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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Dear Mexican: I work for one of those progressive companies. Most of the gabacho bosses are actually pretty cool … at least when your back isn’t turned. There are a few a-holes; there will always be a few—and they’ve got gigs lined up in talk radio.

Sabes que … what drives me bananas is when the company puts “initiatives” together to at least TRY to advance nuestra people in the company, bring more of nuestra people in, get us more edumacated, whatever. Then a lot of nuestra people are asleep at the wheel—they don’t take advantage/contribute/get involved. Then the next time I hear from them, all they do is bitch, whine and complain about how the man is against them/us or ridicule the “initiative.” Who peed in their Cheerios?

What’s up with the cynicism? Ching-gauh! (Spelling?) I want to say something to them, but I don’t know what.

Edumacated Mexican Who Doesn’t Know How to Spell “Ching-Gauh”

Dear Wab: Essentially, you’re saying that affirmative action is bad—you do realize that you’re identifying with the a-holes at work you don’t like, right? But I hear you—you don’t want pendejos taking those slots, because it brings down la raza. If you’re as edumacated as you think you are, have you risen enough in your company to be able to determine what raza moves on up, and what raza continues to work the mailroom?

The Mexican feels diversity initiatives are still important to put Mexis in places they’ve never had access to before (hell, that’s why this column exists), but el truco for those running such programs is to identify the young talent available who will benefit everyone, as opposed to merely filling a slot with a warm body—otherwise, another Clarence Thomas might happen.

I have always wondered why the U.S. makes no distinction between Hispanics of Basque, Catalan, Galician, etc., descent. I follow Spanish soccer, and when I watch the matches of teams from the Pais Vasco, Catalan and the Galician country, I see different languages and cultures. Why are all these people groups grouped into one in the U.S.? Please explain if you can.

Barça Bastard

Dear Gabacho: This is ¡Ask a Mexican!, not ¡Ask a Gachupín!, but let’s do a Messi and do a golazo with this.

The U.S. Census does distinguish those of Basque descent, because their numbers in this country (especially in California, Idaho and Nevada) have been big enough to warrant such attention. In the San Antonio region, people can still trace their heritage to pioneers who came from the Canary Islands in the 18th century and set the roots for what ended up becoming Tex-Mex cuisine. And students of California history know there was a big Majorcan influence in the Golden State’s mission system, because most of those pervert padres came from the largest of the Balearic islands.

In Mexico, there’s at least some knowledge of Spain’s different ethnic groups, because of recent migration and the songs of Agustín Lara hailing various regions, from Granada to Valencia.

But you are asking why the U.S. lumps all the Spanish ethnic groups as one, and I quiero you to repeat that question to yourself slowly … get it? It’s the United States we’re talking about, a country that grouped Sicilians, Calabrese, Neapolitans and Tuscans together, and labeled them Italian—and will put a Oaxacan, a culichi, a Chicano and Hispano together and call them all a bunch of dirty Mexicans.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: How do we humanize the illegals in this country? My reasons for asking this question are many, including a very personal one.

I’ve been in this country illegally for 16 years, y ya chole no? For 16 years, I lived my life like anyone else—going to school and working. Eventually, I became a teacher for the public schools. It is too long to explain how I did all this. I knew it would come to an end at some point—as the gringos say, the shit would hit the fan eventually. Well, it has, and now I am a nanny to my best friend’s kid. We were talking one day and decided that if anything were to happen—if I was arrested or in trouble for some reason—she could be judged as a bad mother for leaving her child with a criminal such as myself. You, see I am no criminal. I’ve never done anything wrong. I was brought here when I was 14 years old, so I had no choice. The only wrong I’ve done is run across with the rest of mi gente; the only difference is that I didn’t know why I had to do it. I was only obeying my family.

So how do we share this with the rest of the world so that they see that us mojados are people with feelings, families, friends, schooling, hobbies, ideas and ambitions? We’re only missing a few papers along the way.

Tu Paisa Jarocha

Dear Chica From Veracruz: Easy—by telling your story and that of people like ustedes to the rest of America until you’re azul in the face. By calling your politicians from your local school board members to Barack Obama. And, finally, by telling everyone to no longer refer to undocumented folks as “illegals”—unless it’s a satirist with a point, of course!

You’ve poked fun at the guardians of Cervantes before, so I had to write to you now that I’ve finished reading the Walter Starkie translation of Don Quixote. Since I had very little trouble understanding it, I’m guessing that Starkie modernized the Spanish in addition to translating it.

Have you read Don Quixote in the original Spanish, by chance? If so, would you say that the Renaissance-era Spanish is as difficult for Spanish speakers as Shakespeare is for English speakers? Also, is Cervantes required reading for Mexican high school kids as Shakespeare is for kids in the U.S.? (I imagine it is for kids in Spain.)

Gabacha Que Lee

Dear Gabacha: Cervantes in the original español is a chingadera to read, what with all those damn medial s locuras and forays into Old Castilian when the Man of the Mancha speaks—but it’s far more palatable than reading a bunch of “anons,” you know?

Starkie’s translation is fine, but más mejor is Edith Grossman’s version. And, finalmente, Don Quixote is not required reading for Mexi prepa kids,—but Condorito sure is.

I understand that gabachos complain about all the wabs sneaking across the border and taking jobs from gabachos, and that Mexicans complain about all the Guatamalans sneaking across their border and taking jobs from Mexicans. Who do the Guatamalans complain about, or are they at the bottom?

Living in Brasil but Like Watching America. But Unlike Mexico and America, Looking Forward to Our Copa do Mundo.

Dear Carioca: Death squads.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: One of my pet peeves: Latinos who pronounce their last names with Anglo accents—for example, Rod-driguez instead of Roh-driguez. I would love it if you’d address this. Personally, I believe we Latinos should educate Anglos on correct pronunciation.

Gomez the Groper

Dear Wab: Before you start correcting Anglos and pochos on how to properly pronounce Hispanic surnames, you might want to take a remedial course—it’s Roh-drEE-gehz (emphasis on the second syllable; hence the use of an accent over the i in Rodríguez). But your question reminds me of a Hollywood story that might just be apocryphal, but it's is a good one.

Seems there was a Mexican who wanted to make it into the film industry as a—take your pick—writer, producer or director. His last name was Torres, and he couldn’t find a gig. Desperate, the man changed his last name to Towers, and he cried all the way to the bank. Moral of the story? While custodians of Cervantes want everyone to pronounce all Spanish words in a way that satisfies the Real Academia Española, people are going to call themselves whatever they want, and change how they pronounce their own names if it makes them feel better. Of course, if a gabacho does it, then we cry racism all the way to the banco.

I dated an illegal Mexican from Oaxaca for almost a year and a half. We would sit in my car on his breaks from work, or go for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. He never wanted me calling him at his work and never wanted me to come to his apartment. He said he didn’t have a phone where he lived, and he was never willing to get to know my family or even meet them. Whenever I would question him and ask him when he was going to spend time with me and my family, he would always say, “next time” or “almost.”

Are all illegal Mexicans this vague? Was he afraid of being caught? He’s lived in the U.S. for almost 10 years. Would you please shed some light on the living arrangements and the lifestyles of the illegal Mexicans and their thought processes?

Gabacha no Comprendo

Dear Gabacha: It ain’t the undocumented part of your Oaxacan that caused him to keep you at arm’s length; it was the man part. Ever heard of Leykis 101? This hombre seems to have followed it to the teeth, so kudos to him—and sucks to be you. Hey, Tom: Blow me up ¡Ask a Mexican style!

I suggest you replace the ¡Ask a Mexican! column (They are a dime a dozen, and don’t we already know by now what they think?) with Ask an Anglo, Social Conservative Male, as we are the new minority, and we are ready to be embraced, welcomed, defended and promoted as a victimized demographic. I volunteer.

Iowan Idiot

Dear Gabacho: Sorry—Hugh Hewitt already took that pendejo gig.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Readers: Since it’s the end of the year, and the Mexican is on his 18th tamale (made by the mujeres in his family, of course), here are some letters from angry readers (and one fan), along with my answers. Enjoy your champurrado; gracias for a great 2013; and may your 2014 involve more cousins smuggled into los Estados Unidos than ever before!

Dear Phony Mexican: I read and enjoy your column on a regular basis. I, more often than not, respect your perspective on issues as they are presented to you. However, your response to CARROS two weeks ago was disingenuous. 

You referenced (Federal Highway Administration) statistics as justification for what I believe is passive-aggressive behavior. I divide my time between Denver and Puerto Vallarta. What CARROS was describing is spot-on. I’m a driver and a pedestrian in both cities. The difference: In Mexico, all of the pedestrians cross the intersections with purpose and intent to reach the other side.

In Denver, “most” of the pedestrians cross the intersections with the intent to reach the other side, with the exception of the younger Mexicans. They seem to make this into an “I dare you” or “eff you” experience. “Hmmm … you want to turn? Well, maybe I/we will get out of the way sooner or later after I’m done being “way cool.”

So, with all due respect, while your FHA statistics are disturbing, I can’t help but think that this may, in fact, be a chicken or the egg issue. (Passive aggressive.)

If you want, we can do this in Spanish.

Peyton’s Pendejo

Querido Gabacho: Los cholos no son mexicanos.

Regarding your reply to the guy “not wearing bean-colored glasses” (which was also in the column two weeks ago): It is all about which families put an emphasis on education, not getting pregnant, and achievement. Lots of Asian immigrant families do, and their kids succeed and move up the economic ladder quickly. Lots of Hispanic families do not, so they more often see generational poverty. There are, of course, exceptions on both sides. But focusing on the exceptions does nothing to solve the problem.

I don’t suspect you’ll like hearing that—and that is why politicians don’t say it, and that is why nothing changes.

Model Minority Man

Dear Gabacho: Again, class almost always determines which families push their children to better their station. Can you explain generational poverty among gabachos in the South? Of course you can’t, so why beholdest thou the mote that is in Mexicans’ eyes, but considerest not the beam that is in thine gabachos’ own eye?

I’ve been reading your column for the last year and a half, and sometimes I can’t help but laugh at the things you say. As a fellow Mexican, I’ve been thinking a lot about the racism that’s thrown my way every day. I live in Kansas, and it is full of racist people, but I just wanted to hear your thoughts on this subject; maybe you can throw a laugh in there. Hope to see this in the paper!

Saul From Salina

Dear Wab: Mexicans and Kansas and funny? Your secretary of state, Kris Kobach, is a pinche pendejo baboso. And boxer Brandon Rios is a punching bag.

Regarding your statement that the beans assimilate like previous immigrants: You’ve got to have your head up your ass so far that you don’t know which way daylight is located. The beaners aren’t educated; they can’t speak English; and they remain at the bottom of the graduation rates in the country. No surprise: Look at the shit hole country where they came from. The same stats!

Richard the Randy Racist

Dear Gabacho: I have a hard time taking seriously a man who goes on and on about education—but wrote on the subject line for his email: “assimulate.”

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Readers: Behold your favorite Mexican’s annual Christmas gift guide, where I give shout-outs to some of my favorite books that deserve your money this holiday season! And for once, I won’t recommend my books—¡Ask a Mexican!, Orange County: A Personal History, and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America—as gifts … oh, wait, I just did! In all honesty, while I always appreciate ustedes buying my libros and handing them out as regalos, the following items are just as chingones, if not more so.

The Perennials: I’ve plugged the following books in the past, and I’ll never stop plugging them, because they’re magnificent: North From Mexico by Carey McWilliams (the first serious history on Mexicans in the United States, by the legendary progressive journalist); Tex(t)-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the “Mexican” in America by William Nericcio (to quote myself last year, a “scabrous take on Mexicans in the American imagination”); Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class by USC professor Jody Agius Vallejo (a beautifully written analysis of how Mexis move up in societal circles, with an intro by your favorite Mexican); and anything by Lalo Alcaraz (the legendary cartoonista whose Latino USA—written alongside famous profe Ilan Stavans—is getting republished next year, with even more history); and Sam Quinones (who’s currently working on a book about America’s drug epidemic).

The Oldies-but-Goodies: The Mexican never stops reading, so here are some classics worth revisiting; all are great starting points for those of ustedes who want to know your Chicano history: The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890 by Leonard Pitt (a late-1960s tome that explains in depressing detail how California’s Mexican-hating roots began); “With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero by Américo Paredes (a pioneering folklore study on the corridos surrounding Tejano hero Gregorio Cortez, written by one of the godfathers of Chicano Studies); and Occupied America, the ultimate textbook on Chicano Studies—because it’s the only one worth plugging.

The Newbies: Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland, by Northwestern professor Geraldo L. Cadava, is a much-needed, wonderfully researched, well-written overview of an often-forgotten part of Aztlán: Arizona. (I mean, Arizona is always part of the conversation due to Arpayaso and all of its Know Nothing politicians, but we rarely talk about the good of the state, other than Linda Ronstadt and bacon-wrapped hot dogs). Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Heritage in Los Angeles by Catherine L. Kurland is an awesome ethnography of the mariachis of Boyle Heights, with stunning photos giving readers a sense of place; it’s published by the always-impressive University of New Mexico Press. Finally, but definitely not least, a massive shout-out to Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, a collection of short stories by El Paso writer Benjamin Alire Sáenz that won this year’s prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction—a huge victory not just for Chicano literature, but also small presses, as the cabrones who published it were my pals at Cinco Puntos Press.

The Pomade: So it’s not a book, but I also urge ustedes to buy the man in your family Orange County’s own Suavecito Pomade, which has an iron grip and floodlight shine that nevertheless washes out easily. It’s the only product this Mexican allows on his pompadour! Get it, hombre, at suavecitopomade.com, or tell your barber to stock some.

And remember, folks: When you wrap up these gifts, make sure to stuff them in Xbox One boxes to trick the recipient—it’s the Mexican way!

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: You mocked and didn’t answer the legitimate questions raised in a letter to you a few weeks ago—from the guy who didn’t see a rosy future for a Mexican-led America.

The writer correctly referred to serious problems in the Hispanic community, such as poor academic performance and births out of wedlock. Instead of responding in a way that showed that you, too, see that there are problems that need to be recognized and addressed to reverse the desperate state of Latinos in America, you brushed off the writer by referring to him as “your kind.”

How can we solve the problems when people like you won’t even admit to these serious cultural issues—and, in fact, disparage those who bring them up?

Not Wearing Bean-Colored Glasses

Dear Gabacho: I did answer the question; you just couldn’t handle the answer.

We can easily solve the problems that you, I and activists decry by treating the problems for what they are—economic issues instead of “cultural” issues. All the problems you brought up are endemic to nearly every group of poor people this country has ever hosted, from negritos to chinitos to gabachos to Native Americans to, yes, Mexicans. Those problems largely disappear once said group moves up in class—you don’t see Boston Brahmins addicted to Mountain Dew like hillbillies in West Virginia, do you? (However, you might see a mick from Southie suffer from the same condition.)

People like you and that pendejo you defend go wrong by insisting on the Mexican part of the social-problem equation, reducing behavioral pathologies to cultural determinants. In language you can understand: Ustedes think Mexicans are in a “desperate state” because they’re Mexicans, and nothing else. So, : You and your ilk deserve all the disparaging in the mundo, pinche pendejos babosos.

Why do Mexicans drag their asses when crossing the street? I have noticed that wherever I go in Orange County, when a Mexican is crossing the street, and folks are waiting for him or her to clear the crosswalk, the Mexican seems to slow his/her already slow ass down, just because he/she knows the cars have to wait. Is this simply a ploy to piss people off who are in a hurry? Because it’s working.

I have also noticed this is a peculiarly Mexican trait; Asians, blacks and white folks actually briskly walk across the street when they see someone waiting for them. For a race that seems to be all about respect, it seems pretty disrespectful.

Cruising Ambulators Really Rip Off Suckers

Dear CARROS: They’re slowing down not because they want to disrespect commuters—but because they don’t want to die.

The Federal Highway Administration of America’s The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Highway Safety Problem As It Relates to the Hispanic Population in the United States found that Latinos make up 16.3 percent of pedestrian fatalities, with Mexis making up nearly 65 percent of that stat. However, both stats are about on par for Mexi representation in this country, so it’s not exactly an epidemic.

While the report did find fault with Latinos importing the traffic laws of their home countries to el Norte, it also reported that these pedestrians found “a lack of respect from drivers” most of the time that led to accidents. So, : Our raza is all about the respect, but we give it when you’re not running us over.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I find myself at odds with my peers because I don’t like coffee or coffee drinks. I need to find a substitute beverage that will be tasty yet somehow hip. I’ve heard that Mexicans have magical chocolate drinks called atole, champurrado, and chocolate, but I don’t know what is in them, or what they taste like. Do you have any advice?

Thirsty in OC

Dear Gabacho: You’re a smart gabacho, you know that? Coffee is among mankind’s most-overrated drinks, and has created a nation of babosos who think it’s perfectly fine to hacer cola at Starbucks every morning to buy some overpriced chingadera. Mexicans, on the other hand, line up for far more flavorful and healthy hot drinks every morning.

Atole is a gruel made of masa and usually piloncillo (unrefined brown sugar) and cinnamon; Mexis have imbibed it since the Aztecs were stuck in caves in Aztlán. Champurrado is atole mixed with chocolate; chocolate (or, in gaba speak, “Mexican hot chocolate) is—you got it!—hot chocolate, except the sweet stuff is of the bitter, better variety instead of some Nestlé heresy. These drinks are sold year-round at panaderias, but most Mexican restaurants in American barrios start whipping up batches come December, when the cold comes in, and a steaming cup of any of the three will take you through the day.

Christmastime also brings a seasonal specialty: ponche. Every family has their own ponche recipe; ours includes guayabas, orange, pineapple, apples, cherries, cinnamon, grapes, cloves, piloncillo, tejocotes and whatever else my tías throw in. And, after the kiddies have their fill, un piquito de tequila, of course! It’s just hot fruit punch, but you know us Mexicans: We take the menial and turn it into the celestial.

I was shopping at a swap meet one time, and I saw that a little 12-year-old girl was trying to dress her fresh-from-the-border uncle in some black shades, big ol’ baggy pants and a Fubu jersey. My actual question is: Why do border brothers who cannot speak any English at all like to shave their heads and dress like cholos? Because, as luck would have it, that uncle was standing in front of me in line, and his gross, pimply, newly shaved head with fat rolls was staring at me.

More of an Affliction Guy

Dear Gabacho: I tengo que take issue with your generalization of our border brothers—if they all dressed like cholos, then Stetson would’ve been out of business long ago. But if they do dress like cholos, it’s just the usual tale of immigrants shedding the traditions of their mother country and dressing to mimic what’s around them. Put them in fancy neighborhoods, and they’ll dress in Brooks Brothers; put them out in the fields, and it’s all about jeans and long-sleeved shirts to guard against the sun and pesticides. And put them in gang-infested neighborhoods, and it’s no surprise they’ll dress like cholos. Fashion no es rocket science, cabrón.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: My father and mother were able to come to the United States because after the “yellow scare” was over, the U.S. didn’t seem to mind that Chinese were coming over here by the boatloads. Since my parents were given visas and green cards, my father was able to get into school pretty easily. This seems to be prevalent among most of the Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Indian populace (aka the model minority groups). As a result, immigrants from China, Taiwan, Korea and India have been able to get an education here—and prosper.

Additionally, many of these immigrants have pride for their home country (as do Mexicans; unlike what many people in the anti-immigration crowd think, you’re not the only ones who wave your home country’s flag around). This resulted in a lot of newly educated Chinese, Taiwanese, South Koreans and Indians bringing skills and expertise back to their home country. This allowed the aforementioned countries to build up—and these countries have begun to pump out fewer immigrants, since there are more job opportunities, better education systems and better living conditions overall. (There is still a way to go in China and India, but they’ll get there.)

My point: Why doesn’t the U.S. grant a greater number of Mexicans green cards and visas? It would stop all the whiners from saying, “We’ll all be speaking Spanish soon.” I mean, seriously: If the U.S. would allow more Mexicans in legally, then we’d have more Mexicans with actual opportunities in the U.S., which would mean Mexico would eventually benefit, and in turn, it would eventually reduce the number of illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico.

You’re a much better fact- and statistics-finder than I am (and you reach a lot more people than I do), so I was wondering if there is anyway you could let some of those wall-building whiners know that billions spent on letting Mexicans in and helping them succeed now (the illegals are a necessity anyway—New York would grind to a halt if the immigrants left) is a whole lot better in the long run than billions spent building a wall that doesn’t work (and then billions more spent later to tear it down when we realize the damn wall separates us from our neighbors and destroys ecosystems that keep America from turning into the Sahara).

Baby of Immigrants (Doesn’t Really Matter If They Are Legal Or Illegal)

Dear Chinita: Hear, hear all around. I’ll just note that many on the right want to keep Mexicans pendejos, poor and illegal, because it makes it that much easier to scapegoat and exploit them. You rarely hear Know Nothings go after Indians, for instance (who by far get the largest share of high-tech visas: 64 percent compared to Mexico’s puny 1.2 percent), because they’d go all Shiva on them with their money, education and ghost peppers.

CONFIDENTIAL TO

The young student at Claremont McKenna College who approached me after my recent speech there to fret about the fact that family members don’t like her, because she’s not 100 percent Mexican: Don’t pay attention to the haters. I know that the Mexican part of you feels you’re obliged to hang out and respect family members, because they’re familia. Screw that. NEVER surround yourself with people who obsess about racial or cultural purity, because they’re the ones whose futures are doomed in this multicultural reality of ours—they’re going to end up whining as much as neo-Nazis.

ALWAYS surround yourself with people who’ll celebrate your diverse background. Stand strong; breath deep; and repeat after me: ¡A LA CHINGADA CON HATERS!

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Longtime reader, first-time writer.

I watched the brown-pride marches of the early 1970s and heard the shouts of La Raza, and heard how it was going to be different now that the “Chicano” had arrived. The Mexicans were going to change things for the greater good. I remember when President Ronald Wilson Reagan gave amnesty to some 3 million illegal Mexican immigrants, and hearing how this was going to change things once and for all, bringing the Mexicans into American society with welcome arms and citizenship. Nothing was going to hold the Mexicans down now. And here we are.

Mexico might not be falling, as you say, but the police, the military and the citizens seem unable to stop the killing. Predominantly Latino school districts in Santa Ana and Los Angeles are failing; Latinas are having babies out of wedlock at the rate of Guatemalans; and the young Latinos are still tagging and banging. I believe that Mexicans re-colonizing not only the Southwest, but of most of America, will take only a matter of time, with brown pride and illegitimate children filling this great country.

So what are you going to do with it, Mexican? History does not paint a very bright future for a Latino-controlled America.

Reading The Turner Diaries to Prepare

Dear Gabacho: Sure it does! Rather than me offering you my usual pendejadas, I’ll direct you to the research of an ¡Ask a Mexican! pal, University of Southern California professor Jody Agius Vallejo, whose book Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class was just released in paperback (with a rambling intro by your favorite Mexican).

Her pioneering research shows how, contrary to Know Nothing assertions, Mexicans are following the same assimilation and financial-achievement patterns as previous immigrant groups. Can’t argue with facts, yet I’m sure you will, which only shows why your kind deserves your half-brown grandkid destiny.

I have always wondered why high-achieving Mexican-American men tend to date/marry white women. I have noticed that since I was an undergraduate; now I work in academia, and most of the Chicano professors are married to white women. (WHAT AN OXYMORON.) Also, it seems that the more power a Mexican-American man has (whether it’s in academia or politics), the more likely he is to marry a white woman.

What is this phenomenon about? Are educated Latinas threatening to high-achieving Chicanos? Are we too complex? What gives? I know this is a rather sensitive matter, and no one seems to want to talk. What is your take on the issue?

A Xicana Scholar in San Antonio

Dear Wabette: Your assumption is correct. A 2012 Pew Research Center study on intermarriage in los Estados Unidos put it thusly: “For newly married Hispanic men and women, marrying a white person is associated with a college education.”

But if anything, you smarty-art Chicanas marry gabachos at a HIGHER rate: Nearly 33 percent of mexicanas who marry a gabacho are college-educated, compared with about 23 percent of scholarly Mex-men who marry white.

The Pew people didn’t get into the “why” of the matter, but I’d argue it’s because of the scandalously low amount of Latinos in college—coeds tend to get with what’s around, you know?

All this said, chula, ALL Mexican men want a gabachita at some point in their lives, regardless of class—witness the shout-outs given to the wetbacks who nailed American women in Los Alegres de Teran’s “El Corrido de los Mojados,” and “El Mojado Acaudalado” by Los Tigres del Norte. (Your humble Mexican can boast of a mick and a Yid in his past.) Nothing against you fine-ass Xicanas, but dating a white woman is the ultimate status symbol for hombres—not so much for the prestige, but so we can get our share of the romance Reconquista.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Is it really possible for a terrorist to sneak into the U.S. through the southern border, or is that just more fear-mongering from the conservatives?

Not Crazy About Quds

Dear Gabacho: Of course it’s possible, but we’re really not going to know until we find out, right?

American officials have gone on the record as stating that drug cartels have established ties with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, yet haven’t offered conclusive proof. (And that rumor you heard about al-Qaida establishing camps in Mexico to train terrorists to look like my Tío Lencho? Pinche false.) But I don’t think the cartels are so pendejo to assist terrorists hell-bent on destroying America from within—after all, they already have that market to themselves.

Some years ago, we attended a family reunion in Cuba, New Mexico, where the Mexican branch of the family put on a skit. They used a recording of a song, but it has gone missing, and we all would love to find a source to purchase this song. The family says it was an old 45-rpm record, but we can’t find it now and don’t know who the artist was. It’s a gas of a song, and if you’ve never heard it before, I bet you would have a good laugh over it.

The song is about a young Mexican boy who falls in love with a girl. (We can’t remember her name.) His daddy tells the boy he can’t marry the girl, so the boy asks the daddy why. The daddy replies something like, “Maria is your sister, but your mama don’t know.” In frustration, the boy goes over and cries to his mama about the situation, and the song ends with the mama smirking and telling the son not to worry, because: “Your daddy’s not your daddy, but your daddy don’t know.”

A friend suggested the song might be titled “Hey, Pepito,” but we’re just not sure. Perhaps you might be able to help me find the correct title and maybe even a source to obtain the track.

A Mexican New Mexican

Dear Wabette: The name of the canción your family played is called “Ay Pepito!” because that’s the memorable chorus of the song (and the girl you mentioned was Marie).

The performer was Baby Gaby, part of the Sanchez dynasty of New Mexican music headed by the legendary Al Hurricane (who once played at one of your humble Mexican’s book signings in Albuquerque). But the song’s real name is “Shame and Scandal in the Family,” and Gaby most likely covered the version sung by Mexican-American artist Trini Lopez. Lopez, in turned, joined legendary American recording artists like the Stylistics and Johnny Cash in covering a song called “Shame and Scandal” recorded by ska and reggae titans ranging from the Skatalites to the Wailers (with Peter Tosh in the lead). They, in turn, were giving their spin to a calypso classic originally grabada by Sir Lancelot in the 1940s. And if you think Mexicans taking inspiration from calypso is strange, you obviously don’t know the similarly tangled history of “Esa Chica Me Vacila” (“That Chick Teases Me”), the techno-banda favorite by Banda Vallarta Show, a remake of the punta ditty “Ella Me Vacila” (“She Teases Me”) by Grupo Kazzabe, itself taken from “Lady Teaser” by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, who got his inspiration for the track from the soca standard “Teaser” by Becket.

Back to Baby Gaby: Give him credit for Mexicanizing the song by crooning the lyrics in a Jose Jimenez accent and giving the previously nameless character of the tale the nombre Pepito, proving that there are some New Mexicans not afraid of their Mexican roots.

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Published in Ask a Mexican