¡ASK A MEXICAN!
Published: August 3, 2011
Dear Mexican: A few years back when I was in high school, my social studies teacher and the leader of our high school M.E.Ch.A. club had deep resentment toward the Spaniards/conquistadors that killed hundreds — probably thousands — of Aztecs. He went so far as to deny that his own heritage comes partly from Spain, and hated it when people would refer to him as a Latino/Hispanic. He would get so mad and say “I’m not Spanish; I AM CHICANO!” What’s your opinion on the subject? Do you feel hatred toward the Spanish?
— Harry the Hispanic
Dear Wab: I LOVE the Spaniards! Their adorable lisp! Their great porn! Dalí! (Wait — he’s Catalan.) Guernica! (Wait — that was about the Basque.) The Alhambra! (Wait — that was Moorish.) The fact that so many Mexicans wore Spain’s jersey as it wound its way through winning the World Cup last year! The only Mexicans who hate Spaniards are of the yaktivist type, and the best commentary on the matter is the great Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco’s Cortés y la Malinche, which depicts a naked Hernán Cortés and his Indian concubine, Malintzin (popularly known as Malinche), looming over their dead mestizo son: the father and mother looking on at their defeated Mexico. Honestly, what is there to celebrate about a civilization that enslaved foreign lands, killed thousands of innocents, and plundered to their desire? And I’m not talking about American imperialism. We’re supposed to celebrate the Spaniards why? All of this said, for a Mexican to deny that he has any Spanish blood in him when he’s sporting a mustache as thick as Zapata’s is as ludicrous as the Mexican who says they’re pure-blooded Spanish despite having a nopal en la frente.
I’ve never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the box, but there is something I always wondered about. If all the “American” jobs are going to Mexico, why are all the Mexicans coming here? If all the work that is left here is being taken by illegal Mexicans, who have to travel many, many miles to come to work, why aren’t red-blooded “legal Americans” grabbing them first? After all, they already live in the town all these jobs are at. If the people who live here don’t want the jobs, then why complain that someone else does? If there is something underhanded about it, then the problem is not with the employees, but the employer. And, another thing I don’t understand because of the me-not-being-a-sharp-knife problem: Why are people who go through great hardship vilified because they want to provide for their family? I never hear or read about Americans traveling a great distance, to do dirty, dangerous work, for very little money, living with many other people to save money, and then sending most of it back home. Well, I could go on, but this is probably enough, and some of your readers have their own knife problems.
> Email Gustavo Arellano