Can Gabachos Be Considered Mexicans?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why do Mexicans love crooked lines?

DEAR MEXICAN: I think I might be Mexican, but there are some people who might disagree. As you are the source of all knowledge mexicano, I thought I might ask you. Here's the deal: My ancestors left the U.S. in 1847 knowingly and entered recognized territorio mexicano. The U.S. and Mexico were in the middle of a war. At the end of that war, the U.S. stole the land from Mexico. Pero eso no es mi culpa, pues. Sure, my parents never identified themselves as Mexicans, and most of my ancestors haven't either. But just because I am not mestizo doesn't mean I am any less Mexican, right? I mean, if you have to be mestizo, then there are doubts about how full-blooded mexicana Salma Hayek is—and everyone knows she is a mexicanaza. Not to mention all those güeros, gabachos and gringos who emigrated to Mexico in the past century, such as Trotsky's daughter. Aren't they Mexican? Cotorreo en casa con mijita, and I listen to El Tri, Los Tigres and Agustín Lara. I know the difference between jitomates and tomates. If you have to be born in Mexico, then well, maybe you, the Mexican, aren't Mexican either, right? Oh, and by the way, I do think we all can be americanos and estadounidenses (Estados Unindos Mexicanos, no?). Oh, and by the way, we eat guajolote for Thanksgiving, not pavo, so I'm not a Spaniard. Maybe I need to be twice as good of a Mexican to be Mexican. Gotta go plan that Doce de Diciembre fiesta.

Semilla de Cacao (White Outside, Brown Inside)

DEAR CACAO SEED GABACHA MEXICANA: As I've written before, some of the más chingones Mexicans I know are pure-blooded gabachos; some of the biggest Mexican frauds I've encountered are fresas from Jalisco. I've discovered we're far more accepting of gabachos who try to pass themselves off as Mexican than pochos who might proclaim their love for the patria yet don't speak perfect Spanish—that's why Morrissey, Charles Bronson, Benny Hill and even that pendejo Rick Bayless, for instance, are honorary Mexicans, while a Chicano four generations removed is derided as a phony. And now you know why Mexico can't get its pinche act together. . . .

Mark Dancey

Details

¡ASK A MEXICAN! VIDEOS ARE BACK! Gentle cabrones, after a years-long hiatus, I've relaunched the video version of this columna. Follow my weekly rants on Twitter (click on the hashtag #askamexican) and ask away. Enjoy!

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

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DEAR MEXICAN: When I set decorative-type items with rectangular bases—say, square vases or square Limoges boxes—on tables or cabinets, I place them so the straight lines of the box or vase are parallel with the straight lines of the table or cabinet. Sort of like when I put a stamp on a post card: I try to make the corner of the stamp match the corner of the post card. Now, I have had multiple Mexican maids over the years, and one curious thing to me is how most of them will take those vases and boxes and tissue dispensers and turn them askew, so the box or vase edge is at an angle to the table edge. It's as though they take horizontal Washington Monuments and tilt them into Leaning Towers of Pisa. It's happened enough that I know this is an aesthetic Mexican preference, not an accident. Is there a cultural reason for this Mexican "askew preference"? Or is it just an unexplainable quirk?

I Ask You About Askew

DEAR GABACHO: Same reason why we paint our houses garish colors, hang portraits of a bleeding Jesus in our living rooms and put bull stickers on our trucks: Askew is for those who know how to live. Straight lines are the domain of gabachos—and the only people pendejo enough to want to live like them are people who think Ted Cruz is this country's brown Messiah.

 
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52 comments
eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Gustavo, you know that Ted is cubano. He is as white as Easter lilies. He would probably be offended if he heard that you called him a brown messiah.

Marc Morin-Lebel
Marc Morin-Lebel

In its original meaning, "gabacho" is a slang expression used by the Spaniards (Spain), that refers to the French. Since I'm French, I guess that means that in its true meaning, soy "gabacho". ;-)

Jimmy Martinez
Jimmy Martinez

Many full-blood spaniards & French people that never left. If they are Mexican it's only because papers/place of birth. Still just whites.

Mick Slick
Mick Slick

@Jerry-Da is a 7th generation Californian born Irish-American. Mam was from a place called Keady, in County Armagh.

Joshua F Sanchez
Joshua F Sanchez

If you're born in France you are French. If everyone in the US was the race of their descendants then no one but the Indians would truly be American.

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

Are you Irish? Can you share more info. Thanks

Mick Slick
Mick Slick

My Da's family fought for Mexico back in the 1840's when the Americans invaded-Mexico was our country back then-so while I may not get Mexican citizenship, I'll take a free drink in exchange :)

Efren Rodriguez
Efren Rodriguez

She's Mexican if she self identify as one. You don't have to be born on X soil to be X. Millions of Mexicans can attest to this, not just me.

Tangaxhuan Wo'ilake
Tangaxhuan Wo'ilake

I am a pocho and a fraud and 2nd or 3rd generation...but I am big and bad...so it don't know it.

Ezra Frida
Ezra Frida

Just don't say you understand the struggle because you haven't had one.

Efren Rodriguez
Efren Rodriguez

Hmmmm... I think the dreamers come in all colors, including white.

DonAlbertoDoyle
DonAlbertoDoyle

Yeah, GHABT, poor kids going to college is what's ruining America, you tell 'em!  Let's not examine the union-busting and pension-robbing and bank-skimming and charter-school theft of education funds and outsourcing -- allthe stuff that's created the greatest wealth gap since the French Revolution.  Pay no attention to the Man Behind The Curtain, it's poor people who own about 1 percent of the national wealth who've robbed us blind, not the 1 percent who've looted 70 percent of it.  Clear thinking there, muchacho, you go tell it from the mountain, Little Limbaugh Junior!


As for what today's article was actually about, I find that a solid understanding of el subjunctivo, and using pluperfect and progressive tenses, buys a gabacho all the goodwill in the world.  Mexicans never say I went shopping this morning, but, I have been shopping today.  The never say I'll see you next week, but, it will give me great pain should we not see each other next week.  They bring the past into the future with progressive and perfect tenses, and they add emotional content to simple declarations by way of a subjunctive expression of how the statement makes them feel.  WAY more than Spaniards or Argentines or Chileans.  It's a very emotional use of Spanish, and it's fantastic.  If you work your gringo brain around it eventually, you are accepted with great welcome.


On the other hand, if you add a Oaxacan ingredient to a Veracruz dish, you will be accused of the greatest betrayals since Madero.

Josh Parker
Josh Parker

She doesn't say where she was born, or where she grew up. She just says that her family moved to a Mexican Territory that was taken by the US after the war. It sounds to me like she was born in the Southwest.

Oscar Rodriguez Zapata
Oscar Rodriguez Zapata

Reading all the comments makes me a bit upset. Somos todos pendejos including me.

Josh Parker
Josh Parker

If she was born and raised in East LA and her family was there since the mid 1800's, would you say she was Mexican? Chicana? Or just some white chick who grew up around a bunch of "mexicans"?

Oscar Rodriguez Zapata
Oscar Rodriguez Zapata

The culture makes you Mexican. She is probably more Mexican than all of us here.

Mon Ica
Mon Ica

White people expect everybody to be excepting of them yet American born Mexicans no matter how many generations born here are still looked down on and treated like we crossed the border two days ago.

Pete Golczewski
Pete Golczewski

Just be you. This group isn't the government and we ain't lookin' at no passports. I say if you have any piece of Mexico in your life...respect! I am a Polish American (4th gen) that grew up with American football and hockey. Then I move NYC and I only watch FUTBOL en espanol. El TRI is in the World Cup and el piojo is in my everyday vocabulary. I see Mana en vivo. And I've been to Guadalajara and Puebla. It's in the heart.

Manuel Reyes
Manuel Reyes

Why not she probably get more acceptance than a foreign born person raised in the US! Cuz gabachos like white!

Claudio D RuMed
Claudio D RuMed

Hell yeah. They can be more Mexican (and often involved in activist and social movements that support raza) than many raza out there. And all this talk of race and nationalist purity bullshit backed up by wacko half understood historical facts makes you sound like a pinche pitiful overcompensating Pocho/Chicano, as all that purist race bullshit is the product of colonialism.

Henry Ruiz
Henry Ruiz

We are diverse. Let's not get caught up in all the racism.

Josh Parker
Josh Parker

Why do you so strongly identify with the people who murdered, raped, and forced their religion and language on you? Are you only Mexican if you are mestizo? What if you're 100% Aztec paisa with no Spanish blood? Or if you're Native American but speak Spanish? --- Is this woman trying to say she's Mexican because her white family moved to what we now know as the Southwestern United States back when Mexico owned it? It sounds like she's saying her family moved to California back in the day when it was part of Mexico, and she's trying to claim she's Mexican because of it. She's full of shit. Hay muchos gringos en Los Angeles que hablan Español, but it doesn't mean they're Mexican.

Uriel Barrera
Uriel Barrera

There were an estimated 170 native languages at the time of the arrival of the Spaniords. Today there are approximately 62 native languages still used in Mexico.

Diana Duran
Diana Duran

@ Adiel - Have you figured out your indigenous tribe? Have you figured out their language, customs, etc? They may be very different from what you know as Mexican.

Victor Salas
Victor Salas

The gabacha may not be Mexican by blood, but she is Mexican by culture. If anyone is so adamant about being Mexican to fully embrace our culture, then by all means, they're Mexican. How many Raza do we have who straight out are ashamed of even being called Mexican, when they themselves se miran como Indios. I'd rather have Gabachos who fully embrace our Raza and culture, than full blooded Mexican sell outs who are ashamed and self hate their own people!

Julian Alcala
Julian Alcala

Did I understand you right. You don't except ponchos who don't speak perfect Spanish? Man, suck a dick

Uriel Barrera
Uriel Barrera

Though race does not denote nationality. You are Mexican by right of birth. then again she claims the land was stolen from Mexico by the US. Thats Mexican enough for me.

Dio Colindres
Dio Colindres

Spanish language, don't you speak Spanish? Mexico's official language is Spanish, is what I'm talking about.

Adiel Hernandez
Adiel Hernandez

Mexican is just a nationality , not a race so blood has nothing to do with it . Because Mexico can expand any where ,

Adiel Hernandez
Adiel Hernandez

What does Spanish have to do with been Mexican ? Spanish is from Spain , a reall Mexican would learn or try to aknowledge its indigenous blood !

Adiel Hernandez
Adiel Hernandez

What ? Meztiso blood ? What da fuck those that have to do with been Mexican ? Any one can be Mexican since is a nationality , just get a citizen ship , Mexican is not a race . Al thought , my race is indigenous , native to this lands .

Dio Colindres
Dio Colindres

Who is a real Mexican anyway, how do you qualified who is Mexican enough?

Dio Colindres
Dio Colindres

I know many people who aren't Mexican, who love Mexico and know more about Mexico, than many born Mexicans who can't even admit to speak Spanish. So if this lady wants to feel Mexican, let her be.

Angel Mariscal Jr.
Angel Mariscal Jr.

She's Mexican at heart. She can become a Mexican citizen if she wants to, but not Mexican by blood. People please don't hate. We need more gabachos/as like her.

John Juan Adams
John Juan Adams

I Love this week's column. Will be sharing also. Thanks Gustavo Arellano--truly. Gracias.

Kelly González
Kelly González

No. She is not Mexican. Nice try though. It's like me growing up in France, does that make me French? Nope.

GUS_HAS_A_BUNNY_TAIL
GUS_HAS_A_BUNNY_TAIL

@DonAlbertoDoyle What are you talking about? who said them going to college was ruining America? Sheesh…over-react often?


i'd love to see Bush, Cheney, Obama, half the Senate and most of wall street behind bars. no problem with that.


but this is about the student loan crisis and if you had any sense or a moment of clear thought….you'd see I was right. The middle class cannot afford college…period. Two UC graduates….one a 'dreamer' and one a middle class American get their degrees….and one has crushing debt while the other received a full ride via cal grants. The middle class Americans future is bleak while the 'dreamers' is wide open. It's not right.


My plan would be (for UC students, you can scale for other colleges) is to take all cal grants and spread them to ALL students. The poor get X dollars/yr, the middle class gets 0.75X dollars/year and the upper middle class gets 0.4X/yr. Then the students each have to use savings or loans to make up the difference. Middle class families can afford $1500-$2000/yr so what you'd see is that each poor/middle class student will graduate with about $5000/yr in loans. (UC is about $12,000/yr)


This way as they receive their diplomas and go out into the world they do so with equal footing and promise.


btw….they already get about $8000/yr subsidies via in state tuition paid for with middle class taxes…..and don't rant about 'the poor pay sales tax'…they pay next to nothing compared to the middle class. 


If you support the middle class you will support my plan.


If you want to stick the 1% to build up more grants….that's fine too. But until you do, you have no business sticking the debt on the middle class alone.

 
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