Dear Mexican: I’m writing about an epiphany I had recently about government-sponsored clamors for crackdowns on immigration, especially against members of a certain race/creed/color/ethnic group. It seems that whenever there is a cacophony of support for deportation and closing our borders, there’s also a war going on that’s going rather badly for us. Is this just coincidence, or is there more to it?
A Farewell to Arms
Dear Pocho: You’re off. World Wars I and II went splendidly for us, but that didn’t stop America from demonizing Germans in the Great War and interning Japanese-Americans (and more than a few German- and Italian-Americans) in the Good War. If anything, it’s when wars are going badly for us that the American government makes a push for Mexicans in the military. (See: War on Terror, Vietnam War, Korean War.) To paraphrase South Park, call it Operation Get Behind the Beaners.
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Dear Mexican: I live in the Bronx, in a heavily immigrant area. We have many West African, Dominican, Mexican, Central American, Guyanese and Bengali newcomers. I’ve noticed that Mexican men seem to spend lots of time with their wives and kids. Every weekend, you see Mexican men playing soccer with their kids or doing some other activity with their family. I know that most of these men work six days a week, and I’m amazed that in their free time, they don’t just want to be left alone. Not that you don’t see other men playing with their kids, but more often you see the African and Dominican men hanging out with other men, and the wives are with the kids. This is a vast generalization, but I’ve noticed it a lot. I also see Mexican men helping their wives at the laundromat. I thought they were supposed to be machos, but I’m thinking that maybe I need to find myself a Mexican man!
Randy in Riverdale
Dear Gabacha: You should definitely get yourself an hombre, but not for taking care of kids. “The Quality of Time Spent With Children Among Mexican Immigrants,” a paper written by Purdue University professor Andres J. Vargas and Daniel Kidane of Ohio Wesleyan University, found that Mexican fathers spent less time with their kids than gabachos, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans, though the rate improved the more time the papis lived in the U.S. “We interpret this as evidence that duration of residence is associated with an improvement of the childcare behaviors of Mexican immigrants,” wrote Vargas and Kidane. They didn’t give a reason as to why Mexican fathers spend less time with their kids, but you alluded to the answer: Our dads work a lot. No time for museums, libraries or tutoring. But turning your son into the next Fernando Valenzuela or Chicharito? Of course!