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'm Mexican-American, but I always lie and tell people my ancestors were from Spain and immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. My whole family says this. We feel embarrassed if we tell people that our heritage is Mexican because Mexicans in the USA are so dirty, mostly gangbangers, and they spray graffiti everywhere—my family is not like this. My father went to UCLA, and I'm going to USC right now. Should I face my background and tell people the truth?
Dear Wab: Felicidades—you are officially the biggest pendejo ever to ask the Mexican! I'm fine with people labeling themselves whatever they want, given that ethnic identity is as fluid as water (special shout-out to all the pochos who must endure the "You're not a 'real Mexican'" bigotry of Mexicans and Chicano yaktivists but who are nevertheless proud of their heritage), but you are just stupid. You obviously don't consider yourself a Spaniard, since you begin your pregunta by identifying yourself as Mexican-American, so labeling yourself Spanish is a lie born out of vanity rather than pride. You then state, without inserting any qualifiers, that Mexicans are dirty, tagging cholos, but then quickly offer your family as counterexamples, thus invalidating your overarching claim. Go ahead and tell people the truth about you—that eres un wimpy wab who's so self-hating he must ask the Mexican for a blessing. Here's your bendición: Vete a la fregada, pinche puto pendejo baboso.
I'm from a little Podunk area that relies heavily on labor-intensive agriculture (mostly raising tobacco) and has a lot of Mexican immigrants. I've noticed that most of the Mexicans I've worked with or met share the same interests as most of the rednecks I grew up with. Not to lay stereotypes on either group, but I'm gonna: Both want big Dodge trucks with something in the back window (rednecks usually go for Confederate flags, Mexicans usually go for the Virgen de Guadalupe); both often wear boots made out of some exotic animal skin; and both seem to listen to country music, drink a lot of cheap beer and hit on chubby redneck girls. Are the new immigrants just adapting to the dominant redneck culture, or do rural folks north and south of the border just share a lot of the same interests?
Hillbilly In Central Kentucky
Dear HermanoGabacho: The South will rise again—thanks to the help of Mexicans. United States Census figures show that Dixie experienced the largest increase of Latinos, percentage-wise, of any region in the United States, with Mexicans constituting the vast majority of the population. While a lot of gabachos have fretted about the influx, you're right to embrace the immigrants, Hillbilly. Mexicans and rednecks are removed only by birth. The differences are negligible—Jack and Jim for ustedes, Cazadores and Herradura for nosotros. Ramón Ayala is our Bill Monroe; "Rocky Top" is y'alls' "Canción Mixteca." We cheer sports everyone else jeers (NASCAR, soccer), use plural second-person pronouns, and hate invading Yankees. The only matter we part on is the idea of secession from the United States: While Southerners tried but failed, we're perfectly content to allow our birth rates to advance across America like Stonewall Jackson did through the Shenandoah Valley.
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