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Is It Racist to Call Mexicans "Cholos"?
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Dear Mexican: The word “cholo” means “mixed race” or “mestizo.” So isn’t using “cholo” to refer to gangbangers or other delinquents racist? I’m Cuban, but please don’t group me with idiots like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

Cubiche Chula

Dear Pocha: There are multiple meanings of “cholo” we’re dealing with here. The word derives from the Nahautl xolo, and its first documented definition was in Alonso de Molina epic 1571 Nahuatl-English dictionary, Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana; there, he said the Aztecs took it as “paje, moço, criado, o eƒclavo” (“page, waiter, servant, or slave”). Spaniards being Spaniards, they applied the term to refer to the offspring of an Indian and a mestizo. Mexico being Mexico, it then became a palabra to apply to lower-class people, which spread across Latin America and into the United States. Gabachos being gabachos, they took cholo and made it into a derogatory slur applicable to all undesirable Mexicans. And pochos being pochos, they reappropriated cholo, then dumped it on gang members, not realizing that they were essentially calling the homies “dirty Mexicans.” Don’t you just love how we don’t know our history?

 

I read in one of my Mexican conspiracy theory magazines that Frank Zappa was not a founder of the Mothers of Invention. One of the two founders was actually a Mexican from SanTana. Is this a Mexican Jimi Hendrix type of mentira?

Confudido

Dear Pocho: For once, the Mexican conspiracy magazines—those that insist that Thomas Edison’s middle name was Alvaro, that Walt Disney was an orphaned Spaniard, and that Mexico will win the FIFA World Cup in this millennium—is right. Roy Estrada was the bassist for the Mothers of Invention, which got its start as an OC band named the Soul Giants. And Estrada was born in SanTana, the most Mexican big city in America. But let’s not go out and try to claim him like we do with Ted Williams and Joe Kapp: Estrada is serving a decades-long prison sentence in Texas for being a chester.

 

I’m deeply saddened by this treatment of Mexican people and how it affects my family. It bums me out. My husband’s family doesn’t like me because of my race and I know they are embarrassed of me and our children. I don’t feel welcomed in their homes and it puts a burden on my husband to be in the middle. Sometimes, I feel so undeserving of even being alive. I know I am a sensitive type but this is ridiculous…I try to stay away, but I am forced to participate in family functions even though I am uncomfortable. Any advise besides divorce?

Bummed

Dear Pocha: Don’t stand for your in-laws’ racism. Tell your husband you and your children will not stand for such pendejadas anymore, and that if he can’t do that, that he’s a chavala and you will withhold sex from him until he changes. Ever see Lysistrata? Withholding your panocha from pendejo men, works, ladies. Now, if only there was a nationwide campaign to prevent Trump from getting into office…

 

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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  1. Who cares?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The man got all my respect by mentioning Lysistrata, and doing it in the context he did.

    For once, this was a good read.
    , @kiismerh
    You beat me to it.
    , @Father O'Hara
    Dear Bummed:You shouldn't have married a Negro!
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  2. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bill Jones
    Who cares?

    The man got all my respect by mentioning Lysistrata, and doing it in the context he did.

    For once, this was a good read.

    Read More
  3. Is it racist to call Americans inbreed genocidal settler retards?

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    • Replies: @anon
    Wouldn't that be far more applicable to the Spanish conquistadors?
    , @D-FensDogG
    Call us anything you want, just do it from THE OTHER SIDE of The Wall that's going up soon.
    .
    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'
    , @SAM HOUSTON
    Is it racist when you Cholos call us Americans Gringos?
  4. i’m so glad i don’t live in the world this guy and his “letters” talk about.

    Read More
  5. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Cholo
    Is it racist to call Americans inbreed genocidal settler retards?

    Wouldn’t that be far more applicable to the Spanish conquistadors?

    Read More
  6. I’m waiting (but not holding my breath) for Gus to give us the low down on José Vasconcelos and his two versions of La RAZA. (Hitlerian and post-Hitlereian)

    In the meantime– Que no se va a agüevar uno con tantos cholos y Pachucos.

    Read More
    • Replies: @in the middle
    Man, I do hate cholos! they are a disgrace anywhere they are found! Hopefully, they are Disappearing from the earth. Was there ever a need of them? Thank God I don't see them here in AZ.
  7. @Jim Bob Lassiter
    I'm waiting (but not holding my breath) for Gus to give us the low down on José Vasconcelos and his two versions of La RAZA. (Hitlerian and post-Hitlereian)

    In the meantime-- Que no se va a agüevar uno con tantos cholos y Pachucos.

    Man, I do hate cholos! they are a disgrace anywhere they are found! Hopefully, they are Disappearing from the earth. Was there ever a need of them? Thank God I don’t see them here in AZ.

    Read More
  8. Is It Racist to Call Mexicans “Cholos”?

    No because Mexican is a nationality, not a race. And “wetback” is the propper term for them.

    Read More
  9. The Mothers were started out of Santa Ana? I doubt if such trivia can be fully appreciated without a sense of the ca. 1980 (pre-re-conquista) cultural anti-cachet of Orange County (basically: Nixon was from there, kind of, which is all you need to know if you are some supposedly cool urbanite in west L.A.)

    Even today its main claim to musical fame is a preponderance of bad ska revival acts, plus the unfrozen-caveman heshers of course.

    Read More
  10. The meaning of cholo today is from the “vida loca” gang banging “thug” or wannabe having nothing to do with its former expression of dirty native (indigena, dark skinned, non bathing mestizo/a) and a source of insult for those who are part of an indigenous community.
    It has lost its original meaning but it is still out there in Peru, Bolivia and similar places where there is a high indigenous majority.

    En el Peru, soy cholo e orgulloso! Proud to be cholo, Somos todos cholo (We are all cholo)!

    check out youtubefu for background!

    Read More
  11. @Cholo
    Is it racist to call Americans inbreed genocidal settler retards?

    Call us anything you want, just do it from THE OTHER SIDE of The Wall that’s going up soon.
    .
    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Read More
  12. @Cholo
    Is it racist to call Americans inbreed genocidal settler retards?

    Is it racist when you Cholos call us Americans Gringos?

    Read More
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