and hook a compa up with bacanora! No se rajen against evil. Diga no a la piratería ¡Viva la Reconquista! Oh, and #fucktrump

Email Gustavoat mexicanwithglasses@gmail.com, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano

 
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Dear Mexican: I’m very bothered by the fact that Tom Flores is not in the Hall of Fame. I could go on and on as to why Mr. Flores should be in the Hall of Fame but I will provide you and your readers with only three incontrovertible facts. First, Tom Flores coached the Raiders for nine seasons and won two Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won 1 Super Bowl. (John Madden is in the Hall of Fame.) Next, Tom Flores is the only person to win a Super Bowl as a quarterback, an assistant coach, and as a head coach. Oh, BTW, he won the Super Bowl twice as a head coach. Lastly, Tom made it from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. He never had any alcohol, drug, or womanizing problems. He is a role model for all people in our country.

My question for you is this: Let’s say that Tom Flores was not your Tío Tomás but rather your Uncle Tom. Do you think that he would have already been voted into the NFL Hall of Fame? I have heard through the grapevine that there is occasionally a bias against Latino excellence. (I’m being sarcastic here.) I realize that the Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line may be a bit controversial, even for you. Feel free to change this as you wish. Here are some ideas. Let’s say that Tom Flores was African-American, Asian, or Caucasian…Let’s say that Tom Flores was not Mr. Flores, but Mr. Flowers… I like the original line better but I am aware of the times in which we live. I’m looking forward to your response.

Raider/Nader/Vader Fan

Dear Pocho: Man, you were funny with your Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line, then became unfunny when you tried to explain it, then became straight CHAVALA when you tried to take it back because you’re afraid of PC pendejos. Fuck them! Your idiocies aside, it’s not racism that keeps Tom Flores out of the Hall of Fame; it’s his lack of bona fides. Sure, he won two Super Bowls in nine seasons—but George Seifert won two in six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s not going in. The only other person besides Flores to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach was Mike Ditka—but he got in as one of the greatest tight ends in history, not for his coaching career. And while Flores is an inspiring story, then that means Brian Piccolo should be in—and he’s not going in.

Don’t get me wrong—it would be awesome to have Flores in the Hall, as he’d be just the third Latino in there after the half-Mexi Tom Fears and full Chicano (with bad rodillas) Anthony Muñoz. But Flores is a lost cause, just like his quarterback, Jim Plunkett, another Mexican who isn’t going into the Hall of Fame despite two Super Bowl victories. Unfair? Tell that to Peyton and Eli Manning.

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: With all these NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, how do the Mexicans feel about this? Do they still resent the United States for robando their territory or appreciate the US and its oportunidades?

Jerry Juero Jones

Dear JJJ: Both, but none of those feelings have anything to do with how we feel about Colin Kaepernick and the movement he inspired. Frankly, Mexicans LOVE those kneel-downs, because we’re all about inconvenient protests that make gabachos angry. Whether it’s undocumented students chaining themselves together while shielding their handcuffs with PVC pipe and laying down in busy intersections, or hundreds of thousands of us taking to the streets in 2006 to demand amnesty, or hundreds of our youth waving around the Mexican flag in the face of good liberals who beg them to wave the Stars and Stripes, Mexicans know the power of pissing off the powers that be. Sure, you’re going to be unpopular in the short run and even turn off potential supporters, but it’s all about the long game. And the juego largo is to bring pride to your side, to let the world know you’re no longer content with being peons or house slaves and to inspire others to be unafraid of your minority status. Besides, Mexicans are a forgiving lot: all our sports stars have to do is win, and all is forgiven. Hell, gabachos are worse—what else explains all the fans that go see the Penn State Nittany Lions football squad? Or the continued popularity of R. Kelly?

Is there such a thing as “reverse racism” anymore? Or have you and other “minorities”gained enough clout, sympathy and numbers in this country to admit that its just called blatant racism now?

Pinche Gringo

Dear Gabacho: Donald Trump is president, and he’s killing Puerto Rico. Oh, and #fucktrump.

 

Why is that Mexicans put every cheap accessory from PEP Boys or Kragen on their trucks? I mean, the cars that they drive started the lowrider thing and those are so cool. BUT the trucks look like a JC Whitney Catalog gone crazy on them. No style, rhyme or reason. Turbo stickers on a truck with a straight-six motor. Fiberglass fender flares of different color with chrome edges added as an afterthought. You know exactly what I am talking about, too. Not that I disapprove, to each their own on customizing…just wondering.

TC in South OC

Dear Gabacho: Don’t forget the bull stickers, or the bull huevos hanging from the rear, or the silhouette sticker of Chalino loading one of his guns, or—for our Central American hermanos—that sticker of a cherubic boy wearing baggy pants, a floppy backwards baseball cap, and waving the flag of a particular country. To each their own on customizing, indeed. But ain’t it funny how when gabachos do haphazard decorations on their vehicles, it’s called Kustom Kulture and gets books and museum retrospectives—but when Mexicans do it, the cops pull them over? Typical gabacho hypocrisy . Besides, Rat Fink don’t got nada on Calvin pissing on “LA MIGRA,” cabrón.

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: I love ethnic foods, and I always ask people of ethnic origins which local restaurants they like to eat at. Whenever I ask a Mexican what Mexican restaurants they like best, the answer is always “I don’t like the way any of them make their food.” I live in Phoenix, which has a Mexican restaurant on every corner that is run by Mexicans. Don’t tell me that they all Americanize their food for us gabachas. What gives?

Fajita-less In Phoenix

Dear Gabacha: Phoenix and the cities around it have a great Mexican food scene, from the alta cocina fare at Barrio Café to the Globe-style buttered burritos at Casa Reynoso in Tempe and un chingo of Sonoran eateries with their fabulous caldo de queso, the greatest soup on Earth. But it’s never good enough for Mexicans. Oh, we’ll go out to eat at Mexican spots, but no one can cook like their mami or primos during a carne asada Sunday, and especially not in el Norte because…well, because, okay? Don’t question Mexicans! Such Mexican arrogance filters down to our soccer squad—and now you know why El Tri won’t ever get to even the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup until Cuauhtémoc himself becomes our forward. And I’m not talking about Blanco…

I moved to the United States 15 years ago from Mexico as a student and now I am a full U.S. citizen with a great job. However, now that I’m married (also a Mexican girl that also came to the US with a student visa) and we have a son born here. I’m aware of the several challenges he will have to face in his life as a Mexican-American. I would like to prepare myself and read all I can so I can help him develop without any traumas and complexes so he can be a happy individual.

Atento en Austin

Dear Attentive in Austin: N’ombre, you realize that EVERY kid born of Mexican parents in the United States comes out immediately fucked up in the caveza? Not only do the Americans consider him a perpetual potential wetback, the Mexican relatives will always ridicule how un-Mexican he is. He also gets marked with the psychological baggage of being from ni de aquí ni de allá (neither from here nor there) and having to live up that legendary quote in Selena by the Tex-Mex martyr’s fictional father: “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time! It’s exhausting!” I mean, pioneering Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gamio was writing about this pathology back in 1930 when he introduced “pocho” to the world in his Mexican Immigration to the United States. So while you are a good papi to want and help him navigate los Estados Unidos as a Mexican-American, know that it’ll be harder to get him to adulthood without any psychological baggage than it is to get Americans to give a shit about all the dead in Mexico’s drug wars caused by their love of heroin.

 

The other day, I was listening to the morning show of a popular Los Angeles rock station, and their caller contest was “worst smells,” or something along those lines. A caller referred to his involvement as a military “adviser” to some unnamed South or Central American nation, and spoke of the horrible smells of the charred remains of Sandinistas, jungle, and napalm, post-U.S. air strike. The giddy DJ’s then reveled in the idea of smoldering Sandinistas as though they were a plate of sizzling hot fajitas. Seeing as the most popular slurs for Latinos involve food, is it safe to assume that most gabachos are really just closet Hannibal the Cannibals?

Gabachas Love to Eat Me

Dear Pocho: Nah, they’re It, shape-shifting according to our fears. Learn from the Losers, and ignore them—they ain’t nothing but payasos, anyway!

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: I’m an Arizonan of the anti-SB1070 ilk who has just adopted an Arizonan five-year old boy who is obviously (visually anyway) of Mexican descent. I want to do right by my son where his heritage is concerned; I have my own ideas about what that means, but I value your opinion. I’m enrolling him in a public elementary school that has a Spanish language program (and hoping that the state legislature doesn’t kill such things), and have a passing knowledge of some of the pertinent literature (among other things I once produced a radio reading of Bless Me, Ultima for the local station for the blind). I expect we are destined for difficulties from intrusive questions to downright racism in the future, so my immediate goal is to continue to grow my relationship with my son such that he has no doubts that his family loves him unconditionally. Beyond that though, I’d be interested in your ideas about what a gringo-raised Mexican child ought to be exposed to in order to have a healthy sense of self and a reasonably sophisticated acculturation.

Expatriate Ohioan

Dear Gabacho: This letter reminds me of Discovering Dominga, a wrenching 2003 documentary that appeared on PBS’s POV series and dealt with a Guatemalan girl named Dominga who was adopted by an Iowa family after she survived the massacre of her village (and family) by the Guatemalan military during the 1980s. Her adopted parents renamed Dominga Denese and raised her to be a Midwestern girl; it worked mostly fine until Denese became an adult and began researching her past, which tore her new life apart even as it healed her inside. Discovering Dominga’s overarching question was whether full-scale assimilation was smart in the long run for everyone involved, and I agree. You’re at least off to a good start: you’re not negating your new hijos ethnicity, and you’re going to stand against the haters. But the best advice I can give you is to let your son grow into his ethnicity. If he wants to identify only with his gabacho parents, that’s okay; if he eventually wants to rename himself Xipe, that’s okay as well. The important thing is to love him for who he is—and remind him to NEVER stay at a Motel 6.

 

At every family gathering, my Mexican family brings out a bottle of tequila to toast something. Indeed, my Mexican mother drank tequila until she was 77 years old. My question is: what is it about tequila that brings families together?

Herradura Blanco for Me, Por Favor

Dear Gabacho: TEQUILA!

 

Why do Mexican men always tuck in their T-shirts? Do they believe this will clean up their dusty, sweaty, overworked appearance?

The Mick

Dear Mick: That, and also that any loose clothing at a blue-collar job is an accident waiting to happen. Any working man knows this; that you don’t is just further proof of the decline of the gabacho male in los Estados, and why we need more Mexicans to Make American Men Great Again.

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: I have a Chicana friend who comes from an upper-middle class family, goes to a prestigious PhD program and has never had to take out student loans or work a real job, but she is constantly complaining about how “oppressed” she is. Examples she gives are seemingly trivial things, such as not being called on in class, a professor being mean to her one time, and not feeling “emotionally safe.” She even said I my questioning her micro-aggression stories was itself a micro-aggression! I don’t know what to make of it—hanging out with her is hard because I have to walk on eggshells constantly. I know Chicanos and Chicanas who come from objectively worse circumstances and have had way harder lives than she has, yet don’t act like the world is against them. Does she have a victim mentality?

Gringo Blanco

Dear Gabacho: We’ve got a name for people like that in Mexican Spanish—fresas. Strawberries, because they bruise easily. Okay, so the Mexican doesn’t know the actual etymology of the snobbish meaning of fresa, but makes sense, ¿qué no? Racism against Mexicans does exist in doctoral programs nationwide, and we shouldn’t assume that raza in rarified worlds don’t feel discrimination’s sting (just ask George P. Bush). But it seems like your pal, to use the old baseball phrase, was born on third base and go through life thinking she hit un triple. Tell her to work a day as a strawberry picker to know what the hard life really is. That said, Mexicans who suffer real shit and don’t complain aren’t somehow better than llorones—we’re Mexicans in a racist society, after all, not Jesus pinche Christ. And even He cried on the cross.

 

I am currently incarcerated, and have a one-year subscription to a newspaper that carries your column. I am Chicano, and I’m a fan of your column. I just want to ask you a couple serious questions and I hope you can personally respond back. I’ve been reading up on Mexican history and I’m a little confused. So my first question is why did the Texas Revolution start in 1836 between Mexicans and Anglos? Secondly, how did the Battle of Texas lead to the Mexican-American War?

Pinto en La Pinta

Dear Homie in Prison: I usually don’t answer two preguntas in one shot, but I’ll make an exception for the homies in Chino. Besides, the answer is muy easy. The Texas Revolution started because Americans hate Mexicans. And the Mexican-American War happened because Americans hate Mexicans. And now you know why Donald Trump rescinded DACA. Oh, and #fucktrump.

 

BUY THESE BOWTIES!: Enough negativity—let’s do an experiment! Now, more than ever, good Mexicans deserve our support. An ¡Ask a Mexican! fan runs La Moustache, a Los Angeles company that does chingón bowties, but is agüitado that more raza aren’t buying his handcrafted, classy creations. So show him what’s up! Visit lamoustachebt.com and place an order or 30. And this ain’t no payola—whenever the Mexican needs to wrap something around his neck for fresa parties, it’s always a cinto piteado tied in a Windsor knot.

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: How can I get my new Mexican girlfriend to calm down about Trump and being deported? We safely live in a sanctuary city. I have no intention of just marrying her unless something horrible happened, but I want to help her out. She is a kind, rational human being that simply has bought into the fear-mongering that Trump is instilling in her. And, while a triple orgasm might make her feel temporary relief, how can I get her to realize that we are not in a place where she is going to get deported unless she blatantly breaks a serious law?

Good Gabacho Who Gives it Good

Dear Gabacho: Wow, you’re a special kind of pendejo. A sanctuary city status doesn’t mean shit to Trump or U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is threatening to cut federal funding to such cities. Sanctuary cities can’t stop la migra from picking up people for no other reason other than they’re undocumented. And the Mexican knows of cases where people were deported for riding their bike on the sidewalk. You aren’t Mexican or undocumented, and you’re obviously some deluded wimp whose gabachos privilege blinds him to his supposed love’s serious concerns. Are you sure you didn’t vote for Trump? I seriously hope your novia breaks up with you and finds a real hombre that doesn’t have his head up his culo. Finally, triple orgasm? The only girl you get off happens whenever download a clip from Pornhub.

 

Over the years, I have worked with, and gone to college with Mexicans who were usually Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Latter Day Saints, and other Christian religions. However, about ten years ago, I was blessed to work with two Jewish Mexicans. What is the history of Jewish Mexican culture?

Goyim but Great

Dear Gabacho: A very long story short: Jews accompanied Hernán Cortés in his conquest of Mexico—indeed, the man who built his ships was the judio Hernando Alonso. He was also burned at the stake in 1528 for practicing Judaism, because Spanish Catholics were the ISIS of this day. Due to such terroristic ways, many Jews either hid their religion or moved to New Mexico, as far away from the Inquisition as possible. Flash-forward 500 years, and Mexico City now has a significant Jewish community, and Mexican Jews have long been accepted in the country’s upper circles, with the coolest one being celebrity chef Pati Jinich. But not all is kosher: as I wrote in one of my first columnas back in 2004, “For instance, when a Mexican thinks someone is a slob, we call the person a cochino marrano—a dirty Jew. And don’t believe your Spanish teacher when she pulls out the Webster’s and reads that marrano means “pig”—Webster’s doesn’t know mierda about Spanish etymology. “Marrano” does mean pig but was also the term used to ridicule Jews who hid their beliefs in order to survive the Spanish Inquisition.” ¡Puro pinche parr!

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: Why do so many Mexican women feel so jealous when other Mexican women achieve success? I have to deal with this all the time. Please explain.

A Successful Mexican Woman

Dear Pocha: Because cishet patriarchy—DUH.

 

How do I get over my consciousness about being seen as a “sell-out” for dating a white guy? I think if I was a receptionist, I’d feel less troubled, but I’m a professional and hate fitting into the stereotype of the successful Latina with the hyphenated last name. Is there anyway that a chola from East LA and a surfer from Malibu would not be seen as an odd couple?

Loca Pero No Naca

Dear Crazy but Not Trashy: You’re not a sell-out for dating gabachos; you’re a vendida for thinking you’re better than others because you’re a “professional.” And a secretary isn’t? Maybe the Malibu crowd think you’re a maid, and may the Eastlos crowd think your surfer is some hipster douchebag.

 

Why have you all kept Astrid Hadad such a secret? I just saw a show about her, and for God’s sakes! A woman who has a huge set of tits made into a skirt? THIS woman really, really needs a bigger audience for her act. Does she ever come to El Norte? Could you ask? Please? She has a wit like a razor for EVERYONE. Pretty cool—if nothing else, get her name out as she is very cool.

Galloping Gorda the Pavement Crusher

Dear Gabacha: Haddad is a chingona, but there’s a bunch of similarly subversive mujeres in Mexican music and performance art, from the days of Lola Beltrán and Gloria Trevi through the late, great Jenni Rivera and Rita Guerrero of Santa Sabina. There’s more to Mexican female art that Frida Kahlo, gentle cabrones.

 

My “Mexican” workmates get very excited to see go see Latin bands. (I say “Mexican” because some have been here so long they don’t speak Spanish well). These people put salsa on the jukebox whenever they get a chance. They clamor for Mexi-music at holiday parties. They seem to wrap themselves in the Mexican flag. I’ve seen their record collections, and there’s a bunch of classic rock and reggae—but, if it has Latin flavor, then they’re all over it. They even start speaking with accents. We’re talking post-grad degrees, third- or fourth-generation. Question: why can’t they motivate to see rock or reggae at free shows around town, but then get so easily excited about Latin bands?

Bruja in HB

Dear Huntington Beach Witch: Because free rock or reggae shows tend to vale madre. But I really don’t get your question. So you’re mad that assimilated Mexican-Americans like Mexican music? Why aren’t you mad at Italian-Americans for worshipping at the altar of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra? Or Southerners for wishing to see bluegrass remain as pure as a mountain spring in the Bluegrass? That’s right: because they’re not Mexican. To paraphrase the old Annie Get Your Gun song “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”: Anything Americans can do, Mexicans can’t because we’re just illegal alien savages to them. And they wonder why we planned the Reconquista…

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: I recently relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and am longing for my Mexicans. As you know, in Los Angeles it is easy to find amazing Chicanas — whenever I wanted to meet beautiful, intelligent Mexican ladies, I would head to Main Street in Alhambra on any Thursday night and be in utter heaven. But I have not been able to get my bearings in Vegas. Do you have any insight into the Mexican social scene here, or can you offer some advice on where I should look? I would also be interested in learning some history about Mexicans in Las Vegas generally, and their current status out here.

Buscando a Mis Chicanas Desiertos

Dear Pocho: My cousin Raymond moved out to Vegas from La Puente about 20 years ago to find the good life, so you’re not looking hard enough. And once the Raiders relocate there, you’ll have your share of Silver and heinas forever more. But the Mexican only goes to Vegas to speak every summer at the Latino Youth Leadership Conference, (which takes young raza and forges them into future leaders), so I’m not the right hombre to answer your pregunta. So I forwarded it to the homie that first invited me, Edgar Flores, has been state assemblymember for Nevada’s 28th District since 2014—BOOM. Take it away, Assembly -chingón!

“More than 30 percent of the Vegas population is Latino/a—I’m guessing you’re spending too much time in Summerlin or Anthem and not enough in North and East Vegas if you don’t see beauties wrapped in bronze skin,” Flores writes. “The Clark County School District is nearly 50 percent Latino…seriously, vato, where you been looking? Whole Foods? Also, LV residents are so tired of the LA takeover so they keep all their spots hidden, but I got the info on their “hideouts.” If you’re looking for a quickie hit up, Blue Martin on Thursdays, Firefly on Fridays, or Señor Frogs on Saturdays—at all three spots, locals get down to spiced-up music. If you’re trying to keep it straight paisa, then weekends at the Broadacres Marketplace is your spot: listen to live banda and norteño music, buy some tools, eat mariscos, or open a small business—it’s all there. Seriously, it’s all there! Intellectual Chicanas are either kicking ass in their professions or at UNLV. UNLV in 2012 was designated a Hispanic Serving Institution—so you’ll see so many mujeres with a book, you’ll think you are at your abuelita’s house on a Sunday morning during her comadre bible readings. Good luck, perdido!”

Gracias, Assembly chingón Flores! And raza: He’s one of the good ones. Let’s help get him to higher office, ¿qué no?

 

Soon-to-Be Immigrant

Why is it that Mexicans pile into the front seat of a truck even when there is a back seat? I have seen this many times and I don’t understand why they can’t open the back door and sit back there. Do they enjoy sitting so close together? Is that why they also stand so close to you in lines at the grocery store?

Backseat I Take Cuz He Echoed “Shotgun”

Dear BITCHES: The familia that smushes into the front seat of a 1979 Ford F150 Supercab together, Reconquistas the United States together.

 

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

 
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Dear Mexican: I’m a 23-year-old Latina attending a Texas university and taking a class that is centered on Latino culture and history. I’m a first-generation Tex-Mex kid, and lately, all of the documentaries and other coursework have been making me feel some type of way—angry, sad and overall confused, for lack of better phrasing. I don’t know how to handle these feelings, and it is making me more introspective about the Latino/Mexican part of my identity—as if I didn’t already have enough issues there. I don’t want to overthink it, and I don’t want to always wonder how people perceive me because of my background. But I don’t know how to feel about what I am learning and if what I am feeling is okay. Did you ever go through something like this type of identity crisis? And any advice on how to feel/handle it?

Down In Denton

DEAR MUJER: Was I ever confused about my ethnic identity? Absolutely—tell your Chicano Studies professor to assign Orange County: A Personal History to ustedes, and you’ll get the carne asada of the matter. But your situation deserves a more insightful perspective than mine, so I turn the columna over to one of my bosses: Alexandro José Gradilla, chairman of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Cal State Fullerton, where I [used to be] an adjunct-at-large.

“Dear Iztaccíhuat: You are experiencing ‘Chicano Studies Rage 101,’” Gradilla writes. “Here is a synopsis of why you are feeling the way you do. After more than a decade in a K-12 school system that never really broached or addressed issues of institutional racism, most students of color coming out of high school would probably answer ‘no’ if asked whether they ever experienced racism. Here is the double problem: Most students have not learned anything about ‘their’ group. More important, they have not been taught about institutional racism. So when taking a college-level history or sociology course or, as you experienced, an ethnic-studies class in which systemic or structural racism analyses is par for the course, they get what happened to you. A sudden flood of cold, hard facts connected with theories of racism—then BAM! You are forever aware of the nature of social inequality in the United States.

“You ‘see’ how unfair and obscene racism is. Racism—and not individual prejudice or bigotry, but an embedded system of exclusion and denigration—is a profoundly ridiculous and irrational system. Whether you are learning about the Mendez, et al. v. Westminster case or the Felix Longoria affair and all within the short confines of a quarter or semester—even the most complacent coconuts are overwhelmed and bothered! The rage is famously captured by the quintessential Chicano movement poem ‘I am/Yo soy Joaquin’ written by Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales.

“So, my little brown Aztec volcano, your pending explosion within the classroom is nothing new. Just remember: Use your new knowledge to heal, not to hate.”

Awesome job, profe jefe! I’ll add just one thing: While it’s okay to feel angry, never let the other side get the better of your anger, as I’ll show with the next question. . . .

 

DEAR MEXICAN: Does your cesspool homeland of Mexico allow illegals to break the law and sneak in? Hell, no—but I guess it’s okay for the USA to allow it for you and your deadbeat wetback cousins. Go fuck yourself—and I am sure this is not the first time you’ve heard that from a fed-up USA taxpayer who is sick of you parasite moochers from down south. Clean up your land if you want a good life. Don’t ride our coattails, you damn losers.

Klein In Van Nuys

DEAR GABACHO: Parasitic moochers riding coattails? Olla, meet hervidor. Or, in English: can’t wait for your beautiful brown grandchildren to take Chicano Studies 101!

 

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

 
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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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