By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Dear Readers: It's not just questions and racist rants that invade the Mexican's mailbox—your feedback sneaks under my digital fence también. Let's start with Lean Like a K Street Chola, a former gangbanger-turned-lobbyist who wrote in a couple of weeks back wondering how she could explain to quizzical pals why Mexican women use lip liner. The Mexican responded that such coloring "attracts men." Here's her response:
Maybe the new name of my memoir (when I get around to writing it) will be K Street Chola: From Juvenile Hall to the Halls of Congress. Just one thing, muchacho: Not all women are interested in attracting hombres. Probably safer to not assume in the future. I've been pura lesbiana since before I was even a chola. I will grant that [using lip liner] is probably to attract the mujeres machas. But a friend said she read somewhere that Latinas apply lipstick seven times more often than non-Latinas, so perhaps it's just genetic!
—Lean Like a K Street Chola
Muchas apologies, K Street Chola, but what did you expect from a macho Mexican man? I don't know about your amiga's assertion, but a study this year published by the NDP Group found that "Hispanic" women were more likely to use mascara, blush, eyeliner and lipstick than any other ethnic group. Maybe the genetic part is right—or maybe Mexican women (of all sexual persuasions!) just like to look better for their homeboys and heinas than gabachas.
The following is a general commentary to keep in mind whenever corpulent Know Nothings compare Mexicans to Al Qaeda:
During the opening night of The Simpsons Movie, my friend and I were surprised to find that the young group of Mexicans sitting behind us had dropped a loaded .45 ACP clip under our seat. Shocked and vowing to never frequent that Phoenix theater again, I left with a further disappointment in Mexicans. On the flip side, I ran out of gas on the freeway a week later. While walking alongside the freeway, a Mexican gentleman by the name of Lionel stopped and picked me up. Lionel drove me 30 miles round-trip to get gas and would only accept my name and deepest gratitude as payment. If it wasn't for Lionel's generosity, I would've been royally screwed. I'm writing this as a plea for people not to judge a group of people just because of a few bad tamales and to show my appreciation for my Hispanic hero, Lionel.
Gracias for your story, gabacho. I concur: Love the good Mexicans, nuke the cholos—except K Street Chola, of course. And now, on to this week's question:
Can you give me a good response when people ask me (often rudely), "What ARE you, anyway?" My mother is Mexican, my father is white. I look sort of vaguely ethnic—hence, the question. I like "White-xican" but is there some better answer out there?
Dear Half-Wab: How about "¿A quien chingada le importa?" ("Who the fuck cares?")? Seriously, few things peeve the Mexican more than when someone questions a person's ethnic identity. I don't care if it's gabachos calling American citizens "anchor babies" or Mexican nationalists insisting someone must be born in Mexico to call themselves a Mexican; as I've written before, national character is never static, and anyone who claims otherwise is as deluded as a Minuteman. That's why I love it when half-breeds create new terms to describe their dual heritages. "White-xican" is fine, but dig further into your gabacho papi's past to create something better. My favorites are leprecano (half-Mexican, half-Irish), beaner-wiener (half-Mex, half-Kraut), and Korexican, the child of a Korean and Mexican marriage. I'm sure I'm missing out on other creative ethnic labels for half-Mexicans—got any more, gentle readers? The Mexican will publish the best ones in the coming weeks!