Is Naming a Baseball Team the Chihuahuas Racist?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why do Mexican restaurants play such loud music?

DEAR MEXICAN: My hometown of El Paso is getting a new AAA baseball team. The owning group just announced the name: The El Paso Chihuahuas. The reasons given were the origins of the dog and the city's location in the Chihuahua desert and that it was family-friendly. Many in this city are saying the name is offensive, while others (myself included) love the name, as it follows the team name protocol/trends of minor-league baseball. Plus, the logo seems pretty awesome. So, in your most Mexican opinion, who is right?

Getting Drunk at Chope's

DEAR WAB: Neither. For one, smarty-art Mexicans need to own the Chihuahua as a fine metaphor for our raza instead of something shameful. As I wrote back in 2008, the perritos are "quintessentially Mexican: Napoleonic in complex, usually brown but available in all colors, maligned by gabachos as puny runts but secretly ferocious and smart, and bearers of muchos, muchos babies." If Huskies (University of Washington), Salukis (Southern Illinois University), Terriers (Boston U), pinche Scotties (Agnes Scott College) and far too many bulldogs to mention can get athletic fame and glory, why not Chihuahuas? On the other hand, the owners of the San Diego Padres affiliate planning to set up shop in Chuco named their team the Chihuahuas specifically for the publicity, so shame on them for their Hispandering. Besides, both sides are not getting it correcto: The team should be called El Paso Doubles, not only for the extra-base hit, but also in honor of a double order at the legendary Chico's Tacos chain. Now THAT would be chingón.

Mark Dancey

Details

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DEAR MEXICAN: What is with the nerve-fraying multiple sound sources required to operate a Mexican restaurant? The jukebox is hawking Shakira, Juanes or some other current hairdo; the overhead sound system continues to pump day-old Juan Gabriel; there is a boom box blasting anonymous ranchera from the kitchen; and at least one television is spewing hysterical telenovelas or hysterical soccer matches—to no viewer.

Tacos Yes, Trumpets No

DEAR GABACHO: It's nerve-fraying only to precious gabachos such as yourself—we Mexis can compartmentalize all the different sounds just fine. Don't like music with your Mexican food? Tough tamales and tubas, tonto.

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DEAR MEXICAN: I had been married to my Mexican wife for a while when my father-in-law, Adolph, one day says, "I bet an alemán like you probably wants to know why my name is Adolph." He told me that because the California Mexicans from days of old and the rebels from Mexico wanted to take the Southwest back from the United States, and since the Germans asked Mexico to invade America during World War I, maybe if the Mexicans supported Hitler, he would help them liberate California! To me, that kind of made sense, but I had a different question. "Why do all Mexicans drive Fords?" He looked at me like I was a stupid gringo, which I am, and told me, "I thought you knew history; didn't Henry Ford support Hitler before the war?" So what about this central California Mexican man's story?

El Gringo de Sangre Meclador

DEAR GABACHO OF MIXED BLOOD: Your cuñado was fucking with you. Hitler was just a lowly soldier in World War I, when the Zimmerman Telegram he was referring to was proposed. And everyone knows why Mexicans love Fords: Enrique's hiring of Mexicans during Ford's Golden Age ("far more than any other Detroit-area carmaker," according to Recasting the Machine Age: Henry Ford's Village Industries) was mucho appreciated, God bless his anti-Semitic heart.

 
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59 comments
Brian MacArthur
Brian MacArthur

Chihuahuas are smart and adorable and they are really fast runners. I know. I've been owned by Chihuahuas and Chi-mixes for most of my life.

Richard Davenport
Richard Davenport

Chihuahua is the state in Mexico right on the US border with El paso. it is also the name of a major city. so how is it racist?

Gary Jimenez
Gary Jimenez

Members of the Journalism Education Association are trying to reach Gustavo as a Featured Speaker for the annual conference in San Diego in April! Please contact me or at e-mail:gjimenez@sandi.net

5somewhere5
5somewhere5

About:

"DEAR GABACHO OF MIXED BLOOD: Your cuñado was fucking with you."

Mexican: 

I think some of your commenters are doing 

the same with you. They cannot be as stupid as that one you replied to. Geez. 

bushonya
bushonya

If you go to any animal shelter, the two top breeds abandoned by their owners are Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls.  Both are favored breeds of the raza, one because it represents the gente and the other to guard the meth lab.

Juan Espinoza
Juan Espinoza

That's awesome! Chihuahuas are smart and fearless. I know , four of them 'own' me. If they go through with it I will buy a team jersey in show of support.

Michael Griffin
Michael Griffin

Sounds to me like an attempt to inflict terror on their opponents . . .

RAPman
RAPman

Instead of El Paso Doubles why not name them the similar sounding El Paso Dobles? They are several types of traditional Spanish dances modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the bullfight. Double and doble have the same meanin.

Rogelio Fernández Jr.
Rogelio Fernández Jr.

Norma Morán: Kara-reneé Pepin: Oy vey! Didn't like their several first logo proposals. Now, they came with this! Oy vey!

Peter Vein
Peter Vein

All I know is wont be attending or supporting this team in my city regardless of how cute the SOB think it is! Oh and so you know I'm more pissed off about the tax dollars that are being used to build the stadium than I am about the stupid name.

Gabby Gonzalez
Gabby Gonzalez

Oye cuate que no father-in-law es suegro y no cuñado?

Daniel Carson
Daniel Carson

Bottom line is this....the name is a marketing thing. They will sell a ton of cutesy Chihuahua shit, and that's what it's all about. Branding. The small handful that think it's racist need to grow a thicker skin and dispense with the butt hurt. Despite my Bavarian lineage, I wouldn't give a crap if they called a team the German Shepherds.

Armando Gonzales
Armando Gonzales

Hope they don't play like dogs ! Other wise they deserve the name ......

warrenburt
warrenburt

Not as racist as Meet Black People .com

Steven Shoemaker
Steven Shoemaker

At 1st I thought, they could change it to The Poodles, but we wouldn't want to offend the French.

Gloria Olvera-Rendon
Gloria Olvera-Rendon

I am almost100% positive that only the engine and some parts are made thee.

Gloria Olvera-Rendon
Gloria Olvera-Rendon

if your not from chihuahua then it's not right. only sometimes the music is too loud. not everywhere

DonAlbertoDoyle
DonAlbertoDoyle

I've no problem with the name in principle -- but it is not particularly intimidating.  Like the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, or the NYU Violets, you really don't generate any trembles in the opponent.  Then again, I'm from Boston, and I think The Red Sox are bad-assed, so I guess winning is all that counts, when your team is named after hosiery (and here in Mexico, Las Medias Rojas really does have a much more lingerie-esque connotation).

And by the way, Mexicans drive VWs.  I ain't just talking about the ubiquitous Beetle cabs in El DF the past fifty years, which have sadly been phased out due to not having rear doors, but I swear that a quarter of the cars, nationwide, are VWs.  Nice shiny slick new ones, but far and away the car of choice.

Boli InMiami
Boli InMiami

Si as to the Chihuahuas. BatDog approves!

Ascary Morera
Ascary Morera

Who cares Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dogs in the world. This like the taco bell mascot that a bunch of Chicanos cried about being racist. It's only offensive if you think less of your self.

Daniel Carson
Daniel Carson

Most of us that live in El Paso hate the name....not because it's racist (it isn't), but because it's goofy. We've had some cool team names....the Buzzards, the Diablos.....Chihuahuas just sounds....silly.

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

I think Los pachucos or Zoot Suiters would have been a better team mascot for El paso

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

I think it's like the Buffalo Bills. The city is named Buffalo so the symbol fits. Chihuaha is practically El Paso so it makes sense. There is a reasonable choice and explanation.

Pedro de Pacas Sr.
Pedro de Pacas Sr.

depends on the mascot. regional representation or the stereotypical pooch.

Danny Medrano
Danny Medrano

Just hope the team can back up the name. I bet the guy that picked the name won't even live in El Paso long enough.

Sandra Saucedo Brame
Sandra Saucedo Brame

Okay, I'm from El Paso, I say name it the way you see it. (Don't like our music loud, move on)

targetmedia
targetmedia

I remember going to the mall in ElPaso and along with my soon to be wife figuring out rather quickly who was from which side of the border...we were usually right...

targetmedia
targetmedia

the only reason to go to ElPaso/Juarez is to get the fiancee visa at the Am consulate in Juarez (the only place in the entire country that does this BTW) so you can legally marry your Mexican bride-to-be without waiting a year to bring her into the USA

Efren Batista
Efren Batista

NO...but telling somebody -you are as chaparro like a chihuahua dog is....lol

MaryAnne Talbott
MaryAnne Talbott

El Paso has an inferiority complex. We're always convinced that no matter what we get, it won't be as nice as what other cities are getting. It's such a cool town with great people and an awesome bi-cultural vibe you don't find anywhere else, yet no one seems to realize it. Doesn't matter what they name the team, people will find a reason to feel bad about it. A shame, really.

Linda Burbano
Linda Burbano

Since when r Fords manufactured in Mexico. Bs

Cynthia Mitchell
Cynthia Mitchell

Racism= the most improperly used word of 2013. People seem to forget that racism is based on the absence of power being used to oppress, deny access to, control, dispossess, etc. It is not flirting with or crossing the lines of cultural sensitivity. What the heck is wrong with a Chihuahua anyways, and everything it represents? I am from EP, and it wasn't until I left back in 04 that I realized that Paisanos in that city have THE worst case of internalized racism. The way they turn down their nose at the beautiful culture around them (as well as gente from across the border) is disgusting.

Ed Partida
Ed Partida

NO!! what the name could be worse like the chupacabras

Maria Romero
Maria Romero

Equivocaste en tu ultima respuesta. Dijiste q su cuñado era chingandole pero dijo que era su suegro.

Fernando Ramirez
Fernando Ramirez

No it is not racist, it's a dog. Just like the soccer team The Xolos. Hey white people, if it's too loud you're too old.

Ryan Cole
Ryan Cole

As I type this, I have MSNBC on my TV telling me the GOP is evil, music playing on my computer, my roommate in the living room is watching Fox News informer him that brown people from south of the border are coming to take his job, while his fiancee is singing along to some pop diva in their bedroom. Alas, no Ranchera. Great column.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@Jesus Archuleta  

I agree... Chihuahua is a city in Mexico...and a cute little dog. "Redskin" is just a derogatory term for a Native American... :-(

targetmedia
targetmedia

@Noe Alamillo actually the best-quality Fords are made in Toluca (Fusion)-no UAW to screw up the manufacturing!  had one as a rental yesterday-great car!

 
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