Ask a Mexican

Half-Mexicans: the group everyone can hate, even Mexicans.

Dear Mexican: Having been called a "gabacho" by "Mexicans" much lighter than I and "wetback" by those whose parents (or themselves) crossed several rivers as they migrated west to California, I'm curious as to which group you believe I should hold in the greatest disdain. While Anglo wetbacks are much more fun to ridicule, calling those who share my mother's ancestry unpleasant names often leads to angry confrontations (thank God I have my mick father's size).

—Villa Go Bragh!

Dear Leprecano: The Mexicans, for sure. Gabachos are naturally going to be Know Nothings, but Mexicans should know better. To quote from my book: "The Irish were the Mexicans of the United States before the Mexicans. Millions of them migrated to this country destitute, as indentured servants (the precursor to the bracero program) and even as illegal immigrants. ... Gabachos here maligned the Irish for their Catholicism, their funny English, their big families and constant state of inebriation — stereotypes popularized by the mainstream press. The Irish fought back: They formed gangs and voting blocs and — in the case of the Saint Patrick's Battalion — an entire battalion ... defected to the Mexican side during the 1846 Mexican-American War.

"But the Irish in America, to paraphrase Noel Ignatiev's famous 1995 book, eventually became white, while Mexicans will forever remain Mexicans in the eyes of gabachos. Nevertheless, the spic-mick connection continues. I know many children of Irish-Mexican heritage who call themselves 'leprecanos,' a miscegenation of the words 'leprechaun' and 'Chicano.' Many Irish-American civic organizations support amnesty for illegals since about 50,000 Irish immigrants have no papers. Mexico and Ireland have harsh laws against illegal immigration and must constantly deal with their idiot cousins across the border, Guatemala and Northern Ireland. And gabachos have warped our precious St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo holidays into bacchanals of booze and women — on second thought, that's a compliment."

Why do your people hate me? I'm half-Mexican, and I while I don't have the stereotypical Mexican brown skin tone, I'm no different than everyone on Univision! I'd like to know why even people I've explicitly told I am half-Mexican react with surprise when I mainline Pelon Pelo Rico, and why the only Mexicans who show me any love at all are the construction workers whistling at me on the street! These feelings of alienation came to a head last week when a "Mexican" co-worker whose family has lived in fucking Texas for 300 years didn't invite me to a luncheon for Latinas. What the fuck, Mexican? AND, I'm hot, I'm smart and I don't smell.

—La Media Mexicana

Dear Half-Wab: We hate you because you're a stuck-up pendeja fresa.

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano