Dear Mexican: Man, did you make me laugh with "leprecanos." I never had more fun on Cinco de Mayo than I did in 1974 in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mick bar called the Plough and Stars. After that night, I was hooked on redheads and Jameson. I barely had to buy any drinks for myself that night. When a Plough and Stars regular said the word "Republican," it was preceded by "Irish" and followed by "Army." We were really focused on the idea of celebrating anything having to do with resistance to colonialism.... Okay, we were really focused on celebrating, but politics was a good excuse. If I had been quick enough to come up with "leprecanos," I could've drunk in that bar for free until I graduated from law school.
Dear Mexican: Actually, Don Arellano, the association between Hispanics and the Irish goes deeper than just common similarities. According to Ireland's own mythology, two groups came to Ireland from Spain -- the Fir-Bolg and the Milesians -- and mingled with the natives to create the modern Irish race. In the late 1500s, Spain tried to send troops and supplies to Ireland in hopes of assisting their fellow Catholics against the ethnic cleansing being conducted by the English. Though the campaign was a disaster for the Spanish, many of their men remained behind, enchanted by those lovely Irish women. And don't forget that the people from the Spanish province of Galicia are of Celtic stock.
Gracias for the comments, guys, but Cunnivorex, historians long ago disproved that the Black Irish -- the dark-haired sons and daughters of Eire -- could attribute their locks to Spanish ancestors marooned after the failed Spanish Armada. That's an origin myth as preposterous as gabachos who claim their great-great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess, or Chicano yaktivists who claim pure Indian blood -- or Spanish blood, for that matter.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Dear Mexican: Why do McDonald's game pieces now come in English and Spanish? I'm not sure if, as a Mexican, I'm more insulted to be targeted as eating at McDonald's enough to have the text translated for my people -- or more irritated that something as innocuous and American as McDonald's products needs a translation.
Mexican Muchacha in Maui
Dear Wab: First off, there is nothing innocuous or American about McDonald's. The chain's longtime owner, Ray Kroc, was a ruthless master of business who infamously stated, "If my competitor were drowning, I'd stick a hose in his mouth and turn on the water." And that's why you have no reason to take offense if McDonald's prints game pieces in Spanish. Chula: McDonald's would paint Grimace in blackface if it could earn a couple more bucks. Even the current strife that the corporation faces in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca -- students firebombed a McDonald's there last month -- won't stop McDonald's from trying to woo Mexicans. But a warning, America: The Oaxacan chaos is now spreading beyond the state and across Mexico. If our southern neighbor does erupt in revolution and millions more Mexicans swarm our cities, thank McDonald's.