Do Mexicans Start Small Businesses?

Mark Dancey

DEAR MEXICAN: I'm a Mexican who owns a successful wholesale liquidation business, which happens to be an industry dominated by Jews and Asians and some gringos. So why does almost everyone, including mexicanos, who visit my warehouse think my business—or any successful business, for that matter—is owned by a Jew or a gabacho? Can't a pinche Mexican own a successful business? Just because I am 5-foot-4, am named Armando, and don't resemble the typical "business type" or have an MBA? My customers always assume I'm the sales rep or the forklift operator and ask to speak to the owner or "El Arabe," and almost always include a statement such as "El dueño es judio, ¿verdad?" Well, no, the damn owner is not judio; soy yo, si este mexicanito es el dueno de esta bodega. Like only Jews can own a business? Like the stupid joke says, "Two Jews walked into a bar . . . and bought the place." Yeah, I don't think it's funny, either.

Que la chingada, attention everyone: My pockets may not be as deep as those fucking camellos, but we are getting there. Échame la mano to my Mexican-owned business. I'm thinking about putting up a sign such as those during the Rodney King riots: "MEXICAN OWNED." Or maybe not, as mis gabacho clients se van asustar.

P.S. A Mexican designed our website, not Patrick or Chang. I support the cause.


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, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or ask him a video question at!

Mexican Businessman—Believe It

DEAR WAB: Okay, I get it—you're not a Jew, you don't particularly care for chinitos, and you sure as hell don't like Arabs (calling Arabs "camels"? Everyone knows Mexicans call Arabs "talibanes" if they want to be insulting). But the reason why people are so surprised you own a business is because there's nowhere near enough of ustedes. "Mexican-American Entrepeneurship," a 2008 study by Robert W. Fairlie and Christopher Woodruff, showed that only 5.1 percent of Mexican-American men were business owners, compared to 12.6 percent of gabachos. The researchers blamed—surprise, surpise!—U.S. immigration policy that kept Mexicans undocumented and away from the roads to owning a legitimate business. On the other hand, recent research by USC professor Jody Agius Vallejo and others show Mexican-Americans getting into the middle class by starting their own businesses and, in some ways, succeeding more than other immigrants based on how low they started. And the Mexican would argue that Mexicans are born small-business owners. Selling oranges at freeway exits? Small businessperson. Tamales from car trunks? Small businessperson. Jornaleros, cutting grass for gabachos and screwing wives gabachos don't screw properly? Small businessperson, small businessperson, small businessperson.

*     *     *

DEAR MEXICAN: Why do my 90-pound junior-high students wear three and four white T-shirts (all sized 6x or larger) layered one atop another in 100-degree heat . . . then complain about the heat?

Maestro de Foto

DEAR PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER GABACHO: Por pendejos—DUH. Then again, logic and fashion sense among American high schoolers of any ethnicity go together like the Mexican national soccer team and success at the World Cup.


Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >