Dear Mexican: In Jared Diamond’s DVD for Guns, Germs and Steel, he mentions the classical Spanish form of horsemanship, jimeta. I have not been able to find this word used anywhere else. Can you help?
Dear Gabacho: While Diamond’s book of the same name is a classic, he got his word wrong—it’s jineta, per the Real Academia Española. The word is descended from jinete (horseman, and “El Jinete” is a GREAT José Alfredo Jiménez song), which is derived from the Zenata, the Berber confederation that served as cavalry of the Moors which was respected by the Spanish for their talent—conquistador game respects conquistador game, you know?
¡ASK A MEXICAN! INFLUENCES POLITICS!
Last week, a scandal broke out in the Los Angeles City Council District 1 race between incumbent Gil Cedillo and challenger Joseph Bray-Ali.
After the Bray-Ali campaign attacked Cedillo for not denouncing some pendejo spewing racist remarks during a debate, One Bill Gil’s people told the Los Angeles Times about a years-old video of Bray-Ali asking your humble Mexican a YouTube question about why Mexicans like to use their car horns as doorbells. (Short answer: Because we’re LOUD, and also because most barrios rarely have any open parking spaces.)
Bray-Ali subsequently apologized for the 9-year-old question, even as he declared himself a “fanboy” of this column.
Wow, where to begin … how about fuck everyone involved? Fuck the Times for not doing their research and realizing that Bray-Ali’s question was directed at me—that dramatically changes the dynamics of the story. Fuck Cedillo’s team for responding to a racial taunt by one of his supporters by sending reporters the question in an effort to turn the tables on Bray-Ali. (Cedillo, for his part, denounced the nastiness, although one of his fans is now leaving anti-Indian comments on my clip.) Fuck Cedillo’s supporters for not allowing Bray-Ali to ask a legitimate question about Mexicans to a column set up for that. Fuck any Cedillo supporters who think the very act of engaging with ¡Ask a Mexican! is racist—Gil sure didn’t think so when he was a member of the Latino Legislative Caucus in 2008 when they awarded me with a Latino Spirit Award for what they said was my “exceptional vision, creativity and work ethic.”
Fuck Bray-Ali’s supporters for trying to drag former state Sen. Martha Escutia into the “Go back to India!” debacle. Fuck Bray-Ali’s brother for sending me a Facebook message that got sent to that “filtered folder” bullshit—my email’s pretty easy to find, bruh. Fuck Bray-Ali for apologizing and taking back his question—that implies what you did was wrong, which it wasn’t. With fans like you, who needs enemies?
Man, where’s a tamborazo version of “Hit ’Em Up” when I need it?
To everyone involved: Don’t use my column for your pathetic needs. Take a deep breath, and concentrate on issues that matter in District 1, like housing affordability and the fact that gentrified Highland Park is overrated.
Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!