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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Ask a Mexican

20 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m an Arizonan of the anti-SB 1070 ilk who has just adopted an Arizonan 5-year old boy who is obviously (visually anyway) of Mexican descent. I want to do right by my son where his heritage is concerned; I have my own ideas about what that means, but I value your opinion. I’m enrolling him in a public elementary school that has a Spanish-language program (and hoping that the state Legislature doesn’t kill such things), and have a passing knowledge of some of the pertinent literature. (Among other things, I once produced a radio reading of Bless Me, Ultima for the local station for the blind.) I expect we are destined for difficulties from intrusive questions to downright racism in the future, so my immediate goal is to continue to grow my relationship with my son in such a way that he has no doubts that his family…
13 Sep 2017
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? Gringo Blanco Dear Gabacho: We’ve got a name for people…
06 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: How can I get my new Mexican girlfriend to calm down about Trump and being deported? We safely live in a sanctuary city. I have no intention of just marrying her unless something horrible happens, but I want to help her out. She is a kind, rational human being who simply has bought into the fear-mongering that Trump is instilling in her. While a triple-orgasm might make her feel temporary relief, how can I get her to realize that we are not in a place where she is going to get deported unless she blatantly breaks a serious law? Good Gabacho Who Gives It Good Dear Gabacho: Wow, you’re a special kind of pendejo. Sanctuary-city status doesn’t mean shit to Trump or U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is threatening to cut federal funding to such cities. Sanctuary cities can’t stop la migra from picking up people for…
30 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: Why do so many Mexican women feel so jealous when other Mexican women achieve success? I have to deal with this all the time. Please explain. A Successful Mexican Woman Dear Pocha: Because cishet patriarchy—DUH. Dear Mexican: How do I get over my consciousness about being seen as a “sell-out” for dating a white guy? I think if I were a receptionist, I’d feel less troubled, but I’m a professional and hate fitting into the stereotype of the successful Latina with the hyphenated last name. Is there any way that a chola from East L.A. and a surfer from Malibu would not be seen as an odd couple? Loca Pero No Naca Dear Crazy but Not Trashy: You’re not a sell-out for dating gabachos; you’re a vendida for thinking you’re better than others because you’re a “professional.” A secretary isn’t a professional? Maybe the Malibu crowd thinks you’re…
23 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: I recently relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and am longing for my Mexicans. As you know, in Los Angeles, it is easy to find amazing Chicanas—whenever I wanted to meet beautiful, intelligent Mexican ladies, I would head to Main Street in Alhambra on any Thursday night and be in utter heaven. But I have not been able to get my bearings in Vegas. Do you have any insight into the Mexican social scene here, or can you offer some advice on where I should look? I would also be interested in learning some history about Mexicans in Las Vegas generally, and their current status out here. Buscando a Mis Chicanas Desiertos Dear Pocho: My cousin Raymond moved out to Vegas from La Puente about 20 years ago to find the good life, so you’re not looking hard enough. And once the Raiders relocate there, you’ll have…
16 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m a 23-year-old Latina attending a Texas university, and I’m 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 whether what I am feeling is OK. Did you ever go through something like this type of identity crisis? Any advice on how to feel/handle it? Down in Denton Dear mujer:…
09 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: Why do a lot of Mexicans let their toddlers stay on the baby bottle longer than most kiddos? I work at a surgery center that specializes in children’s dental surgery, and most of the patients are Mexican kids getting their teeth fixed from such scenarios. I’ve also personally known Mexican mothers whose children’s mouths were completely blinged out with dental work. Any insight on why the Mexican bambinos stay on the bottle so long? Wean ’Em Off Dear Gabacho: You’re right about the problem—multiple studies have documented the Mexican propensity for their chicos to suffer from what’s scientifically known as early childhood caries (ECC), and colloquially known as baby-bottle tooth decay. The disease rots baby teeth, leading to many kids making rapper Riff Raff’s dientes seem as pearly white as a Pepsodent model. UCLA student Sally Chu’s 2006 paper “Early Childhood Caries: Risk and Prevention in Underserved Populations,”…
02 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m half-Mexican and—on my conservative Christian, Republican father’s side—half-white. Growing up, I was discouraged from learning Spanish by my father and his family (while mi abuela tried to teach me anyway), so never learned; I’m currently having to learn as an adult. My father’s family always tried to impress upon me their specific beliefs on all topics—my grandfather and I have gotten into arguments since I was 8 about his racist attitude toward those with a brown background, and I’m constantly having to remind him that myself and mi prima are both half-Mexican (her on her father’s side), even going to the extent of adding Perez to my last name (it’s my mom’s maiden name) for the last few years. I know what I had to deal with growing up, and now with the whole immigration fiasco, my grandfather continues on and on. My little 8-year-old prima is…
26 Jul 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m listening to a podcast called Gravy. The segment is bluegrass tacos. You were interviewed, and a few statements bothered me: “The U.S. can take half of Mexico. They can make us peons, force us to move up north.” Is this a common shared view of America(ns) in your community? If so, it is very disappointing that in 2017, you would express this bias/prejudice against this amazing country. How were you forced to move north? Do you recognize/appreciate all the opportunities that this country has given you and other Mexicans who have came here? I would like to know your views. My initial opinion of you is that you are holding onto the view: “We are an oppressed people and can’t believe what America has done to us.” There is always a “great” country to the south that offers so much more, without the oppression, that has openings…
19 Jul 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I always get excited about the World Cup. In preparation for the event next year, I wanted your opinion on the team my wife and I should root for if the U.S. were to play Mexico. I’m a fourth-generation Mexican American. Spanish was never spoken at home, but thanks to our amazing public school system, I rarely need a translator when I speak to Spanish-speaking parents. (I’m an administrator at an amazing public school.) My wife grew up speaking Spanish and was raised in a home that was culturally Mexican. We both feel comfortable participating in events that are very Mexican, and events that are very American. Last night, I asked my wife who she should root for if the U.S. played Mexico. She wasn’t sure. I told her I wasn’t sure, either, and that we should ask for your advice.…

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