¡Ask A Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: A few years back when I was in high school, my social studies teacher and the leader of our high school M.E.Ch.A. club had deep resentment toward the Spaniards/conquistadors that killed hundred—probably thousands—of Aztecs. He went so far as to deny that his own heritage comes partly from Spain, and hated it when people would refer to him as a Latino/Hispanic. He would get so mad and say “I’m not Spanish; I AM CHICANO!” What’s your opinion on the subject? Do you feel hatred toward the Spanish?
—Harry the Hispanic
Dear Wab: I LOVE the Spaniards! Their adorable lisp! Their great porn! Dalí! (Wait—he’s Catalan). Guernica! (Wait—that was about the Basque). The Alhambra! (Wait—that was Moorish) The fact that so many Mexicans wore Spain’s jersey as it wound its way through winning the World Cup last year! The only Mexicans who hate Spaniards are of the yaktivist type, and the best commentary on the matter is the great Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco’s Cortés y la Malinche, which depicts a naked Hernán Cortés and his Indian concubine, Malintzin (popularly known as Malinche) looming over their dead mestizo son: the father and mother looking on at their defeated Mexico. Honestly, what is there to celebrate about a civilization that enslaved foreign lands, killed thousands of innocents and plundered to their desire—and I’m not talking about American imperialism? We’re supposed to celebrate the Spaniards why? All of this said, for a Mexican to deny that he has any Spanish blood in him when they’re sporting a mustache as thick as Zapata’s is as ludicrous as the Mexican who says they’re pure-blooded Spanish despite having a nopal en la frente.
I’ve never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the box, but there is something I always wondered about. If all the “American” jobs are going to Mexico, why are all the Mexicans coming here? If all the work that is left here is being taken by illegal Mexicans, who have to travel many, many miles to come to work, why aren’t red-blooded “legal Americans” grabbing them first? After all, they already live in the town all these jobs are at. If the people who live here don’t want the jobs, then why complain that someone else does? If there is something underhanded about it, then the problem is not with the employees, but the employer. And, another thing I don’t understand because of the me-not-being-a-sharp-knife problem: why are people who go through great hardship vilified because they want to provide for their family? I never hear or read about Americans traveling a great distance to do dirty, dangerous work for very little money, living with many other people to save money and then sending most of it back home. Well, I could go on, but this is probably enough, and some of your readers have their own knife problems.
—A Dull Knife
Dear Gabacho: Dude, TEL ME ABOUT IT! Are you hearing about what’s happening in Georgia? You’ll remember that earlier this year, the Peach State decided to go all Arizona on its growing Latino population and passed nasty legislation, thereby driving out more than a few Mexis, legal and not from the estado. Guess what? In June, Georgia farmers announced they had over 11,000 jobs open—and no Americans were lining up to take them. Those few that did quit almost instantly, according to numerous published accounts. The same thing is happening in the restaurant industry—in July, the Georgia Restaurant Association announced half of the members they surveyed had a worker shortage, one they blamed in Georgia’s Know Nothing laws. It just goes to show what the Mexican has said all along: gabachos won’t do the jobs Mexican immigrants do because they shouldn’t. The working classes of this country have almost always been where immigrants entered, scraping their way into the middle class and beyond—that’s the American way. Conservatives would want it that ALL of us work like Mexicans for a Mexican’s salary forever—and what kind of a great country is that? That’s right—Mexico!
GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK! I’m leaving it blank this week so ustedes can send me some suggestions—DO IT!
Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!