¡Ask A Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: What punishment could America give that would FINALLY make crossing America’s borders—repeatedly—unpalatable to Mexicans, when even Mexican natives admit that it is at least as harmful to Mexico as it is to America, and the “needless paperwork” in our immigration process is to TRY to filter out habitual criminals and recidivism, and to slant the incoming population to those MOST LIKELY to assimilate? Remember, our original immigration requirements were “good moral character” and a “working knowledge of English.” Or have America’s recent military defeats in Korea, Vietnam, and possibly Afghanistan (depending who you ask) simply removed any and all respect Mexico might once have had for America and our ability to protect our borders? And, if so, when can we expect Mexico to OFFICIALLY declare war on America?
—Mines, Mines, Mines!
Dear Gabacho: Actually, the only punishment that would make Mexicans stop coming over no nos affect us—gabachos would bear the brunt of socialism. For the pinche umpteenth time, Mexicans migrate to the United States—like nearly every immigrant in this country’s history—to better their life, and because gabachos won’t do the jobs chinks and micks and slopeheads and wabs and wops do at the rates for which they’re willing to work. Stop getting your “original immigration requirements” from Wikipedia, and then wonder how ethnic enclaves have been part of this country since the Cajuns. We still respect los Estados Unidos—how can you not give props to a failing empire? And one final debunking of your delusions—Mexico has been fighting the United States since the Spanish Armada set sail for England—except now, the only Black Legend in our camp pertains to Guatemala.
Zack de la Rocha, a person who I admire as an activist and musician, has described his hometown of Irvine, California, as one of the most racist cities imaginable. He once stated, “If you were a Mexican in Irvine, you were there because you had a broom or a hammer in your hand.” Being a Mexican that lives in Irvine and that looks like a Mexican (chaparro y prieto), I’ve never felt discriminated in any way—in fact, I think of Irvine as a city that embraces diversity. I’ve only lived here for the past 5 years or so; has it not always been the case, or could it be that I’m looked down upon and I’m too much of a pendejo to realize it? Does Irvine have a racist past that I’m unaware of?
Dear Readers: Forgive this too-provincial pregunta, but it allows me to publicly call out de la Rocha, one of the great musicians of this generation who unfortunately is acting like Dylan after his motorcycle accident. Hey, Zack: where’s your solo album? Why the Rage against the Machine mini-reunion instead of you pushing that amazing rap-rock-son jarocho fusion you were toying with a couple of years back? Why stick around in the progressive paradise called Los Angeles instead of fully committing yourself to the fight against your demented homeland of Orange County? Eres chingón, pero ya no mames, güey: marching and organizing against Arpayaso is vital, but we need you to remain relevant to the rest of America by putting out new music. As for why you haven’t experienced racism, Barranca Baboso: Irvinites probably think you’re Persian. And don’t use Wikipedia for pulling quotes.
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