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Ask a Mexican!

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Dear Mexican: So how long can you keep up this racist shtick in a Los Angeles where Latinos are the majority? You're clever enough to use irony as a device to blunt your own just-kidding racism, but most of the Mexicans and pochos I know don't care enough to bother with such clever tricks. I've lived in L.A. most of the last 30 years and I've worked and lived with many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans here. I even married a couple of them. I'm raising a half-Mexican child right now. What I've noticed is that Mexican hate for gabachos is surpassed only by their hate for, roughly in order: Blacks, non-Mexican Latinos (mostly those from Central American countries closest to Mexico), and Asians. Europeans with the possible exclusion of the French are held in relatively high regard. Meaning you might not get spit in your burrito if they understand that your whiteness doesn't preclude your shared status as enmigrantes. I've heard about how “inteligente” Hitler was from Mexicans far more than I ever heard it working with the white sons and daughters of slave states. And the Germans I've worked for over there were much kinder to their own Turkish and Italian laborers than I've seen Mexicans be to salvadoreños, guatemaltecos or—God forbid—blacks in the workplace. Why this victim/oppressor ambiguity? Is it a mirror of the legacy of La Conquista? The Stockholm syndrome of your non-consensual Aztec hottie (great x 15) grannies for your bearded Euro forefathers? Once you get your standard canned-insult response out of the way, please enlighten us all on this point.

— El Humano


Dear Human Gabacho: Mexicans hate no more than gabachos—no, seriously, look it up. And we worship whiteness no more than gabachos—no, seriously, look it up. Hate blacks? Y’all beat us by a bunch. Asians? The same. Gays? We might hate Central Americans un chingo, but it doesn’t compare to the gabacho treatment of Mexicans. Really, the only difference between Mexicans and gabachos is that when we scarf down a bunch of hamburgers or bed a gabacha, we don’t appoint ourselves experts on the Mexican condition, unlike ustedes pendejos after a michelada and a morenita.

I occasionally stumble upon news articles about your compadres sneaking in hundreds of pounds of illicit bologna and cheese from Mexico. The thought of eating bologna that's been lying around in a hot car a couple of hours is enough to make me gag. So what's the deal? What is it exactly? How good can this stuff taste that it's got to be smuggled in like kilos of weed? And surely there's got to be a more legitimate source for it in Southern California, no?

— Cheese It


Dear Gabacho: I would’ve answered this question, but I have to pay for my wheels of illegal queso de pata from Zacatecas. So I threw the pregunta to Javier Cabral, West Coast correspondent for Munchies and a fellow zacatecano. “It’s a little-known fact that most of the cheeses that you find at supermarkets in the US are pasteurized, rubbery garbage,” Cabral told the Mexican. “This stands in stark opposition to the world of full-bodied, complex cheeses made from raw milk that most Mexis grew up eating before tunneling over to the US. I’m talking about sharp parmigiano reggiano-like quesos añejos and briney, mozzarella-like Oaxacan quesillo fit to be on the pizza scene of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. In some Mexican families, if your Mexican relatives show up without a neatly-wrapped ball of cheese, they might as well be excommunicated. Sadly, the stringent laws against raw milk in the American dairy industry do not allow for the production or sales of any true Mexican cheeses. Until that day comes, you best bet that the underground Mexican cheese trade will be as rampant as the Mexican poppy trade.”

As for Mexican bologna? Cabral and the Mexican have never heard of such thing. “However,” Cabral adds, “come back if you want to talk illegally imported carne seca from Sinaloa.”

**

Dear Gabacho: I’m a gabacho living in a barrio. It took a year after we moved in (we’ve been here for five now), but I grew accustomed to the bicycle-horn=honking guys selling churros out of grocery carts, the tamale lady selling out of a stroller, the couple selling new clothes out of a panel van, the fruit/vegetable guy who really just sells crappy chips out of the back of a bobtail, the every-other-day yard sales. Don’t get me wrong, I love the “micro-economics” of it all; it’s kind of like living at the ballpark. If you sit there long enough somebody will show up with something to eat.

I’ve started to not jump every time I hear the “Tijuana Doorbell.” A LOT of trash gets thrown into the street and my yard, much of it from the crappy chips the aforementioned fruit guy sells. The trash and the honking still piss me off, but I’m used to it. The cholos, copters and potholes—old news. What I just can’t get my head around is this: why do so many Mexicans—men and women—sit in their cars for hours at a time? Or start the car and then walk away for a half-hour? The car’s just sitting there—ON—and nobody’s around. The sitting around might be attributable to not having any privacy at home, I get that. But starting your car and just sitting there or walking away? ¿Qu?

— Señor Gabacho Con Questiones y Mariscos


Dear Mr. Gabacho with Questions and Seafood: Ever heard of carburetors? That’s what real cars have in their engines, and you need to warm up said carros in the morning in order for them to run. Mexicans have always preferred real ranflas, so even when we eventually get weak-ass fuel-injection cars, we still warm up cars as a form of habit. And while this might seem like a weak answer, it’s based on precedent: look at that classic Mexican habit of not flushing away toilet paper full of caca.

I’m a 64-year-old white guy. I’m one of your readers, and a Facebook amigo. I'm a huge fan of Tejano music, which led me into appreciating Mexican music. Then, of course there's Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys who can (and do) play anything. Then there's that whole Depression/WWII diaspora that had a hand in the Oakland Bay Area horn funk bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and, of course, the whole damn Escovedo family up there in NorCal. Boy did I get off base. My question is, am I a gabacho?

— Green Goes the Gringos


Dear Gabacho: Did you ever hear that joke Chris Rock said about black people and “niggas”? That’s how it is with white people and gabachos. The Mexican frequently gets accused by gabachos of being racist toward white people, when that’s not the case at all. Some of my best friends are white people—hell, one just installed a door for me the other day, and I even let him use my bathroom! This column takes on the gabachos of the United States, though. It’s gabachos who think Mexicans are destroying this country, gabachos who want to elect Trump yet profess to enjoying Mexican food. White people hate gabachos as much as Mexicans, which is why they don’t have a problem with the Reconquista. Gabachos, on the other hand? Better stock up on the Tapatío as a peace offering, ‘cause your’re gonna have to make nice with us muy soon. So you, sir, ain’t no gabacho: you’re just a plain ol’ gringo.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article mismatched a question and answer. 

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