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 Gustavo Arellano Archive
White on the Outside, Brown on the Inside

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Dear Mexican: I think I might be Mexican—but there are some people who might disagree. Being that you are the source of all knowledge mexicano, I thought I might ask you. Here’s the deal: My ancestors left the US in 1847 knowingly and entered recognized territorio mexicano. The U.S. and Mexico were in the middle of a war. At the end of that war, the US stole the land from Mexico. Pero eso no es mi culpa, pues. Sure my parents never identified themselves as Mexicans and most of my ancestors haven’t either. But just because I am not mestizo doesn’t mean I am any less Mexican right? I mean if you have to be mestizo then there are doubts about how full-bloodied Mexicana Salma Hayek is—and everyone knows she is a mexicanaza. Not to mention all those güeros, gabachos and gringos who emigrated to Mexico in the last century, like Trotsky’s daughter. Aren’t they Mexican? Cotorreo en casa con mijita, and I listen to El Tri, Los Tigres and Agustin Lara. I know the difference between jitomates and tomates. If you have to be born in Mexico, then well, maybe you, The Mexican, aren’t Mexican either, right? Oh, and by the way, I do think we all can be americanos and estadounidenses (Estados Unindos Mexicanos no?). Oh, and by the way we eat guajolote for thanksgiving, not pavo so I’m not a Spaniard. Maybe I need to be twice as good of a Mexican to be Mexican though. Gotta go plan that Doce de Diciembre fiesta.

Semilla de Cacao (White Outside, Brown Inside)

Dear Cacao Seed Gabacha Mexicana: As I’ve written before, some of the más chingones Mexicans I know are pure-blooded gabachos; some of the biggest Mexican frauds I’ve encountered are fresas from Jalisco. I’ve discovered that we’re far more accepting of gabachos who try to pass themselves off as Mexican than pochos who might proclaim their love for the patria yet don’t speak perfect Spanish—that’s why Morrissey, Charles Bronson, Benny Hill and even that pendejo Rick Bayless, for instance, are honorary Mexicans, while a Chicano four generations removed is derided as a phony. And now you know why Mexico can’t get its pinche act together…


When I set decorative-type items with rectangular bases—say, square vases or square Limoges boxes—on tables or cabinets, I set them so the straight lines of the box or vase are parallel with the straight lines of the table or cabinet. Sort of like when I put a stamp on a postcard, I try to make the corner of the stamp match the corner of the postcard. Now, I have had multiple Mexican maids over the years, and one curious thing to me is how most of them will take those vases and boxes and tissue dispensers, and turn them askew, so the box or vase edge is at an angle to the table edge. It’s like they take horizontal Washington Monuments and tilt them into Leaning Towers of Pisa. It’s happened enough I know this is an aesthetic Mexican preference, and not an accident. Is there a cultural reason for this Mexican “askew preference”? Or is it just an unexplainable quirk?

I Ask You About Askew

Dear Gabacho: Same reason why we paint our houses garish colors, hang portraits of a bleeding Jesus in our living rooms, and put bull stickers on our truck: askew is for those who know how to live. Straight lines is the domain of gabachos—and the only people pendejo enough to want to live like them are people who think Ted Cruz is this country’s brown Messiah.


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9 Comments to "White on the Outside, Brown on the Inside"

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  1. Winning a war isn’t “stealing”. We took the land by right of arms, same way Montezuma’s people got their land — and the same way the Spanish got it, and the same way the Spanish lost it. Are you really too stupid to comprehend the fact that the national language of Mexico is Spanish? If you really are that stupid, who feeds you?

    Oh, and then we felt sorry for your sad defective corrupt little kleptocracy and handed you a wad of cash to make you feel better.

    Of course, now, the only reason any of you dirty illiterate parasitic peasants care about that land is that Americans live there and run the place, so it’s rich and crime is low. If you still owned it, it would be as miserable, rotten, dirty, corrupt, and poor as the rest of your own filthy caricature of a country. You’d all want to live in Iowa then.

    You don’t belong here because you can’t contribute. Even the Italians and the stupid donkey Irish contributed something. I guess it feels pretty bad to be a productivity sink, worth less than the Irish, but suck it up. Don’t blame me for it. I’m Irish-American, I’ve got my hands full competing with the Koreans and Jews and trying to stay sober.

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  2. Grobian should take his Archie Bunker act back to the land of his ancestors. It would teach him a lesson if all those Mexicans and others he believes “can’t contribute” were suddenly magically gone and we could watch him suffer as the U.S. economy collapsed.

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  3. I’ve got my hands full… trying to stay sober.

    I can tell. Hang in there.

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  4. “It would teach him a lesson if all those Mexicans and others he believes “can’t contribute” were suddenly magically gone and we could watch him suffer as the U.S. economy collapsed.”

    LOL. Lawns would go un-mowed. Cars unwashed. The horror, the horror!

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  5. “My ancestors left the US in 1847 knowingly and entered recognized territorio mexicano.”

    And who exactly was recognizing it? Not the Apache — look at the old maps, great swathes of the Southwest are labelled ‘Apacheria’.

    How about the ‘Hispanics’ in California — well, they started out as Spanish (not one of the original pobladores was listed as ‘Mexican’ on the first census of California). And after Mexico won its independence, they were in pretty much continual revolt against Mexico City until the Yankee took over.

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  6. “It would teach him a lesson if all those Mexicans and others he believes ‘can’t contribute’ were suddenly magically gone and we could watch him suffer as the U.S. economy collapsed.”

    Most Americans would happily take that risk in a heartbeat.

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  7. Yes, Southern California back when hispanics were a rounding error rather than a plurality. Must have been terrible for the incapable Anglos to exist there 50 years ago, lacking the dynamic engines of development that mexicans and central americans represent.

    I for one can’t listen to Jan and Dean without a cold shiver running down my spine.

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  8. Oh, I forgot, you hate Mexico too. “And now you know why Mexico can’t get its pinche act together…”

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  9. now that jeb bush ethnically transgendered from a white english/irish identity into a hispanic one it is now important to find a food to fit this transformation. I wish someone would post pictures of the inside of his mexican themed house. those 6 ft statues of jesus will scare the crap out of the baptists back home.

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