¡Ask A Mexican! for Sep 04, 2008
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Dear Wab: I’m glad you’re enjoying life as an illegal, but few of your fellow undocumented do– what else explains the 2006 amnesty marches, the fear of escalating migra raids and the healthy market for fraudulent document establishing some type of legal residency? Your question does brush up on an interesting, related phenomenon– the legal Mexicans who can become American citizens but don’t. A March 2007 Pew Hispanic Center report revealed that only 35 percent of eligible Mexicans had naturalized their status in 2005, an improvement from 20 percent in 1995. Researcher Jeffrey S. Passel wrote that wabs notched the abysmally low rate because “so many have low education levels, high poverty and other characteristics that are associated with low citizenship levels.” Wait a minute: I always hear anti-immigrant pendejos claim that LEGAL immigrants are grateful Americans, while ILLEGAL immigrants are unworthy of citizenship. Yet the Mexican example shows that it’s the illegals agitating to improve their citizenship status, while the legals learn the American way and become complacent in their station.A Mexican-born colleague of ours recently became incensed about a staff party invitation that called for invitees to bring margaritas or margarita mix at our Mexican-themed potluck. He said Mexicans drink tequila, and that they don’t eat chips, either. He was also upset about the adjective “Mexican” used with a lower case m. Is he being over-sensitive?- -Clueless in California
Dear Gabacho: Tell the wab to shut up. So maybe Mexicans don’t consume margaritas and tortilla chips as much as, say, pan dulce and huitlacoche– who cares? Both gabacho faves have their roots with Mexicans entrepreneurs who took authentically Mexican products to create an Americanized hybrid. I’ll only fault your staff for using the lowercase on “Mexican”– stylebooks require upper-case letters for nationalities or movements even when adjectivized (Americanized, or Know Nothing-esque) and lower-case for races or peoples (gabacho, negritos and pendejos).