¡Ask a Mexican! Should Mexicans Get Mad That Everyone Rips Off Their Cuisine?

“Should Mexicans Move to the South?” from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

DEAR MEXICAN: As you've said before, Mexicans lack education. Why do they? Why don't they care that a high-school education is not enough in this 21st century? I see exceptions to the rule, but the rule seems to be “No More School After High School.” I don't get it.

Educated Gabacho

DEAR GABACHO: Misquote alert! I've never said Mexicans “lack education.” I might've discussed dismal high-school-graduation rates in the past and wished for more Mexicans in college—but that's far different from how you're painting my past thoughts. While we're on the subject of rhetoric, a quick critical-thinking lesson: When saying something is a “rule” in making a quantitative argument, you should at least shoot for a supermajority figure to bolster your claim. As it turns out, a 2013 Pew Research Center study showed that 69 percent of Latino high-school graduates from the class of 2012 (supermajority, of course, Mexican) enrolled in college, while only 14 percent of their peers dropped out of high school. The gabacho enrollment rate that same year was 67 percent. To paraphrase Bill Maher, who I think has had a grand total of two Mexicans on his show, New Rule: “No More Pinche Pendejo Gabachos Asking Pendejo Questions.”

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DEAR MEXICAN: What's with the surge in restaurants—from other grupos such as Filipinos, Chinese, Salvadoran and other Latin Americans—that advertise Mexican food on their menu? They go so far as to add to their logos “And Mexican Food”! Isn't it hard enough to make authentic food for a respective native country, let alone add a subgroup to the list? Are restaurants attempting to capitalize más feria with Mexican food? Or has comida mexicana come under attack from its commercial notoriety with the gringos over the years thanks to Taco Bell and Chipotle? Is mainstream America to blame for other culture groups mocking Mexican cuisine by slapping the food onto their meals, as if it were una Hot Pocket, ready in one minute? Or do they really look up to the mexicanos' food?

Habla Chris

DEAR CHRIS SPEAKS: Cálmese, mi cabrón. It's perfectly fine for other groups to sell Mexican food or combine their meals with ours to make something new—as I've written before, if it wasn't for such mestizaje, we wouldn't have al pastor (created by Lebanese), tequila (invented with European distillation methods), carne asada (Spaniards), arroz con leche (Moors), cerveza (Germans), pan dulce (French) and Tostilocos (pochos). It's even perfectly fine for chinitos, gabachos and others to become rich off Mexican food, as there are a lot of Mexicans who also get rich—as with a pot of tamales, there's plenty for todos. Where the Mexican has a problem is with restaurants or companies insulting Mexican food—say, saying tamales are a thing of the past à la McDonald's in promoting a McBurrito in interior Mexico (which is akin to trying to sell Chef Boyardee in Milan), or Chipotle inviting writers to pen mini-essays on cups and bags . . . yet not inviting a single Mexican-American writer to participate (if CEO Steve Ells had any huevos, he'd excerpt the works of Chicana chingona Michele Serros, who recently passed away). Besides, can you really blame some of these groups for wanting to draw in customers with Mexican food? Even Salvadorans aren't so pendejos as to try to make a fortune solely on pupusas, as delicious as they are. So just be proud that—again—when America needs help, it calls on Mexicans.

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