Whatever Happened to the Lazy Mexican?

And will gabachos ever pick crops like Mexicans?

Dear Readers: The Mexican wants to beat you to the carne asada case this Labor Day fin de semana, so behold two oldies-but-goodies I amazingly haven't yet passed off as new in this columna. The first one is extant and one of the favorite questions the Mexican ever got; for the second respuesta I've added some thoughts at the end, given it dates to 2007 — yet the question is, like the Mexican lust for gabachas, eternal.

Dear Mexican: Whatever happened to the "lazy Mexican"? Now all I hear is that they're taking our jobs. Ronnie racist

Dear Gabacho: Isn't that the stupidest paradox? Really: How can someone simultaneously be a yeoman and a layabout unless he's Shaquille O'Neal? But accusing ethnics of being both is America's most cherished immigrant insult. Every group felt its contradictory sting: Chinese (opium smokers or railroad coolies), Irish (drunks or ward bosses), Scandinavians (oafs or Vikings), Italians (slum dwellers or Mafiosi), Jews (rag-picking parasites or international bankers) and now Mexicans. The insult's popularity draws its venom from our Puritan forefathers, who considered life outside of labor sin. What's strange, though, is how modern-day gabachos forgot the Protestant work ethic long ago; meanwhile, immigrants continue to pick up Max Weber's flame without forgetting to enjoy life. Bested in both works and pleasure, gabachos seethe, grow fat and elect evangelicals.

I had a heated discussion with a couple of gringos in which they made a comment that immigration (both legal and illegal) needs to stop. I replied jokingly, "Then who will take our orders at McDonald's, or work in the fields?" They had the nerve to tell me there are several Americans willing to work those jobs, especially in the fields. I laughed. Wasn't there a study a couple of years ago in which they sent Americans who were collecting unemployment to pick strawberries, and they all quit within a week? Pocha From the Central California Coast

Dear Gabacho: Many readers have asked the Mexican about the study you cite, but I've yet to verify its existence. This makes me believe it's an urban legend. Besides, who needs a mythical study proving gabachos don't work in agriculture when the government has documented this phenomenon? Consider the Department of Labor's 2005 National Agricultural Workers survey. The finding that's pertinent to us: Eighty-three percent of America's agricultural workers identified as "Hispanic," and Mexicans constituted the vast majority of that figure. Gabachos, meanwhile, accounted for only 3 pinche percent of all fruit and vegetable gatherers. Many factors besides laziness can explain why gabachos won't take these jobs — terrible wages and working conditions, better employment opportunities for English speakers — but the fact remains that gabachos and crop picking go together as well as Mexicans and la migra.

 
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5 comments
barehandedspank
barehandedspank

As a "Gringette", I have to say that when I hear anyone from Texas say "we need to send them all back", it really makes me angry! The Mexican people are part of our culture. They have been since before we came along! It's so disgusting when anyone who is white has that attitude of supremacy and entitlement. I do not know one gringo who is willing to work any fields in this Texas heat. And demonizing the Mexican people who do? Well, how disgusting! Anyone who is doing what they can to survive and provide for their families is something to be admired! Not demonized!

ginger4v
ginger4v

Some Mexicans are lazy, that's for sure. Mostly you see them that are illegal and sucking on gov money. But the ones I see working in LBJ are bustin ass working. I don't know how they do it!

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@ginger4v There are plenty of white and black workers who will gladly work in the Construction field. In Louisiana we have been doing those jobs in the Humid Heat for hundreds of years. I am white and have plenty of former cotton pickers in my family tree. "Jobs Americans won't do", not in Louisiana.

 
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