By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Dear Mexican: Please explain to me why so many mexicanas seem to think it more important to stay home and baby-sit than to attend school (so that they may become more in life than producers of offspring). As an educator, I have faced "absent on account of child care" as the leading excuse for non-attendance and truancy among my mexicana students. Please note, too, that these are not the young women's children; often, they are not even the children of the nuclear family. Consider as well that this is a rare-to-nonexistent excuse among any other student group. Teach Her
Dear Gabacho: Are you trying to imply that Mexican families don't want their daughters to go to school? I'm hearing nowadays in my education circles concern about how Mexican teenage boys are falling behind their hermanas in educational attainment. Do you know for a fact that those girls are taking care of kids at home, or did you fall for their excuse by assuming that Mexican girls are about as far away from babies to take care of as a Bedouin is from a camel? I'm not trying to deny or excuse the disturbing rates of truancy among Mexicans, but instead of harping on one particular, imagined cause, how about attacking the whole enchilada? In "Preventing Truancy and Dropout Among Urban Middle School Youth," a paper in the January 2009 issue of Education and Urban Society by Louie F. Rodríguez of Florida International University and Gilberto Q. Conchas at the University of California, Irvine, the profes identified high truancy rates as a leading indicator of an at-risk student (DUH!) and did what you seemingly don't: ask the students why they're truant. They also studied a Boston-area community group that succeeded in reducing truancy among Latinos and African-Americans. The trick? Giving a damn about kids, demanding they and their parents care, and making sure it takes a rancho to get them to succeed.
Why do Chicanos criticize gabachos while they are in the United States, and when they come back to Mexico, they despise their compatriotas mexicanos by showing off their dolares? Chale con el Chilango Chafa
Dear To Hell With Chilango Riffraff: Mexicans of all colores criticize gabachos, because the Virgin of Guadalupe told us to. As for the criticizing Mexicans in Mexico: They're just learning from the natives, who never miss a moment to trash Mexicans who live in el Norte and their children as somehow lesser than Mexicans who live in Mexico.