By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Dear Mexican: In a nutshell, you inspired me to rediscover my culture, my pride as a Mexican and love for my people (though it's hard to love my own people at times). I'm writing a college paper on Mexican apathy, which is deeply rooted here in my city of El Paso. We live in a Mexican majority bubble that could easily be called a Mexican Utopia in the U.S. This same privilege enables a lack of unity and motivation to rise above our social issues, such as a low rate of superior education. The worst part of living in this city is the antagonism we have against our own kind, based solely on the fact that many recently migrated and the sad misconception that they're all on welfare. We are not united in the same way other Southwestern communities have come.
Very few here care. Our people went dormant for too long thinking it wasn't so bad anymore, but as we are shoved back into the Jim Crow era, I see we are waking up. Unfortunately, we are divided between those who have been here long enough to get educated and realize this, and the other half that's just happy to fall into the false conformity that we have been sold. I see El Paso as a microcosm of everything that's wrong with Mexicans in this country. I have my theories on why all this is still a problem, but I come to you for further enlightenment. I Do Love Chico's Tacos, Though
Dear Wab: Gracias for the kind words — glad I could wake you up from your pocho doldrums. Don't be so harsh on your beautiful hometown, though — all the Mexican Utopias in los Estados (San Antonio, Los Angeles, SanTana, among others) since time immemorial are a mix of vendidos who try to gentrify barrios and activists who actually get things done. Why? That's the American way.
Why do Mexicans love Buchanan's whisky so much? Did a ship o'tipple from Ireland wreck in the Bay of Campeche in the 19th century or something? And why does every Mexican guy who orders it pronounce it bukanas? At Least it's not Kilbeggan's
Dear Gabacho: Buchanan's is scotch, not Irish whiskey. But at least your Mexi-sense is correct. Just like Cristal gets shout-outs from rappers, Buchanan's began getting referenced by singers of corridos, especially of the narco variety, last decade. Any plebe who buys a round of bukanas is letting the bar know not to fuck with them. As for the pronunciation chingadera? Easy explanation, ese: elision.