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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Ask a Mexican

16 Oct 2013
Dear Mexican: My wife and I are looking to buy our first house. Being young (ish) and hip (ish), we’re looking into buying in Santa Ana. It’s amazing how much house and land you can get for $350K compared to the two-bedroom stacked cracker boxes in south Orange County. My question is two-fold: Has Santa Ana always been predominately Latino, and if not, when did this demographic shift occur? Growing up in south OC in the 1980s, Santa Ana was a place where white kids DID NOT GO (at least not until we were older, and we wanted to buy beer without getting carded). Second, the neighborhoods: Why are some so pristine, and some sort of terrifying? Wilshire Square and Washington Square are gorgeous, but you go a couple of streets over, and it looks like a São Paulo favela. What gives? Why were some neighborhoods so amazingly preserved?? Mr.…
09 Oct 2013
Dear Readers: The Mexican is taking the week off, because his home paper is preparing its fantabulous Best Of issue. Behold, then, an oldie-but-goodie column that Art Laboe would approve of—enjoy! Dear Mexican: A friend says she read somewhere that only 20 percent of Mexican men go down on their ladies. I don’t believe that. Can you “spread” some light on the subject? El Gabacho Guapo Dear Handsome Gabacho: Let me penetrate the thrust of your friend’s argument by referring her to the seminal The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, a set of studies on the world’s sex habits gathered into one grande book. Its section on Mexico cites two surveys from the early 1990s which found that about 50 percent of men in Mexico City practiced oral sex on women—more than twice the number your friend laid out. In fact, the Mexican hombre’s taste for cunnilingus grows once he hops…
02 Oct 2013
Dear Mexican: I’m a Mexican-American Catholic who is really upset about something I saw after Mass last night. As I waited for my son to come out of confirmation class (yes, I had already attended Mass myself), I noticed something really odd: I saw a grocery cart parked by a curb. It was odd, because it was filled with all those things a vendor sells at parks. Then I noticed another weird thing: Some lady was setting up a little table by the front doors of the church with assorted items to sell. WOW! What is going on with people? Have we become so desperate for money that we are now hitting up churches like we do parks? I’m not sure if you have seen or heard of this before; I was really offended. I am also struggling financially; I live paycheck to paycheck, but I still don’t think I…
25 Sep 2013
Dear Mexican: With the current state and federal prison system (especially here in California) spitting out even harder criminals due to overcrowding; and gang activity allowed to a certain degree by the “system”; why are some legislators, government officials and American citizens stating that illegal immigration can be fixed by sending many undocumented immigrants to prison? Our prison system, I think, would create more criminally minded individuals … and, if not, expose immigrants looking for a better opportunity in life to the savage nature of living behind bars. I don’t know if there will ever be a law passed that would provide such punishment to those crossing the border, but with this ever-growing Middle East war using up a very high percentage of United States resources that could be used for domestic issues, I feel that if the citizens of the United States ever vote in the “wrong” presidential candidate,…
18 Sep 2013
Dear Mexican: Can I “Ask a Mexican” why El Tri sucks so much? And why a little stadium in Columbus, Ohio, was louder and more passionate than Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which seats more than 100,000? Can I also ask why a country that lives and breathes soccer/fútbol always freaks out in Crew Stadium against my beloved U.S., as they did on Sept. 10, when El Tri lost 2-0 to the United States? HAHAHAHAHAHA! I want to hear this one. Oh, and please don’t give me an economic reason, because El Tri gets treated better in Mexico than any organization in that country. Member of Uncle Chava’s Army Dear Wab: You’re not going to get any apologias from me on this one. I’ve long maintained that the current squad for El Tri is overrated and full of themselves; that Chicharito isn’t the second coming of Hugo Sanchez or even…
11 Sep 2013
Dear Mexican: I have a Mexican friend at work, and we happened to get into a discussion that started off fine—but I believe I offended her as the discussion progressed. My intention, of course, was not to do such. We were talking about a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and I asked if she knew the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo. “Of course I do,” she said. “It was a famous battle we won”—“we” meaning Mexico. “That’s great,” I replied, “because a lot of people have the wrong idea. They think it’s when Mexico got its independence.” She then said, “Yeah, only you gringos think that.” She implied that she should know because she is Mexican American. I said that she’s really an American who happens to have Mexican heritage. “I don’t call myself a European American,” I told her. I was born here, just like she was! I also…
04 Sep 2013
Dear Mexican: I have read (from the usual suspects and a few Know Nothings) that illegals can say a few magic words to get temporary, pending review, asylum status. The reports say the illegals can claim asylum from drug gangs. My understanding is that fear of crime in one’s home country has never been grounds for seeking asylum in the USA. In other words, these reports make no sense. My experience of the Mexican government’s insufferable machismo is that it would go ballistic if we granted asylum to even one peon based on “government oppression.” They would recall their ambassador, expel ours and embargo the export of serapes and piñatas. Do you have any of the FACTS surrounding this brouhaha in San Diego? Queso Grande Dear Big Cheese Gabacho: Both the Mexican and American governments want to discount the threat of narco-violence as a plausible reason for refugee status, for…
28 Aug 2013
Dear Readers: The Mexican wants to beat you to the carne asada case this Labor Day fin de semana, so behold two oldies but goodies I amazingly haven't yet passed off as new in this columna. The first one is extant and one of the favorite questions the Mexican has ever got; for the second respuesta, I've added some new thoughts at the end, given it dates to 2007, yet the question is, like the Mexican lust for gabachas, eternal. Enjoy, and eat 11 tacos de chorizo for your favorite Mexican, wontcha? Dear Mexican: Whatever happened to the “lazy Mexican"? Now all I hear is that they’re taking our jobs. Ronnie Racist Dear Gabacho: Isn't that the stupidest paradox? Really: How can someone simultaneously be a yeoman and a layabout, unless he's Shaquille O'Neal? But accusing ethnics of being both is America's most cherished immigrant insult. Every group felt its…
21 Aug 2013
Dear Mexican: In a nutshell, you inspired me to rediscover my culture, my pride as a Mexican and my love for my people (though is hard to love my own people at times). I’m writing a college paper on Latin-American issues—more specifically, on Mexican apathy, which is deeply rooted here in my city of El Paso. I don’t know if you’ve noticed when you have been here, but we live in a Mexican-majority bubble that could easily be called a Mexican utopia in the United States. This same privilege enables a lack of unity and motivation to rise above our social issues, such as a low rate of superior education. The worst part of living in this city is the antagonizing sentiment we have against our own kind, based solely on the fact that many recently migrated, and there is a sad misconception that most of the recent migrants are…
14 Aug 2013
Dear Mexican: This pregunta has been simmering in my brain for a while, like slow-cooking birria, and the recent question about whether saying “Viva la Raza” is racist reminded me to ask you. According to José Vasconcelos, the Mexican people are La Raza Cósmica (Cosmic Race), which seems like a romantic version of the “melting pot” farce. In Guillermo Bonfil Batalla’s México Profundo, he suggests that notions like La Raza Cósmica are used to de-Indianize the majority of the Mexican people. We have a strong and rich indigenous history; thus, umbrella terms like mestizo y raza cósmica further detach us from our cultural and ethnic identity, and the natural claim to our tierra y nuestro soberanía. And for what? To produce a legally enslaved working class that’s neither Indian nor Spanish, but a mix—mongrels, mutts. What do do you think? Are we La Raza Cosmica? Mestizos? Mexicanos? Or according to…