!Ask a Mexican! Web Especial

The great !Ask a Mexican! naming debate

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I'm pretty tired of people thinking that the mexicano is this lazy, dirty person whose first nature is to fight. I do believe that it's been hard to make it where we are today and, yes, revolution and revolutionaries are part of our culture and history. But times have changed. I, and many people I know, fight the current-day revolution with weapons other than guns. We use books, computers, cell phones but, most of all, we use the brains and knowledge we've been able to gain through our hard work in school and in the workforce preparing ourselves to fight the current-day revolution. Is the image funny?? Yes! When you see it, does it bring your mind to think of a Mexican? Yes! Do the people who don't know any better think all mexicanos are "overweight, dirty revolutionary"? I believe so. Can you and/or your team of experts in advertising come up with a logo that talks better about the honest, trustworthy, hardworking Mexicans who live and struggle here in the U.S. and Mexico? I'm most sure it can happen! Please take this into consideration and help us out, don't knock us down.

El Chican@ Studies Alumni

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Keep the portrait. It attracts readers like nothing else would. Name? I'll say it HAS to be Pancho . . . or Paco or Sanchez. I love it! The people who seem to be most offended by it are white guilt-ridden liberals and the militant separatist Chicano types who are looking for any excuse to display their fake, manufactured outrage.

KEEP THE LOGO!!!

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I recognized from the start your purpose in using the dirty, overweight bandito as the column's logo. It does, as you say, over time take the sting out of the stereotype. It's integral to the column and is serving its purpose, so leave it be. As for his name? "Pancho," of course !

Gabacho In Place

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Please, don't get rid of your Papi. Here's some name ideas to give nuestro amigo:

Jose - conjures up mucho.

Jose Cuervo, Jose & Jos"B", [Hoser], Jose Can You See?!?! (I hear it sung at the ballpark before every baseball game; I'm sure Jose doesn't have a very good seat), Jose and The PussyCats.

Manuel - manual labor. One thing us gringitos do not appreciate when we need to do it. We pay mojaditos chump change to do that and then complain that they're here in our country.

Roberto - Drop the "O" and you're no longer a wetback!

Federico - My ex-brother-in-law, who was a pinche culero. No, let's drop that one. California-born Mexican-Americans don't count.

Chulo - cute idea!

Naco - Too occupied making money to go to school and learn something.

Zumbo - damn! Mexicans make some God Awfully Great Tequila!

Polaco Loco

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Since you are asking your readers to suggest a new logo for your column, here's mine: Salma Hayek. Yes, she looks nothing like you, but I suspect your current logo doesn't look like you either. Readership on your column would go through the roof !

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It's pretty funny but at the same time el profe tiene razón. It's like an African-American using those racist Memím Pingüín images. Still, it doesn't help our cause. Who knows? I'm just a Mexican.

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I question your logic in, for lack of a better word, "owning" a derogatory stereotype. Has African Americans' use (overuse?) of "nigger" lessened the power of that word to hurt or enrage? I appreciate the juxtaposition of the overused, stereotypical image paired side-by-side with your witty, biting and often erudite responses. Still, I get the feeling that I'm not the one who needs to get it. Regardless of how well you write or how thoughtful your responses, some who come across your image likely will just have their biases reinforced—"Hah. Stupid Spic, probably just writing about how gringos are bad, Mexican men are hung like ponies, and all Mexican women are good in bed." There's always going to be a Minuteman jackass out there pissed off because he's sure you're taking seven cents per word and screwing a white writer out of a 10 cent-per-word job, and that image will be the one he holds onto as representative of all Mexicans. Then again, close-minded jackasses will think what they want to think, regardless of the art you choose for your column. I guess it comes down to: your column, your rules.

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I find your logo offensive. How does papi feel about it? And how do you feel about the fact that the editorial staff of the Tucson Whitely scatters your pearls of wisdom on their back pages along with the comic strips and News of the Weird?

El Viejo Vagabundo

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I never write to any writer because I don't think that anything I could possibly say would or should interfere with a person's right to express his or her opinion. This one caught my eye. While I agree with the prof's sentiment that stereotypes can be harmful, I also strongly disagree with his approach. The Prof feels that the image is offensive and somehow diminishes the article as well as Mexicanos as a whole. I can't help but feel that this guy isn't just wrong but more to the point that this guy's attitude is what is really dangerous. The image of "Pappi Pancho Bandito" does exactly what it is supposed to do: it makes people laugh or feel offended or just catches a person's eye and makes him or her read the article. El Prof de Yuma doesn't want you to use the image because he was offended. My personal opinion is "so what!?" In this country free speech means that you can say or print whatever you want regardless of if it offends anyone. I understand the need for positive role models for a Latin culture that can be said to be struggling. I recognize that one of every three prisoners in this country is Latin. El Prof has to agree that we as a people are succeeding also as the second-largest minority group in the country with the most college graduates. As one of the former, I have to point out that this growing demand for tolerance has, in fact, created a culture of intolerance for all those that think and speak as they wish. Whether it be an image of the prophet Mohamed or "Pappi Pancho," these images should be taken for what they are—just funny cartoons. Have a sense of humor, Prof.

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