Opinion: One man’s take on his culture’s stereotypes
¡Ask a Mexican!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Dear Mexican: I’m surprised by the choice of the word “amnesty” by those who would demonize immigration reform, especially in the South. Doesn’t the modern well-being of many Southerners derive in some way from their ancestors’ having sworn to amnesty oaths, both before and after the Civil War? Isn’t it being disingenuous to make the “but-my-family-immigrated-legally” argument when your great-great-great-grandparents got amnesty for their own federal faux pas? --Gringo del Sur
Dear Southern Gabacho: You mean to tell me we pardoned a bunch of traitorous, backwards, racist pendejos for their federal crimes? And the Union did not perish, but became stronger? See, America? There’s hope in giving amnesty to Mexicans after all! Yeah, we’ll probably continue to stupidly worship the flag of a defeated country, be an economic drag on everyone else for a good generation, stereotype negritos and worship our heritage a bit much, but we’ll eventually join the fabric of this land – and at least we won’t create something as ridiculous as the Confederate Memorial Carving. Nah, we celebrate our heroes on cereal boxes – and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, readers, please don’t try to find the Cesar Chavez cornflakes box on Google…
I recently heard that casino building projects done by many of the tribes in Washington state require a certain percentage of Native American labor with no restrictions on tribe. Who counts as a Native American? Why are Mexican-Americans born on both sides of the border not recognized as Native Americans the same way the Apache or Blackfoot are? --Curious White Seattleite
Dear Gabacho: This is ¡Ask a Mexican!, not ¡Ask Black Elk!, so I’ll leave it to my native hermanos to determine who belongs to their respective tribes and why. The case of borderland tribes like the Yaqui and Apache is especially hard to untangle – not only did their historical homelands not have to cross the border, the border crossed them thrice. But the U.S. Census doesn’t have a box to check for those people born in Mexico who possess or identify with an indigenous Mexican group, because the U.S. Census is a crock of mierda with racial classifications no doubt created by a pencil pusher with too much tequila the night before.