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Thu11232017

Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Ask a Mexican

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.…
12 Jul 2017
Dear Mexican: I was reading an article about lowriders being modern pieces of art, displayed prominently in museums around the world. Having grown up in Española, N.M., I felt a sense of pride coming from the “Lowrider Capital of the World.” My question is: Where did the lowrider phenomenon begin? Española may be the lowrider capital, but I have my doubts it began there. It’s a small town, and was even smaller in the 1950s. Do you have any interest in writing a little history piece? I think it would be an interesting piece, given the lowrider’s place in pop-culture and Mexican origins. Low and Slow in Nuevo México Dear Pocho: Española is a great little town that I visit every year on the way to the Santuario de Chimayó—but lowriders didn’t begin there. It’s only known as the Lowrider Capital of el mundo because NPR’s All Things Considered supposedly…
05 Jul 2017
Dear Mexican: Los Marijuanos played at Seattle Hempfest years ago. Are they the best pro-hemp Mexican band out there? Are there other Mexican hemp-related bands or products out there that I don’t know about? Inquring Hempsters Want to Know! Dear Gabacho: Remember Platoon, and how the troops were broken up between the “tweakers”—those who enjoyed the ganga while singing along to “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles—and the angry drunks who were known as “juicers”? The Mexican is definitely the latter: I’m like the old men in the rancho who drink 180-proof sugarcane alcohol and can’t be bothered with herb, so my knowledge of products is limited to whatever my home newspaper plugs on potplus.com. That said, #respect to those of ustedes who do smoke—Mexican musicians have been on that bit long before “Reefer Man.” “La Cucaracha” has a line about how former President Victoriano…
28 Jun 2017
Dear Mexican: I’ve read that 75 percent of Americans are against giving illegal immigrants citizenship. I’m for full amnesty and citizenship for the current 12 million that are here, but I have two absolute conditions. First, the border is locked up by both the U.S. and Mexico, and illegal entries are reduced by 90 percent, even if that takes the military of both countries. Second, citizenship would require pledging allegiance to America and denouncing Mexican citizenship. My question is: Do you think that the Mexican portion of the 12 million would agree to this? And do you think the Mexican government would agree to help close the border if full amnesty was given to those who are now here? Wally Wall Dear Gabacho: You heard about how Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and equip it with solar panels, right? Well, your idea is stupider.…
21 Jun 2017
Dear Mexican: Waze is launching Waze Carpool throughout California. I think it’s gonna be a hit, especially with tight Latino enclaves throughout the state. But … is there a history of raites within the Mex community? Uber Wazer Dear Gabacho: Everything that tech bros and their hipster acolytes think they’re creating, Mexicans did first. Ripping off music and movies? We call it piratería, and we know a guy at the swap meet who has Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on VHS. Airbnb? We’ve been renting out the couch to visitors since the days of the Toltecs. Uber? The aforementioned raiteros—what the gabacho media used to call gypsy cabs. Some app that you can use to find someone to cut your lawn or fix your clogged toilet? Day laborers. Dia de los Muertos everything? BRUH … and all of this caca will continue—because as I’ve written before, when hipsters do something…
14 Jun 2017
Dear Mexican: My fiancé is trying to learn Spanish so he can speak to my grandmother when we get married next month. Lately, he’s been listening to CNN en Español to get an ear for the language. A couple of days ago, he told me that, after several weeks of seeing the channel, he noticed there are ALWAYS chickens clucking in the background of the commercials. He wants to know: “What’s up with the chickens?” and, “Is worshipping chickens a Mexican thing?” Madre Hen Dear Wabette: Does your gabacho not speak English, either? Can’t he ask the Mexican a question on his own? Not only that, but your gabacho is either a liar, or he mistakenly tuned into the Rural Farm Network for his Spanish lessons. I see CNN en Español and have never once heard chicken clucks during a commercial. In fact, the only time I can recall hearing…