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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Ask a Mexican

29 May 2013
Dear Mexican: I went to a Los Angeles Dodgers game today and noticed that they now have Doyer Dogs, which are fucking disgusting and covered in nacho cheese, jalapeños and chili. Not that it doesn’t have potential, but this is Dodger Stadium here, not a food truck. But my question: Do you think that it’s more offensive to Latinos (specifically the Latino population of Southern California/Los Angeles) to advertise “Doyer Dogs” instead of just calling them Mexican hot dogs? I thought that the Dodgers should do a better job embracing the Latino community as real fans, instead of Doyer Fans. I don't think this is a popular opinion, but after today's game (which was my fourth this year), I feel like much of the notion about the "bad crowd" at Dodger Stadium is just a majority of white people in Los Angeles being uncomfortable in public around large groups of…
22 May 2013
Dear Mexican: Like many Americans, I’ve heard about the “Fast and Furious” scandal in which our own Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was shown to be guilty of supplying guns that ended up in the hands of the drug cartels. Now, if I say any more, I might be talking about facts that I don’t know, and I would probably only be spouting off about what I heard on the news. I also recently saw a report about the violence in Mexico, and it mentioned something that I was unaware of: The report stated that there is only one place in all of Mexico for a citizen to purchase a firearm. However, we know that the cartels in Ciudad Juarez (and other parts of Mexico) are heavily armed. Of course, there is always the larger world market the cartels could use to find their firepower. But just across…
15 May 2013
Dear Mexican: Where did the notion come from of adding an -o to the end of an English word and assuming that makes it a Spanish word? Juanito Dear Wab: “Anglos have long held power in making Spanish and Spanish-speaking culture invisible,” writes University of South Florida assistant professor of foreign language education Adam Schwartz in his excellent essay “Mockery and Appropriation of Spanish in White Spaces: Perceptions of Latinos in the United States,” published in the 2011 publication The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. “But Spanish can be made selectively visible for the purposes of Mock Spanish,” a term popularized by legendary University of Arizona anthropologist Jane H. Hill to refer to what gabachos have deemed acceptable Spanglish—think terms like “vaya con Dios,” “cojones,” “mañana, mañana,” and “chinga tu pinche madre, pinche puto pendejo baboso.” As Schwartz points out in his work, the addition of the masculine -o suffix to…
08 May 2013
Dear Mexican: Why is it that people from Chihuahua and Monterrey are such jackasses? They come from pinches ranchitos and talk about their haciendas; they cross the border and act as if their cagada does not stink. Why do pinches chihuahuenses act as if they are better than us American citizens? They go to all-you-can-eat $6.99 buffets and still want to take a plate to go for their abuela and primos and try to feed the whole familia. They stay at our hotels and treat the maids like rats, as if they were conquistadores. They speak loud, as if every one wanted to hear what they have to say—they are not E.F. Hutton. They think that their putos pesos can buy anything, When you ask them where they come from, they start by telling you that their abuelos are Spaniards, and most of their familia are Spaniards, as if they…
01 May 2013
Dear Mexican: Although I’m familiar with your column, I don’t read it regularly. But today, I was struck by something you said in a recent column about how Mexicans can make Americans like Mexicans. So I quote: “We called ourselves Spanish; we considered ourselves white.” I’m Mexican, and I consider myself “white” because I’m not black or red or Asian. I understand what I’m made of. People from Spain are Caucasian. But in the U.S., educators don’t teach you anything about Spain. They downplay Spain’s impact on this country. Test questions in school always emphasized that the Spanish came here for “glory and gold,” not to settle this land. So I took 15 trips to Spain over a period of 20 years to explore. I’ve written and researched for years to learn who the Spanish really are. And I am here to tell you that I am proud to have…
24 Apr 2013
Dear Mexican: I have always liked ranchera music. As of late, I have wanted to get deeper into the history, the culture and especially the songs and lyrics. The older I get, the more rancheras seem like poetry to me … sounds cursi, I know. Do you know of a good book or two or a website that I can read or check out? I went to my local library, and they didn’t have a very good selection. And Borders or Barnes and Noble? Forget it … so por favor and gracias, if you could. Houston Honey Dear Wabette: Of course Borders doesn’t stock any books on rancheras—Borders doesn’t exist anymore (and borders don’t exist, period, but that’s neither ni aquí no allá). Most research on Mexican music concentrates on corridos, our ballad form that celebrates bad men, events and horses … but actual scholarly treatises on ranchera? Few and…
17 Apr 2013
Dear Mexican: What do we need to do to make the güeros understand that we come in peace as Mexicans? We are from this great American continent as well, but in the average close-minded English-speaking folks’ definition of “American,” it’s amusing to see they don't understand what it really means, as in: Unless you are from one of the few nature-communing groups of people now dubbed “Native Americans,” then you cannot say you are American; being that either yourself, your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents (you get the point) came from the Old World and hence have been in this land “illegally” for much, much longer than us bean-lovers. So I repeat my question: How can we make these green-gos understand we come in peace? That we are here to live a good life in peace and to take it or leave it: We are here TO STAY! Help me make…
10 Apr 2013
Dear Mexican: We're in state testing this week at the high school where I teach. After the students finish a section, they can only sit and read, or just sit. I did an experiment: I chose the cholo-est, tattooed, pierced nonreaders and dropped your book on their desks. The students that never read were reading for 45 minutes straight. They were seeing words that they use every day in print for the first time. They had as much fun with the glossary as with the questions. They were sharing, laughing and discussing what they read. Then I set the hook: “We'll be using that book in my Chicano Studies class.” Best recruiting tool ever. That's my personal copy, and it’s getting beat up. I'll be ordering more for the classroom. Thanks again: you have made my job much easier. Maestro Man Dear Gabacho: It’s stories like yours that make writing…
03 Apr 2013
Dear Mexican: Please explain to me why so many mexicanas seem to think it’s more important to stay home and baby-sit than attend school (so that they may become more in life than producers of offspring). As an educator (lately of students identified as “at risk” for failure in high school), I have faced “absent on account of child care” as the leading excuse for non-attendance and truancy among my mexicana students. Please note, too, that these are not the young women's children; often, they are not even the children of the nuclear family. Consider as well that this is a rare-to-nonexistent excuse among any other student group. (In other words, this does not come up among diverse Latina or other populations.) Teach Her Dear Gabacho: I’m not really sure what’s the point of your question. Are you trying to imply that Mexican families don’t want their daughters to go…
27 Mar 2013
Dear Mexican: About six years ago, my wife and I adopted a little baby boy. He is “pure” mestizo, and we are complete wabs. I’m a little dark because of my mixed Arab heritage, but my wife is a major league blanca. He is a sweet little gabacho growing up in the wab world. I don’t mind getting the looks when we go to the taqueria in the barrio or even major league stares when we take him on our trips to Mexico. And I can handle the questions from dumbass wabsters. But I worry about the little guy growing up confused, angry and lost because he is the odd boy out. I tell him that the blood of the Aztec warriors and the conquistadors runs through his veins, and, of course, he kicks whitey’s ass on the soccer field. But all that seems rather inadequate. How can I help…