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
Incensed in Chicago
Dear Brazer: Por supuesto there are doctors, lawyers, accountants, scientists and other professionals in Mexico—who do you think sews up the narcos after a gun battle, fights off American extradition efforts, launders money and devises nuevas ways to smuggle?
Dear Mexican: Why do all Mexican restaurant workers cram the napkin dispensers so full that you can’t possibly remove a napkin without a pair of pliers?
Dear Gabacho: It’s called “refilling a napkin dispenser.”
Dear Mexican: Something I’ve never understood about other Mexicans, as I am one . . . but when speaking to them about higher education and its importance, they always interrupt me to place an emphasis on the associate’s degree. I’ve wanted to slap a primo/prima/amigo silly. Why the low standard? I’ve asked educators about this before and been told it was a low achievement standard that was placed on Mexican-American students in the 1960s and 1970s by mainly high-school counselors. True?
Párate and Deliver
Dear Wab: Instead of giving your primo/prima/amigo a cachetada, why don’t you help them transfer to a four-year university? Heaven knows America needs more of its Mexicans at institutes of higher learning—on top of our abysmal high-school-graduation rates, not enough of us go on to get a college diploma. The 2008 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement found that only 28 percent of Latinos who finished high school went on to earn at least a bachelor’s degree—and the percentage for Mexis is undoubtedly smaller (the survey didn’t break down its figures by Latin American nationality). Why the low standard? Ignorance, silly! Not just limited to Know Nothings! Oh, and I don’t think there was a widespread gabacho counselor conspiracy in the 1960s to funnel Mexicans of that generation into community college—most encouraged their charges to not bother with education, period.
Dear Mexican: Why are Mexicans so . . . laid-back?
Crazy and Lazy
Dear Gabacho: Mañana, mañana. Que será, será. Mexicans sleeping under a cactus. All iconic American commentaries on our inherent relaxed nature. La verdad is, Mexicans are more neurotic than Woody Allen’s onscreen persona—and if you don’t believe me, you try living life avoiding la migra or knowing that if white teens in a Pennsylvania hick town murder you, they’ll get off with simple assault.
Dear Mexican: I recently worked security at a Tumbleweeds concert here in Albuquerque. I guess they are a very popular musical group with the Mexicans, but anyways: As I was checking IDs and letting people into the beer area, I noticed that almost all of the Mexican guys held onto their wives’/girlfriends’/lady friends’ IDs. The guys showed them, then put the IDs back into their own wallets. What’s up with that? I asked a co-worker about this, and she told me it’s a power thing. So, what’s the deal?
Dear Gabacho: Could be a power-trip macho thing, but probably, the chica didn’t want to carry a purse and would rather let her man carry the ID than stick it between her chichis. Sometimes, Mexicans ain’t rocket science.