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Why Is My College Course Making Me Angry?
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Dear Mexican: I’m a 23-year-old Latina attending a Texas university and taking a class that is centered on Latino culture and history. I’m a first-generation Tex-Mex kid, and lately, all of the documentaries and other coursework have been making me feel some type of way—angry, sad and overall confused, for lack of better phrasing. I don’t know how to handle these feelings, and it is making me more introspective about the Latino/Mexican part of my identity—as if I didn’t already have enough issues there. I don’t want to overthink it, and I don’t want to always wonder how people perceive me because of my background. But I don’t know how to feel about what I am learning and if what I am feeling is okay. Did you ever go through something like this type of identity crisis? And any advice on how to feel/handle it?

Down In Denton

DEAR MUJER: Was I ever confused about my ethnic identity? Absolutely—tell your Chicano Studies professor to assign Orange County: A Personal History to ustedes, and you’ll get the carne asada of the matter. But your situation deserves a more insightful perspective than mine, so I turn the columna over to one of my bosses: Alexandro José Gradilla, chairman of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Cal State Fullerton, where I [used to be] an adjunct-at-large.

“Dear Iztaccíhuat: You are experiencing ‘Chicano Studies Rage 101,'” Gradilla writes. “Here is a synopsis of why you are feeling the way you do. After more than a decade in a K-12 school system that never really broached or addressed issues of institutional racism, most students of color coming out of high school would probably answer ‘no’ if asked whether they ever experienced racism. Here is the double problem: Most students have not learned anything about ‘their’ group. More important, they have not been taught about institutional racism. So when taking a college-level history or sociology course or, as you experienced, an ethnic-studies class in which systemic or structural racism analyses is par for the course, they get what happened to you. A sudden flood of cold, hard facts connected with theories of racism—then BAM! You are forever aware of the nature of social inequality in the United States.

“You ‘see’ how unfair and obscene racism is. Racism—and not individual prejudice or bigotry, but an embedded system of exclusion and denigration—is a profoundly ridiculous and irrational system. Whether you are learning about the Mendez, et al. v. Westminster case or the Felix Longoria affair and all within the short confines of a quarter or semester—even the most complacent coconuts are overwhelmed and bothered! The rage is famously captured by the quintessential Chicano movement poem ‘I am/Yo soy Joaquin’ written by Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales.

“So, my little brown Aztec volcano, your pending explosion within the classroom is nothing new. Just remember: Use your new knowledge to heal, not to hate.”

Awesome job, profe jefe! I’ll add just one thing: While it’s okay to feel angry, never let the other side get the better of your anger, as I’ll show with the next question. . . .



DEAR MEXICAN: Does your cesspool homeland of Mexico allow illegals to break the law and sneak in? Hell, no—but I guess it’s okay for the USA to allow it for you and your deadbeat wetback cousins. Go fuck yourself—and I am sure this is not the first time you’ve heard that from a fed-up USA taxpayer who is sick of you parasite moochers from down south. Clean up your land if you want a good life. Don’t ride our coattails, you damn losers.

Klein In Van Nuys

DEAR GABACHO: Parasitic moochers riding coattails? Olla, meet hervidor. Or, in English: can’t wait for your beautiful brown grandchildren to take Chicano Studies 101!


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. I would like to ask a Mexican this: The femtard editor of our local “alternative”/hipster free newspaper (one Mary Anna Towler) is now referring to Latinos and Latinas as “Latinx”, presumably because it is somehow wrong for Spanish to have “sexist” gender indicators as suffixes on its nouns. Example: “As the only Latinx currently on City Council, Ortiz provides crucial representation for a growing community.” City [Rochester, NY], August 16, 2017, p. 11.

    So I’m asking a Mexican: What do you think of this?

  2. Dear 23-year-old Latina:

    Learn carefully the difference between education and indoctrination. Especially when the subject is racism. Racism is the most politically charged word in the U.S. today. Approach the subject with caution, skepticism and patience. In the end you must be able to decide for yourself whether and in what way you are/are not a victim of racism. Others, for political reasons, will want to decide these things for you.

  3. This is fucking insanity….so what the author is trying to tell impressionable young people is that racism is every where all the time and if you don’t succeed it’s because of that.

    We are fucking fucked as a nation. I’m glad i’m old. This is just insanity, this institutional racism crap has got to fucking stop it’s tearing the nation apart AND IT’S FAKE NEWS.

    • Agree: Jeff77450
    • Replies: @Steve in Greensboro
  4. Pepe says:

    Percent by race who “mostly agree” with:

    a) “the white supremacy movement” –

    white: 3%
    african american: 4%
    latino: 7%

    b) “white nationalists” –

    white: 4%
    african american: 3%
    latino: 11%

    c) “Ku Klux Klan” –

    white: 1%
    african american: 2%
    latino: 6%,%202017.pdf#page=3

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  5. Daniel H says:

    Better advice: should have told her to stop taking these worthless ethnic grievance courses and pursue a degree in Chemistry, Biology, Civil Engineering, or Low-Rider restoration/fabrication, or any other science so that she will 1) find ready employment when she graduates, or after she goes on to graduate school 2) not have her mind in chicana this chicana that 24/7.

    I threw in that Low-Rider restoration reference because I met a young, pretty chicana girl out here in Vegas who is planning on doing just that. She is taking all the body repair, welding and mechanical courses at University of Southern Nevada. She was in my TIG welding class, and this pretty, feminine, immaculately groomed chicana was clearly the best TIG welder in the class. Orders of magnitude better than me. She was employable at a decent wage just from that class alone. Screw ethnic studies, unless they provide some utility.

  6. @Pepe

    Point? White people are dopes.

  7. @interesting

    Interesting: Do not sweat this “Ask a Mexican” clown. He is a failure who spouts identity politics for no reason other than to puff himself up. Nobody care what he says. (5 comments, other than mine?) Ignore him. Ignore the Enemedia (CNN, WSJ, WaPo, Morning Schmoe, et al). They are all howling in the death throes of their irrelevance.

    If I took clowns like them seriously, it would interfere with my mental health. So I don’t. I focus on taking care of my family and friends. I read those news sources that I trust and I do not bother reading the others (including this clown). I continue to educate myself. I treat each individual as an individual regardless of race.

    As a final thought, I’d share Adam Smith’s comment about a British reverse in the American War of Independence:

    “One day Sinclair brought Smith the news of the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga in October 1777, and exclaimed in the deepest concern that the nation was ruined. “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation,” was Smith’s calm reply.”

    • Replies: @J1234
  8. Jeff77450 says:

    Dear “Down in Denton,” If America is so racist & unjust then why did your parents and untold millions of other non-white people come here? If America has intractable systemic racism then why isn’t there a long line of non-white people trying to leave? If America is so evil & racist then how/why is it that Jews & Asians have higher per capita incomes than non-Jewish whites? Wouldn’t the evil, demonic, white man, foaming at the mouth, have prevented that from happening?

    As with so much of what passes for “education” these days your Latino studies course probably contains a lot of misinformation & propaganda. I’m sure that you’ve been propagandized from birth about how the evil Anglos stole Texas and what is called the Mexican Cession. There’s a *thread* of truth to that but it is by no means the whole story or even the most important part. Mexico couldn’t convince a significant number of its citizens to move to Tejas. For some unfathomable reason Mexicans didn’t want to be raped, murdered and scalped by the Comanches & Karankawa. Go figure. (For a graphic illustration of this truth watch the recent tv-series _The Son_).

    WASPs, on the other hand, from the beginning of the colonial age seemed to have had the attitude of “I’m poor here. ‘Over there’ is the possibility of a better life for myself and my descendants. I’ve got nothing to lose except my life.” In the space of a century a bunch of plucky white farmers & adventurers with a can-do attitude created four new nations, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand (with nods to the Republic of Texas and Rhodesia) which became republics, based on the rule-of-law, with strong protections for individual rights, and which became developed nations. (Spain also birthed several new nations but they’re all chronic basket-cases that can’t find their asses with both hands; God love them).

    Anyway, before long the Anglo-Texicans outnumbered the Mexican-Texicans by ten to one. The government of Mexico said, “Uh, beep-beep, back the truck up,” and decreed no more Anglos. But their *really* big mistake was suspending the Constitution of 1824. Except that it didn’t allow for freedom of worship it’s generally considered to have been a decent constitution by the standards of the times. It wasn’t just the Anglos that were pissed, a lot of the Mexican-Texicans were pissed too. The Texas Revolution ensued and (what I consider to be) the good guys won (one of whom was my g3-grandfather, James Corner).

    Fast forward eleven years to the U.S. war with Mexico. IMHO that was more morally ambiguous than the Texas Revolution. Dare I say there was a component of greed on the part of the Americans but the point is moot. The anglos won again, as is usually the case when facing a foe who is both honorable & stupid enough to engage in a mano e mano stand-up fight with us. (Unlike the chicken-sh*t Viet Cong and Islamic Jihadists).

    The (inevitable) American victory resulted in what is called the Mexican Cession, which was ~529,000 square miles that would come to be California, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Nevada and Montana, if memory serves. Here’s what you need to understand: As with Texas the government of Mexico couldn’t convince enough of their citizens to move there. I’ll never understand why but for some darn reason the Mexicans didn’t want to be raped, murdered and scalped by the Apaches. Again, go figure. But once again that didn’t deter those stoic white guys with their attitude of “Life sucks and then you die so I might as well die trying to make something for myself and my descendants.”

    “Down in Denton,” the Mexicans couldn’t successfully occupy & govern ~529,000 square miles with 75,000 people, which according to one source was the number of Mexicans there in 1847, any more than they could the ~269,000 square miles of Texas with the estimated ~3000-5000 Mexicans in 1836. The situation was similar to someone buying a house and then discovering that they couldn’t afford the mortgage payments and needing someone to assume the mortgage. Mexico needed America to “assume the mortgage” whether they realized it or not. It was the best outcome for all concerned, “all things considered.”

    As an aside, and this is rhetorical, what’s with this “Reconquista” effort by Mexicans? I’m reminded of the saying/joke, “Why does a dog chase a car and what would he do with it if he ever caught it?” Mexicans can’t competently govern Mexico even with all the “home turf” advantages. What makes them think they’d do any better with Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico? Why sh*t in someone else’s punchbowl, so to speak? Is it case of you’d rather break the toy than let the white kid play with it, even though that would mean that you don’t have the toy either? I don’t think you La Raza guys have thought this through to its likely conclusion.

  9. @Jeff77450

    As someone who lives in New Mexico I’d like to point out that all the Reconquista irredentists have never bothered to ask their fellow compadres and comadres if they want to have the land they live in “returned” to Mexico. I suspect they don’t ask because probably about 98% of the people who live in CA AZ, NM, and NV would say “Hell, no! I don’t want to live in Mexico. I don’t want my state turned into the kind of disfunctional country that is present-day Mexico.” That is the intelligent and rational choice. And probably even the illegal aliens from Mexico would recognize this.

    As for the Chicano 101 course, well, students have a choice between over identifying with people from the past to the point where their mental health begins to teeter on the edge of psychopathy and their prospects for future work are nil or they can live in the present and identify with who they are now (American citizens?) and be happy and grateful that they won the birthplace lottery by being born in the USA and taking full advantage of this and making a good life for themselves. If they have any doubts that they won the lottery they should count the number of people trying to get into the USA versus the number trying to get out. And they should pay special attention to how many Mexicans are trying to get into the US versus how many Americans are trying to get into Mexico.

    The simple conclusion as evidenced by historical and economic facts is that Mexico is a loser country and the USA is a winner country. Lots of Chicanos and Mexicans feel resentment and “envidia” (jealousy) because they know they belong to a loser culture. Unfortunately, they think the way out is to criticize the US instead of getting their act together and changing their culture. In order for Chicano and Mexican irredentists to get their act together they’d have to admit that they come from a loser culture–and that is difficult when you’re prideful and arrogant. I think the “Ask a Mexican” column is Mr. Arellano’s attempt at trying to find some way of turning his experience of marinating deeply in loser culture into something that’s kind of, sort of economically viable. Because, really, what value is there in Chicano Studies other than to create more whiners who like marinating in self-pity and victimhood?

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
  10. Dear college Latina

    Unless your college is ultra-modern, there are probably courses called “mathematics”, “biology”, “chemistry”, “physics”, and “geology”. If you can power through the fact that most of the forefathers in these courses are white males, and so are most of the instructors, you’ll find the work to be refreshingly free of sad tales of patriarchs run amok and genocide of non-whites. Add to this the fact that the jobs obtained by STEM graduates are both interesting and lucrative, and I don’t see how you can lose by replacing your Victim Studies courses with hard science courses.

    But I am an old white STEM professor, so I am of course speaking from a place of privilege. Take that into account

  11. Jeff77450 says:

    Thank you for commenting and that was very well said. Best of luck to you as Western Civization continues its downward spiral.

  12. @Jeff77450

    ” I don’t think you La Raza guys have thought this through to its likely conclusion.”– The assumption that “La Raza guys” are capable of such “thought” processes is indeed very charitable.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
  13. Logan says:

    ” California, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Nevada and Montana, if memory serves. ”

    I think you mean parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, not Montana.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
  14. good advice…I raised an indian girl born in El Salvador in Saint Paul…in grade school they thought she was Hmong as there were no Mayans in the district (as this site is read by ignorant people, Hmong are an ethnic group with origins in China, but whose homeland is the hill region of western Laos). It wasn’t until university that she made a connection with her origin as a Latina and as an Indian. It was beautiful to watch the transformation from confusion to pride. When she comes back to visit she is thrilled by the warmth and sincerity of the culture she involuntarily abandoned, and is proud that her relatives over age 45 were all involved in the armed insurrection. She would not have had the experience of re-discovery had she not had a Latina professor illuminate an understanding of her origins. An understanding that I, as a gringo, was incapable of providing.

    • Replies: @maria rodriguez
    , @Texan1
  15. Jeff77450 says:

    Thank you for the correction. I was writing “off the top of my head.”

    • Replies: @Logan
  16. @gringo no tonto

    how sweet to have captured a mayan girl, gringo…how old was she when you snatched her from the revolution…do you even know who or where the parents of this girl reside? Gringos who talk the right talk are not the same as gringos who don’t, but you still have the stench of superiority….glad to hear the woman finally learned who she was kidnapped from.

    • Replies: @Wulf
    , @Texan1
  17. Jeff77450 says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Thank you for commenting. Said in all seriousness, the various factions that comprise the Left demonstrate repeatedly that they don’t understand The Law of Unintended Consequences and that so many of their goals are contradictory.

    The Great Society/War on Poverty programs created in the 1960s had the effect of perpetuating poverty by fueling the rise in out-of-wedlock births and increasing government-dependency. Affirmative Action was meant to help blacks & Latinos but had the effect of increasing their drop-out rate because they were being admitted to schools that they weren’t prepared for. They want a minimum-wage of $15 an hour but they also want to flood America with cheap low-skill labor that has the effect of suppressing wages. They’re pro-LGBT & Feminism but they also want to import huge numbers of Muslims who are anything but. The illegals/Reconquistas & Muslims fled the dysfunction of their countries but then work to recreate that dysfunction here. I’m not exaggerating or being melodramatic when I say that they’re out-and-out *nuts*.

    Or maybe they’re not nuts. An underlying theme of so much of the Left’s agenda is that the straight white (Christian, Conservative) male *must* *not* *win* regardless of how much collateral damage is done to society in general. If a black/Latino drops out of college because of AA, well, the *important* thing is that a white male didn’t get the slot. A lesser qualified minority is a diversity-hire with the net-effect that the organization is less efficient; the *important* thing is that a straight white male wasn’t hired. And so on.

    No, they’re *still* nuts because you can’t harm/marginalize the race & gender that did the heavy-lifting of creating Western Civilization and the modern world without also harming all of society. Kind of like shooting yourself in the head and thinking that the rest of the body isn’t going to be effected too. How, exactly, this is all going to end I don’t know but it isn’t going to end well.

  18. Ivy Mike says:

    Nothing warms up a racist’s wrath like hearing a non-white claim there is racism in America, or being told that non-white people might have intrinsically valuable non-white cultural identities. This is not groundbreaking insight but the genius of Gus is that instead of spending time and effort writing a blog he just pokes the white man with a stick then kicks back hands clasped behind his head and watches the angry words boil out.

  19. Wulf says:
    @maria rodriguez

    Doña Pendeja Culiada, en países desarrollados existe esta cosa bien exótica llamada adopción sí? Le suena el vocablo m’hija?

    Seguro que a usted también la secuestraron los gringos malvados y se la trajeron para los Estados Unidos en un saco… y luego la forzarían a trabajar en un Mcdonald’s a la pobrecita?

    Vuelvase para México o para el país de mierda del que la secuestraron entonces usted que tanto está sufriendo acá?

    O acaso padece el síndrome de Estocolmo y se quedó pegada m’hijita?

    Por cierto aprenda a escribir su nombre correctamente ya pendejita, María Rodríguez se escribe con tildes.

    • Replies: @Texan1
  20. Logan says:

    You are entirely welcome!

    To be precise, the Mexican Cession covered all of CA, AZ, UT and NM as well as parts of NM, CO and WY.

  21. Logan says:

    Dear mujer,

    If we had classes in White Male Studies as we do for all other groups, and the classes consisted mostly of a recitation of the grievances and slights suffered by white males, do you think the white male students would become more “angry, sad and overall confused?”

    Do you think creating this might be the true, though often unstated, purpose of the classes?

    What do you think Hitler’s rise to power was fueled by if not a “recitation of the grievances and slights suffered by Germans?”

    • Agree: Logan
    • Replies: @Logan
  22. J1234 says:
    @Steve in Greensboro

    Interesting: Do not sweat this “Ask a Mexican” clown. He is a failure who spouts identity politics for no reason other than to puff himself up.

    The guy who writes this article asked himself one day, “How can my ethnicity get me a job? Other than roofing and mowing lawns, I mean?”

    And he came up with this column. With the left, most scrutiny is directed outward, and very little inward. Mexicans staying in Mexico and making Mexico great again – or even a first time – is something that doesn’t work, apparently. So they come to the US to seek greatness, and get pissed off they can’t do this in their own country. Then they externalize the blame in a fit of anger.

    • Replies: @Texan1
  23. Texan1 says:

    Sie wissen so wenig über Richtigkeit, wahrscheinlich.

    Es gibt viel Unterschied zwischen Richtigkeit und Ordnungsmäßigkeit.

    In den Vereinigten Staaten, es ist nicht möglich spanische Buchstaben in offiziele Dokumenten zu benuzten, oder ?

    Nur eine “Gringa” würde sich als <> beschreiben.


    • Replies: @Texan1
  24. Texan1 says:

    Das heißt, Nur eine “Gringa” würde sich als “maria rodriguez” beschreiben, oder ?

  25. Texan1 says:
    @maria rodriguez

    Some of my family married indigenous people and they were the most humble, polite, sweetest people I’d ever met, then I wonder how they got involved with my family. Ms. “maria rodriguez” you seem very miserable. Apparently some people just can’t stand the thought of someone showing others kindness.

  26. Texan1 says:
    @gringo no tonto

    I was raised English-only. I eventually studied Spanish. I eventually visited family in Mexico. It was interesting to see where a lot of family tradition came from. I can appreciate that my family in Mexico and I see things very differently. I am thankful for being able to see many different aspects of life in North America.

  27. Texan1 says:

    You forgot dishwasher, pendejo. I don’t care what kind of job someone does, so long as it’s an honest job.

  28. J1234 says:

    That’s my point, Frito Bandito. Writing this column is an intellectually dishonest job.

  29. Logan says:

    I just realized I agreed with myself.


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