Cut on the Bias
Dear Mexican: First it was the Native Americans, then the blacks, then the Japanese. For a while, Muslims. Now I fear that American prejudice will soon overwhelm Mexicans. It's one thing to be called a dirty Jap or border-hopper, but is it possible that America will cause another ethnic group to suffer in a way similar to the Japanese and blacks? Or do you believe that our country has matured enough to never again commit such deeds?
Dear Wabby Chinito: A couple of key differences between the groups you mentioned and the people I study. Mexicans were never enslaved en masse à la Africans (Know Nothings can spare me their pseudo-populist bullshit about illegal immigrants getting paid slave wages — one man's pennies are another's muy grande pesos). Nor do the detention pens where la migra places recently rounded-up illegals compare to the World War II internment of Issei and Nissei. And Mexicans in the U.S. definitely never dealt with genocide like the Indians — the Manifest Destiny-ing of Texas and the American Southwest, sí, but not mass extermination. I doubt Americans will allow any of those ignominies to occur again to any non-gabacho group, but the residents of this republic constantly surprise me with their repetition of historical skidmarks (e.g., Dillingham Report, Vietnam War, a Bush in the Casa Blanca), and we've yet to truly see how America's going to treat Barack Obama for his middle name. Meanwhile, Mexicans can rest knowing we only have to put up with the same annoyances from gabachos we have for over a century: deportations that don't work, unimaginative slurs, and the butchered mispronunciations of the letter ñ.
Dear Mexican: Why don't Mexican parents want their daughters to date or marry black guys? I've seen them go crazy when they found out their daughter was going out with one or brought him home. Is it a parental thing, or a sense of Mexican pride?
Black (Sometimes) Is Beautiful
Dear Gabacho: You know what I caught the other day on cable? Only the Lonely, the 1991 comedy starring John Candy as an Irish cop whose mom doesn't want him to marry a guinea Polack. Afterward, I caught Mississippi Masala, the Denzel Washington flick where he beds a hot Indian chick, to the consternation of her relatives. I ended the evening with Ashton Kutcher's reprehensible remake of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and remembered that my Vietnamese ex's parents didn't want their daughter to date a Mexican. I'm not denying the caca that some wabs throw at negritos, but if we're going to play The Dating Game, let's remember that parents of all races or immigrant status frequently freak out when their progeny date out of their social group — and if you don't believe me, talk to Jeb Bush.
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