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Thu12032020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Dear Mexican: Cabrón, the Mexican flag: Tell your pals that every time they wave it, that’s 5,000 more votes for Trump.

#fucktrump

Dear Gabacho: Waving the Mexican flag isn’t just a shout-out to our ethnic heritage; it’s a blatant reminder of the failings of this country toward comprehensive immigration reform. Because if there’s anyone to blame for the Mexican-flag flap, it’s conservatives.

As I’ve been saying for more than a decade in this pinche columna, Mexicans assimilate into America, yet many Americans don’t want to believe it—and want to do anything possible to stop it. Talk to those kids waving the bandera, and their culture is wholly American, from their language to steez to music to upbringing—their everything. But when you have morons calling their parents and elder relatives rapists and murderers, and call young Mexican Americans unworthy of the U.S. and want 11 million undocumented folks deported, people wrapping themselves in the Mexican flag is a righteous chinga tu madre to the white supremacy that wants them gone (and, yes, Virginia: Trump-supporting minorities can subscribe to white supremacy, too).

Waving the Mexican flag during rallies isn’t sedition; it’s a bold affirmation that aquí estamos, y no nos vamos—this generation’s “We Shall Not Be Moved,” except it rhymes. And it’s a reminder that Mexicans simultaneously fully conform to and buck American immigration trends. Notice how the red-white-and-green only pops up during times of protests or celebration, when we’re expected to “act” Mexican; during the rest of the year, the Mexican flag is mostly out of sight and out of mind as Mexicans seamlessly return to the trappings of American life until the next protest.

Besides, what else are these young people supposed to wave at this point? They could wear the Stars and Stripes, or even the Gadsden (“Don’t Tread on Me”) flag, and it wouldn’t change the hearts and minds of the true haters—so the might as well unfurl the Aztec eagle to antagonize the haters more, you know?

Waving the Mexican flag doesn’t ruin la causa or push more people into the Trump camp—far from it. For decades, there has been a push-and-pull between the accommodationist segment of the Latino community and the radicals. The former’s mantra—slow and steady and Democrat—rarely gets anything accomplished beyond getting centrists elected and former Mechistas in cabinet positions. The best example of this happened during last decade’s DREAMer years, when undocumented college students were asked to basically serve as photo props for so-called Latino leaders. Those DREAMers eventually started launching direct actions against vendidas like SanTana Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who infamously didn’t put her name on a congressional bill supporting the DREAM Act until two undocumented activists lost their lives. It’s radical pushes like that, and brandishing the flag of a foreign nation, that’s the needed fuel for an activist fire in the face of conservative lunatics and liberal wusses. Scaring away the middle? Anyone so easily swayed by the choice of a piece of cloth that they’ll wish a Trump on this country ain’t an ally you want.

But that’s the best part about waving the Mexican flag at rallies: We can, because—to paraphrase Mexico’s favorite philosopher, Morrissey—we’ve got Mexican blood and an American heart. We ain’t no fifth column, folks: We’re the pinche foundation that represents the last, best hope against the Trump monster. And we’re ready to wave our freak—and Mexican, and American, and Bob Marley—flags at the ballot box and beyond.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Please allow me a little latitude. I’m a resident of Northeast Dallas, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood near the heart of downtown. I’ve lived here for many years and wouldn’t even CONSIDER moving north, south, east or west. However, I have one issue I’d like to address: What’s the deal with Mexicans’ propensity to stop their cars in the middle of busy streets?

I witness this almost every week, usually on Ross Avenue during afternoon rush hour. I (and hundreds of other motorists) will be clipping along at 30-35 mph in the northbound lanes, when all of a sudden, cars will swerve; horns will honk; and traffic will suddenly grind to a screeching halt. What could it be? A lost puppy dog crossing the street? A little old lady who’s collapsed from heatstroke while trying to cross the street? A partially open duffel bag containing thousands of dollars, with bills flying all over the road?

NO! Without fail, it’s a Mexican who: 1. Saw a friend walking down the street and stopped to exchange pleasantries. 2. A Mexican who stopped to drop off or pick up a wife, husband or friend. 3. A Mexican who accidentally passed his/her intended location, but instead of “making the block,” decided instead to stop, and in some cases, even BACK UP in order to reach their intended destination.

I LOVE Mexicans. You all are some of the friendliest, easiest-going, most-family-oriented, hardest-working people I’ve ever known. But put some of you behind the wheel of a car, and all bets are off. Help a gringo out here. What’s the deal?

Stuck on Ross

Dear Gabacho: Ever heard of the Chinese Fire Drill—when you stop at a red light, everyone gets out of the car, circles it and gets back in? I didn’t, either, until I got some gabacho friends last year; gabas are weird, ¿qué no?

Anyhoo, call the scenario you described the Mexican Fire Drill. You also forgot that Mexicans will stop in the middle of the street—traffic be damned—if they’re waiting for a friend who’s getting ready at their house, if they have to go inside a place to pick something up, or if there’s a particularly good banda jam on the stereo, and they want the whole barrio to listen. As por el why? After a lifetime of crossing borders, running away from la migra and hustling from job to job, sometimes it’s just great to relax and be still—and if that annoys gabachos, even better!

Dear Mexican: My name is Burjs, and I’m a gay male. I’m obsessed with Mexican men. I love you guys so fucking much. I love your “machismo” attitude—from the ways you guys walk, talk and look, to the way you make love. But I guess the thing I love the most—and it’s not true of all—is your tempers.

I wonder why Mexican men are mean and aggressive toward effeminate males such as myself. I’m not complaining, because I love it from you guys. Am I crazy because I like my Mexican lovers to sexually and physically abuse me? By the way, I’m a black bottom.

Provócame, Papi

Dear Provoke Me, Daddy: Don’t romanticize our machismo. If you get off on getting demeaned, that’s your deal. But far too many hombres who don’t fit the Vicente Fernández archetype of hypersexual hetero male have had to deal with too many calls of maricón and joto by other Mexican men throughout their lives to make it something cute.

Such aggression, though, proves the answer to the age-old question: What’s the difference between a straight Mexican and a gay Mexican? Two Tecates.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I read an article you linked to about how it could be hard to order a lime in Spanish-speaking South American countries. The bottom line was that, depending on where you are, un limón could mean a lemon or a lime; it was all a matter of local dialect.

Curiously, limes originated in Europe, and lemons in Asia. Growing up in Encinitas, Calif., there was never a question of la palabra correcta for which was which.

This realization, logically, led me to ask you: How did the combination of onion and cilantro—both basically Mediterranean in origin, and brought to the New World by the Spanish—become such intrinsic ingredients in the culinary traditions seemingly everywhere south of the border?

Devorador de Nopal

Dear Cactus Eater: Wait … how did you go from an etymological question about lemons and limes to asking about onions and cilantro? That’s a non-sequitur on the lines of talking about democracy, and then mentioning Trump. But the Mexican will use any opportunity to plug the works of his pals, so I forwarded your question to Lesley Tellez, author of the fabulous Eat Mexico: Recipes From Mexico City’s Streets, Markets and Fondas, and creator of great restaurant tours through la mera capirucha.

“Mexicans have a rich history of using aromatic herbs in their cooking,” says Tellez. “Pápaloquelite, epazote, hierbas de olor (just to name a few)—they’re used abundantly to flavor everything from quesadillas to stews. Cilantro came from Asia, but its herbal punch fits right in.

“As for onion, there’s evidence that a type of wild onion existed before the Spaniards arrived, so indigenous Mexicans might’ve already had a palate for it. The combo that’s popular at Mexican taquerías today—raw, diced white onion, mixed with chopped cilantro—is all about texture and balance. The taco needs that necessary crunch and brightness, just as much as it needs salsa.”

Everyone: Buy Lesley’s book. And Devorador: Linear arguments, cabrón!

Dear Mexican: Why do us Mexicans use the word confleis—or “corn flakes” for the gabas—when talking about any type of cereal?

Tepito Timoteo

Dear Pocho: The same reason gabachos say “Xerox” as a verb when they want to photocopy anything, call cotton swabs “Q-Tips” and call all steroidal creams “Quadriderm.”

The bigger question is how Mexican Spanish seemingly mangles a straightforward term like “corn flakes” into confleis. The answer, como siempre, is elision, the linguistic concept of combining vowels and consonants to create new words that confound gabachos and fancy-ass Mexicans alike. Try this head scratcher: How does “Pues, está para allá, hermano” (“Well, he’s over there, brother”) turn into “Pos, ’ta’ pa’lla, ’mano”?

WATCH BORDERTOWN!

Folks, the Fox cartoon on which I serve as a consulting producer was just cancelled, but we’re holding out hopes of some sort of last-minute revival, or perhaps a look by another network or a streaming service, so por favor watch THIS SUNDAY at 7 p.m., or stream it any time on Hulu or FOX Now.

You have more of a mandate to watch this week’s episode, as it’s the season finale, and your humble Mexican wrote the episode. Gracias, and don’t forget to tweet #renewbordertown!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: We had a torrid and passionate romance for about a year. I could have done anything for her—meaning I loved her.

After the first breakup, for about six months, we had make-ups and breakups. Once, I broke off the relationship because I understood she was, and is, commitment-phobic. After the breakup, I told her to please not to call me anymore, because she would screw me up. (She loved me, but she did not want to be with me). One day out of the blue, she calls and tells me that she’s thinking about me. and that all she thinks about is sex with me in Acapulco. I called her the same day. and we had a very nice conversation.

The very next week, I got laid off as part of a merger. I called her to announce the news and to tell her I needed a friend. She kind of blew me off and never called back—even after I wished her happy birthday a couple of days later. What kind of person does not return that call?

The next week—after she did not answer my calls—a friend suggested I send her a message saying, “I had a good time last night.” She responded immediately, calling me an asshole. I guess my question is: Porque las mujeres te patean ms fuerte cuando haz caído? Why do women hit you harder when you’re down?

Pobrecito de Mi

Dear Poor Little You: Compa, this ain’t an ¡Ask a Mexican! question; it’s an Ask God! pregunta.

So give me a moment … are you there, Diosito en el cielo? It’s me, the Mexican. Why did you have to make women so locas? Wait, what? Us men are the locos, and we should just worship mujeres unconditionally? OK … are you there, Santo Niño de Atocha? It’s me, the Mexican…

Dear Mexican: I’m an Italian-American transplant from the East Coast, so I kind of have an outsider’s view of the West and relations between Mexicans and gabachos. Seems to me that Mexican Americans here are pretty much the hardest-working bunch of people I’ve seen anywhere. They also have much more soul, a love of life and personality than the majority of white people I’ve met. Assholes like Donald Trump are too stupid to realize that without Hispanic influence, our culture would be pretty boring, and worse, it would lack the perspective of real, grassroots people. How the hell did we forget, as Americans, that most of us came from the same type of poor, hard-working people?

My skin gets pretty dark in the summer, and more than once, I’ve been taken for a Mexican-American. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a compliment.

Un Hermano Italiano

Dear Italian Brother: It’s the same shit the Irish pulled with your Sicilian paesanos, and what ustedes did to Poles and Portagees—the story of America.

The one difference we Mexicans have with all previous generations of immigrants is that gabachos are hard-wired to hate everything Hispanic, thanks to their Elizabethan ancestors, who told all sorts of abominations about the Spanish back in the Armada days. And if you think the distant past doesn’t explain the present, then refry this: Why do gabachos think a faded 1980s celebrity is worthy of becoming president? Oh, wait: It’s because they thought a faded C-list actor from the 1950s was worthy of becoming president during the 1980s. Oh, fuck …

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I believe I heard from you in an interview that “gringo” is either out-of-date or inappropriate, and that gabacho is the better choice. I’ve checked online, and most sources say that gabacho is a pejorative and/or generally refers to Europeans. Is this the case, or is gabacho just a better word than “gringo”?

Also, as a native SoCal cracker, is it acceptable for me to use gabacho, or to refer to myself as such? What is the proper etiquette and usage so I don’t offend anyone or embarrass myself? I’ve also asked friends, but the vote seems to be split.

Gringo-Gabacho Greg

Dear Gabacho: As I’ve explained in this columna before, gabacho and gringo are synonyms for the same thing—gabachos, with the key differences being certainty in their respective etymology. (Gabacho comes from Provencal, while no one has ever put forth a definite origin story for “gringo.”)

The important fact is that gabachos long ago appropriated “gringo” into a harmless term that has absolutely no sting, while gabacho maintains its sting. Now you want to proudly refer to yourself as a gabacho, gabacho? No. Content yourself with the theft of half of Mexico back in the day, and leave our treasures alone once and for all.

Dear Mexican: Just a quick setup: I retired from the Los Angeles Police Department after 29 years. The last 24 years were spent in Narcotics Division, Major Violators. Before retiring, I purchased a lot in Los Barriles (in Baja California, Mexico). After retiring, I built a home there, and in 1997, moved there, where I have been full-time ever since. In 2005, I received my Mexican citizenship.

On several occasions, both by U.S. Customs and regular citizens, I’ve been asked why I moved to Mexico. My response is always the same: I was a Los Angeles police officer for 29 years, and in narcotics for 24 years. I’ve arrested a lot of illegal immigrants. Mexico is the only place I have ever been where all the illegals speak English. Saludos.

Ballin’ in Baja

Dear Gabacho: I see what you did there—stick to your day job, ’cause you ain’t the Keystone Kops.

But you did bring up an interesting thought: the number of gaba illegal immigrants in Mexico. There are no hard números, but there are hundreds of thousands of old gabachos in Baja and Guanajuato, and I’m sure a big chunk haven’t renewed their visas in years.

The better indicator is the number of Americans that Mexico deports—the Mexican Secretariat of the Interior’s Migration Policy Unit showed that for 2013, Mexico deported only 690 Americans—and I’m sure that count is primarily pochos. Compare that to the deportation figures for Central American countries: 32,800 from Honduras, around 30,000 for Guatemala, and only about 14,500 Salvadorans (and people say Mexis and Salvis have beef).

See that, America? If Mexico can be kind to your undocumented in our country, why can’t you do the same to our mojados?

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I recently took a DNA test to find out about my genetic heritage. It turns out that my “Mexican” side (maternal side) may not really be Mexican at all: The DNA test has 100 percent matched me to Native Americans in what now straddles the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico, with no traces of European ancestry. My mother’s ancestry clearly traces back beyond than the political existence of both the U.S. and Mexico.

The same test on my mother and her close relatives would reveal the same results, but everyone on that side of the family insists they are Mexican. (In fact, some of that familia would vehemently deny any indigenous ancestry, despite irrefutable scientific evidence … like a weird Mexican DNA version of the O.J. Simpson trial.)

What is the “Mexican race,” if there is such a thing? I understand Mexican history was at times bloody and oppressive, which is why any connection to an indigenous past was probably whitewashed away by my ancestors or someone else. At this point, there’s no way of finding out any specific details of an indigenous ancestry, so I’m just left with my family’s DNA.

So what’s a confused Mexican … Chicano … Hispanic … Latino to do? Technology has opened my eyes to a part of my heritage that I don’t really know how to process. Am I still Mexican? Am I Native American? What’s going on here?

Damn Nerd Assholes

Dear DNA: We have a saying in Mexican Spanish—“Tiene un nopal en la frente,” translated as, “He has a cactus on his forehead”—which is used to mock people who say they’re not Mexican, but totally are. That’s how a lot of Mexicans are when it comes to certain parts of their ancestry—we practice the opposite of the Cherokee princess blood myth claimed by so many gabachos. You have prietos who can’t grow facial hair, yet they insist they’re pure Castilian; grandmothers with kinky hair and broad noses who won’t entertain the thought that the familia tree has negrito roots; mothers who light candles every Friday night, because that’s how their great-grandmother taught them, and no way on Earth does that mean that her Mama Pacha was carrying on the traditions of Sephardic ancestors. Best of all are the armchair Aztecs who decry everything European, yet can sprout a beard as epic as that of that loco redhead Tormund Giantsbane on Game of Thrones.

In your family’s case, they seem to fall in the first example—a denial of indio roots. I’d remind them being Mexican is more of a state of mind than it is a race. (That’s why people like awesome actress Lupita Nyong’o and comedian Louis C.K. can claim they’re Mexican, but don’t, while a gabacho like Rick Bayless can pass himself off as the greatest cook of Mexican food on the planet.) However, being Mexican is fully anchored in the realities of pozole—that is, Mexico is its own spicy melting pot, with the indigenous part being the caldo of it all, and not some stray strand of repollo.

Let your family try to run away from their Native American blood all they want; the physiological Cortés called diabetes will catch up with them in the end.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Dude, can you please write about why Mexicans are voting for Trump?

My cuñado and I were talking about the candidates over dinner yesterday and about how this will be his first presidential vote. He became a U.S. citizen last year. He’s from DF (Mexico City). He started from the ground up in this country and now is a successful business owner. I think he wants to keep the gap between him and other immigrants. He’s voting Trump. Greed is what I sense, but I’m not sure.

I then spoke with my friend (my go-to source for wab news in SanTana), and she informed me that a lot of Mexicans and/or Hispanics are voting for Trompas. Please enlighten us with your take on the matter.

Feeling El Bern

Dear Gabacho: Yeah, the vast majority of Mexican Americans despise Trump—a Los Angeles Times poll found only 9 percent of Latino voters in California (really: Mexican-American ones) liked Trump, while 87 percent want him to become Chapo pozole.

There will always be that self-hating tío who’ll vote for any politician who talks trash on their own kind. But it’s actually not surprising why Mexicans would vote for Trump—he’s the ultimate Mexican presidential candidate. Mexicans can’t stand political correctness, and appreciate powerful people sin pelos en la lengua—“without hairs on the tongue,” a Mexican aphorism when someone speaks their mind. Sure, Bernie Sanders is as straight-talking as Trump, but where he fails as a Mexican candidate, and Trump succeeds, is that the latter also passes himself off as a caudillo—a strongman. Simply put, Mexicans don’t want a perceived pussy in office, and Trump’s bellicose babadas make people think he’s tough, when he’s actually little more than a chavala.

Finally, Mexicans don’t mind corruption in government as long as they get theirs … which is essentially the Trump platform.

Supporting a GOP blowhard isn’t new for Mexicans, by the way: We voted in surprisingly large numbers for pendejos such as Dubya, Arnold Schwarzenegger (when he ran for the California governor’s seat), Reagan and even Nixon way back when. The difference between them and Trump is that they at least pretended to like Mexicans, while Trump doesn’t give a shit—to his detriment.

Hear me, inútil? If you didn’t call us a bunch of rapists and drug-dealers, un chingo más raza would be voting for you, and you would’ve ran away with the presidency. Instead, we’re getting ready to kick your ass come November and deport you back to your suit factory in Mexico.

Dear Mexican: I’m spending this Christmas in Mexico City with my mexicana fiancée’s family. I met them last year, and we get along well. (Whew!) My problem is that I don’t know what to get her father as a Christmas gift. I went all out last year trying to make a good impression, and it worked. But I can’t top last year’s gift (a jersey signed by several players from his favorite Liga MX team), so I write in hopes that you have some ideas. He’s one of those guys who has everything, so I’m stuck.

Any ideas?

Future Negrito-in-Law

Dear Negrito: You really want to give your future father-in-law the ultimate gift? Don’t marry his daughter.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Why do white guys still think it’s cute to call a Latina “spicy”?

Serene Serena

Dear Pocha: The term hasn’t just applied to mexicanas; I’ve found newspaper clippings from 1866 hailing the virtues of a “spicy woman.” But referring to the better sex by her hotness nowadays is almost universally applied to Mexican mujeres.

The answer is obvious: It’s been ingrained in the American consciousness ever since gabachos discovered our women and chile, and decided they wanted chiles in their mouths, and our women on their puny chiles. In that light, it’s easy to understand why gaba men still use such antiquated, sexist, racist language: They’re gabachos. It’s like asking why a dog eats its own caca.

And now, a quick etymological lesson: The earliest mention I could find of referring to a woman as a “hot tamale” is in a 1909 Philadelphia Star article; the earliest example of referring to a “señorita” as “spicy” happened in a 1919 advertisement in The Seattle Star for a vaudeville show called The Spanish Vamp that promised “A Spicy Dish of Senoritas”; and the earliest use of “spicy señorita” is in a 1940 St. Louis Post-Dispatch ad for Down Argentine Way, a Betty Grable/Don Ameche/Carmen Miranda musical that offered “Spicy Senoritas … Sultry Songs … in the South American Way!" And, : In the latter two shows, there is no tilde over “senorita” because tildes weren’t invented for the English language until 1978.

Dear Mexican: I’ve always wondered during my travels in Mexico why they paint the bark of their trees white. I’ve heard that it helps with controlling pests, or that it helps with protecting young trees from sunburn.

Can you please tell me the correct reason why this practice is followed? Trees are much more attractive when you leave them in their natural state and natural color.

Go Green

Dear Gabacha: What you’ve heard is right. Also: Trees are much more attractive when they’re alive instead of dead.

Dear Mexican: Why are all Mexicans so hardheaded? I was working a promotion last fall at Reliant Stadium (in Houston) for the Fiestas Patrias, and in the process, I came to realize that Mexican people just won’t understand the meaning of “I can’t” or “No.” These people wouldn’t understand I couldn’t just give them a shirt featuring the Mexican soccer team, because it was only for people who would activate a phone. They also kept begging to give them backpacks after we had run out of them. I would tell them “Wey, ya no tenemos, en serio,” and the Mexican would repeat, “Sí, wey, sí tienes. Ándale, dame una para mi hijo. Tu puedes.

At that point, I began to wonder: What the fuck is wrong with us? Why can’t we understand? Dear Mexican, explain to me why!

I’ve Done Half the Fifth Ward

Dear Pocho: And you know the dad wanted the backpack for himself, amiright?

Mexicans are stubborn because that’s the only way to cope with life when you have little else. But I’m also noticing another Mexi-tendency here: Our knowledge that everyone’s always on the take, and that all you need to get what you want is to know the right palabras, or offer the right amount of cash. We learned that from the best source imaginable: American electoral politics, which makes Mexico’s PRI oligarchy look like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I’m a Latina with Mexican parents—well, “parent,” since my father has been non-existent since I was 13, but, you know, you still respect him ’cause he’s your sperm donor.

Anyhoo, the point of this letter: Not only am I a lesbian; my partner is white. We have been together for about a year—in gay years, it’s like 12. She doesn’t get why I’m so close to my family. My partner and I have small arguments (which she likes to call “discussions”) about how Mexicans take advantage of the system. After many “discussions,” we agreed that it’s not just Mexicans who take advantage; it’s any race. They all have them: Whites have white trash; blacks have thugs; and Mexicans have cholos or whatever they go by these days. She sees that my family does take advantage of me, but when push comes to shove, my family is my family, and they will be there for me now as much as they have been there for me in the past, and vice versa.

I’m a little out of “discussions” on how to explain the closeness Mexicans have with their families. The other issue is she wants to learn Spanish and is having a hard time. She doesn’t like to be around my family, because instinct makes us kick into speaking Spanglish or Tex-Mex, and she says it’s like she doesn’t exist, because she only understands a third of the conversation. She says that we all speak English except for my mom, and wonders why we don’t stick to English when my mom is not around. I really have no answer to that question; besides, it’s just instinct to speak Spanish to anyone who speaks Spanish, regardless if they speak English or not. I do feel bad, because I know Spanish is hard to learn, but it’s kind of impossible to not speak it when my mom doesn’t understand English.

So what’s the solution? I really love my white girl and would hate to end up going our separate ways for silly things like this. Any suggestions?

Latin Lesbian in Loss

Dear Pocha: Gabachos will never understand why Mexicans are so close to their family, just like they’ll never understand our love for midgets.

But the bigger issue here is linguistics: If your lover is trying to learn Spanish, why does she get mad when you and your siblings speak en Español? Does she get agüitada when you use the language of love for your almohada talk? There seem to be underlying issues here, so I say dump la pendeja, and move on to a Mexican mujer who will respect your culture.

Don’t forget that gabachas are like that fifth torta de chorizo—seems like a good time at first, but it’ll leave you chingado in the end.

Dear Mexican: I work in a kitchen with many Mexicans, and they often refer to me as “Charlie.” What’s up with Mexicans calling everyone “Charlie”?

Charlie Surfs

Dear Gabacho: Have you heard that story about the gabacho who’s suing a Mario Batali restaurant because he claimed that the Mexican cooks called him “gringo,” “estúpido,” “pendejo” and even a “Chinga tu madre”? The chavala didn’t get what you also don’t seem to understand: Mexican cooks love to bust each other’s balls, and will pile on the insults if you react negatively. It’s working-class culture, and if you can’t take the heat, get out of the cocina, cabrón.

But since the Mexican is ever-magnanimous, here’s a tip: Return the calor by calling your co-workers a below-the-belt insult, like “Rick Bayless.”

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Why can’t U.S. citizens take responsibility for their own actions? It’s common to encounter ignorant people blaming Mexicans (and many other Latin Americans) for their own plight. But let’s look at the facts: First, almost as soon as the Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch left their colonies in this hemisphere, Washington, D.C., stepped in, trying to support puppet dictatorships and crush any real independence. These puppets often (not always) impoverished many of their people.

Also, every year, U.S. citizens hand over billions of dollars of their own tax money in subsidies to agribusinesses. These companies use their “welfare for the rich” to cover their costs, and then dump overproduced, underpriced agricultural products on Mexico. This forces Mexican farmers out of business and off of the land, which forces down Mexican wages and job availability, and forces Mexicans out of the country. So what happens? The impoverished results of the aforementioned events are showing up as illegal immigrants in the U.S. As embattled immigrants in the U.K. put it in the 1970s, “We come here because you go there.”

Fuck Neo-Colonialism

Dear Gabacho: You pretty much lo clavaste, especially the second and third points—that’s the story of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Bill Clinton pushed on us Mexicans during his administration, and which Hillary Clinton has never denounced.

While the Mexican’s preferred candidate of choice for any political race will always be Alfred E. Neuman, you’re better off as a Mexican if you feel el Bern instead of trying to pretend that Hillary has things in common with your abuela, as a laughable Clinton listicle insisted last year. The only grandmother La Hillary even resembles in Mexican culture is one of those mean, rich ones in telenovelas who talks trash on the india maids and her puta daughter-in-law.

Why are we content to hear the same old recycled Tejano music? We have tons of local jazz and blues musicians—why doesn’t the Latin radio station dedicate a few hours a day to these artists? Encourage them to push the boundaries. Stretch out, and push the envelope. Can you imagine the outcome? Why aren’t we, in turn, impacting Anglo and Black culture with our style, music, art, literature, acting and architecture?

Fresa Freddy

Dear Pocho: I seriously doubt you’re listening to Tejano music; you’re probably a pendejo pocho who can’t tell his Flaco Jimenez from Ramón Ayala and thinks Jennifer Lopez made Selena popular. Spanish-language stations don’t play local artists for the same reason that English-language ones don’t—they don’t come from the record-label cartels that dominate Top 40 music.

You want boundary-pushing music? Let’s take your much-maligned Tejano music, which takes the Czech polka, Polish mazurka and German waltz; puts Spanish lyrics in front of it; speeds it up with American rock ’n’ roll; adds R&B pizzazz; and calls it a start.

Modern-day jazz and blues? They’re more derivative than a piñata-maker.

Finally, if you don’t think we influence gabacho and negrito culture, go talk to Taco Bell.

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Published in Ask a Mexican