Dear Mexican: You inspired me to rediscover my culture, my pride as a Mexican and love for my people (though it's hard to love my people at times). I'm writing a college paper on Latin American issues — more specifically, on Mexican apathy, which is deeply rooted here in my city of El Paso. I don't know if you've noticed when you've been here, but we live in a Mexican-majority bubble that could easily be called a Mexican Utopia in the U.S. This same privilege enables a lack of unity and motivation to rise above our social issues, such as a low rate of superior education. We are not united in the same way as other Southwestern communities that have come together to protest racist legislation. We're in a state where institutionalized racism is rampant and evident in Rick Perry's disrespect for our heritage, which predates that of his illegal-alien-invading granddaddies of the Alamo.
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I long for the pissed-off sentiment of the Chicano movement that moved things out of the dark ages for us in this country. Our people went dormant for too long thinking it wasn't so bad anymore, but as we are constantly shoved back into the Jim Crow era, I see we are waking up. Unfortunately, we are divided between those who have been here long enough to get educated and realize this, and the other half, who are just happy to fall into the false conformity that we have been sold and worry only about Mexico's soccer team making it to the World Cup. I see El Paso as a microcosm of everything that's wrong with Mexicans in this country. I have my theories on why all this is still a problem, but I come to you for further enlightenment. I would greatly appreciate any input you can provide.
I Do Love Chico's Tacos, Though
Dear Wab: Gracias for the kind words. I'm glad I could wake you up from your pocho doldrums. Don't be so harsh on your beautiful home town, though: All the Mexican Utopias in los Estados (San Antonio, Los Angeles and SanTana, among others) have, since time immemorial, been a mix of vendidos who try to gentrify barrios and activists who actually get things done. Why? That's the American way. How to wake people up? Show them a picture of Iowa congress-pendejo Steve King.
Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans love Buchanan's whisky so much? Did a ship o' tipple from Ireland wreck in the Bay of Campeche in the nineteenth century or something? And why does every Mexican guy who orders it pronounce it bukanas?
At Least It's Not Kilbeggan
Dear Gabacho: Get your whiskeys straight. Buchanan's is Scotch; Kilbeggan is Irish whiskey. But at least your Mexi-sense is correct. Just as Cristal gets shout-outs from rappers, Buchanan's was similarly cited by singers of corridos, especially of the narco variety, in the last decade. But while getting bottle service for Cristal lets everyone know that its drinker is a lover of the high life, any plebe who buys a round of bukanas for his compas is letting the bar know not to fuck with them. The choice of a whiskey instead of a tequila as a mark of Mexican manhood isn't particularly surprising — hombres have been pounding it ever since El Piporro downed bottles while driving in Chulas Fronteras. As for the pronunciation? Easy explanation, ese: elision.