Claim whatever “symbolic ethnicity” you want, pal
I have a friend who frequently wears a T-shirt that boldly states in big, badass, Old English letters, “Hecho en México.” Five facts follow:
1. He was born 23 years ago in the United States, in Bellflower, California.
2. His truly Mexican parents were nowhere near Mexico when he was conceived.
3. His Spanish is worse than his English.
4. He has conceded that the “Made in Mexico” displayed across his man-breasts does not imply the T-shirt was manufactured in Mexico.
5. I easily upset him when I declare that I’m more Mexican than he is, by the mere fact that I was at least born outside the United States, in the Philippines.
So what gives? Why is it so easy for me to bust his balls by calling him an American? And, so, whenever he wears that shirt, I always tell him that he’s disingenuous, but he just looks at me and asks, “What the hell does ‘disingenuous’ mean?”
Sancho Villa, the Filipino Friend of El Pocho
Filipinos might be the Mexicans of Asia, and boxer Manny Pacquiao might own Mexican pugilists the way Mexi men take gabachas, but that doesn’t make you more mexicano than your wabby pal. Your amigo‘s fixation on asserting a mexicanidad that he ostensibly can’t claim ties back to my column a couple of weeks ago regarding the U.S. Census and its antebellum racial classifications. As I stated then, Mexicans insist that they are a separate raza instead of an ethnicity, even though we all now know that the whole concept of race is socially constructed and about as scientifically valid as creationism — but the insistence makes sense, regardless of how many generations removed from Mexico a pocho may be. The allure of closely associating with an ancestral culture is a longstanding spice of the American melting pot, best explained by the sociologist Herbert Gans as symbolic ethnicity. We let micks and goombahs, generations no longer fresh off the boats, call themselves Irish and Italian, so why not let pochos call themselves Mexican? That’s right — because anything gabachos do is right, and all Mexicans do is make babies and Reconquista. Have sympathy, and let your friend call himself Mexican, Sancho, because Know-Nothings have the last laugh — your proud “Mexican” wakes up every day in el gabacho.
When the gringo people start complaining about illegals, the government comes out and uses a pacifier to calm them down (raids, penalties on employers, pendejo walls). When we illegals start complaining, they come out with another pacifier, such as a bill to legalize some of us. I say open the ojos and see that the intention of the U.S. government is not to take us all back; it’s to pacify the whiners. So, gringos: Please. Ya shut up and live, and let us work on your landscaping, fruits, vegetables, meats, all crops and everything so you can eat good. Anyway, when it comes to pacifiers, I wanted to ask the Mexican: Who was the real pendejo who thought about building a wall at the border? That is the greatest broma and waste of dinero I ever heard. I laugh at it, every time I think about it. We already have the biggest escalera you have ever seen. Anyway, if you know the name of that pendejo, I’d like to know.
If you’re referring to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which sought to further fortify an already militarized frontera and introduced the idea of a massive muro to the American public, that pinche puto pendejo baboso was New York Congressman Peter King, who submitted the bill and was its main sponsor. But don’t bother writing nasty letters to him — fucker loves pissing Mexis off. Instead, send King’s office cans of refried beans so he’ll be forced to either donate them to charity or eat them all to hilarious digestive effect!
E-mail The Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter, or find him at myspace.com/ocwab, facebook.com/garellano and youtube.com/askamexicano, or write to him via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433. Letters will be edited for clarity, cabrones. And include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!