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When Catholics got a pass across the border

Dear Mexican: I'm Hispanic, not Mexican, and I hate it when people confuse me for one. I don't like the stupid music you like, I don't give a fuck about the stupid Virgin of Guadalupe, I don't speak with the stupid accent, I don't even look like an Indian. Why should all Hispanics be confused with these stupid, ignorant people?

One High-Spanic

Dear Wab: Because it's your best shot to join our Reconquista.

Dear Mexican: I was talking to my uncle a few weeks ago, and he mentioned something to the effect that, as part of the original post-war agreement between the United States and Mexico after their 1848 war, Mexican citizens were supposed to be able to go back and forth as they pleased. I know that the original draft was changed. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do further research. If it's true, I guess them Mexican illegals aren't illegal; they're simply exercising the terms of the post-war agreement.

El Niño Héroe

Dear Heroic Child: Your uncle was partially right. Article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo originally stated that "the relations and communication between the Catholics living in the territories [conquered by the United States during the Mexican-American War], and their respective ecclesiastical authorities, shall be open, free and exempt from all hindrance whatever, even although such authorities should reside within the limits of the Mexican Republic, as defined by this treaty; and this freedom shall continue, so long as a new demarcation of ecclesiastical districts shall not have been made, conformably with the laws of the Roman Catholic Church." In other words, Mexican Catholics could cross between the two countries for religious purposes. However, American authorities removed this provision from Article IX before signing the treaty and struck out Article X, which guaranteed that the American government would respect the property rights of their new wards. Don't believe the Chicano Studies urban myth that holds that the treaty guaranteed bilingual rights for Mexicans, or that such a provision would even apply to the Mexicans who now live in the American Southwest, almost all of whom have no historical ties to the conquered Mexicans (who by and large didn't consider themselves Mexican, but that's another story). Better yet, let's all just get over the fact that the southwest United States once belonged to Mexico. As I've written before, Mexico ruled those territories from 1812 to 1848, a chronological fart between the much-longer reigns of the Spaniards (212 years), gabachos (158 years) and the Native Americans (eternal).

 
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