!Ask a Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
—El Güero Tejano (no Cubano)
As a recent transplant from Miami to Albuquerque, I was wondering what is the Mexican’s take on the privileged status of our preferred border-crossers, the Cubans. If a Cuban manages to get his little toe on dry land in the U.S. he is immediately given a new Toyota, an American Express card and the keys to the city of Hialeah.
Are Cubans Mexicans with connections??
Dear Readers: Next to Puerto Ricans and negritos, no other ethnic group gets pegged as the eternal enemy of Mexicans as Cubans. If you believe coños like Rush Limbaugh, Mexicans despise Cubans because it’s “a race thing. [Cubans are] just not quite dark—as dark [as Mexicans], and they’re oriented toward work.” (Rush obviously never met a beauty from Los Altos de Jalisco, or a paisa from Sinaloa). But Mexicans for the most part actually like Cubans, and definitely more so than Puerto Ricans. We enjoy Cuban rum and cigars, they believe in curanderos like us, their Spanish is as garbled as ours, we both love guayaberas and Cuban music legends Beny Moré and Perez Prado spent so much time in Mexico that their tunes are part of the Mexican songbook (multiple bandas have covered Moré’s “La Culebra,” while “Parece Que Va Llover” was memorably sung by Pedro Infante and Luis Aguilar in their 1951 film ¡A Toda Maquina!).
What does drive Mexicans crazy about Cubans, however, isn’t so much what they do or who they are but how gabachos treat them: as gods. One niggling fact: Cuban music inspires excessive mainstream media coverage in relation to its actual popularity in the United States, especially when compared to the ubiquity of Mexican regional music en el Norte. Another one: gabachos’ insistence that mariachis play “Guantanamera.” Even more infuriating for Mexicans is the immigration narrative gabachos have constructed of Cubans and Mexican. While Americans opened the gates to Cuban refugees as a Cold War ploy and continue to let said refugees come illegally into the U.S. as long as they land via sea, gabachos have never extended the same courtesy to Mexicans or our Central American brothers during our civil wars. You can’t hate the Cubans for their special status, but you can hate gabachos for this preposterous double standard. As if Mexicans needed another reason to hate gabas . . .
I’m so annoyed with you printing the letters from idiots. The vast majority of white people don’t hate Mexicans. We don’t sit around bitching about Mexicans taking our jobs. Most of us don’t hate anyone. A lot of us love the fact that America is a melting pot of cultures where we share ideas, music, art, and we just plain love each other. When you print the letters from idiots, it implies that we all feel that way. We don’t. There are idiots of all races, creeds, and colors, and the idiots that write ignorant letters to you are not typical of us. They don’t represent the majority. There are different colors and cultures because God is an artist and she needed colors to decorate the world. Most of us celebrate our differences. Giving these idiots a forum is like putting a booger on a Picasso. It just don’t belong.
Dear Gabacho: Gracias for your heartfelt letter—now, can you please indoctrinate Congress and other idiot gabachos with your wisdom? Because, as you can see with the current amnesty battle, they need it.