The Magical Realist Mexican

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why don’t more Mexicans go to museums?

DEAR MEXICAN: I grant you a magic wand. Now, tell me how do we right the wrongs of Sam Houston and Manifest Destiny? Is it by correcting his legacy, calling out the crimes and recognizing the victims? Or should the land be given back? What is it, my fellow American?
U.S. Citizen

DEAR GABACHO: A chicken in every olla and a gabacha in every bedroom—KIDDING. The United States stealing Aztlán remains a grievous wound with Mexicans, but it’s not as huge an issue for run-of-the-mill Mexis as Know Nothings or Aztlanistas want you to believe. Sure, we take pleasure in seeing the American Southwest revert back to Mexico demographically—but we acknowledge it as God’s karmic humor (kind of like seeing Brits eating curry, or a black man in the White House) instead of studied revanchism. That said, I think a full accounting of Mexican-American relations during the era of Manifest Destiny in the history books would placate most Aztlanistas. The Mexican would also love it if the American government offered restitution to the many Tejanos, Californios and New Mexican Hispanos who had their family properties stolen outright by rapacious settlers and the courts (just talk to the Berreyesas of Northern California, who had many of the males in their clan murdered without prosecution of their gabacho killers). As for returning the conquered territories to Mexico? There’s a reason us Mexicans left Mexico, you know. …

DEAR MEXICAN: I was born in Ciudad Juárez and moved to the Northern Virginia-Washington, D.C., area when I was really young. I grew up going to museums and I love it. Came back to the Juárez-El Paso area. I have two kids and I love taking them to museums, plays, art galleries—anything art-related. My question is: How come some, if not most, Mexicans are not into going to museums, galleries, plays, operas—you know, stuff like that? I’ve met educated, uneducated, rich and poor Mexicans, and they all seem to not like those kinds of things.
Loca for Lichtenstein

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DEAR NERDY WABETTE: The American Associations of Museums cited in its 2010 study, “Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums”—a National Endowment for the Arts’ Survey of Public Participation in the Arts—that only 8.6 percent of visitors to galleries were “Hispanic” and only 14.5 percent of “Hispanics” were regular patrons of the arts. It doesn’t really offer an explanation for the low numbers, other than mumbling about “historic discrimination” and also noting that higher education and income levels account for higher museum participation across all races and ethnicities. I’d lean toward the latter explicación, but it’s not a complete answer: I know more than a few working-class Mexis who know their Riveras and Duchamps, just like I know “Hispanics” who couldn’t tell you the difference between a Picasso and a Pica Limón wrapper.

GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK! Speaking of museums and Mexicans, an obvious pick: The National Museum of Mexican Art, located in Chicago’s Pilsen barrio, is proof that Mexis won’t ignore the arts if they have ready access to them. It’s not all about high-falutin’ arte, either: They help sponsor Radio Arte, the nation’s finest experiment in youth-produced, NPR-quality radio reports on Latino USA. Find out more at
www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.

 
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25 comments
EFRENGUTIERREZ76
EFRENGUTIERREZ76

dear mexican,couln't stop laughting while reading your book borrowed from guess where?the Seattle Public Library.Keep up the good work and y madreando a los guatemalitas.EL GUERO

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Mexico was independent country for about thirty years before they 'lost' the Southwest. Before that, it was 'New Spain' for about three hundred years. Before that, it was the Aztec Empire which stopped right about where the Chichimeca started...which is to say the southern extremes of the Sonorran desert.

Its also keen to note unlike Japan, Germany, etc...Mexico signed a treaty with the United States regarding these territorial claims. The Gadsden Purchase was made for cold cash, no war needed.

And listen the USMC anthem, 'Halls of Montezuma' is a line in there. Its in there because in the Mexican-American War the United States did just what Cortez had done four hundred years before: Landed an army at Veracruz and marched to Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) and conquered all of Mexico. People forget the territory Mexico has today is because the United States gave it back once already - in the very treaty where the American Southwest was also decided.

I'm all for obeying treaties, but if we're not going to obey the treaty I say go the other way: Fire up the M1's and let's roll this bitch over. America starts at the Guatemalan border in three weeks. Har-har.

Charles Pergiel
Charles Pergiel

Loca for Lichtenstein: When I was a kid my mother used to drag me and my brothers to museums. They were really boring then and they are still really boring. Some of them have some cool stuff, but the "whole look but don't touch" thing, the crowds, the endless standing with no place to sit, the short hours (they are closed when I want to go), the official cafeteria with it's crummy selection, crummy service and ridiculous prices all work against my ever going to a museum again.

Frank
Frank

gustavo, all my wife's family EVER wants to do is go to ruins and museums....even when I would rather hang out at the pool or at the golf course :)

fnarf
fnarf

Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world including Paris. Just sayin'.

benjamin
benjamin

hey, can't we all just get along? i'm just an ordinary white guy, but i hope i share the belief with many other white peolple that people of other races and cultures are quite interesting and equal to (or in some cases, better than) me. i know there is a lot about our history that is nothing to be proud of, and in some cases has been twisted into a more "patriotic" context that down plays some of the atrocities that we have done to other races. just would like you muchachas to know that people like red necks and sara palin DO NOT speak for me. gracias,benjamin

John J.
John J.

"The United States stealing Aztlán remains a grievous wound with Mexicans" yeah, almost as bad as the grievous wound that was caused when the Mexicans stole it from the native indians, I bet. What a dumb ass...

TedBKissell
TedBKissell

SNEAK PREVIEW ALERT: Next week's Ask a Mexican was mistakenly placed on the site a week early. Our apologies. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Mexican.

<skipperfromthepenguinsofmadagascarvoice> You didn't see aaaanything... </skipperfromthepenguinsofmadagascarvoice>

Eli Vazquez Ochoa
Eli Vazquez Ochoa

oNCE again The Mexican parte madres a los Know nownothings alike. Keep on lighting the way y partiendo madres dear Mexican!! Abrazos y muchas porras desde M.C.

feline74
feline74

General rule of thumb puzzled needs to keep in mind: the farther away a country is, the more money its occupants need to come here. In an immigration context, that means a juicy inheritance, a juicier spouse or a corporate sponsor (which in turn means a lot of education or experience).

together
together

Gay Latino studies is super interesting, far more interesting than these questions actually. but isn't gay marriage legal in mexico now though? I think most of the homophobia in Latinos stays in our homes like I heard my mom call a guy a "maricon" but she has also told me that she would totally be OK with me being gay, Also i was watching sabado gigante once and the people on the show were talking about homosexuality as if it was an illness other than a sin or an "abomination" Latino homophobia is weird.

Efrengutierrez76
Efrengutierrez76

Hal,thats and interesting account of our history,where did you got the information?old wild west nickle magazines?by the way the USA likes its wars as far away as possible,

Bill T.
Bill T.

Going to museums and enjoying them (obviously some are better than others) is a learned art (no pun intended). Obvious also is that tatstes vary, so no bad on you if you don't enjoy them or posibly you just haven't found any that present subjects you're interested in. Good comment about the hours, if I'm on business they are open during my meetings, closed when I'm off. I personally love museums, when i visit a new city they are my first choice to sample.

Frank
Frank

fyi...my wife is from Veracruz state...

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Oh, please. It was the Americans that slaughtered the Apaches and SO many more Indians—go explain that one.

mazbook
mazbook

The Mexicans didn't steal anything from anybody, John J. You're confusing us with the ¡pinche gachupines!

Mmorante
Mmorante

What do you think the Japoneses think of the Americans killing 100,000 old women and men, young women and thier children ( there weren't to many young men left a t the time).I don't think they have forgotten

Eli Vazquez Ochoa
Eli Vazquez Ochoa

"stole"??? another know nothing giving his opinion about history!! ahhaahaha!

Llahu Khanzyr
Llahu Khanzyr

WTF is a "Know nownothing"? U betta spend more time hitting tha books instead of hitting tha pipe.

Malinche was right.

Leqaf
Leqaf

In México, homophobes still hide behind the notion that homosexuality is a mental disorder- even a lot of psycologists- dispite the evidence against it.Also we view religion as a personal belief and if homosexuality is a sin that's between the sinner and God.

fnarf
fnarf

Legal only in DF.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Good point, I'm not aware of any parallel in Mexican history that comes any where close to the genocide in U. S. history. Anyone want to challenge this? Cite specific examples, the cases in our history are well documented. Of course Gustavo's comment will be dismissed by the trolls as another example of his "racism".

Spartaki300
Spartaki300

ever hear of the Rape of Nanking, Japanese Occupation of Manila, sexual slavery of thousands of women AKA: comfort women?

 
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