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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Ask a Mexican

01 Oct 2014
Dear Mexican: Why don’t Mexicans get green cards and come into the United States legally? After talking to people who have, I realize that the process is not hard, and it only takes a maximum of three years to do. By coming in illegally, people are taking jobs from legal Mexican citizens and taking advantage of the U.S. social-welfare systems. This causes increased taxes, not to mention increased costs of all types of insurance. These costs are forced onto all legal citizens, including Mexicans. Do the Mexicans who cross the border illegally have any respect for people or their own culture? Shane the Shooter Dear Gabacho: Who says Mexicans don’t come here legally? The Pew Hispanic Center shows that nearly half of the 11.4 million Mexican immigrants in el Norte are legal, with about un terced of that half permanent residents—that’s a lot of Mexicans with green cards! But factor…
24 Sep 2014
Dear Mexican: I enjoy the use of language by Chicanos, mexicanos and Mexican Americans. Humor and a sardonic sense of history, in my view, are encapsulated in many everyday expressions. Two examples are the use of huey (or perhaps buey) and rollo. In the first case, perhaps buey (ox) is a bitterly ironic reference to the term huey tlatoani, “ruler of Mexico-Tenochtitlan,” I read about in Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World by Miguel León-Portilla. In the second case, I’ve heard young Chicanos use the word rollo, for conversation or dialogue, perhaps seeing themselves as seated Aztecs uttering word-scrolls. What do you think? Cuauhtémoc’s Cousin Dear Wab: I agree that Mexican Spanish is a magnificent thing, and you forgot to throw in caló, albures and double-entendres to the roll call of linguistic desmadre. But your folk etymologies are a bit off. We derive buey (or, güey and wey) from the…
17 Sep 2014
Dear Mexican: A very close friend of mine is supposed to become a U.S. citizen. He was brought here by his parents when he was 9 and has been illegal since then. When the laws changed, he went through a lot of hoops, and it really didn’t look good for a long while—especially since he was already 30 by the time the law was truly enacted. But somehow, through petitions and an appeal, he has been told he will become a U.S. citizen. That being said, he is still waiting for the day, still working in a dodgy manner, and still not driving—his American wife always drives. There’s a pallor of emasculation about not being a citizen. He feels second-rate—something I know not because he tells us, but because his wife and I are very close. He takes out his anger and resentment on his wife and marriage, and it’s…
10 Sep 2014
Dear Mexican: The Mexican-American community is the most adversely affected by the influx of illegals. Only the politicians have any gain from lumping all Hispanics into the Latino category. Are proud, hardworking Mexican Americans actually willing to continually diminish their own children’s American future purely to facilitate the radical Chicano politician’s dream of a fearful, disjointed, Third World California? So far, the racist Chicano politicians are succeeding at making fools of the Mexican-American community. Where is the outrage? The Mexican-Americans I know are exemplary parents. Since when did the community at large cease to feel an obligation to its own children? My Best Friend Is Brown Dear Gabacho: Of course the Mexican-American community is the most affected by undocumented folks. They’re our primos y tíos deported by the migra, as well as the parents of young children left without mami or papi. Their hard work shames us pochos into working…
03 Sep 2014
Dear Mexican: I’m from the southeastern U.S., and people think that all people from there are dumb (and in many cases, they’re correct—see Bush, G.W.). Is there a similar place in Mexico where other Mexicans think people are inbred mouth-breathers? Swanee Señor Dear Gabacho: Jalisco. I am a health-researcher, and at my job, I work with large datasets, including data on births in California. Approximately half of births in California are to mothers who have self-identified their race as “white” and their ethnicity as “Hispanic,” and as we know, the majority of Latinos in California have ancestry from Mexico. I am wondering: Why do so few Latinos identify their race as either Native American or multiracial? We know from genetic studies that many Mexicans have a significant proportion of Native American ancestry. For example, see Fejerman et al., Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2010; 19(4): 1074-82, who found that the…
27 Aug 2014
Dear Mexican: I see lots of Mexican Americans struggling in grade school and high school. Many Mexican-American activists claim it’s because the students don’t speak English at home, or the schools don’t teach them well. But I see lots of Asian Americans in the same schools who do really well. Many of them also don’t speak English at home. The last time I went to a hospital, it seemed like Asians were 30 percent of the doctors. I didn’t see a single Latino one. Why is it that one group consistently does better than the other? I don’t understand. Clueless Dear Gabacho: Because Mexican students are stupid, while Asian students are geniuses—that’s what you and your ilk want to hear, right? This pregunta always busts me up, because no matter how many studies activists can offer examining the myths of model minorities and Mexican apathy toward academics—variables, educational background of…
20 Aug 2014
Dear Readers: The Mexican just got married to a chica caliente, so he’s taken her on a honeymoon to the motherland so she can learn the proper art of tortilla-making. In the meanwhile, I offer this “best of” edition, because I plan to do all of my work this week en la cama—ZING! Dear Mexican: The last two movies I attended were rated R. Sitting around me were Mexican families with very young children. Why do Mexicans bring their 8-year-old kids to see a movie like Hostel? Do Mexican parents just not give a shit, or can they not afford a baby sitter? Plus, the Mexicans let their kids kick my seat. Confused Moviegoer Dear Gabacho: The only sin I see here is anyone forking over cash to watch Hostel, the 2005 horror turkey whose main claim to fame was casting handsome wab Jay Hernandez as a character with the…
13 Aug 2014
Dear Mexican: I’m not Mexican, but my son-in-law is. He is intelligent, bright, enthusiastic and pleasant to spend time with. He came here, illegally, at the age of 18 with his aunts. He and my daughter are married, have a 3 1/2-year-old son, and have gone through the entire process of filing papers and paying fees so he could enter the country legally. Last week, at the instruction of la migra, he went to Juarez, Mexico, to apply for his visa. He had his physical after waiting in line for nine hours. Then, on Wednesday, he stood in line for his 9:45 a.m. appointment from 7 a.m. until the consulate closed at 4 p.m. He was told to come back tomorrow. He showed up at 6 a.m. the next day and was finally granted his interview. One question that is asked in the interview is: “Have you ever used drugs?”…
06 Aug 2014
Dear Mexican: I’m a handsome exemplar of the bronce race living in the motherland. I’m dating a beautiful and wonderful gringuita who is soon taking a trip over the border from the U.S. to Mexico for the first time to visit me and my pinche big family. There are a couple of things that worry me, though. First of all, she seems to have a fairly pessimistic view of Mexico (probably due to anti-Mexican propaganda and inherited biased family ideas). She says that she’s very excited to visit, but I can sense that there’s fear in her. What would you suggest that I do to erase all her wrong gabacho misconceptions of la madre patria? Secondly, I fear for her health once she gets to eat real Mexican food. What can I do to ameliorate the devastating effects our unique cuisine has on unsuspecting foreigners, and spare her from Moctezuma’s…
30 Jul 2014
Dear Mexican: Why is it that so many gringos/gabachos constantly slaughter Spanish words? Spanish is easy to pronounce (and spell) compared to English. The vowels are always pronounced the same way. In English, vowels vary a lot—which is difficult for new learners. All of the other letters of the alphabet are pronounced the same way, except for a few, such as “J” (guttural-sounding) and “X” (like the aspired “J”). But “H” is always silent; “Y” is like “I”; and double “ll” is pronounced “yah.” And don’t get me started about how common expressions like “vamonos” became “mosey.” Or how “calabozo” became “calaboose,” and “vaquero” became “buckaroo,” etc. Llamame Frustrado Dear Call Me Frustrated: Don’t be too hard on gabachos. You simplify Spanish a bit too much—don’t forget that “X” sounds like “ch” when placed at the beginning of words; that we love to elide (you try getting a gaba to…