Dear Mexican: I have a Chicana friend who comes from an upper-middle-class family, goes to a prestigious Ph.D. program, and has never had to take out student loans or work a real job—but she is constantly complaining about how “oppressed” she is.
Examples she gives are seemingly trivial things, such as not being called on in class, a professor being mean to her one time, and not feeling “emotionally safe.” She even said my questioning of her micro-aggression stories was itself a micro-aggression! I don’t know what to make of it—hanging out with her is hard, because I have to walk on eggshells constantly.
I know Chicanos and Chicanas who come from objectively worse circumstances and have had way harder lives than she has, yet they don’t act like the world is against them. Does she have a victim mentality?
Dear Gabacho: We’ve got a name for people like that in Mexican Spanish—fresas. Strawberries, because they bruise easily. OK, so the Mexican doesn’t know the actual etymology of the snobbish meaning of fresa, but makes sense, ¿qué no?
Racism against Mexicans does indeed exist in doctoral programs nationwide, and we shouldn’t assume that raza in rarified worlds don’t feel discrimination’s sting. (Just ask George P. Bush.) But it seems like your pal, to use the old baseball phrase, was born on third base and goes through life thinking she hit un triple.
Tell her to work a day as a strawberry-picker to know what the hard life really is. That said, Mexicans who suffer real shit and don’t complain aren’t somehow better than llorones—we’re Mexicans in a racist society, after all, not Jesus pinche Christ. And even He cried on the cross.
Dear Mexican: I am currently incarcerated, and have a one-year subscription to a newspaper that carries your column. I am Chicano, and I’m a fan of your column. I just want to ask you a couple of serious questions, and I hope you can personally respond back.
I’ve been reading up on Mexican history, and I’m a little confused. Why did the Texas Revolution start in 1836 between Mexicans and Anglos? Secondly, how did the Battle of Texas lead to the Mexican-American War?
Pinto en La Pinta
Dear Homie in Prison: I usually don’t answer two preguntas in one shot, but I’ll make an exception for the homies in Chino. Besides, the answer is muy easy.
The Texas Revolution started because Americans hate Mexicans. And the Mexican-American War happened because Americans hate Mexicans. And now you know why Donald Trump rescinded DACA. Oh, and #fucktrump.
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Enough negativity—let’s do an experiment! Now, more than ever, good Mexicans deserve our support.
An ¡Ask a Mexican! fan runs La Moustache, a Los Angeles company that does chingón bowties, but is agüitado that more raza aren’t buying his handcrafted, classy creations. So show him what’s up! Visit lamoustachebt.com, and place an order or 30. And this ain’t no payola—whenever the Mexican needs to wrap something around his neck for fresa parties, it’s always a cinto piteado tied in a Windsor knot.
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!