Is 'Mexican' an Offensive Word?

DEAR MEXICAN: There's something I'm concerned about or, rather, bothered by. I was born and raised in Mexico, but I've been here for eight years. All the talk about 9/11 is too much because every year brings a rehash of the tragedy. I really think that remembering the event for two or five years is enough, but 10 years is too much. ¿Qué piensas? Is it the gabacho culture to not get over things, or does this country not have enough culture, and this tragedy now is part of American civism?

Born Allá, Born Outstanding, Still Outstanding

DEAR BABOSO: Are you kidding me? We Mexicans are one to criticize on this subject, given we've never gotten over the Conquest and continue to bitch about how the United States stole half of Mexico like a second-grader crying that someone stole his lunchtime burrito.


GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK! Muy sorry for this extended Good Mexican—and for just answering one pregunta this semana—but have I got a story to tell. ¡Ask a Mexican! recently started appearing in Weld for Birmingham, a just-opened alt-weekly in the Magic City that is already proving itself as one of the few sane voices left in Alabama. Needless to say, this columna is already raising desmadre—but not in a way I could've possibly foreseen in this day and age. I'll let Weld reporter Madison Underwood take it from here:

This week, Weld got a voicemail from a lady at an America's Thrift Store location that receives our papers. The lady said they would like to stop receiving our paper because they're a Christian organization, and though our first issue was pretty mild (our first issue was Sept. 1, so we're still pretty new), recent issues have had a lot of editorial content they didn't like.

Since our paper has not had any increase in the amount of editorial content, I figured maybe it was the fact that I quoted you using the words “fuck Alabama” in my interview with you. That, I think, was the first “fuck” in Weld.

So, we Welders were, of course, curious about what it was that set the lady and the Thrifters off. So we sent our brave intern Daniel to the America's Thrift Store under the pretense of retrieving our paper rack, and we had him ask her what it was in Weld that pushed them over the edge.

She told Daniel that the word “Mexican” is offensive. Daniel asked if she meant the column “¡Ask a Mexican!” and she said, yes, sort of, but that the word “Mexican” is offensive. Daniel explained that the author of the “¡Ask a Mexican!” column is, in fact, a Mexican. (And though I don't know if he explained this, I would note that when referring to Hispanic immigrant populations in my own immigration coverage, I've always used the word “Hispanic.”)

This did not seem to faze her.

If “Mexican” is offensive, our state is truly, sincerely fucked.

HAHAHAHA! Time was when “Mexican” was considered an epithet by Mexis in the United States—but that was the 1960s. Congrats, Alabama, you're even more backward than we thought! Gentle readers: Make sure to visit Weld at and click on its links a million times to ensure it gets those advertiser pesos—actually, do that for all the papers that carry me, cabrones!

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