¡Ask A Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
—South Carolina Taco Eater
Dear Gabacha: This is what I love about ustedes Know Nothings: your aggressive ignorance of facts. A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center revealed that the birthrate for Mexican women is falling sharply, for both Chicanas and mexicanas. And while the birthrate for those mujeres is still higher than the birthrate for gabachas, it’s expected, not so much because Mexicans are naturally fecund, but because immigrants in general tend to have more kiddies than native-born Americans. Don’t believe me? The Pew Research Center also revealed that the percentage of children with foreign-born mothers is as high as the turn of the 20th century, the last time trashy, non-English-speaking immigrants came to this country to save the States from native-born pendejas like yourself.
I checked out of the Newport Beach Public Library a 2012 film titled For Greater Glory merely because my favorite actor (Peter O’Toole) was in it. And I was pleasantly surprised to find myself watching a well-told tale of a dramatic piece of Mexican history—La Cristiada—I’d never heard of. It seemed a pretty cut-and-dry instance of good versus evil: President Plutarco Calles in the 1920s brutally repressed Mexican Catholics from practicing their Catholicism. What surprised me was to then visit the IMDb message board for the movie and find some Mexicans who had viewed the film vehemently taking the side of President Calles. Are Mexicans not so hyper-Catholic as I imagine??
Dear Gabacho: Just because one doesn’t side with the Cristeros doesn’t mean that one can’t be a good Catholic (and, yes, custodians of Shakespeare: I just used three negatives in a language where double-negatives are a no-no!). And, as typical of Hollywood when it comes to Mexican tales, For Greater Glory grossly simplifies the Cristeros revolt—but instead of me preaching, I’ll direct you to a withering critique offered by Rudy Acuña, the legendary godfather of Chicano studies who’s still at it in his golden years (he also just put the smackdown on the Mexican’s pal, Ruben Navarrette, and his bizarre attack at undocumented students). You can find the profe’s piece by googleando “Rudy Acuña Cristeros” but his summation is one that I agree with: Calles was enforcing the secularization mandates of the Mexican Revolution, which sought to not stop people from expressing their faith but rather take away the meddling might of the Catholic Church—you know, that whole chingadera about the separation of church and state? The Catholic Church, like today in the United States when it comes to Obamacare, took Calles’ enforcement of the Mexican Constitution as an existential attack on Mother Church, and the two sides butchered each other. Los Cristeros are still hailed as martyrs in Catholic Mexico, while historians nowadays consider Calles’ attack on Mexican Catholics as a continuation of the country’s constant conflict between the Church and its natives. But if you think Calles was a butcher, you should’ve seen what the padres did to the indigenous folks back in the days—simple facts that Cristeros fans never want to acknowledge because those priests made Calles look like Blessed John Paul II.