Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Dear Mexican: Even though I have seen it happening with less frequency since I came to the U.S. 20 years ago, the use by Mexicans of the expression ¿Mande? (“command me”) has always struck me.

I personally see it as a symbolic legacy of submission, probably originating from the times of the Spanish conquistadores. Are you aware of any other meaning? What is interesting to me is that I’ve heard this expression coming more often from the so-called pochos than from Mexican immigrants.

Che Argentina

I’m a Mexican-American with a dilemma: Why do most Mexicans respond by saying “¿Mande?” while most other non-Mexican Hispanics respond with “¿Cómo?” I ask around, and nobody has a right answer. I’m sure you will know, ’cause you’re a smarter than the average Mexican.


Dear Readers: Out of all the folk etymologies that plague Mexican Spanish—like people thinking gringo comes from Mexicans making fun of the green coats of invading gabachos, or that the phonological similarity of Michigan and Michoacán is proof that the Aztecs came from the Midwest—none is more laughable than insisting the Mexican propensity to use ¿Mande? (“Excuse me?”) is a reflection on the perpetual Mexican inferiority complex.

Yes, ¿Mande? is a legacy of colonialism—Cortés used the term in his letters—but so what? So is the word tortilla, and the corrido. All Latin-American cultures keep parts of the Conquest alive in their regional Spanish, but there is no historical evidence that conquistadors in Mexico demanded that their Indian or mestizo servants use the formal ¿Mande? instead of the informal ¿Que? or ¿Cómo? or ¿Perdón? (words that Mexicans also use, by the way) because of their inferior state. Mexican Spanish merely follows Spanish pronoun rules—imagine that!

You want real linguistic subservience? Try su merced (your mercy), which South Americans use in favor of ustedes. Now that’s a wuss culture there.

My parents are immigrants from Mexico; they came here and my brother, my sister and me. Of course, they’ve both retained some rituals that aren’t very necessary and would no doubt seem odd to the average American observer. One I’ve never mustered enough courage ask about is this habit of placing a large stone or a log behind one of the rear wheels. I’ve assumed it’s so the car won’t roll away because of gravity, but I know this isn’t necessary when in park. Or maybe it’s to ward off grand theft auto?

Are automobiles in Mexico just not reliable, or is it just a symbolic action to prevent theft?

Rocky Llantasmande

Dear Peñascoso Tires: Are you kidding me? Putting a log or rock behind a tire is the Mexican version of LoJack. The smart Mexican gets a rock or log craggy or pointy enough so that anyone who tries to make off with the car will immediately puncture the tire or wreck the rim. After that, all you have to do is follow the skid marks to wherever the thieves left the car off. Simple, ingenious and cheap—the Mexican way.

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Dear Mexican: I’m a second-generation Orange County-raised pocho. Both sides of my family have been civil rights activists since the 1940s. My mother’s family took part in the landmark case Mendez et al. vs. Westminster et al. in 1946. My father was a Chicano activist in the 1960s and 1970s. From the time I was a child, I met various figures like Reies López Tijerina, César Chávez, Bert Corona and Emigdio Vasquez. In 1975, my dad took my older brother and me to a demonstration against la migra where we marched to the federal buildings in Santa Ana. As an adult, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, I improved my Spanish with classes, books, magazines, television, films and travel to countries de habla española.

Despite my efforts to acculturate myself in Spanish, I am often met with the macho attitude of wabs and pochos, apparently because I do not dress or act like them. At 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, I’m not being dissed for appearing to be a wimp. I have gone to gabacho businesses where the wab or pocho cashier has provided courteous service to Anglos and Asians with a smile, referring to them as “sir,” and saying, “Thank you.” While being served, I’m treated like a second-class citizen. I have been nearly run off sidewalks by wab pedestrians while walking with my 2-year-old son. A favorite of some wabs is to ask me to speak in English after I have said something in Spanish clearly and grammatically correct. I now live in Los Angeles, where, for some reason, I get much more respect from African Americans than other Latinos.

Is there a seemingly logical reason for this disrespect from wabs and pochos alike?

El Pocho Panzón

Dear Big-Bellied Pocho: Just a quick refresher for people who ain’t from la naranja: A wab is a term specific to Orange County and is what assimilated Mexicans and gabachos call recently arrived Mexicans. (Before other Chicanos dismiss my homeland again as a fountain of anti-Mexican hate: All Chicano communities across los Estados Unidos have their own unique terms, as we discussed in this columna a couple of years back.)

While I understand your pain, you’re going to have to deal with the realidad that Mexicans are always going to hate on other Mexicans for one reason or another. Pochos will hate other pochos for being too successful or not Mexican enough; pochos will hate wabs for not being successful enough or too Mexican; wabs will hate pochos for definitely not being Mexican enough; and wabs will hate wabs for being too successful or not being Mexican enough. Pochos get the brunt of it, because they’re the most gabacho, the one group all Mexicans can agree to hate. But truth is, Mexicans hate Mexicans more than gabachos hate Mexicans, and the sooner we get rid of this pendejada from our psyche, the quicker the full Reconquista will be complete.


Gentle cabrones: Two big projects on César Chávez are out right now, each worthy of your support.

The one that’s getting the big press coverage, César Chávez, is a film starring Michael Peña as the legendary labor leader, and is a good intro into why his life and accomplishments are important for everyone to know about. But the rest of the story is in Miriam Pawel’s extraordinary The Crusades of César Chávez: A Biography, which finds Chávez not as the saint that keepers of his flame want him remembered as, but as an all-too-human man—it’s one of the few thorough biographies to not come off as hagiography.

Thanks to Hollywood and Manhattan for making a film and book about an important American who happened to be a Mexican (in the same year, no less!). Watch and read and debate.

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Dear Mexican: Can you help me unravel a citrus dilemma?

When I am in Mexico, or a Mexican restaurant or market, I am unable to find lemons (yellow, egg-sized, tart-tasting). Whenever I ask, I get green-colored fruits, which look and taste to me like limes (green, smaller than egg-sized, tart tasting). I understand that there are Persian limes and Key limes (smaller, sweeter-tasting). But what are limones, which they sell in the markets? I thought limón was a marketing creation by Sprite/7UP—a blend of lemon and lime juices.

Have the genetically modifying corporate food scientists succeeded in creating a limón? If so, why is it only available in Hispanic markets? Please enlighten me, so my future father-in-law no longer refers to me as El Cabrón!

Le Chupacabra

Dear Gabacho: Why Mexicans call the limes used in our cooking limones when the Royal Spanish Academy calls that fruit limas is the probably the most confounding question mexicanos have of themselves after why Pancho Villa insisted on using 19th-century military tactics at the Battle of Celaya.

The answer boils down to agricultural terms used in Mexico. “If you want a lemon in the motherland, you have to ask for limón amarillo,” says Alfonso Cano, founder and CEO of 1810 Revolutionary Clothing Company; all aspiring Mexican boxers and MMAers should wear the company’s clothing while sparring. Cano has worked in produce for years, and he himself admits the etymological controversy “drives people crazy. The limón Persa is the actual wording used to signify what Americans call limes. If you ask for a lima in Mexico, you will most likely be getting a sweet lime—what Americans call a Key lime, which we call lima dulce or limón criollo.”

If you want to get even more confused: the Persian lime does turn yellow if you let it grow long enough, which makes it look like a lemon. But whatever you want to call limones, you’d better hoard them fast: A trifecta—a bad harvest, demand and drug cartels in Mexico’s lime-growing areas—has made prices skyrocket: A 40-pound case of limes sells wholesale to grocery stores for $115, more than triple its previous historic high. If you think your Mexican neighbors pick from your fruit tree a lot, you ain’t seen nothing yet …

OK, so I’m probably a puta. I’ve had countless partners, a sizable percentage of which were Mexican. Anglo and black men fuck about the same way: slow to fast, ending with a big blow. Mexican men start like a jackrabbit, banging away at 150 humps a minute. Is it something cultural or inherited, or just a rush to finish?

Mamo la Pinga

Dear Gabacha: Chula, you ain’t no whore just ’cause you like to sleep with men. But I have to wonder about your choice of chorizo, because the stats just don’t reflect your reality that men want to finish muy pronto rápido arriba arriba.

For instance, the 1992 National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) study conducted by the University of Chicago found that the prevalence of premature ejaculation among gabachos, negritos and wabs was 19 percent, 34 percent and 27 percent, respectively, which means that our hombres can hold out pretty good, jackrabbit sexo and all. Far less scientific was the announcement by some app that said its collection of bedroom stats showed New Mexicans had the longest sexytimes—and guess what state in los Estados Unidos has the highest percentage of Mexis?

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Dear Mexican: The current clothing trend is for ladies to wear low-cut jeans and belly shirts that expose their midriffs. That looks great on a hard-bodied woman, but why do so many fat Mexican mujeres insist on dressing like this?

It’s one of the grossest things imaginable. The gut hangs over the pants and pushes the shirt up. Many times, the women have stretch marks, which make it even worse. I can’t believe they look in the mirror and think they look attractive. What gives?

Fat Is Malo

Dear Gabacho: American men might prefer boinking skinny things, but the wisdom of the ancients still informs the male Mexican mind—and the ancients loved fatties. Many pre-Columbian codices and statues depict women as gorditas—plump chicas. Obesity meant wealth, fertility and what Groucho Marx called “an armful of fun on a cold night.”

But it wasn’t just the Aztecs and Mayans who loved their ladies large. Carl Jung and other psycho-mythologists point to the Earth Mother, found in almost all societies, as one of the most-powerful archetypes of the collective unconscious. Most artistic renditions of the Earth Mother depict her as retre-voluptuous—think of the Venus of Willendorf, the famous prehistoric statue of a fertility goddess with massive breasts, vulva and stomach.

Come to think of it, this Venus bears an uncanny resemblance to those Mexican women you so hate, Fat Is Malo. A bad diet also explains the endemic obesity among Mexican women, but all that a massive mujer does when she squeezes into those low-cut jeans and belly shirts is transform into the Earth Mother and invite males to partake of her eternal fecundity. Judging by the litters of kids Mexican women produce, more men take up the invitation than not …

How come Mexican men wear belt buckles that look like wrestling belts?

R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero

Dear Gabacho: Think utility, vanity and Freud.

A massive belt buckle ensures that our sturdy belts won’t burst under the double strains of the tools we hang from it—whether they be wrenches, cell phones or revolvers—and the bellies that rise from our middles like Kilimanjaro in the Tanzanian plains. It’s a Mexican man’s most-cherished accessory, after the tejana and alligator boots, so of course he’ll glam up his buckles with engravings—names, arabesque designs and pastoral scenes are the most popular.

But owning a bonito buckle isn’t enough for Mexican men. As Freud points out, any time men flash abnormally large possessions—like goateed gabachos flying the American flag from their Ford F250s—it’s a stand-in for our cocks. In an hombre’s case, however, the buckle is a stand-in for our less-than-stellar members. (Most sexology surveys rank Latinos third behind blacks and gabachos on the large pipi scale.) So ladies: The larger the buckle, the teenier the weenie.

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Dear Mexican: My dad says that when he was a kid growing up in Downey, Calif., they used to open the local plunge (pool) to mexicanos and negritos only on Thursdays, because the pool was cleaned once a week on Friday mornings. Is this an accurate account of racism in the 1940s or an exaggeration? Do you know of other blatant racial policies back then, and which ones still exist against Mexicans today?

Pocho Pendejo Who Can Barely Hablo Español

Dear Pocho: Absolutely true story. Gabachos think that the desegregation movement was a primarily African-American affair, but that’s nowhere near the verdad—fact is, Mexican Americans not only suffered a lot of the same discrimination (work, school, housing and even pools) as African Americans; they were also at the forefront of the legal battle to overturn such pendejo laws—especially in Southern California.

For instance, a Mexican American from Fullerton named Alex Bernal was sued by his gabacho neighbors in Orange County Superior Court when he moved into an all-white neighborhood; the case, Doss vs. Bernal, set legal precedent against housing covenants, as Bernal won his case against those idiots. In 1944, Lopez vs. Seccombe took on the issue of segregated swimming pools in San Bernardino; a federal judge found such discriminatory policies illegal. And Mendez, et al. vs. Westminster, et al. found five OC Mexican familias taking on school districts that made their children attend all-Mexican schools; that case went all the way up to a federal court of appeals, with an amicus curae brief from the NAACP (which, of course, would go on to argue the far-more-famous Brown v. Board of Education). Then there’s all the legal desmadre waged in Texas during the 1950s (especially the efforts of the brilliant Tejano legal team behind Hernandez vs. Texas, a 1954 Supreme Court case that found Mexis were humans under the 14th Amendment).

Today, many folks today are fighting for the rights of undocumented folks. Mexicans not only have suffered from discrimination—we fight back for everyone’s rights, as our legal precedents benefit todos.

I’m a U.S.-born Latina whose family has lived in Colorado for generations. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that more Latinos from the Caribbean and Central and South America are moving to our beautiful state. I’ve also noticed how pendante many of these newcomers are. One Puerto Rican executive is giving presentations to public-relations firms in Denver, telling Anglos that not all Latinos are “poor or brown or Mexican.”

Why is it OK for every new group that moves to this state to use Mexicans as scapegoats?

Colfax Chica (But Not the Streetwalking Kind)

Dear Dear Wabette: Because that’s the American way, chula. If there’s one thing that new immigrants quickly learn after bus routes and how to get on welfare, it’s to hate Mexicans.

It gets particularly heated with Latinos, though, because many of them want to assert their own ethnic identity in a country that—outside of Washington, D.C., Florida and parts of the East Coast—is almost exclusively Mexican when it comes to Latinos.

While I don’t blame the boricua for wanting to let people know he’s not Mexican, but rather Puerto Rican, I must also wonder why he wants people to know he’s Puerto Rican in the first place …

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Dear Mexican: Why is there, in every Mexican family, a jealous cousin driven by insecurity?

Must Excuse Vulgar-Ass Lingual Expression

Dear ME VALE: Take your pick. It’s because a) Your dad unwittingly insulted his or her dad back in the rancho when they were boys, and your cousin was taught to hate you as a result; b) Your mom unwittingly insulted his or her mom back in the rancho when they were girls, and your cousin was taught to hate you as a result; c) Your tío or tía insulted his or her aunt or uncle back in the rancho when they were children, and your cousin was taught to hate you as a result, d) Your abuelitos hated on his or her grandparents back in the rancho when they were young adults, and your cousin was taught to hate you as a result; or e) You unwittingly insulted your cousin at some point in his or her life, and he or she has hated you ever since, even though ustedes grew up the best of friends.

Point is, nearly all primo rivalries aren’t based in any concrete reason; instead, they’re due to a bunch of rancho gossip that rears its pathetic head at every funeral, when you see dozens of adults related by blood, standing as far away from each other as possible, and teaching their kids to do the same.

I am a Mexican who has been raised in New Zealand, miles away from the homeland. My father was a Mexican, and my mother is a New Zealander (Kiwi). Every time I hear there is a Mexican movie on TV or in a local film festival, I am excited to see it, as I am very curious and want to understand my culture better than I currently do. After watching the movie, however, I am left extremely depressed, as ALL of the movies I have seen revolve around the same themes: poverty, greed, gang violence, violent rape, illegal immigration, rancid corruption, etc.

Jesus Christ, does Mexico not have any nice stories to tell? Are these themes the only core elements of the culture? I dream of returning to Mexico to live there with my small family one day for a few years, but, wow, these movies really put me off.

Please help me. I really want to be proud of my Mexican heritage, but I’m struggling…

All Blacks and All Browns

Dear Mexi-Kiwi: The sexycomedia genre has obviously not reached the Land Under Down Under. But for all media-related preguntas, the Mexican turns to William Nericcio, English professor at San Diego State University, author of the scabrous Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the “Mexican” in America, and the man behind the traveling desmadre show known as Mextasy, a caravan of racist Mexican images; go to for more information.

Shameless plugs aside, on to Nericcio’s response: “I love these kinds of questions. Imagine a half-Russian, half-American living in Moscow lamenting that all he sees of Americans is Red Dawn, Dr. Strangelove and Rambo, and getting really, really depressed that all he ever sees of himself is loutish, loudmouthed, meat-brained ’Merican Neanderthals.

“Anyone, of any race, of any ethnicity, of any species (ask Flipper and the Taco Bell perrito) will think poorly of themselves if they look to Hollywood for existential sustenance. As I write in Tex[t]-Mex, show business is NOT into ethnography nor cultural anthropology. You are as likely to see a great Mexican in a Hollywood blockbuster as you would a Tea Party-produced YouTube video touting immigration reform.

“That said, there is a good short list of films by Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu online and at your local video shop that should restore your faith in Mexicans on film. Oh, and Salma Hayek—her semiotic figurations will restore anything!”

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Dear Mexican: Do you agree with gente who think you can’t be vegetarian if you’re Mexican, ’cause meat is an essential part of our diet? I’ve heard this argument three times within the last 24 hours—from two blogs and the Today show. I think it’s babosadas. My parents growing up in Zacatecas only had meat on Friday when the pollero came knockin’, or other rare occurrences.

Cuaresma Chica

Dear Lenten Girl: Of course it’s babosadas. A Mexican can eat a perfectly fine vegan diet—nopales, tortillas and all the wonderful vegetables of Mexico, from chayotes to huauzontle to beans, chiles and more—and still be as raza as Cuauhtémoc. See, the traditional indigenous diet didn’t include too much meat, and definitely not any beef, pork, goat, lamb or chicken, as those animals weren’t native to the New World. (Yes, this sentence contained a triple-negative, shepherds of Shakespeare. Váyanse a la chingada.) Yet those are the very meats those anti-vegetarian braggarts cite, in the form of carne asada, chorizo, birria, barbacoa or pollos rostizado when they claim Mexicans can’t live on a carne-free diet.

These are the same pendejos who say they’re puro mexicano while downing a Bohemia (named after the Czech immigrants who revolutionized Mexico’s beer industry … alongside the Germans), eating their bolillos (introduced by the French) and tacos al pastor (brought in by Lebanese immigrants), and washing it all down with a Mexican Coke (done by gabachos). Those idiots must also love the recent cover of Time, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto being hailed as Mexico’s savior, as laughable a premise as a Mexican showing up to a party on time.

Why are so many young Mexicans in gangs? And why do they love to graffiti everything, even their own ghetto apartment building? I see too damn much of this in the Los Angeles area. ¿Qué pasa?

El Virgin de 50 Anos

Dear Virgin of 50 Anuses: Let’s not pussyfoot around the issue: The National Gang Center’s 2011 National Youth Gang Survey found that 46.2 of all gang members in the United States were Latinos, by far the largest percentage among ethnic groups in this country.

But … if you take the 367,000-plus documented gang members in los Estados Unidos, and put that over the 34 million people of Mexican descent in the United States, that only amounts to barely 1 percent of all Mexicans in this country—1 percent too many, but hardly the epidemic Know Nothings make out the gang problem to be among Mexican-Americans. (Keep in mind that the Latino-gangs figure doesn’t differentiate by national origin, meaning the cholo figure in our equation is artificially inflated thanks to Dominica, Puerto Rican and Salvadoran gangs.) Then take into mind that gangs have existed among young immigrant men—especially in urban areas—since the founding of the Republic, and the question becomes: Why aren’t there more young Mexican chicos in gangs? But you asked why do they join, so rent Gangs of New York, Angels With Dirty Faces, The Godfather, The Hangover and all that desmadre for the answer.


Gentle cabrones: I’m thrilled to announce the release of Lowriting: Shots, Rides and Stories From the Chicano Soul, an anthology of essays, poems and stories about lowriders by authors famous (Luis J. Rodríguez, Luis Alberto Urrea) and not (yours truly wrote about my 1974 Cadillac Eldorado convertible called “El Caballo Blanco,” after the José Alfredo Jiménez standard), combined with the amazing photography of Los Angeles photographer Art Meza, perhaps the coolest librarian you’ll ever meet not affiliated with the Fullerton Public Library. A fine collection for anyone interested in great prose, great photography or the current state of the Chicano soul. Order your copy through, and BUY BUY BUY!

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Dear Mexican: I know an 18-year-old who is getting deported from the United States. He has been here since he was 5 years old. His entire family is here and undocumented. He grew up in juvenile halls and committed a felony as soon as he turned 18. Will he be deported for sure, or will the immigration judge give him a break since his entire family is here?

Deportations Are for Dummies

Dear Gabacho: Alas, homeboy is probably going, going adiós.

The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows undocumented youngsters a two-year stay of deportation (subject to renewal) until Congress gets its amnesty act together, specifically states that candidates aren’t eligible if they’ve “been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and … pose a threat to national security or public safety.”

While I don't know the circumstances of the guy you’re talking about, it doesn’t seem he stands a chance for judicial mercy or to become a cause célèbre for DREAMers across the country. That said, if all the charges were bullshit, and the legal system has royally screwed the kid, get in contact with your local DREAMer movement, as their courage in fighting for the damned has been far more impressive than what Latino politicians have shown. And do it fast: The Obama administration deports Mexicans as quickly as California’s reservoirs are drying up.

My wife (who is Mexican) is a tough nut psychologically to figure out, so I am turning to the expert for some desperately needed insight. Essentially, when we began dating, all was right as rain. She was sweet, kind, considerate and extremely attentive. Now, what I call “brown outs” occur. She will fly off the handle at the drop of a hat, throw things and say awful nasty things—basically, she turns into a she-devil. Furthermore, the jealousy (although seemingly dormant for the moment) is always there. I think it would drive her loca if I ever left my garage and had a beer at the cantina again.

We love each other very much, so I guess you could say our marriage is anything but dull. Is this typical with Mexican women? ¡Ayúdame!

Lobo Blanco

Dear Gabacho: The traditional explanation was that it was all about sangre: The blood of the Moors, Spaniards, Gypsies and Aztecs coursing through a mujer’s veins resulted in a quartet of locura that was simultaneously alluring and dangerous. (Just refer to the Agustín Lara canon, specifically “Granada,” for further detail.) On second thought, that’s just bigoted heteronormative misogyny … so let’s just chalk it up to the fact that Mexican woman are crazy because they’re women, m’kay?

I have no pride in being Mexican American. I’m not that insecure! It’s pathetic that people take pride in something they had no control over! I take pride in my personal accomplishments and my behavior and things that I control, the decisions I make amd the goals I reach. Grow up.

Proud to Be Me

Dear Wab: Congratulations on becoming the first Mexican acolyte of Ayn Rand!

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Dear Mexican: Why is it that many first-generation Latino students are so quick to judge and alienate second-generation students, just because their parents went to college and are able to afford a little more? This happened to me recently. People treat me differently and think I will look down on them, yet I grew up in the barrio and never acted like I was higher than them. The only difference with my life is that my parents went to college to give me a better life. Why does that have to affect how I’m treated among other Latinos?

Pocha Pero No Pendeja

Dear Wabette: I turn the columna over to Jody Agius Vallejo, sociology professor at the University of Southern California and author of the magnificent Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class, for which your humble Mexican wrote the intro. Take it, profe!

“Many first-generation Latinos (meaning that they are foreign-born) are quick to judge some second-generation Latinos like you, because they themselves are constantly judged by middle-class Latinos. Most people mistakenly assume that Latinos exhibit ethnic solidarity, and that everyone gets along. However, the Latino population is not monolithic, and divisions exist depending on national origin, generation and whether you are upper, middle or lower class. These divisions are exacerbated by American society (especially the media and racist politicians), which homogenizes and stigmatizes Latinos by portraying them as uniformly poor, unauthorized and uneducated.

“Despite these stereotypes, there is an established, and growing, Latino middle class. But middle-class Latinos must deal with these disparaging stereotypes in their everyday lives, especially when they are mistaken for unauthorized immigrants or when people assume that they are uneducated simply because they are Latino. Thus, middle-class Latinos, especially those who are disconnected from the immigrant struggle for upward mobility because they were raised in middle-class households by college educated parents, often attempt to distance themselves from immigrants as a way to deflect discrimination. This distancing behavior is nothing new and is seen among all immigrant groups, past and present, and is indicative of the American assimilation story. So, I suspect that some first-generation Latino students anticipate that you will look down on them, and they thus snub you before you can (in their imagination) snub them.”

The Mexican’s advice? Tell the haters que se vayan a la chingada. And now you know why Vallejo is an acclaimed professor, while the Mexican teaches at the College of the Calles.

I recently went to a heavy-metal show for a band from Spain called Mägo de Oz. The show was at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and the two opening acts were local Mexican heavy-metal bands, so needless to say, the majority of fans at this show were Mexican metal heads.

I work in the music biz and thus I go to my fair share of both Anglo and Latino concerts/shows on a regular basis. One thing I notice is the nature of the mosh pits at hard rock, metal, punk, ska and similar kinds of shows: They look like any Anglo mosh pit, with the fans literally trying to kill one another, often times leaving people severely injured. But Mexican/Latino mosh pits seem to be composed of fans locking arms, dancing with one another, and a no-man-left-behind kind of attitude.

Can you explain why there’s so much brotherly love in these mosh pits when in the outside world, it seems like Latinos love to bash and cut down their fellow paisas?

El Vampiro

Dear Vampire Gabacho: Not necessarily true—go to a concert by Brujería, the most-hardcore metal group of all time, and authors of the single greatest stanza in history. (“Matando güeros/Ricky Ramirez style”—“Killing white people/Richard (The Nightstalker) Ramirez style.” Even Gershwin couldn’t come up with something that beautiful!) Then see what part of your spleen hasn’t been absorbed by your appendix.

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Dear Mexican: I am a butt-white Irish guy, stoked to be married to a beautiful Chicana. Her familia is from a gorgeous rancho deep in the corazón of Zacatecas, and I’ve been wanting to experience all of the ranchero lifestyle I keep hearing about from my acquired familia mexicanos (and from those songs at all of the truly awesome parties we attend just about every weekend).

However, our State Department has warned Americans to not travel into Mexico due to the violence by the drug cartels. Tales of decapitated bodies strewn across highways throughout Mexico have aired on just about all of the Spanish-speaking noticias. (I watch so I can practice my español, and drool over the female newscasters—¡que caliente!)

Additionally, I’ve gotten such a mixed response from my compas of Mexican origin that now I’m as confused as my Irish grandpa was during Prohibition! Some of the family and my pocho partners have said that all is great, and to stop being a pinche güero panocha, and just go! However, los otros amigos have told me that I’d be loco to travel into the moreno motherland, because my 6-foot-2, blond, blue-eyed ass would stick out more than a pimple on a prom queen, and I would surely lose my oversized Ted Kennedy-looking head!

Ayuda me—I’m so confused! Do I stay, or do I go?

Scared White Boy (With His Cabeza Intact)

Dear Mick: I recently talked to a pal who just came back from Zacatecas, and you know what he said? He dijo that his hometown is safe now ,“because los del Chapo killed all the Zetas and now rule everything.” OY VEY!

While bigger cities like Tijuana and Mexico City (and even Juarez, to a lesser extent) are generally safe after the narco-violence of the Calderón administration, I’d still stay away from the rural regions of Mexico, which are experiencing full-fledged rebellion between warring cartels, corrupt cops, the Mexican military and autodefensas (local vigilante groups) who are saying a la chingada with everyone, and defending their ranchos on their own terms.

Then again, you’re gabacho, and as I’ve said before, ustedes can walk around Mexico with all the impunity of Winfield Scott, because the cartels know better than to mess with one: They know if they do, the Obama administration will stop its eternal waltz with various cartels and rain down the drone desmadre.

Why is it that Mexicans prefer to party, barbecue, dance and drink in their front yards? On Friday and Saturday nights, their low-riding buddies machine-pistol them without having to slow down the Honda. Tight-assed pink peeps party, too, but in the safety of the backyard.

Cabana Man

Why do Mexicans do everything in the front yard—from cooking on the grill, to celebrating birthday parties with inflatable playgrounds, to hanging their wet clothes over the railings on their front porch? A friend of mine told me the backyard was where Mexicans keep all their chickens, roosters and autos up on blocks, but it isn’t true—at least not here in Texas. Is this just genetic?

Tony Romo Is Lame, but Jerry Jones Is Lamer

Dear Gabachos: The sooner gabachos realize that front yards are just a pathetic remnant of Gilded Age nitwits pretending to live like British lords, and start using yardas like Mexicans, the better off this country will be.

Since houses in Mexico historically had no lawns or ornamental plants (that’s what the fields were for), Mexicans view front yards as virgin land ripe for the taking. We grow fruit trees and sugar cane; we park cars on it. And, : We’ll happily put a Dora the Explorer bounce house in the front. Why? Because the backyard is already too packed with partying Mexicans.

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