¡Ask A Mexican! for Oct 28, 2010
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Dear Mexican: I majored in history at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which I believe was part of the Gadsden Purchase, the last piece of old Mexico the U.S. “acquired.” That got me thinking: what was the citizenship status of all Mexicans/gringos who lived in parts of Mexico “acquired” by the United States, in that big piece of territory from Texas to California? Did Mexicans gain dual citizenship? Did gringos gain dual citizenship? Was Sam Houston now an American and Mexican citizen? Curiousa y Chula
Dear Curious and Cute Gabacha: You’re right about Tucson being part of the Gadsden Purchase and that Mexis had to show papers then like we do today. The gabachos who lived in Texas when it ceded from Mexico were technically still American citizens, since they were all really scouts for Manifest Destiny even if they took a citizenship pledge for Mexico. That made it easier for the United States to reprocess expat gabachos upon taking Aztlán, and those gabachos never bothered with their Mexican status again (besides, history major: remember that they called themselves Texians to differentiate themselves from the Hispanic tejanos). The Mexicans who lived in the conquered territories, on the otra hand, were offered the chance to become American citizens per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Not que that did any good: those Mexicans proceeded to suffer through a century of official segregation, unlawful land grabs, and persistent discrimination – not that we’re bitter about it or anything. And, yes: Sam Houston was a Mexican and American citizen at one point, but not like he bothered with the former other than to ensure a clear path to dismantle Mexican rule.
NEW PROJECT! Times are tough for everyone, but especially Mexis. The Mexican thus asks ustedes to send him nonprofits, projects, community spaces, stores – anyone and anything helping out Mexis – deserving a shout-out. For example, Dos Vatos Productions is currently filming Precious Knowledge, a documentary highlighting the Mexican American Studies program offered by the Tucson Unified School District currently under attack by Know Nothings aghast that not all educators think Sam Houston is a saint. But Dos Vatos needs funds to complete their docu, so anyone interested in helping out can visit dosvatos.com. Know of a worthy cause? E-mail the Mexican!