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 Gustavo Arellano Blog View

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 Can’t Use Accents: Have you ever talked to Colombians? At some point, they inevitably say that their Spanish is the best in the world, that someone from the Real Academia Española said that was so, and therefore, it’s true. And while I like Colombians (they’re as happy and drunk and angry as us Mexicans, and they gave the world cumbia), that’s an urban legend as preposterous as the one that maintains the husband of a jealous lover murdered Javier Solís. It’s true that rest of Latin American trashes Mexican Spanish for supposedly being lower-class than other Spanish varieties, but EVERYONE trashes everyone’s Spanish. Argentine Spanish get mocked for being wannabe Italian; Cuban and Puerto Rican Spanish gets grilled for being lightning-fast gable. Peruvian Spanish is supposedly too soft-spoken; Central American Spanish is considered backwater for their continued use of voseo (the second person singular pronoun vos).

Even Mexicans make fun of each other’s Spanish. Guadalajara natives are notorious for saying “O, sea” (the fresa version of “I mean, like”); rural folks are ridiculed as sing-song chúntaros. Mexico City is so large that two Spanishes are ascribed to it: the matter-of-fact tone of capitalinos (the rich) and the hilariously vulgar babadas of the chilangos (the poor). And all Latin Americans trash indigenous folks for not even knowing Spanish, period. So learn Mexican Spanish—that’s the one that the majority of Latinos in the U.S. speak, anyway. And my vote for the best Español? Chilean Spanish, cachai?

 

A dear friend of ours has married a Mexican man, who is now our dear friend. They have invited us to his sister’s wedding in Mexico. By North American standards, we barely know her. We would love to go, but we want to be sure that it is appropriate. What is expected of an acquaintance in this circumstance?

Vivacious for Vallarta

Dear Gabacho: You do realize Mexico is part of North America, right? Let’s start with knowing basic geographical facts about the host country before visiting it. It’s pendeja gabachas like you that make hotel workers continue to shove toothbrushes up their culos, then take pictures of that ass affront with the smartphone you left in your room while you’re getting drunk at the pool bar from your fifth Adios Mother Fucker.

 

I was wondering what the origin is of so many Mexican food restaurants having the word “Agave” in it?

#3 Combo, Extra Sour Cream

Dear Gabacho: “So many”? Betcha more Mexican restaurants get named for the owner’s hometown/home state, tacos, or use a –berto’s suffix than there are restaurants using “Agave.” But the word offers a fascinating insight into the history of Mexican-food restaurant aesthetics. They started getting named after the mother plant of tequila back in the 1980s, during the Southwestern cuisine craze. Back then, chefs overloaded on Southwestern signifiers—agave paintings and silhouettes of howling coyotes and Kokopelli, mostly—to advertise their “authenticity,” much like modern-day taquerías bump Vicente Fernández on the jukebox or mariscos spots employ waitress who follow the gospel of #chichischrist and #nalgamedios.

 

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 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 the like) a disrespectful appropriation? Or is it just a fun game like checkers that happens to include some interesting artwork?

Not Columbusing, Just Asking

Dear Gabacha: While gabachos have appropriated Mexican everything ever since they took our cuitlaxochitl flowers and renamed them poinsettias after some pendejo ambassador or other, I’m a bit more lax with Lotería. While this bingo-esque board game goes back to the 1700s, its most iconic pictograms—like the bare-chested mermaid “La Sirena” or the derelict borracho called, fittingly enough, “El Borracho”—aren’t cultural patrimony so much as the intellectual property of Don Clemente, Inc., a for-profit company. And while it’s easy to get mad at gabachos doing its own take on Lotería cards, it’s akin to doing the same with Monopoly figurines. We’re talking about a private, capitalist enterprise here, not la pinche Virgin of Guadalupe. Besides, Mexicans appropriate ourselves all the time—and if you don’t believe it, ask the tehuanas in Oaxaca how they feel when fresas from Guadalajara steal their steez.

 

If U.S.A. and Mexico go to war, whose side will the Mexican people in the U.S.A. stand on?

Alt-Asshole

Dear Gabacho: Ah, the ultimate Chicano parlor game, one brought closer to reality by our incoming president! It’s all about context. Mexicans here have fought the narcos south of the border for the past couple of years with arms shipments and even brigades, so you’d expect the same if Enrique Peña Nieto announced he’d use his cartel amigos to try and invade el Norte. If Trump decided to move on Mexico for not trying to build a wall, you’d see a lot of hilarious memes but no uprising, as much as yaktivists would want you to believe. But if Trump starts mass roundups, let’s just say raza won’t take it quietly. I’d say more, but then the FBI would show up at my doorstep and disappear me to some black site or other for further questioning with Señor Waterboard.

 

I love ¿Qué Pasa, USA? Lots of Spanish, English, and Spanglish. Do you know of any other TV shows like it?

Netflix and Chillar

Dear Pocho: Nope. And this is how pathetic Hollywood is: 40 years ago, television was confident enough in a bilingual show about the Latino immigrant experience that it made a sitcom about a Cuban family that aired nationwide on PBS. Today? They do entire films about Los Angeles, like La La Land, and show a total of one Latino character in the film. Chris Rock put it best: “You’re in L.A, you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans.” I’d end on a funnier note, but trying to follow Chris Rock is like eating drinking Cazadores, then following up with Sauza—and I’m not even as good as Sauza.

 

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: 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 the country years ago. A Mexican read the free textbooks provided by the Secretaria de Educación Pública during his school years and studied Mexican history. A Mexican is a person that sang the Mexican national anthem every Monday morning while watching six kids carry the flag around. Mexicans know the difference between the more than 150 chiles that exist in our country. Mexicans grew up eating candies with different chiles. Mexicans watch Televisa and Televisión Azteca, not Telemundo or Univisión. Mexicans speak fluent Spanish, not Spanglish. Mexicans came to this country to work hard and have a decent life, not to destroy this place like you and your people believe. Mexicans believe that family and religion are the most important values. Mexicans are not planning to take over California—we are too lazy to even think about it, and we do not believe in wars. I can go on and on describing the differences between you and me, but let’s just leave it like that. How can you even describe our culture, values or behavior if you don’t have a clue about it? Eating burritos at Taco Bell, going to Mexican parties in SanTana or having Grandma cooking some Mexican dishes doesn’t make you a Mexican.

Más Pendejo

Dear Wab: Let’s run down your list: check (most of my parents’ rancho had relocated to Anaheim by the time I was born), check, check (my dad’s cousin was a history teacher in Mexico), check, check, check, check (where do you think Univisión gets most of its programming? Lifetime?), por supuesto, check, and too late. Add to this my mestizo heritage, the facts that mi papi was an illegal immigrant and I didn’t speak fluent English until I was 6 or 7, and that I grew a mustache in the time it took you to read this sentence, and I’m more Mexican than Pedro Infante. Besides, who made you arbiter of mexicanidad, Real Mexican? National character is never static, and anyone who claims otherwise is as deluded as a Trumpbro.

 

Why do we always think Mexican men drink tequila and sing mariachi tunes, while the women are pretty señoritas?

Viva Mexico

Dear Gabacho: Mexicans frequently blame ustedes for perpetuating various stereotypes about nosotros over the centuries, but a big part of the blame also falls on us. During World War II, a time when Mexico’s film industry experienced a renaissance that scholars refer to as La Época de Oro (The Golden Age), Mexican movie studios produced great social tales, comedies and horror films, but the ones that received the most acclaim were the comedias rancheras. They starred matinee idols such as Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, who meted out frontier justice and wooed the chicas guapas from underneath sombreros—always while guzzling tequila and riding on horseback. The image came from the state of Jalisco, birthplace of mariachi and tequila. “Needing a people who could personify hispanismo,” wrote Joanne Hirschfield…[Mexican note: The answer continues, but thanks to shrinking newspaper sizes in the decade that I’ve wrote this, I can’t fit the whole respuesta in anymore. Support your local alt-weekly, gentle cabrones].

 

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 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, I tend to think Mexican-looking people have more of that native flavor or color. And your last name is actually Basque. So this makes sense…Have a good day, my European/Mexican dude.

Macho Man in New Mexico

Dear Surumato: The town of Arellano, Spain might be in the autonomous Basque Country region of Navarre, but “Arellano” comes from Latin and denotes “farm of Aurelius.” And while one part of my Mexican ancestry came from Europe (a mixture of Portuguese, French, and Sephardic Jews, since “Arellano” is listed in the Inquisition rolls), the other part is Chichimeca ready to chingarte for your chisme.

 

My grandmother died like all people of this world, but there was something fascinating that I was able to discovery after her time. She was born in Mexico, possibly: Vera Cruz. From what I understand, and that may be very little when it comes to American history, it always seems to be a bit cloudy and this cloudy tradition has been passed down from generation to generation of black Americans. During my lifetime, many questions of our past or ancestral history, have been unclear, unlike the Mexican or Asian culture of this great country. I’m American through and through, California-raised so I can easily identify with the Latin culture; I also speak Spanish, which was a prerequisite for survival back in the 70’s. What light can you shed on the mystery of Vera Cruz and its relation to Americans or blacks, period?

Constancia—Not Your Tia Concha

Dear Negrita: The way you spelled Vera Cruz, methinks your abuelita was actually born in the towns by the same names in Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, all named after the Gulf Coast city in Mexico. But let’s say she was actually born in Mexico—in that case, you’re connected to one of the proudest black traditions in the Western Hemisphere. Veracruz the state is one of two regions in Mexico with a significant population of Afro-Mexicans (the Costa Chica region spanning the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca is the other). Near Veracruz the city was the first freeman town in the America: San Lorenzo de los Negros, created after a colony of ex-slaves led by Gaspar Yanga successfully fended off conquistadors (a statue of Yanga still stands in Veracruz proper). The famous singer Toña La Negra came from Veracruz, as did the rhythms of son jarocho. Even if your grandmother was born in the U.S., it’s better to say that she’s from Mexico: after all, would you want your heritage to go back to some Podunk Rust belt town?

 

GRACIAS, READERS! For another great year of letters, tweets, handshakes, and the like. I wish I could tell ustedes I have a new project to shameless self-promote—but I don’t. Just the same DESMADRE we’ve had in this columna for 12 years, all thanks to ustedes. The Mexican is going back to the rancho to spend Navidad, so I’ll be running a Best Of edición next week. Happy holidays—oh, and #fucktrump.

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 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 titles. Here we go!

Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands, Melissa Mora Hidalgo: I wrote the forward to this academic-yet-street take on the eternal question: why do Mexicans like Morrissey so much? But rather than offer tired ivory tower takes, Profe Melissa interviews fans, goes to Manchester, and talks about her own worship of Steven Patrick. Fun, instructive, SAVAGE.

Food, Health, and Culture in Latino Los Angeles, Sarah Portnoy. Another academic who isn’t afraid of leaving their laptop to do actual research, the University of Southern California professor does everything from talk to celebrity chefs to eaters, farmers to tianguis folks to give insight into the breathtaking scene that is Latino LA food.

Give Me Life: Iconography and Identity in East LA Murals, Holly Barnet-Sanchez and Tim Drescher . The University of New Mexico Press consistently puts out chingón titles about the Mexican experience in the American Southwest, but this late release was 2016’s best: a hefty coffee table book documenting the beauty (see the pictures) and tragedy (many of the highlighted murals no longer exist) of public art in East Los Angeles.

The Mexican Flyboy, Alfredo Vea. I usually don’t care for fiction, but couldn’t put down this fantastical University of Oklahama Press release: think Garcia Márquez meets Octavia Butler meets Oscar Zeta Acosta.

Uprooting Community: Japanese Mexicans, World War II and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, Selfa A. Chew. I always love books that offer a chinga tu madre to gabacho perceptions of what a “Mexican” is, and this smart University of Arizona Press study does just that, examining the rich culture that emerged between Japanese and Mexicans in Southern California. True story: the man behind canned menudo was a Japanese-Mexican from Wilmington, California! Wilmas, presente!

The Tacos of Texas: The homie Mando Rayo and his writing partner Jarod Neece devote over 400 pages and 300 photos to Texan taco culture, and I’m giving it the highest compliment one can give food writing: after reading just two pages, I was pinche hungry.

Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933, Rodolfo F. Acuña. For my oldie-but-goodie pick, try this 2007 masterpiece by the godfather of Chicano studies. If you want to know why Mexicans ended up where they did in los Estados Unidos, Profe Acuña goes from the era of the conquistadors up to the times of The Grapes of Wrath to unspool a sobering, yet inspiring tale.

California Mission Landscapes: Race, Memory, and the Politics of Heritage, Elizabeth Kryder-Reid. Out here in California, we’re taught in elementary school that missions set up by Catholic missionaries during the Spanish era were necessary to save the Indians; in college, we’re rightfully taught they were basically concentration camps. This University of Minnesota Press libro is of the latter school, but takes on the fascinating prism of gardens to tell its enrapturing narrative.

Barrio Writers, Sarah Rafel Garcia, editor. This annual anthology of pieces by high schoolers enrolled in a nonprofit writing workshop that spans from SanTana to Nacogdoches, Texas is never a dull read, as authors contribute everything from poetry to first-person testimonials to essays on subjects ranging being undocumented to la vida loca to nerd shit. Buy for the palabras, contribute to el movimiento.

 

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: 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 pop-up Mexican restaurant in Yucatán, charging an extraordinary $600 a head. So much to unpack here, ¿qué no? Redzepi is the latest gabachos to fall in love with Mexican food—and the latest to gentrify and exotify it. He’s the latest gaba chef to get media attention for his love of Mexican food, while Mexican chefs get ignored—when the fuck is the culinary press going to go on late-night pho runs with Carlos Salgado of OrangeCounty’s Taco Maria, which is only the most important Mexican-American restaurant in the United States? The gringo is even bringing his entire staff from Europe to man the restaurant. Local talent? According to the New York Times, the Mexi Noma will employ “four local cooks to produce fresh tortillas”—an attempt at “authenticity” that goes back to the earliest days of Mexican food in the United States, and is as trite an ethnic marker as a shamrock tattoo on an Irish girl’s nalga.

That’s the Zapata in me. The Benito Juarez in me, however, takes the longer view: another gabacho Reconquista’d by our cuisine. Redzepi has been promising to anyone who’ll listen that he wanted to open a restaurant in Mexico, so entranced he is by nuestra cultura. And to his credit, Redzepi’s partner in the Mexican safari is Rocio Sanchez, Noma’s longtime pastry chef who runs a bonafide taquería in Copenhagen and is the child of Mexican immigrants. Sanchez was raised in Chicago’s Little Village barrio, which gives her more cred than that pendejo Rick Bayless by a Mayan minute. So let Redzepi and Sanchez do their cosa! If you really want to yell at someone for Noma Mexico’s appropriation, yell at foodies and food writers, who’ll always focus more on gabachos doing Mexican food than Mexicans doing Mexican food—and guess what your letter did?

 

As a güero crossdresser, I’m jealous that the Mexican cha-chas are so hot. Are they hot for the same reasons Mexican women are hot? Most güeros look like middle-aged stockbrokers in dresses, probably because we are, but that’s neither here nor there…I’m talking about the mamacitas! In Mexican culture are you either macho or the girlie-girl you’ve always wanted to be, with no in-between?

La Dama Loca

Dear Crazy Dame: Transgendered, crossdressing, genderqueer, and genderfucking Mexicans have historically looked better than their gabachos counterparts because we have better cisgen stereotypes to play with. Men who want to look like mujeres (whether transitioning or not) draw upon the spicy señorita archetype; many Chicanas that I know who are fluid with their gender identity inevitably go the Pendleton or rockabilly look (all credit goes to Morrissey for the latter one). And you’re right: Mexican society, despite its historical machismo, has also had a surprisingly tolerant streak for trans folks or flamboyantly LGBT mariposas. But that was the catch: you couldn’t act “normal,” or risk getting brutalized (and even that Faustian bargain wasn’t much protection against homo- and transphobia). I won’t make the insult toward gabachos crossdressers you did, but I need to end with a joke here, so try this one: Rick Bayless.

 

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: 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 lazy ignorant, person? I mean, no kidding: they represent Mexican culture in the U.S.A, and, well, it doesn´t give us real Mexicans a good image, especially the working ones. I mean, I´m not poor, but I was born poor, and my biggest example is my dad, who busted his butt off, working for us to get where we are. So, why do pochos put us as lowrider drivers that do drive-bys and lazy guys that are ignorant and know nothing? I mean, I got pushed back to eighth grade again when I studied in the U.S., for a year, just because I came from Mexico. Their excuse was that our school system was different, so they did that. Anyways, I just hope you can answer why pochos do that.

Mexico City Misfit

Dear Naco: Man, Mexicans have been fretting about the supposedly bad image Mexican-Americans give them ever since Octavio Paz was railing against pachucos in The Labyrinth of Solitude. In “The Pachuco and Other Extremes,” he ripped apart Mexican-American youth as emblematic of a “sheer negative impulse, a tangle of contradictions, an enigma” and accused them of “grotesque dandyism and anarchic behavior”—and if that doesn’t describe all the wannabe buchones who blast El Komander from their Escalade while driving to Culiacán, I don’t know what does. Too regional a reference? How about all the Mexican soccer fans who continue to chant “Ehhhhhh…PU-TO” during matches despite FIFA fines and pleas from El Tri? You think Emiliano Zapata would approve of that mierda? The years have taught me that the more “real” a Mexican says they are, the more pendejo they actually are—and, I mean, you just proved that.

 

I’m a dark Mexican with curly hair who spent my whole life defending my full-blooded Mexican-ness to people who insisted I was half-black. I married a black guy because (aside from the fact that I fell in love with him), as I explained to my grandma, no Mexican guy ever gave me the time of day while black guys did. So we have one child who is, as George Lopez says, “Chicano-Plus.” Why is my family so fascinated with him? “Look at his curly hair!” I have curly hair! “Look at his beautiful skin?” We’re the same color! He looks just like me and not a bit like his black daddy. Same goes for another of my family members who also married a black guy! What gives with mixed babies and Mexicans? And why didn’t I get this kind of love growing up?

Hating on My Mixed Baby

Dear Pocha: Chill out—everyone’s freaking out about your baby because he’s obviously cute, and mixed babies are the most chulos. You didn’t get that love, en el other hand, because your family was in denial about ustedes’ Afro-Mexican roots (dark skin? Curly hair? There’s an African in that family árbol…or at least a Moor). How to explain the contradiction? Easy: By marrying a black man, you’ve helped to pushed racial ambiguity and anxiety back into the chamber pot of pendejismo where it belongs, right next to Donald Trump and Mexican soccer fans who chant “Eh….PUTO!”

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: 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 low-lifes? And because their fathers are nowhere in sight? The management here and the cops can hardly keep up with them, probably because they’re Mexicans, too.

Frustrated

Dear Gabacho: You didn’t give me specifics, so I’m not sure if the young Mexicans in questions are merely playing in the hallway in violation of apartment rules or making you pay a protection “tax.” I’m thinking the former, because Mexicans are taught to revere viejitos as if they were their own abuelitas, so rarely disrespect the elderly. Since you’re claiming Mexican cops and apartment managers are conspiring to protect the kids from punishment, I’m going to mark you down as a nasty old bigot, the kind who remembers when Mexicans were referred to as “wetbacks” and everyone laughed at Sy the Little Mexican. In the case you actually are a kind old soul, and a bunch of asshole kids are truly harassing you, call up an old Mexican grandma: her chancla will have them scrambling faster than a gabacho running to the restroom after eating habanero salsa.

Why do the women on Mexican television wear so much eye makeup?

Mascara Maven

Dear Gabacho: Same reason American women on television do—patriarchy.

 

I was in a Mexican restaurant and saw a map of Mexico on the wall with all the states shown. I’d previously assumed that Chiapas and Yucatán were cultural regions, like Appalachia or the Pacific Northwest, not states in a republic. I never really liked or learned geography. Thank Glob for Google Maps, right? In public school, maps always showed North America as Canada and its territories, the U.S. and all its states, but Mexico as a unitary region. Wikipedia says that Mexico’s official name is United Mexican States (in English). Cartographers might say that Mexican state names won’t fit in available space, but they still draw Rhode Island on the map of the U.S. Showing Canadian Territories makes Canada seem “like us,” while showing Mexico as a single region makes Mexico seem undeveloped, under-governed, and homogenous.

Other countries also have states or provinces that aren’t shown, like Brazil and China. Mexican states probably vary more than Canadian provinces do. Is the snow in Manitoba different than the snow in Ontario? Why do you think that most maps made in the U.S. show U.S. states and Canadian territories, but not Mexican states?

‘F’ in Geography

Dear Gabacho: Because the U.S. and Canada are English-speaking neighbors, while Mexico ain’t. Meanwhile, Mexican maps don’t offer the same courtesy to its Central American neighbors in showing each country’s departments (their version of states)—further proof to chapines, catrachos, ticos and guanacos alike that Mexicans are brown Hitlers. No joke here; they really do!

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: 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: not a colored person.)

Swimming Upstream

Dear Gabacho: The 20 Mexicans—because everyone else will do everything possible to let the world know they’re not Mexican once the deportation train comes along.

OPEN LETTER TO MEXICANS AFRAID OF PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: Gentle cabrones: fear not. Our raza has gone up against Cortés, Maximillian, Winfield Scott, Porfirio Diaz, the PRI, the narcos, Enrique Peña Nieto, Harrison Gray Otis and Harry Chandler (the founder of the Los Angeles Times and his son-in-law, who owned hundreds of thousands of acres in Mexico and published all sorts of calumny against Pancho Villa, Francisco Madero, and Emiliano Zapata), Maná, the PAN, Joe Arpaio, Pete Wilson, the Salinas de Gortarís, Tlatelolco, the Pastry War, Santa Anna, Victoriano Huerta, Henry Lane Wilson, Álvaro Obregon, Plutarco Elías Calles, NAFTA, Maseca, Rick Bayless, the 1994 devaluation of the peso, the 1986 Mexico City earthquake, Arjen Robben, 7-0 versus Chile in the Copa Ámerica, Landon Donovan, Dos a Cero, Barbara Coe, Hollywood, the Texians, Taco Bell, the pinche rinches, border walls, la migra, the Zimmerman affair, femicide in Juarez, genocide against our indigenous ancestors, the pillaging of our natural resources by the Spanish, gachupines, gringos, Yanquis, Carlos Slim, Jorge Hank Rhon, the Creel-Terrazas family, José Jiménez, the Frito Bandito, “We don’t need no steenkin’ badges,” “Go back to Mexico!,” “beaner,” “wetback,” “illegal alien savage,” “invader,” los científicos, ICE, the health inspector, soyrizo, ¡Ask a Mexican!, Linda Chavez, Ruben Navarette, KFI-AM 640, FOX News, Lou Dobbs, cholos, Ask a Chola, the Mexican Mafia, vendidos, Tío Tacos, SB 1070, Proposition 187, the Sensebrenner bill, the fall of Tenochtitlán, that TIME Magazine cover about “Saving Mexico,” Ben Affleck playing a Chicano in Argo, Matt Damon playing a half-Mexican in The Good Shepherd, Operation Wetback, the Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, Jan Brewer, the Zoot Suit Riots, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Gadsden Purchase, James K. Polk, John C. Frémont, school segregation, housing covenant, lynch mobs, Pikers, Ann Coulter, The Children of Sanchez, Robbery Under Law, the gentrification of mezcal, the Columbusing of elote, Katt Williams, Adam Carolla, the Republicans, the Democrats, capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, “Come a Little Bit Closer,” John Wayne, the Dirty Sanchez, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, Paul Rodriguez, the Hispanic 100, tortillas and tamales in a can, Drinko por Cinco, Televisa, Univisón, Jacobo Zabludovsky, #tacotrucksoneverycorner and that one girlfriend who broke up with you because her parents thought you were a gang member even though you were a graduate student at UCLA at the time and was working a full-time job while their itinerant daughter was mooching off Mommy and Daddy, and many, many more pendejos—and have not only survived, but thrived. Are we a bunch of whiny Trumpbros, or are we Mexicans? Pónganse las pilas, y a trabajar, banda. Oh, and #fucktrump

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump 

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 and later realizes what he has done and cries. I had to leave him for my protection, but the feelings between us remain, and I don’t know what to do with the situation. Can you provide any comments or help?

Abusada

Dear Abused: Get out of that relationship—now. But before you leave, coat that pendejo’s toilet paper with habanero powder, so he gets the burn in the culo he deserves.

How do Mexicans feel about environmental issues? Specifically, a population explosion that will cause eventual food shortages? I am told that procreation is a very macho thing for the Mexican male. You have even mentioned in the past that men do not perform oral sex on women because it’s not important when having children. How does that way of thinking weigh in with regard to the future of the planet?

El Blanco Pedro

Dear Pedro Gabacho:Malthus called—he wants his crackpot theory back. Besides, the gabacho love of suburbia proved far more toxic to the environment than any 12-child Mexican mom ever did, so vete a la chingada con your faux environmental concern.

OPEN LETTER TO OUR NEW PRESIDENT: Gentle cabrones: as I write this, the Mexican still doesn’t have a feel for whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (or neither?) will be the next president of the United States (The Mexican has to file his columna a week before actual publication—viva dead-tree journalism). In the interest of not looking more pendejo than usual, I will write three open letters to ensure I get the results right. Enjoy!

TO PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON: Congrats on beating that pendejo Trump—you’re now the greatest female savior of Mexicans since the original Santa Sabina, the legendary curandera for which the goth-Mex band was named. But that’s not enough. Do not inherit the title of Deporter-in-Chief from Obama. Realize that the only reason you won is because raza overwhelmingly voted for you—and we want results besides appointments of token vendidos (although do give a cool gig to Congressman Xavier Becerra, a truly down Chicano). Don’t pay attention to all the Know Nothings who insist on enforcement before amnesty. There’s millions of Mexicans who have lived their entire lives in limbo, and it’s your job to save them. And if you do that? We’ll create a new altar to you at Tepeyac.

TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Congrats on beating that pendeja Killary—you’re now the greatest unifier of Mexicans since Porfirio Diaz. Don’t even try to deport 12 million people, or build that nasty, small-handed wall. Back in the day, raza mostly stood meekly as everyone from Presidents Hoover to Roosevelt to Eisenhower to Obama enacted mass deportations—but those were honorable men. You’re not. We will protest, we will resist, we will struggle, we will take over elected offices the way Irish took over Boston. You hear me, President Pendejo? We ain’t no sleeping giant—we woke, and we’re ready to make your one-term more pitiful than Enrique Peña Nieto. Oh, and #fucktrump.

TO NO RESULTS YET: No mames, America.

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.


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?