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Why Do Mexican-Americans Make Mexicans Look Bad?
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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 [email protected], be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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  1. logprof says:

    Mexicans also deny they have a history of slavery but history and genetics say otherwise.

    • Replies: @herman
  2. Dear Mr Arell-ano.

    I read and enjoy your columns without exception. They always give me a good laugh. You write a lot of funny CACA and I have always considered you as a very good clown, a humorist, a comedian not substantially different from George López. But lately you seem to be taking yourself too seriously. May be you have started to convince yourself that you are the official spokesman of Mexicans in the United States? Or is that just part if your comedy routine?
    Some chilango wrote to you asking why mexican-americans make real mexicans look bad. Of course the man was a mamón; he is a chilango! Be patient. It is hard to be born in the center of the universe, la gran Tenochtitlan, and not be mamón. I know; I am a chilango too. His question was correct but he asked it incorrectly, and your answer was as stupid as his question.
    Correct question: Why do BAD mexican-americans do what they do and give güeros de chance to badmouth even mexicans in Mexico?
    Correct answer ( in your style ): For the same pinche reason bad güeros and bad morenos and bad chinos and bad alemanes and rusos give every one else the chance to cagarse on their innocent associated groups: because they can.
    And those pinche “every one else” will be happy not to make a distinction between the good and the bad members of a group.
    My humble ( que mamón!) advice to the pinche chilango, and to the other mamón (you) que se autodenomina “The Mexican”: stop wasting your time worrying about looking good to the gringuitos or anybody else. Bad image is half in the object and half in the observer glasses. Unless the gringos change too, anything you do will have frustratingly little effect.

    How did you like that, ehhhhhhh PUTO!


    • Replies: @GeorgeV
  3. Marcus says:

    My uninformed guess: Mexican-Americans in the past used to emulate Western cowboy culture (tbf they helped create it), now they emulate the blacks, see vatos et al.

    • Replies: @Santiago
  4. OutWest says:

    Mexicans in the United States are largely from the peon class rather than the patron class. They see the U.S welfare system as their due for hard work and lots of babies. And the U.S. social welfare people teach that lunches are free as is medical treatment.

    Just a simple culture clash.

    • Replies: @Rex Little
  5. “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”

    holy shit, this guy just agreed with Donald Trump!!!! I wonder if he realizes that?

    • Replies: @Santiago
  6. Actually Mexicans don’t need the help of Mexican-Americans in order to look bad. Mexicans are more than capable of doing it all by themselves, what with their “musica duranguense”, the loud trucks with overly big tires, all the excessively pointy cowboy boots in faux reptile skin in shades of bright blue, green, yellow or pink and the overweight Mexicanas dressing in overly tight dresses that are too short and then teetering on stiletto heels. The Mexicanas also wear too much make-up and then paint those fake eyebrows on. And none of these people bother to learn the manners of the country in which they are squatting. So, it seems to me that that when it comes to creating their “brand” they are doing fine all on their own.

  7. GeorgeV says:

    “Unless the gringos change too”


  8. @OutWest

    I think OutWest is correct. It’s as if the population of, say, inner-city Detroit moved en masse to Mexico; it wouldn’t make the US look too good.

  9. Adar. says:

    About as many slaves were taken out of Africa and sent to work in the silver mines of Mexico as were the number of slaves taken out of Africa and sent to what became the United States. Almost all those slaves just worked to death in the mines, Zapata it is thought having African blood in him.

  10. herman says:

    seems when we study any large culture, we find slave-taking. The Mississippians of North America did so, as did some smaller cultures, although slaves in less hierarchical tribes could become members over time, while with larger cultures worldwide did not generally do so..

  11. Santiago says:

    Many of us do agree with Trump on a great deal of things, except his idiocy on iran and China. Specially if he wants good relations with Russia, since it just does not make sense. Many of us are happy he won, specially those of us that love our identity, and values. We see the majority of Gringos are being completely insane, literally.

  12. Santiago says:

    Excellent guess. You are better qualified than this pseudo Mexican.

  13. Santiago says:

    That PC BS has to stop, there is nothing wrong with yelling PUTO in a match, and i don’t even follow futbol, but it is one of the most entertaining aspects of that game. In Mexico it will be difficult for you to advance that agenda, queers will always be jotos and putitos, and adversaries PUTOS and PENDEJOS. This does not give Mexico a bad image, the PC culture does give everyone in the world a bad image and a bunch of nonsense stupidity as well. Like those feminine men that criticize Trump for having a MANLY conversation on women among men, women are worse when they get together, and nobody criticizes them.

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