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Dear Mexican: In Jared Diamond’s DVD for Guns, Germs, and Steel he mentions the classical Spanish form of horsemanship, jimeta. I have not been able to find this word used anywhere else. Can you help?

Bronco Babobos

Dear Gabacho: While Diamond’s book of the same name is a classic, he got his word wrong—it’s jineta, per the Real Academia Española. The word is descended from jinete (horseman, and “El Jinete” is a GREAT José Alfredo Jiménez song), which is derived from the Zenata, the Berber confederation that served as cavalry of the Moors and were respected by the Spanish for their talent—conquistador game respects conquistador game, you know?

 

¡ASK A MEXICAN! INFLUENCES POLITICS!: Last week, a scandal broke out in the Los Angeles City Council District 1 race between incumbent Gil Cedillo and challenger Joseph Bray-Ali. After the Bray-Ali campaign attacked Cedillo for not denouncing some pendejo spewing racist remarks during a debate, One Bill Gil’s people told the Los Angeles Times about a years-old video of Bray-Ali asking your humble Mexican a YouTube question about why Mexicans like to use their car horns as doorbells (short answer: because we’re LOUD. And also because most barrios rarely have any open parking spaces). Bray-Ali subsequently apologized for the nine-year-old question, even as he declared himself a “fanboy” of this column.

Wow, where to begin…how about fuck everyone involved? Fuck the Times for not doing their research and realizing that Bray-Ali’s question was directed at me—that dramatically changes the dynamics of the story. Fuck Cedillo’s team for responding to a racial taunt by one of his supporters by sending reporters the question to turn the tables on Bray-Ali (Cedillo, for his part, denounced the nastiness, although one of his fans is now leaving anti-Indian comments on my clip). Fuck Cedillo’s supporters for not allowing Bray-Ali to ask a legitimate question about Mexicans to a column set up for that. Fuck any Cedillo supporters who think the very act of engaging with ¡Ask a Mexican! is racist—Gil sure didn’t think so when he was a member of the Latino Legislative Caucus in 2008 when they awarded me with a Latino Spirit Award for what they said was my “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.”

Fuck Bray-Ali’s supporters for trying to drag in former state senator Martha Escutia into the “Go back to India!” debacle. Fuck Bray-Ali’s brother for sending me a Facebook message that got sent to that filtered folder bullshit—my email’s pretty easy to find, bruh. Fuck Bray-Ali for apologizing and taking back his question—implies what you did was wrong, which it wasn’t. With fans like you, who needs enemies?

Man, where’s a tamborazo version of “Hit ‘Em Up,” when I need it?

Everyone involved: don’t use my column for your pathetic needs. Take a deep breath, and concentrate on issues that matter in District 1, like housing affordability and the fact that gentrified Highland Park is overrated.

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: You are a racist, my friend. How can you bring up Japanese and Chinese mistreatment and not Irish or Jewish mistreatment? It’s because it doesn’t fit into your narrative of whitey being the vilest creature on earth. Worrying about language, culture, and assimilation doesn’t make you a racist (even though Mexican isn’t a race, but I digress). People want to protect the melting pot of American culture. People want people to come here legally and assimilate. Not forget or ignore the ancestors’ culture but to embrace American culture. Your race baiting demagoguery is intellectually dishonest and a threat to the American way of life for all colors and ethnicities.

Jeff Sessions is My Boo

Dear Gabacho: Ah, the wonders of the Internet. You no doubt found my columna from some random Google search or Google News or Stormfront or some other fake news outlet, read a couple of back issues, then surmised I hate gabachos for being white. No seas pendejo. Again and again, I’ve brought up gabacho racism against European immigrants—whether Benjamin Franklin railing against Germans, the British deeming Jews trying to enter Israel when it was still Mandatory Palestine “illegals,” or the entirety of the Dillingham Commission report. I do love gabacho racism against “white” immigrants, because it’s proof that when idiots like you say they only want “legal” immigrants and don’t mind people holding on to the traditions of the motherland, it’s as much a false flag as saying Rick Bayless is a great Mexican chef. Hate white people? The Mexican LOVES white people! Without them, tequila would’ve never become a worldwide product, and the Mexican soccer team wouldn’t have any other team to get humiliated by. It’s gabachos who ruin the United States—and if you can’t tell the difference between whites and gabachos, then you don’t know your Chris Rock.

 

I’ve noticed you haven’t addressed too many issues dealing with Mexican gangs in your column. Tell me what’s up with the Norteños and Sureños and why they hate each other so much. Aren’t all you Mexicans after the Reconquista in the first place… how did this split happen, and how does a guy like me stay out of the way in la Mission in Frisco?

Mulatto Man (Who Happens to Look Mexican)

Dear Negrito: Imagine all the power Mexicans would have if we were one unified force? Trump wouldn’t be president, for one. And we wouldn’t have all these ridiculous gang beefs that leave too many of our young dead, hooked on drugs, or condemned to la vida loca. I’m not going to get into the history of the Norteños and Sureños, because I’m sure you can find some documentary about their history on a NatGeo special, and I don’t want one side to think I favor the other side. Besides, the only gang I claim is the Gashouse Gang—look ‘em up, eses.

 

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: Okay, sour cream! Growing up in a Mexican family, my mom never ever used sour cream on the food she cooked. Now when she comes to visit me, I take her to Mexican restaurants here in the Dallas area. Almost every time she orders an entrée, she always ask me why they put sour cream as a side item. Is it me, or is it a gabacho thing with the “got to have sour cream thing on my Tex-Mex food.” Am I too old-fashion, too old-school?

I’ll Love Tony Romo Forever

Dear Pocha: Your mom might not use sour cream, but si es old-school, I guarantee you that she use crema fresca, or crema salada, or even jocoque if she’s from from Jalisco. Those are the Mexican versions of sour cream—in other words, a dairy product that enlivens dishes with a tart milkiness. When Mexicans came to the United States in the early 1900s and started making Mexican food, the substitute for crema was sour cream because there was none in los Estados Unidos at the time due to a lack of concentration of Mexicans. It’s the same reason why Tex-Mex food uses cheddar cheese and that pointless cabbage salad on the side of a combo plate—you make due with what you tienes. I don’t have a problem with it, but real Mexicans like you do because ustedes can’t comprehend that mestizaje is a two-way calle that makes our culture thrive. Man, y’all must also be mad at Mexicans in the U.S. for learning English instead of staying monolingual in Spanish—good luck with that!

 

I’m a gay gabacho who has been in a relationship with
a Mexican for seven years. His family knows about us and 
they love me. They treat me almost like a celeb 
whenever they come to Dallas and visit or when we go 
to Mexico. At first, they didn’t like me for the
 simple reason they didn’t trust white people. Once 
they got to know me, that was all over with. His
 mother is the family matriarch and treats me as if I 
am one of her own children. So, whenever we get around 
them or his friends in Mexico, he acts like I am not
 even there. I actually spend more time with everyone 
else (between my broken Spanish and their broken 
English, we communicate rather well). Is his distance 
from me caused by the fact that I am white, or that we
 are in a gay relationship? I ask only because his 
friends and family don’t have a problem with it, so 
this stumps me.



Gaybacho

Dear Gaybacho: I can’t answer this question fully as a cishet cabrón, but I can offer this: Mexican families don’t take kindly to their kids being grabby-grabby with their significant others in front of them, because no child of any Mexican parents have ever had sex in their lives. Your papi chulo obviously likes you—otherwise, you’d never have met the family in the first place—but he might be taking the commandment I just shared with you a bit too seriously. Check in with him, and see what’s up. And if it doesn’t work out? Get one of his male relatives. As I’ve said before in this column, what’s the difference between a straight hombre and a gay one? Three beers.

 

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 know there’s beef between Mexicans and Trump right now because of the whole deportation thing, but can he really do any worse than Obama did when it comes to deportations? Obama deported between two million and three million people—more than any other president. Is there something I’m missing here? Help me out.

Pocho in Plano

Dear Pocho: Why is it that it’s almost always male Tejanos who ask the above question? It’s not a bad one (save your flippant dismissal of “the whole deportation thing”—sounds like you’re the type of pocho whose last connection to the motherland was your grandmother’s tamale recipe that your sister fucks up every Christmas), but there’s a special level of false equivalency among Texan Chicanos regarding Trump that I just don’t see anywhere else. Yes, Obama deported a chingo of our people, leading National Council on La Raza head Janet Murguia—not exactly the most radical activist out there, despite what the conservative media will have you believe—to label him the “Deporter in Chief.” But the Migration Policy Institute crunched the números to discover that, while the Obama administration’s total deportation figure was about 5.3 million people, it didn’t even come close to matching the figures under Dubya (10.3 million) and Clinton (12.3 million—as if you needed another reason to hate the Clintons, pinches PRIistas). The 3 million figure frequently cited for Obama refers to removal of immigrants from this country, and he did significantly beat 43 and Slick Willie in that category, but to treat BHO as somehow more of a Mexican basher than any president in history is as context-free as saying some guy named Jose Alfredo Jiménez wrote songs. Can Trump do any worse? When he has already promised a border wall, declared war on sanctuary cities, and brags about his love of “Hispanics” with a taco bowl, I’d say ahuevo. And, of course, #fucktrump

 

I’m a security guard at an apartment complex. I get out and work hard. I write a lot of people up for rule infractions, much more than they are used to from previous guards. So much more so that many people think I must be targeting them. But the reality is, I write up any one and every one I see breaking a safety or courtesy rule. (People quietly drinking outside is not a problem to me; playing music too loud in a car is.) According to office management, about 25% of the residents have accused me of targeting them. But the kicker is, all the complaints come from Mexican women. Not the blacks or whites of either gender, and not the Mexican men. What is the deal?

Parking Lot Policia

Dear Gabacho: NO ONE likes security guards at apartment complexes—y’all are the pendejos too dumb to have become sheriff’s deputies or migra. Writing people up for playing music loud? Laughable. That said, if it’s only Mexican women complaining, it’s because they’re the ones who have it harder than any other group if they’re living in an apartment complex. Let them blast their Romeo Santos—the last thing they need in their hardscrabble vidas is their choni-melter daydream get cited by some rent-a-cop.

 

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 need to know why do salvatruchas think they are superior to every Mexican and Guatemalan in every way? I go to a community college in the San Fernando Valley that is infested with them, and the way they portray Mexicans to other people makes me angry. Sometimes, I would like to tell them about what bad and nasty crap they have done since the urban terrorist organization, MS-13 has destroyed the Hispanic community even worse. Now some of us Mexicans are leaving places and migrating to other parts of Southern California. I know that some police at the southern border of Mexico have treated Salvadorans like shit, but that is no reason for them to chingar con los Mexicans’ reputation. It’s hard enough with some of the prejudices we mojados confront every day, but to have another Hispanic culture mess it up any more? Tell me what is wrong with those guys?

Mixed Mexican of Sherman Oaks

Dear Pocho: Do you realize you just wrote for me a Mad Libs of assimilation that people can apply to any successful immigrant group in America ever? I’m ever-grateful! Here, lemme show you:

I need to know why do (newest immigrant group) think they are superior to every (assimilated ethnic group) and (another assimilated ethnic group) in every way? I go to a (workplace or business) in the (old municipal stronghold of assimilated ethnic group) that is infested with (newest immigrant group), and the way they portray (assimilated ethnic group) to other people makes me angry. Sometimes I would like to tell them about what bad and nasty crap they have done since the (gang or national movement associated with newest immigrant group) has destroyed the (assimilated ethnic group) community even worse. Now some of us (assimilated ethnic group) are leaving places and migrating to other parts of (suburbs of old municipal stronghold of assimilated ethnic group). I know that (some situation involving assimilated ethnic group) have treated (newest immigrant group) like shit, but that is no reason for them to chingar con los (assimilated ethnic group) reputation. It’s hard enough with some of the prejudices we (former derogatory nickname for assimilated ethnic group that they appropriated and now use as a term of endearment for each other—but woe to anyone else who uses it) confront every day, but to have another (newest immigrant group) mess it up any more? Tell me what is wrong with those guys?

So, to recap: Salvadorans hate Mexicans because we hated Salvadorans, just like Irish hate Italians because Italians hated the Irish. How about we break that cycle? This Mexican did!

 

I went to a Mexican birthday party at my neighbor’s house a few weeks ago for their daughter who just turned six years old. I was surprised when I was the only guest who bought her a toy. All she got was a bunch of clothes. I don’t know any white six-year-olds that would WANT clothes for their birthday. What’s up with that?

Confused in Texas

Dear Gabacho: No kids of any culture want clothes as a regalo, period. But Mexican adults know niños grow super-fast, so they give ropa as presents to help others with the cost of living. This custom ends with adolescence, when people start giving Mexican teens condoms—or rather, they should…

 

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: The other day, I witnessed a young gordita retrieve a bag of Fritos, open it, then walk over to the chili station and pump in two steaming piles of 7-11 chili into the bag. At that point the Frita Bandita then shook the bag and started comer those nasty, now-hot, chili-soaked Fritos. Needless to say, I was appalled. And enfermo. Why not just buy a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos? Do most Mexicans shamelessly mangle foodstuffs like this? What other foul comida are Mexicans shoving past their mustaches?

Señor Roast

Dear Gabacho: You mean chili billies? The first time I had chili ladled over Fritos or tortilla chips were at Sage Park in Anaheim during my time riding the bench for the La Palma Little League Senior Minor division. Gabachos went crazy for the dish; us Mexicans shrugged, bought a bag of Fritos, and drowned it in Tapatío. 25 years later, we pour Tapatio on Tapatío-flavored Doritos—and? Spare me your mock shock: the most famous dishes buried under chili, the Coney Island dog and Cincinatti chili five way (spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans) are favorites of poor gabachos in the South and Midwest. They’re great dishes, and fulfill the working-class dream of filling your gut for cheap and offending precious pendejos like yourself.

 

The sentiment among most U.S. citizens is that new Mexican arrivals in the US of A should immediately learn to speak English (the least that they could do). How easy would that be for the Mexicans? Would it be easier for us to learn to speak Spanish? Are there more Spanish words than English words? Is it fair to even ask that question?

Tongue Tied Gringo

Dear Gabacho: All’s fair in love and etymology, son! Gabachos don’t realize how pinche hard it is to learn how to speak English. The Oxford English Dictionary currently has 171,476 words in its Second Edition that it categorizes as “current use” (and this is not including tenses and obsolete words) while the Real Academia Española estimates about 100,000. That said, Mexicans do learn how to speak English, if slowly: A 2016 study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) showed 69 percent of Mexican immigrants “reported limited English proficiency [LEP], compared to 50 percent of all immigrants.” That might seem high, but compare that to another immigrant group that came from similar poverty: Vietnamese. The MPI showed 67 percent of Vietnamese report LEP, but I don’t hear people freaking out about them. Maybe because they historically voted Republican?

Years ago, in response to some political bullshit heaved by Shrubya and his ignoble Cabal of Curs, I remember seeing long lines of people outside Mexican consular offices waiting to get a Matricula Consular card. I know matricula means “enrollment” but what exactly was the purpose of the cards? And why was it so important that people would stand in line all day to get one? P.S. #fucktrump

Gringo Wants to Play Bingo

Dear Gabacho: You said it, loco. All those cards do are serve as a form of ID for undocumented folks that allow them to do everything from open bank accounts to buy alcohol at clubs to apply for a driver’s license in certain states. Know Nothings, of course, take the document as further proof Mexico is trying to Reconquista the United States, which is kinda like realizing you’re on fire only when the flames expose your ulna.

 

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: In my hometown of Playa Larga (Long Beach, California), natives refer to a major avenida in our villa, Junipero Avenue (named for Father Junipero Serra, accused native genocider, a candidate for sainthood—but I digress), as Juan-a-pear-o. There is no “Juan” in Junipero, but that’s how everyone in this town pronounces it. People who reside on that street, real-estate agents, residents, business owners—I even heard a former mayor pronounce it that way. Why do white Americans (and even some Guatemalan-Americans) bend over backwards to pronounce Junipero as Juan-a-pear-o to sound as though they know how to pronounce it as a Spanish speaker would, yet it is the most garbled malapropism of the word (which should be pronounced “hoo-NEE-pear-o”)?

Hombre Blanco de Playa Larga

DEAR GABACHO FROM LONG BEACH: Gotta say that in my lifetime of living in Southern California, I’ve never heard nadie pronounce Junipero as you say people mispronounce it—the malapropism I hear is “June-IH-pear-oh,” a fascinating medley of the proper accent placement on the third-to-last syllable in Junípero’s Spanish incarnation and a rigid following of English grammatical structure. This is the wonderful world of the grammatical gabacho colonizing of the American Southwest, where Yankees decided to keep many of the original Spanish names of territories, cities and geographical landmarks, but Anglicize them—”Tex-as” instead of Teh-haas,” “Loss An-ju-less” instead of “Loce AHNG-heh-les,” or “A-ri-zone-ah” instead of “Hell-on-Earth” (okay, in fairness to the Sonora dog, just the parts of the state where Arpayaso and Brewer roam). Custodians of Cervantes, of course, cringe at gabachos’ mongrelization of Spanish-language place names, and that’s a beautiful thing: Remember that one of the few cardinal rules of this columna is that language is fluid, and anyone who tries to box it in or get their chonis in a bunch about it are as deluded as Rick Santorum.

DEAR MEXICAN: Why is every overweight, tattooed, goateed, bead-wearing, late-model-Tahoe-driving, non-educated enchilada in Texas a University of Texas fan? Why not A&M or Tech? Or Baylor (that’s obvious)? And one more thing: Please stop becoming belligerently drunk and taking it personal when the team on your Walmart 3XL T-shirt loses. You have no personal ties to the team, so quit throwing up gang signs and using profanity in an atmosphere that’s meant to be fun. The drunk 19-year-old college kid means no harm when he screams, “Boomer!” so grow up and get a life.

Frustrated Educated Okie

DEAR GABACHO: “Enchilada” as a slur against Mexicans? The 1950s called—they want their ethnic insult back. As for the fan question: same reason no one outside of Oklahoma gives a shit about the Sooners. Subway alumni like winners in football, and the Longhorns are the epitome of a winning program in the Lone Star State, while the Aggies, Red Raiders, UTEP Miners, Texas Christian University, the University of Houston and Texas’ many other college football programs haven’t exhibited such gridiron dominance over the years. The Sooners haven’t dominated college football since the days of Barry Switzer—you really expect non-Okies to give a damn about a third-rate university that just played in something called the Insight Bowl? By the way, your Baylor dig is lost on me. Because Baylor is a private university? USC (the Trojans USC, not the Gamecocks one) is private and has more than a few wab alumni. Typical Sooner solipsism—but what else can we expect from a university that named itself after invading illegals? Go Cowboys (both the Dallas and Oklahoma State variants)!

 

Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, author of the syndicated column “¡Ask a Mexican!”, and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. He started at the paper with an angry, fake letter to the editor and went from there—only in Anacrime!

 

Dear Mexican: A Mexican man recently broke up with me. We had great sex, but a somewhat distant relationship. Anyways, the reason he left me: his immigration status. He says he can’t “be with me mentally” because he’s somewhere else mentally—that’s to say, not knowing where he might be living in the next days and months is really bothering him. Aside from the fact that he can’t find work now because of Efile. I’m trying to find closure. It’s only been a few days since he left me but I’m struggling with finding peace in myself. My friends say things like, “You’re better off without him” and “Things happen for a reason.” I miss him, miss the great sex (adventurous, great oral, got very close to anal) and most of all, I miss the idea of him. He’s liberal politically, helps his family here and in Mexico, he’s a good person, helps others and he’s very organic. I forgot to mention he has beautiful long hair and is “como un tren,” which means he’s solid like a football player and made me melt when I touched his “guns.” Please help me deal.

La Heina No More

Dear Ya No The Chick: Man, you know Trump is destroying lives when Mexicans can’t even have sex with gabachas anymore without deportation on their mind (quick thought, gents: Think of 45’s blobbish physique to hold out just a bit more). It seems like the two of you had a great relationship outside of el sexo, and he’s obviously concerned about the livelihood of him and his fellow undocumented friends and family, so don’t take it personal. The most important thing right now is for you to be there for him, even if he’s unavailable physically. Protest whenever the inevitable migra raids inflict terror on the barrios in your city. Bombard your congressman and senators demanding they oppose Trump’s wall of shame. Donate to nonprofits designed to help out people like your hombre. Remember: The most important body part of his to have right now is his back. Oh, and #fucktrump

 

This past Thanksgiving weekend for me was a bit surreal. I’m born and raised here in the beautiful city of Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles and decided to visit my mother in Arkansas, where she recently moved with her new husband (her husband is from the state of Guerrero!). Before my boyfriend (who is white) and I arrived my mother, told me that they (her husband’s family and friends) were going to kill a goat in honor of me and my boyfriend’s arrival and have a huge fiesta on Saturday. I thought she was pulling my leg. Thursday, we had the traditional turkey; come Friday evening, there was a weird stench coming from the back yard of the house. My boyfriend and I noticed that my mom’s husband and his friends were preparing the goat. Mind you, my boyfriend and I only eat three meats in our diet—chicken, beef, and a little bit of pork. Someone told me that this tradition happens in many places in the world and the type of animal they kill in your honor depends how important you are. So do Mexicans really do this, or am I just super special with my family?

Turning Vegetariana Very Soon

Dear Gabacha: I have always maintained that only the world’s superior cultures go crazy for goat. That means that the GOATs of the world are Jamaicans, Vietnamese, Korean, Pakistanis, and, of course, Mexicans. If your ‘billy mom is now with a guy who’s immersing her in the art of cabrito, consider yourself blessed. That he and his compas slaughtered a goat in your name is nothing but respect. “Weird stench”? Watch your manners—and be glad they didn’t make you a taco bowl.

 

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 work at a Mexican restaurant where the majority of the workers are, you guessed it, Mexican. I hear the word cabrón all the time, but each time I ask what exactly it means, no one has a definitive answer. I’d like to think that they’re not bullshitting me, and that it doesn’t exactly translate well. Is it really that hard to explain, or are they just making fun of my whiteness? Help a güero out.

Phatbudz

Dear Gabacho: There is a literal definition to cabrón—“male goat.” But even the Real Academia Española doesn’t care much for that that meaning, relegating the ruminant to the sixth slot in the word’s dictionary listing. Above that definition are others for most Latinos know the word: “said of a person, of an animal, or of a thing: That does bad things or is annoying,” “said of a man: That he suffers from his wife’s infidelity, and especially if he consents,” and more. Mexicans get the fifth tense—“Said of a person: of bad character”—but, as usual, Castilians don’t know shit about Mexicans. You don’t want to call a stranger in Mexico a cabrón, because it means “asshole” in that context. But among friends, cabrón is used as a form of respect (“Él es cabrón”—he’s a badass), as a meme (go find the one of an old paisa in a tejana smoking with the legend “No pos…ta cabrón,” which chipsters use when they’re wowed by something). If your Mexican coworkers call you that, take it as a form of respect—at least they’re not calling you “Trump,” amiright?

 

I was wondering why no one really talks about Mater Dei High School fucking up Santa Ana for all the Mexicans? I mean, we can’t cruise anymore? I went to high school there, and now I’m at Columbia University. While I was at Mater Dei, no one, including the lucky Chicano students from the neighborhood who went there, made a fuss about expansion and gentrification, and not only around that nasty sore thumb of a campus, but around Santa Ana’s downtown, too. I mean, I guess I’m as guilty as the next mexicano. I lived most of my life a block from Memorial Park. Here at Columbia, Harlem residents are doing something, and some student “allies” are helping out. Serious, güey: why don’t Mexicans make more noise about their dying, gentrifying community?

Fresita

Dear Pocha: For my non-Orange County readers: Mater Dei is the largest Catholic high school west of the Mississippi, an athletic powerhouse that also was one of the largest pedophile priest-and-coach factories in the nation, a fact alumni always try to forget (I don’t, since its legendary boys basketball coach, Gary McKnight, once threatened to sue me because he didn’t like my coverage of his dealings with an assistant who molested students). Mater Dei is in Santa Ana (pronounced and spelled “SanTana” by the natives), a muy-Mexican city that has seen mucho gentrification over the past decade. Chicano activists across the country are fighting gentrification in their barrios (shoutout to Defend Boyle Heights!), but let’s turn this on the gentrifiers. Gentrifiers: where y’all at in the fight against deportations? You’ve only had like 25 years to join, but I guess ustedes would rather toast your good life with another Modern Times Oneida—CHAVALAS!!!

 

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 asked my dad why the Mexican illegals don’t just apply for citizenship instead of coming here illegally, and he told me that they are not able to apply for citizenship. Is this true?

Wondering in Wenatchee

Dear Gabacho: They ain’t “illegals,” son: they’re “immigrants.” But even before Donald Trump became president, the citizenship path for any Mexican who came here without the prior approval of the American government, or overstayed a visa, was as rocky as the Republican Party’s hope of attracting any Mexican voters. Asylum and Temporary Protected Status are impossible, since Americans think despotic governments and natural disasters only happen to whites, and the occasional Jew. Marriage to a citizen used to be easy, but 9/11 fucked that up forever (thanks, Osama!). The most surefire way to get legal was to join the military, because rich and middle-class gabachos always love poor morenos dying for the right for them to whine. But even that didn’t stop the Obama administration from deporting veterans who committed crimes but were not yet citizens. Now, with Trump as president, the only hope for undocumented Mexicans to get amnesty is for some poblano to sneak into TrumpTower and slip some pápalo into his taco bowl; the resultant shock will allow the ghost of Zapata to take over Trump’s mind. A zacatecano can dream, ¿qué no?

Some time back, I watched a race on TV that took place in Long Beach. One of the interesting things in the race was a team of Mexican drivers (Adrian Fernández and Luís Diaz) driving an Acura race car. As a fan of world-wide racing like the American Le Mans Series, I think it’s badass when Mexicans are racing with the best of ‘em. I know Mexico has a good history of racing against other drivers in America and the world, but I want readers to know, too. How much can you tell about Mexico‘s race car drivers and race tracks? Do you think this will inspire a Mexican-American out here to start learning how to race?

Just Curious

Dear Gabacho: Mexicans have always had a need for speed, whether it’s quarter-horse racing, the caballos of corridos and the Mexican Revolution, Grand Theft Auto V, the entire Fast & Furious franchise, or classic films like El Automovil Gris (The Grey Automobile) or La Camioneta Gris (The Gray Truck—sorry, why Mexicans love gray in their getaway cars might be the only pregunta about Mexican anything that I can’t answer). Race car series is a trickier affair: , Mexicans like Fernández and Daniel Suárez (who won last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series—the first foreigner to win a title in the official sport of good ol’ chicos) have competed and done well in racing worldwide—indeed, Suárez is scheduled to compete in this weekend’s Daytona 500. But the sport is only within the grasp of the wealthiest of Mexicans due to its exorbitant yet understandable costs. Then again, Mexicans love a winner and love to spend money on their ranflas; if Suárez starts Reconquista-ing NASCAR, let’s hope he inspires Mexicans in the United States who like street racing to get their NOS-fueled Hondas off the 5 Freeway and away from all the innocent people they kill.

 

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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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