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30 Aug 2017

Ask a Mexican: I'm a Chola From East L.A.; Am I a Sell-Out for Dating a White Guy?

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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 a maid, and perhaps the Eastlos crowd thinks your surfer is some hipster douchebag.

Dear Mexican: Why have you all kept Astrid Hadad such a secret? I just saw a show about her, and for God’s sakes! A woman who has a skirt that looks like a huge set of tits? THIS woman really, really needs a bigger audience for her act. Does she ever come to El Norte? Could you ask? Please? She has a wit like a razor for EVERYONE. Pretty cool—if nothing else, get her name out, as she is very cool.

Galloping Gorda the Pavement Crusher

Dear Gabacha: Haddad is a chingona, but there are a bunch of similarly subversive mujeres in Mexican music and performance art, from the days of Lola Beltrán and Gloria Trevi through the late, great Jenni Rivera and Rita Guerrero of Santa Sabina. There’s more to Mexican female art than Frida Kahlo, gentle cabrones.

Dear Mexican: My “Mexican” workmates get very excited to see go see Latin bands. (I say “Mexican,” because some have been here so long, they don’t speak Spanish well.) These people put salsa on the jukebox whenever they get a chance. They clamor for Mexi music at holiday parties. They seem to wrap themselves in the Mexican flag. I’ve seen their record collections, and there is a bunch of classic rock and reggae—but if it has Latin flavor, they’re all over it. They even start speaking with accents. We’re talking post-grad degrees, third- or fourth-generation.

Question: Why can’t they be motivated to see rock or reggae at free shows around town, but get so easily excited about Latin bands?

Bruja in HB

Dear Huntington Beach Witch: Because free rock or reggae shows tend to vale madre.

But I really don’t get your question. So you’re mad that assimilated Mexican Americans like Mexican music? Why aren’t you mad at Italian Americans for worshiping at the altar of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra? Or Southerners for wishing to see bluegrass remain as pure as a mountain spring in the Bluegrass? That’s right: Because they’re not Mexican. To paraphrase the old Annie Get Your Gun song, “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”—anything Americans can do, Mexicans can’t, because we’re just illegal alien savages to them. And they wonder why we planned the Reconquista …

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!

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