Is the Term ‘Chicano’ Endangered?

DEAR MEXICAN: As one of a small number of white American soccer fans, I’d like to know: why won’t cable providers sell channels showing south-of-the-border sports to bars? A proprietor of a soccer-oriented sports bar in my area said that it was because they feared Mexicans wouldn’t subscribe, choosing instead to crowd into bars and watch without buying drinks. Is this really the reason? If so, is it because they’re being realistic or racist?

Fútbol Fan

DEAR GABACHO: There’s a saying in Mexico: if it’s on television somewhere in the world, there’s a primo who knows the Filipino website from which you can stream it.

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DEAR MEXICAN: A friend of mine says nobody calls themselves Chicanos anymore—que dice, Mexican? ¿Cierto? Is it just a term for us old-timers, like hippies or beatniks?

Saludotes de Tulsa Town

DEAR POCHA: I’ve always maintained that one learns they’re Chicano, usually in Chicano Studies classes in which the term is placed in its proper historical context. And the fact is that “Chicano” as an identity was endangered by the 1980s, under assault from the Right by vendidos who preferred “Hispanic” and by Mexican immigrants who taught their children they were mexicanos, not pocho-ass Chicanos. But then the 1990s happened, and the many anti-immigrant laws passed around the country galvanized a new generation of activists who looked back to the Chicano movement of the 1960s for inspiration. Then the 2000s happened, and the mega-anti-immigration laws of that decade brought more children of Mexican immigrants into the Chicano fold, with some calling themselves “Xicanos” as a chinga tu madre against the Castilian imperialism inherent in “ch.” And this decade? The super-mega-anti-immigrant rhetoric spewed by the likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and others is so nasty that an even newer identity is emerging: Xicanx. Chicano identity has a far brighter future than the Republican party—and so do Chicano grammarians. . . .

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DEAR MEXICAN: I am a second-generation Mexican who works as an erotic dancer in various nightclubs up and down the West Coast. In my work, I’ve noticed that black clients treat their black “sister” dancers well by tipping them larger amounts and buying them drinks and giving favors. The same goes for any of the other ethnic groups. But as a mexicana, why do I get the short end of the stick when it comes to ethnic favoritism? My Mexican counterparts, be they immigrants looking for a night of fun or the millionaire owner of a chain restaurant, don’t give me a cent. They treat me very badly, asking for blowjobs or “escort service” (a.k.a. prostitution). Then, they proceed to go to my gabacha co-workers and blow a hundred bucks on a lap dance while I am left hanging. Is it so hard to blow a few extra bucks on a fellow Mexican working hard at being sexy? It’s getting to the point I won’t admit my heritage because, to put it simply, I am treated poorly when they find out I am Chicana. ¿Por que?

Sexy Mexican on Five-Inch Stilettos

DEAR POCHA: Easy answer: Madonna-whore complex. They’re so disgusted by seeing a Mexican woman as a stripper that if you won’t conform to their butt-slut archetype, they simply won’t acknowledge you. My advice? Tell them you’re Persian—or, better yet, knee them in the huevos and let the club’s Samoan bodyguard show that cheap wab who’s the real chavala.

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