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: What punishment could America give that would FINALLY make crossing the country’s borders—repeatedly—unpalatable to Mexicans, when even Mexican natives admit that it is at least as harmful to Mexico as it is to America, and the “needless paperwork” in our immigration process is there to TRY to filter out habitual criminals and recidivism and to slant the incoming population to those MOST LIKELY to assimilate? Remember, our original immigration requirements were “good moral character” and a “working knowledge of English.” Or have America’s recent military defeats in Korea, Vietnam and possibly Afghanistan (depending on whom you ask) simply removed any and all respect Mexico might once have had for America and our ability to protect our borders? And if so, when can we expect Mexico to OFFICIALLY declare war on America?
Mines, Mines, Mines!
DEAR GABACHO: Actually, the only punishment that would make Mexicans stop coming over is socialism. Gabachos would bear the brunt of that because they couldn’t hire Mexicans anymore. For the pinche umpteenth time, Mexicans migrate to the United States—like nearly every immigrant in this country’s history—to better their lives and because gabachos won’t do the jobs chinks and micks and slopeheads and wabs and wops do at the rates for which they’re willing to work. Stop getting your “original immigration requirements” from Wikipedia, and then think about how ethnic enclaves have been part of this country since the Cajuns. We still respect los Estados Unidos—how can you not give props to a failing empire? And one final debunking of your delusions: Mexico has been fighting the United States since the Spanish Armada set sail for England—except now, the only Black Legend in our camp pertains to Guatemala.
DEAR MEXICAN: Zack de la Rocha, a person whom I admire as an activist and musician, has described his hometown of Irvine as one of the most racist cities imaginable. He once stated, “If you were a Mexican in Irvine, you were there because you had a broom or a hammer in your hand.” Being a Mexican who lives in Irvine and looks like a Mexican (chaparro y prieto), I’ve never felt discriminated against in any way—in fact, I think of Irvine as a city that embraces diversity. I’ve only lived here for the past five years or so. Has it not always been the case, or could it be that I’m looked down upon and I’m too much of a pendejo to realize it? Does Irvine have a racist past I’m unaware of?
DEAR READERS: Forgive this too-provincial pregunta, but it allows me to publicly call out de la Rocha, one of the great musicians of this generation who unfortunately is acting like Dylan after his motorcycle accident. Hey, Zack, where’s your solo album? Why the Rage Against the Machine mini-reunion instead of you pushing that amazing rap/rock/son jarocho fusion you were toying with a couple of years back? Why stick around in the progressive paradise called Los Angeles instead of fully committing yourself to the fight against your demented homeland of Orange County? Eres chingón, pero ya no mames, güey: Marching and organizing against Arpayaso is vital, but we need you to remain relevant to the rest of America by putting out new music.As for why you haven’t experienced racism, Barranca Baboso: Irvinites probably think you’re Persian. And don’t use Wikipedia for pulling quotes.
MEET THE MEXICAN! The Mexican will sign copies of his books at Irvine Heritage Park Library, 14361 Yale Ave., Irvine, (949) 936-4040. Wed., 7:30 p.m. Lecture, free; books, barato!