Dear Mexican: I am a Mexican who owns a successful wholesale liquidation business, which happens to be an industry dominated by Jews and Asians and some gringos. So why does almost everyone, including mexicanos, who visits my warehouse think my business — or any successful business, for that matter — is always owned by a Jew or a gabacho? Can't a pinche Mexican own a successful business? Just 'cause I'm 5'4", named Armando, don't look like the typical "business type" and don't have an MBA? My customers always assume I'm the sales rep or the forklift operator and ask to speak to the owner or "El Árabe" and almost always include a statement like, "El dueño es judío, ¿verdad?" Well, no, the damn owner is not judío. Soy yo, sí — este mexicanito es el dueño de esta bodega. As if only Jews can own a business. Like the stupid joke says, "Two Jews walked into a bar...and bought the place." Yeah, I don't think it's funny, either. Que la chingada — attention, everyone: My pockets may not be as deep as those fucking camellos, but we are getting there. Échame la mano to my Mexican-owned business. I'm thinking about putting up a sign like the ones during the Rodney King riots: "MEXICAN OWNED" — or maybe not, because mis gabacho clients se van a asustar. P.S.: A Mexican designed our website, not Patrick or Chang. I support the cause.
Mexican Businessman — Believe It
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Dear Wab: Okay, we get it: you're not a Jew, and you don't like Arabs (calling Arabs "camels"? Everyone knows Mexicans call Arabs "Talibans" if they want to be insulting). But the reason that people are so surprised that you own a business is because there's nearly not enough of ustedes. "Mexican-American Entrepreneurship," a 2008 study by Robert W. Fairlie and Christopher Woodruff, showed that only 5.1 percent of Mexican-American men were business owners, compared to 12.6 percent of gabachos. The researchers blamed — surprise, surprise! — U.S. immigration policy, which kept Mexicans undocumented and away from the roads to owning a legitimate business. On the other hand, recent research by University of Southern California professor Jody Agius Vallejo and others shows Mexican-Americans getting into the middle class by starting their own businesses and in some ways succeeding more than other immigrants based on how low they started. And the Mexican would argue that Mexicans are born small-business owners. Selling oranges at freeway exits? Small-businessperson. Tamales from car trunks? Small-businessperson. Jornaleros, cutting grass for gabachos, screwing wives gabachos don't screw properly? Small-businessperson, small-businessperson, small-businessperson.
Dear Mexican: Why do my ninety-pound junior-high students wear three and four white T-shirts (all sized 6x or larger) layered one on top of another in 100-degree heat...then complain about the heat?
Maestro de Foto
Ask a Mexican
Dear Gabacho Photography Teacher: Por pendejos — DUH. Then again, logic and fashion sense among American high-schoolers of any ethnicity go together like the PRI and clean government.
¡ASK A MEXICAN! VIDEOS ARE BACK!: Gentle cabrones: After a years-long hiatus, I've relaunched the video version of this columna. Follow my weekly rants on Twitter by clicking the hashtag #askamexican and ask away. Enjoy!