By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Dear Mexican: I like to think that I'm an open-minded sorta guy for a teenager. I fervently oppose racial stereotypes, though I do think they're good for a laugh or two sometimes. I have several Mexican friends, and none of them live up to the "Mexican standard" of lawn mowing, stupidity and the like. One is going into international business, and another is thinking about a career in engineering—those two are about as far away from the clichés as possible. The problem is that some of them enjoy pulling the "beaner card" out of their back pocket whenever they get criticized in any way. "Oh, yeah, blame it on the immigrant" and "It's because I'm Mexican, isn't it?" are frequent comebacks on their part. Now, I realize it's all just banter, but it can be quite annoying when the people you associate with use their race against you. My question is: Could you compose a list of snappy phrases I could use as a counterstrike? We are all pretty easygoing guys, so don't hold back: They can take it. Then again, they are my friends, so if you would also include a set of comebacks I can use to defend my Mexican buddies against the short-minded, I would really appreciate it.
Dear Gabacho: I will grant but uno comeback, one for you to use against anyone who hassles your amigos: "Don't act like me." Seriously, Beaner Buddy: Your letter reads like a long excuse to seek the Mexican's blessing to bash his raza. You start by claiming your opposition to stereotypes, yet quickly state they're funny, before moving on to describe the typical Mexican as a stupid mower of lawns. Your Mexican friends are supposedly "as far away from the clichés as possible," but you criticize them for acting like whiny minorities. It's all busting balls, you insist, yet you're annoyed that Mexicans act like Mexicans. And then you conclude with a plea for choice invectives! Racial and ethnic slurs are fine in a tit-for-tat situation, but nowhere in your letter is it even suggested that your friends dismiss you as a gabacho culero. Give me proof of the latter, and I'll direct you to my Muy Caliente Glossary at ocweekly.com, where you can cobble a couple of slurs to fuel your poorly justified pendejadas. Otherwise, tough tamales.
After the amnesty bill was defeated, I noticed a lot of self-professed Christian conservatives were happy. They must've forgotten Leviticus 19:33-34: "And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." How can a true Christian disregard this passage?
The HolyNiño ofTejas
Dear Readers: The saintly wab brought up a pet peeve mío. I don't care if you're an Aztlanista or Tom Tancredo: PLEASE stop quoting biblical verse to bolster your position on illegal immigration. Many pro-immigrant advocates cite the above Leviticus passage to argue God is on their lado; Know Nothings shoot back with John 10:1, in which Jesus told the disciples, "Verily, verily I say unto you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." Pro-amnesty types reply with Paul's Letter to the Hebrews stressing, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers"; Know Nothings respond, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." If the Bible has taught us any lesson in our postmodern world, it's this: The Good Book is bueno nowadays only to bolster flimsy reasoning. The sole Bible passage that accurately describes illegal immigration is John 11:35 ("Jesus wept"). Apply to your vanities as needed.
MEET THE MEXICAN! The Mexican will sign copies of his books at Under the Bridge Bookstore, 358 W. Sixth St., San Pedro, (310) 519-8871. Sat., 5 p.m.