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Gustavo Arellano

Dear Mexican: I’m an instructor at a community college. I wanted to work within the community college to help the marginalized and disenfranchised have greater access to education. Additionally, as a Latina, I have witnessed too many of my own people drop out of college, and I wanted to do something about it.

At the beginning of every semester, instructors attend personal development training, and I attended one on white privilege. The discussion included reviewing an article written some years ago about what constitutes “white privilege,” and whether that definition is still applicable today. The facilitator and some of the participants asked for my perspective on it, and whether I agreed. Finally, I understood that they thought I was white because of my lighter skin. I tactfully corrected them, telling them, “I am MexiCAN.” However, the facilitator went on to say that having the surface appearance of “white” is an advantage.

While I understand that having lighter skin poses an advantage, I don’t think that alone offsets the type of systematic racism my family has experienced. Would you agree? Also, I am frustrated with having to explain that Latinos come in all shades, and people being surprised that I don’t speak with an accent. Am I being overly sensitive, or what?

Wondering Güera

Dear Pocha: You’re not being sensitive enough—white-privilege workshops are snorefests whose takeaway should be reduced to two words: Fuck gabachos. I’m not opposed to that sentiment at all, but obsessing over color also masks the far more pernicious issue of class, especially as it applies to raza in the States.

, white historically made right in Mexico, but it never translates so easily. Take the Mexican’s ancestral ranchos in Zacatecas, El Cargadero and Jomulquillo. Residents in the former are super-white (my maternal abuelita had green eyes); gente in my dad’s rancho are más prietos. Skin color gave cargaderenses the feeling of being superior to los de Jomulquillo—never mind that both ranchos were poor AF, and both essentially emptied to el Norte due to lack of opportunities in Mexico.

White privilege for Mexicans in the U.S.? My mami’s alabaster skin didn’t keep her from working in the fields starting when she was 9, and it didn’t spare my Tío Ezequiel ruthless beatings at the hand of teenage gabachos in the 1960s while attending Fremont Junior High in Anaheim. (He got his revenge, gracias a Dios, by kicking the ass of his tormentors so bad that all the gabachos finally let him be.) So tell those white-privilege workshop trainers to stop with the race obsession, and focus on class, cabrones.

I’m curious about the etymology of the term padrastro. As the stepfather of two youngsters, I’ve wondered about the connection to the term for a hangnail. Is it a coincidence? I’ve also seen the translation mal padre, and I won’t lie: I was a bit hurt. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Super Stepfather

Dear Gabacho: Speaking of sensitive … you’re tilting, broder. Padrastro is a direct translation of the Latin patraster, which means “stepfather,” but is derived from pater (father) and –aster (a pejorative suffix roughly meaning “imposter”), so it was never meant as a nice word to begin with. Padrastro as hangnail is a purely Castilian creation—the Latin for hangnail is redivia.

So why the Mex hate on stepfathers? As with nearly all Mexican pathologies, blame the Catholic Church—you can look it up!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Hey, I was wondering why it is that Mexicans are said to have low risk for heart attacks, considering they eat lots of beans, animal intestines and other strange foods like pigs’ feet and cow tongue. Could there be some mysterious magical healing power in all these strange cultural cuisines?

Max Cherry Burger

Dear Gabacho: How is eating animal intestines, pigs’ feet and cow tongue “strange”? That’s working-class food, whether you’re Polish, Mexican, black or a good ol’ boy from a Kentucky holler—and it’s certainly better than the mainstream mierda gabachos eat.

Another fact you got wrong: Mexicans are not paragons of heart health. Maybe in el pasado, when we mostly ate cactus and human flesh, but that was a long time ago. Nowadays, no less an authority than the American Heart Association says on its website that Mexis “face even higher risks of cardiovascular diseases because of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes” due to our new-found diet in the United States and a lack of exercise. And don’t think this affliction is just a pocho thing, either; a 2010 American Heart Journal study by Benjamín Acosta-Cázares and Jorge Escobedo de la Peña titled “High Burden of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Mexico: An Epidemic of Ischemic Heart Disease That May Be on Its Way?” showed that the rate of Mexicans in Mexico dying of heart disease doubled between 1970 and 2000, as did rates of high blood pressure and diabetes. (While the rate is still far lower than what’s found in the U.S., the report also noted gabacho rates are going down, while ours rise like El Chapo’s pito while thinking of Kate del Castillo.)

Fact is, Mexicans are dying a slow, obese, short-breathed death gracias to our new, Americanized eating patterns—call it Donald Trump’s revenge.

Can you tell me if Eugenia is a popular name in Mexico?

Clean for Eugene

Dear Gabacha: Maybe in 1902, when names such as Sabas, Fidencio, Adoración and Petra were all the rage, but certainly not today!

I've enjoyed reading your posts and typically find your responses insightful, even if I might not always agree with your view of history. However, when you replied to an admittedly hostile question about assimilation and the level of education, you completely dropped the ball.

Not only did your snarky response fall flat (the randy racist spelled the word in question correctly in the message body of his email), but more importantly, you missed a great opportunity to explain a stereotype that from many perspectives seems to be pretty legit. Did this one hit a little too close to home?

Ad Hominem Attacks Are for Losers

Dear Gabacho: You’re referring to a question that appeared a couple of weeks ago in the chingón Denver alt-weekly Westword that insisted Mexicans don’t assimilate while referring to us as “beans” and “beaners,” opining that I’ve got my “head up (my) ass” and concluding that Mexico is a “shithole country.” And you’re upset at me for dismissing his racism with a flippant remark? Sorry, but the Mexican’s responses are based on the question posed. And, in your case, you get this: vete a la chingada, pinche pendejo baboso inútil.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I was wondering if you can help me. I’m trying to get my family tree together. My family is from San Julian, Jalisco. Both of my grandparents were part of the bracero program, and I was wondering: What is the agency or institution where they hold the list of names of Mexicans who were part of the program? I would greatly appreciate it.

Jalisco No Se Raja

Dear Jalisco Never Backs Down: Your abuelitos were braceros? One of mine was, too, along with a chingo of uncles—one of whom ended up picking beets in Michigan. Fun!

Just to remind the gabas who braceros were: They were members of the original guest-worker program between the United States and Mexico, originally set up during World War II, so that our fighting men could go kill commie Nazis. Originally an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the bracero program continued until the mid-1960s. While the pendejo GOP presidential field sometimes wishes it would return, someone should remind them the program ended because of exploitative conditions and the fact that both the American and Mexican governments shorted braceros on their salary by withholding 10 percent of their wages—wages that elderly braceros and their descendants were still battling both governments for as recently as last year.

On the Mexican side, the Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB, as acronym-obsessed Mexico calls it) has a registry of ex-braceros; on the American side, try the excellent online Bracero History Archive hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Good luck, and don’t think your great-grandpa was special because he fought with Pancho Villa; EVERY Mexican’s bisabuelo says that!

Dear Mexican: Yesterday in a parking lot, I was opening my car door to get out, and a lovely Mexican lady was opening her door next to me to put her young child in her car. We both opened our doors at the same time. We both quickly pulled our doors in to avoid hitting each other, but then she quickly reopened her door and took a long time to put her child in the car, thus making me wait when it would have taken me only a second to get out; she then could have proceeded.

I didn’t understand why she did this, especially when I’m an older woman and seemingly should have been granted the right-of-way. I’ve always been under the impression that in the Mexican culture, the senior woman would be given courteous regard.

Leisure World Lady

Dear Gabacha: Yes, we respect our elders—but we respect a woman with a child more, and so should you. Plus, you’re a gabacha—and gabachos are EVIL. Lucky she didn’t steal your country while you were waiting.

Oh, wait…

WATCH BORDERTOWN!

Reward your faithful Mexican with the regalo of watching Bordertown, the Fox animated show on which I served as a consulting producer. It airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Central). Watch it live; DVR it; watch it on Hulu or Fox Now—I don’t really care, as long as you watch it! And por favor, don’t pirate it until the eighth season!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I’ve been following a show called You’re The Worst since it started showing on FX in 2014. Among other things, it features a character named Edgar Quintero, an awkward and troubled Iraq War veteran who happens to be Mexican American. I think this must be the only such character regularly featured in series television these days.

My only issue with the character is that, though he is well-handled, the actor who plays him is obviously from the Eastern U.S. Non-Mexican-American actors have been playing Mexican-American characters, sometimes quite well, for decades. In this case, Desmin Borges has a Puerto Rican background. I don’t consider that a problem in and of itself. But I have a big problem if they talk like they are from New York or Chicago.

The language of those of us out West, Latino and otherwise, is different, and we rarely see this acknowledged on television or in movies. Nonetheless, I love the show, and he is certainly my favorite character.

I wanted to know if you had an opinion about this character and his portrayal.

Television Reconquista

Dear Gabacho: You’ve gotta get your Borges background right. He’s part-Puerto Rican, born in Chicago, raised in Houston, lives in NYC, and works on a show based in Los Angeles—as jumbled of a cultural history as that of any Mexican.

You’re the Worst is funny, and Borges’ character is great in that he’s just a guy—not a Mexican, not a Puerto Rican playing a Mexican, but a guy who happens to be Mexican. I can’t state how revolutionary that is, in an industry that still writes Mexican men as little better than cholos and narcos. And while it’d be cool if a Chicano from City Terrace played Edgar Quintero and made him talk like a Chicano from City Terrace, it sure is better than Douglas Fairbanks playing Zorro—or, hell, Hillary Clinton pretending to be an abuela.

Dear Mexican: Why can’t second- and third-generation Mexicans just chill? The reason I ask is because lately, there have been more cholos infiltrating the Colorado River, and although there’s plenty of room for them, they always get all stabby or start fights. I've been going there for years and love it, because everyone’s pretty much drunk and happy … except for the cholos.

What’s up with that? Could it be that the Indian in them gets crazy with hard liquor? Or is that just with American Indians?

La Coconut

Dear Pocha: Cholos fight because they’re cholos, just like bros fight at Lake Havasu because they’re bros. You can’t hate a cholo or bro for fighting any more than you can hate Donald Trump for being dumb—it’s who they are. The problem, of course, is when said cholos or bros or Trump fuck it up for everyone else.

The solution? Place them all on a houseboat and let them sort it out—someone green-light THAT show!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Why is it that when you invite a Mexican to a party, they feel compelled to bring along 30 of their relatives? I mean, bringing along two or three people would be no problem, but we don’t expect the number of people in our party to double by inviting an extra person!

Not Enough Food for Everyone

Dear Gabacho: Mexicans and parties—was there ever a coupling more spectacularly grotesque? We drink mucho; we eat mucho; we fight mucho; we love mucho; we mucho mucho.

Examining the Mexican propensity to party, Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz wrote, “The explosive, dramatic, sometimes even suicidal manner in which we strip ourselves, surrender ourselves is evidence that something inhibits and suffocates us. Something impedes us from being. And since we cannot or dare not confront our own selves, we resort to the fiesta.”

But one thing we don’t do anymore is swarm parties with our extended family, Not Enough Food. Time was when Mexican immigrants would rent out labor halls to throw massive weddings, quinceañeras and baptisms, and invite the entire rancho to invite everyone—more than 1,000 people attended my baby brother’s christening reception in 1992, including norteño star Juan Zaizar! But the Mexicans of my generation prefer subdued celebrations—invite-only, no kids, with lame, sobbing testimonials by the best men and bridesmaids, and no banda sinaloense to deafen guests with its brass-band roar. For instance, my cousin is holding his wedding reception next November at the Yorba Linda Community Center with an emcee and a guest limit of 250. (Considering that’s about the size of the Miranda clan, there are going to be some angry primos next fall.)

Mexican parties are turning into prim-and-proper, gabacho-fied affairs, Not Enough Food—so we’re taking over American society how?

Dear Mexican: How come all the Mexicans who came here two or three generations ago look like “almost-white” people, while the ones coming now look like those little guys who live naked in the Amazon and kill things with blowguns?

No Indios Need Apply (NINA)

Dear Pocho: Chalk the phenomenon up to the natural unfolding that is the American immigrant experience.

Countries tend to dump their upwardly mobile, lighter-skinned natives on the United States before the shoddier, darker folks show up in the steerage of rusting freighters—remember that northern Italians arrived at Ellis Island before their swarthy Sicilian paisanes. That’s what’s happening with Mexico, NINA.

In his 1983 study East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio, historian Ricardo Romo cites a 1922 demographic survey that showed almost two-thirds of the Mexican community of Los Angeles at the time originated from just four states: Chihuahua, Durango, Jalisco and Zacatecas. These states are in north-central Mexico, where the conquistadors spread their seed farthest and most vigorously.

As the 20th century progressed, however, Mexico’s poorer, more-indigenous states in the south tumbled like dominoes as they sent their populations to el Norte, subsequently ratcheting up the brownie mixture in the Mexican-American pot. Michoacán and Puebla (next to Mexico City) didn’t start sending their residents en masse to the U.S. until around the mid-20th century; Guerrero and Oaxaca followed around the 1970s; our Central American colony, Guatemala, now follows.

The push continues even in Mexico—in a 2004 Orange County Register piece, staffer Valeria Godines described the tensions between the güeros of Arandas, Jalisco and Chiapan immigrants, showing Mexicans can be as race-obsessed as their gabacho oppressors.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: I want to start by saying I’m a Chicano. Now, I don’t understand why you allow Gustavo Arellano’s column in your publication.

He is a racist. First, he has a negative cartoon of a Mexican. Just look at it. Just because his last name is Arellano, that does not give him the right to display such filth and to speak for all people of Mexican or Latino decent.

Second, he calls white people gabachos. In Spanish, this is the white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth. It’s the equivalent to calling a black person a “nigger,” a Mexican a “beaner” or a Jew a “kike.” It’s ugly, isn’t it?

I’ve brought this up to him, and his response to me is that it’s all in jest. How can you call a person a racist name in jest? Please take his racist ass off your magazine, and please look into the word gabacho.

Chicano Charlie

Dear Readers: This guy followed up with me by sending a private email that whined, “I don’t think you have the balls” to publish this letter.

Well, guess what, Chicano Charlie? Not only do I have the huevos; I also have the facts. I’ve never claimed to speak for all Mexicans—just the smart ones. A gabacho is a gabacho, not saliva—you’re thinking of baba, which you should be familiar with, since your words are babadas. If we want to call a gabacho a nasty slur, we call him a Donald Trump supporter. And who says you can’t call someone a racist name in jest?

Anything is possible in this columna—including not granting a pendejo his dream. So guess what, Chicano Charlie? This columna ain’t going nowhere—feliz navidad, gabacho!

Dear Mexican: I own a shop in a small shopping complex. I see lone Mexican guys (with no wife or girlfriend in sight) buying expensive pieces of jewelry. I’m sure they are going to trade the jewelry for quickie sex, possibly with our women. Isn’t this crude, low-class and tantamount to prostitution? At least us white Americans of European descent know how to wine, dine and make a girl feel special before asking for the hot biscuit.

Where’s the romance? Are Mexicans only interested in getting their rocks off?

An Honestly Outraged Local Entrepreneur

Dear Chinito: Bruh, you’re just jealous they ain’t shopping at whatever piece-of-caca storefront you operate. And you’re also mad these hombres are getting action—the last I heard, a woman is more apt to go out with a man who surprises her with a ring than some loser who refers to her privates as a “hot biscuit.”

But, yes: Mexican men are only interested in having sex with white women. Sucks for you!

GRACIAS, READERS!

For another awesome year of random questions, kind words, hilarious haters, and ever-present DESMADRE.

Reward your faithful Mexican with the regalo of watching the premiere of Bordertown, the Fox animated show on which I served as a consulting producer. It starts Sunday, Jan. 3, at 9:30 p.m., and will air each Sunday at the same time afterward. Watch it live; DVR it; stream it on Hulu—I don’t really care as long as you watch it within a week of its air date.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 08:00

Ask a Mexican: Special Holiday Gift Edition!

Gentle cabrones: Behold, it’s my annual Mexican Christmas guide, in which I recommend the best Mexi-themed libros for you to give to your loved ones this Navidad instead of yet another tamale to unwrap.

Buy them at your local bookstore, or order online—but do buy!

#FuckCancer: The True Story of How Robert the Bold Kicked Cancer’s Ass: By day, Robert Flores is a butcher; in his spare time, Flores wrote a hilarious, gritty memoir about how he survived fourth-stage colon cancer. It’s perfect for the cancer survivor in your family, or anyone who appreciates Chicano DESMADRE. Buy it at roberttheboldstore.etsy.com.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic: In one of the most chilling books published in recent years, my mentor-friend Sam Quinones tells a two-part story about how gabacho America got hooked on heroin—on one hand, from pharmaceuticals; on the other mano, via Mexicans from Nayarit. It’s more gripping and infuriating than any episode of The Wire.

The Chili Cookbook: A History of the One-Pot Classic, With Cook-off Worthy Recipes From Three-Bean to Four-Alarm and Con Carne to Vegetarian: A Texas-sized book name worthy of another mentor-friend of mine: Robb Walsh, the greatest chronicler of Tex-Mex cuisine ever. This is a great cookbook that reminds the Baylessistas that chili is the original regional Mexican dish in el Norte.

Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West, 1863–1866: The next time some Trump supporter says Mexicans don’t fight for this country, point them to this groundbreaking work. It’s a fascinating tale of Californios—the Mexicans conquered by the Estados Unidos during the Mexican-American War—serving the Union instead of the Confederates, in contrast to their pendejo Tejano cousins.

Corrido! The Living Ballad of Mexico’s Western Coast: The University of New Mexico Press returns with another stunning songbook, this one focusing on the musical traditions of Mexico’s Costa Chica and Costa Grande region. Dump your son jarocho CD already, and refry THIS.

Shameful Victory: The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Scare, and the Hidden History of Chavez Ravine: Everyone has a vague idea of how Los Angeles leaders kicked out a bunch of Mexicans to build Dodger Stadium. But this University of Arizona Press book tells the tale in all of its shameful details. A must for sports fans and yaktivists alike.

The Chicano Generation: Testimonios of the Movement: Mario T. Garcia is the most influential Chicano Studies scholar you’ve never heard of, and remains that rare academic who can actually write. For his latest University of California book, he provides in-depth conversations with unsung Los Angeles activists. Essential reading.

Images of the Mexican American in Fiction and Film: Your oldie-but-goodie pick for the year. The late Arthur G. Pettit documented how Americans have ruthlessly stereotyped Mexis since the 1830s with tropes that still exist today (e.g. the spicy señorita, the clown). The fact that depictions of Mexis in Hollywood and the media have only gotten worse since this libro’s printing in 1980 shows what an unsung masterpiece it is.

Los Lobos: Dream in Blue: Leave it to the University of Texas Press—perhaps the best non-UC academic press in the country—to publish the first book on the Chicano rock gods. Now, if only I could get on their regular mailing list … HA!

¡Ask a Mexican!; Orange County: A Personal History; and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America: Because DUH!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Mexicans always reference the Reconquista. However, I think you should be invading Spain instead.

The Spanish did to the Native Americans in Mexico what the whites did to the Native Americans in America. In fact, we treated the Native Americans better: We gave them reservations; they pay no taxes; they have the right to gambling, etc. We also treated the Mexicans a lot better than the Spanish. The Spanish slaughtered the Native Americans in Mexico, and I believe their indigenous cultures have been totally destroyed. Let’s not forget the Spaniards’ great gift of syphilis.

If “Mexicans,” Spanish illegal immigrants, are going to go back 160 years to hold a grudge against Americans, why don’t they hate Spain, too?

Heep Big Jerk

Dear Gabacho: I had to give the respuesta to my former college profe, Paul Apodaca, a professor of sociology and American studies at Chapman University and the scholar who turned me on to one of my all-time favorite books: Richard Drinnon’s Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building, which perfectly explains gabacho foreign policy.

“American Indians pay federal and sales tax like other U.S. citizens but do not pay state income tax while living on their federally recognized reservations,” Dr. Apodaca says. “The United States did not give land to Indians any more than England gave freedom to the U.S.; both governments recognized the God-given rights of men.

“Millions of Indians in Mexico speak their own languages, cultivate their indigenous foods, practice their folk arts, continue their histories, have participated in two revolutions and retain the entire country of Mexico as members of a nation they formed. Indians have traveled across North America for thousands of years searching for resources for their families. Time changes every culture, and Mexico reflects those changes, but the people are continuing, and that is something wonderful to celebrate, not begrudge.”

Pressed for something funnier, Dr. Apodaca concluded, “The fellow has conclusions but no accurate premises—simply opinion. His use of the word ‘grudge’ is Freudian, as I make clear in the last line. Some folks don’t see the forest for the trees or the Indian for the Mexican.” BOOM!

Dear Mexican: Do Mexicans resent meaningless, wannabe Spanglish advertising slogans like Taco Bell’s “Live Más”? This gabacho finds it rather offensive. Sniff. Shouldn’t such odious assaults on language(s) be outlawed?

Shepherd of Shakespeare

Dear Gabacho: This Mexican resents Taco Bell’s meaningless, wannabe Mexican dish called the Doritos Loco taco—leave it to a company founded by a guy who ripped off a Mexican family’s recipe to earn his billions (true story—read my Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America) to fuck up what could’ve been an amazing dish. Hard-shell tacos are Mexican; Doritos were created by Mexicans at Disneyland (again: in my book). Yet the Doritos Locos taco is too salty and has little Doritos flavor—and then there’s the “beef.” Guacatelas!

As for your complaint: Some Mexicans do despise Spanglish, but those Mexicans need to get laid more often. Anecdotally, Mexicans like Spanglish advertising if it’s clever, and “Live Más” was OK enough to not spur a yaktivist revolt.

Scientifically, don’t believe the hype: Most studies done on whether young Mexican Americans prefer advertising in English, Spanish or Spanglish is laughably biased. Take “The Bilingual Brain: Maximizing Impact with English- and Spanish-Speaking Millennials," a 2014 study involving Nielsen and Univision that unsurprisingly found that advertising in Spanish “offers a unique advantage for brands striving to connect with bilingual Hispanic millennials”—the most foregone conclusion since Mexico underachieved in the last FIFA World Cup.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Dear Mexican: Tell us about the origin of the grito—no, not the one done in September to celebrate independence, but the one belted out during passionate rancheras like Chente’s “Volver, Volver.” Where did they start? What’s their purpose? A good grito is a way to get a lot of emotion off your chest, but I’ve always wondered: ¿Esto quién se lo inventó?

El Gallo Gritón

Dear Mexican: I think I’ve identified the Mexican “rallying cry,” if you will, but I need your confirmation: Why is it that groups of Mexican men seem to often yell out this high pitched “Aye aye aye!” business as some sort of battle cry or mating call? My brother was an electrician and worked on a lot of construction sites with Mexican men, and he also has picked up this “Aye aye aye!” Furthermore, a friend of mine hears this early in the morning outside her condo while they are working on her remodel. Could it be a wakeup call, perchance?

Whitey Wishing for My Own Call

Dear Pocho and Gabacho: Every male culture needs a battle cry, and our grito has been a Mexican’s best aural artillery for hundreds of years. But unlike the cowboy “Yee-haw!” or Indian “Hoka Hey!” ours can slow down to express sorrow (The “Ay yai yai yai” chorus of “Cielito Lindo”), speed up to show happiness (every drunk primo), extend for a minute to exude machismo, or go off in staccato bursts of approval.

Its origin? DEEZ NUTZ. Seriously: The only academic study I tracked down on the subject is “El Grito Mexicano in Texas-Mexican Culture,” an unpublished paper written by esteemed Notre Dame professor Jose E. Limón that the good profe currently can’t locate. While I’m sure it’s great, its findings won’t matter: Whether you want to trace it back to the Mexica or the Moors, the grito is an expression of DEEZ NUTZ—that is to say, huevos. Can women do it, too? Of course—but only DEEZ NUTZ could think of a shout so, well, ballsy.

Dear Mexican: I’m an Asian—a chino, to be more exact. I love Mexican culture, and I adore Mexican women, be they today’s moms or the Jesusitas of the Revolution.

To make myself closer to the Mexican community, I’ve tried everything. I visited Mexico, learned some Mexican Spanish, bought two straw sombreros, made two to three Mexican amigas who are either married or too young, danced baile folklorico in front of a large audience, and even sang “México Lindo y Querido” at Chinese-restaurant karaoke to my Chinese colleagues. Yet, despite all my efforts, the most I’ve got from Mexican mujeres is a nice smile and nada más.

Mexican mujeres simply puzzle me. I don’t know what they want in a man, and I don’t know how I can get them interested in a chino of cinquentaytres. I guess maybe my grays shut them down. Or they prefer hombres of their own raza?

What do you suggest? The only thing I can think of that I have not done is bring a mariachi to the window of a mujer of my corazón. Should I do that? Will I be arrested by police if I do that? Or will some jealous Mexican men come to chase me off with pistols?

Ching-Chong Charlie

Dear Chinito: You’re doing it all wrong: Mujeres don’t care about how Mexican a non-Mexican guy is when they come a’courtin’; they care about romance. That said, you’re on the right path with a serenata. Any woman who looks down on an hombre doing that has a heart colder than Trump’s—but is still hella smarter.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

We Americans have been spoiled by low costs for so long that we have started acting as if low costs were our birthright, which explains why our government leaders have never been in any real hurry to do anything significant about our southern borders. Now, many spoiled, control-freak Americans are throwing temper tantrums over this issue, without thinking ahead. Careful; sometimes you WILL get what you ask for, only to end up wishing you’d just kept your greedy, selfish little mouth shut.

Surely someone has done a legitimate impact study of the volume and variety of the lowered costs we Americans enjoy on a daily basis due to our government’s playing the “indulgent uncle” on the issue of illegals from Mexico.

Conservative, but Not Crazy

Dear Gabacho: Oh, there are as many studies about the impact of undocumented folks on the economy as there are Mexicans who say their grandpa rode with Pancho Villa. Of course, almost all of those reports are biased bullshit, whether from the left (anything produced by Latino congressmen) or the right. (I’m looking at you, o hateful Federation for American Immigration Reform—was it someone from your crew or another of your Know Nothing ilk who, after a Vietnamese-American woman was tragically killed by a Mexican-American woman, wanted to know if the perp was an “illegal alien savage”?)

The only group hewing to the middle ground, alas, is the feds: They say that if we don’t legalize undocumented folks, we’ll lose $80 billion in unrealized gains by 2023; deficits will increase by $50 billion; and Social Security won’t get the $50 billion illegals could contribute if only they were legal. Of course, a Communist Kenyan runs the White House, so that report is also invalid.

So the truthful answer? What your humble Mexican says: #fuckthehaters.

Why are Mexicans so afraid of earthquakes? (George Lopez’s television show even based an episode around this topic.) Don’t you people know that here in the USA, we have something called “building standards” (unlike the adobe and Play-Doh used in Mexico for construction)? After the last big Northridge quake, you panochas were so afraid of being indoors that you made the local parks look like a Mexican-Woodstock!

Panocha Lover in Huntington Beach

Dear Gabacho: Pendejo, can we start with you using panocha (“pussy,” for those who don’t habla) as a slur? You had a great question that I won’t answer because of your stupidity. Anyone who uses the word as a synonym for cowardice obviously can’t get any. You want to call a Mexican a coward? Call him “Enrique Peña Nieto” or “Donald Trump”—or, better yet, “Panocho Lover in Huntington Beach.”

BORDERTOWN PREMIERE DATE!

Gentle cabrones: Am excited to announce that Bordertown—the animated FOX show that’s like a Mexican second-cousin marriage of Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers and on which I served as consulting producer—will have its debut Jan. 3 at 9:30 p.m.! Make sure to watch live, DVR it—and please DO NOT pirate the show … until Season 4, at least. Tune in, and join the #televisionreconquista!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!