Thursday, February 12, 2009
Dear Wab: Within each stereotype lies a kernel of truth, and your example is a great case. Compared with gabachos, each Mexican – no matter how assimilated or fresa – is a walking greenhouse. Many of our mamis know about the wonders of yerbas (herbs) to tend to a family’s medicinal needs: yerba buena tea for most any ailment and aloe vera to salve a burn. All Mexican families try to grow some type of edible plant on whatever land they can find, whether a simple chile plant or towering corn stalks. This knowledge is passed down from generation to generation if you’re a good Mexican. Gabachos might chortle at us since growing one’s own crops for substinence is the hallmark of a developing society, but as the Great Recession spreads, and gabachos suckled for decades on the teat of prepackaged meals and convenience lose their jobs, they’ll increasingly realize that living like Mexicans not only makes life more affordable, it comes with hot second cousins, too!I realize your column is tongue-in-cheek, but you also perpetuate the myth that all Hispanics are somehow “hard-working” because they’ll do manual labor. Or, as many claim in defense of illegal immigration, “They’ll do anything to earn a living.” That’s a lie. There’s one thing the majority of Mexican and Central American immigrants won’t do to make a living: think. I teach in Los Angeles. The majority of students in the district are Hispanic – Mexican and Central American. The majority are failing – they’re relatively illiterate. They fail because they are lazy. They will not do the work. The majority of Hispanics from Mexico and Central America would rather do manual labor than use their brains. Not Proud of My Heritage
Dear Disgrace: If ever there was a case for teacher accountability, it’s you. Go to Netflix, and rent Stand and Deliver and learn a cosa or two.