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¡Ask A Mexican! for Sep 04, 2008 One man's take on his culture's stereotypes

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Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:00 am

Dear Mexican: I’m an illegal alien. Got here on a tourist visa and stayed for a job. My gabacho employer knows about it and doesn’t care. I don’t apologize: Ever since I can remember, the U.S. has meddled in other countries’ business like it owns the world. That, at least in my mind, gives me the right to be here and do a decent, reasonable man’s labor with muchos huevos, labor that nobody else will do. I don’t get in trouble, I work my culo off and get good money for it. I don’t give a caca about amnesty, “a pathway to legal citizenship.” With the current status quo, I get to be here and have a good job without having to quit being what I have always been: a Mexican. I’m the same person I have been, only a few hundred miles north and with better life chances. Under the current status quo, my employer gets great workmanship for a bargain price. Not saying it’s right (or wrong), but works well for me. I can work without giving up my previous life and beliefs. My life here as a Mexican is pretty stable. I even have good gabacho friends. My question: What would you calculate to be the percentage of illegal Mexicans in the United States who actually want the whole enchilada of American goodness, with all its obligations, rights and privileges nowadays, when those privileges seem to be reduced to taking it in the ass from the American government in the name of some shady interest God-knows-where? --Some Chihuahuan

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).

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