Gustavo Arellano spends his days as a writer, merrily answering questions asked by ignorant white folks and introspective Latinos in his renowned weekly column "Ask a Mexican." While Arellano spends a fair amount of time responding to harmless (if sometimes politically incorrect) queries such as why Mexicans have green thumbs or what music is best for a quinceanera celebration, he also gets ones that require more than a simple explanation or smart-ass quip. Much of the mail Arellano receives smacks of ignorance, xenophobia and worse. But to his credit, the titular Mexican is able to address even the headiest of immigration issues with a satirical wit and wisdom that leaves little question that the man is a crusader for his people and his culture. In fact, although he is best-known for his syndicated column and his appearances on the political talk show circuit, Arellano is also an award-winning writer of articles that chronicle the struggle of the Latino population, discuss religious and social issues, and put Latino culture into context. Arellano will bring his vast knowledge of all things Latino to the Center for Mexican-American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington as part of the 2009 Distinguished Lecture series. "Humor in a Picante Vein: Chicano Satire and Other Funny Ways to Combat Xenophobia" will feature Arellano speaking at 7 p.m. at the University Center, 301 W. 1st St. Admission is free and seating is first come, first served. Visit uta.edu/cmas.
Wed., April 1, 7 p.m., 2009