Will Mexicanos ever see Chicanos as equals?
Dear Mexican: I was born in Los Estados Unidos, my father is from Tamaulipas, and my mother is a third-generation Chicana. I'm married to a Mexicano, and we recently vacationed in his home town of Apatzingan, Michoacán. It was my first time meeting my in-laws and everyone from his colonia. It seems I got the evil staredown and was being asked all kinds of questions to prove my Mexicanana-ness from all his primas, tias and friends. They couldn't wait for me to fuck up a word in Spanish, and asked if I cooked, liked banda music and knew how to make tortillas. I answered that I worked full-time, make an okay mole de pollo, like all kinds of music except for banda, and buy my tortillas from the supermarket.
However, I got the impression it wasn't enough; I felt I am not a real Mexicana to them. After expressing this to my husband, all he could say was that I am not a Mexican, I am a Chicana, and that's different. We are different people, but how different can we really be? Will Mexicanos ever see Chicanos as equals? Will I never be seen as an equal by my Mexican in-laws, or will they eventually see that the only difference between us is that my mom gave birth to me north of the frontera? It seems there is a thick line drawn between those of us born north and south of the Mexican-American border. I can handle discrimination from gabachos or any other race (shit, I'm used to it by now), but this — this is really unjust. Why do men and women from Mexico seems to consider themselves superior to Chicanos?
Dear Pocha: Next time some wab gives you grief about not being Mexican enough, just tell them you have the best of both worlds: You're Mexican and American — while they're just...Mexicans.
Dear Mexican: I hear a lot of accordion-heavy music on Spanish-language radio. Do Mexican women go crazy for accordionists like white girls do for guitarists? White women are reverse-attracted to guys who can play the accordion really well — to them, it's the same as guys who can play Dungeons & Dragons really well, at least in the paleface tribe I pow-wow with. Can my musical skills translate into muchos mujeres?
A 40 and an Accordion
Dear Gabacho: Time was when the accordion player was the papi chulo of the Mexican regional music world, but tuba players have usurped the position in the past couple of years for banda music and that horrible-sounding banda-conjunto norteño pendejada. Unfortunately, the instrument's elevated status has led to a rash of tuba thefts from high schools and junior highs by aspiring tuba players who usually target Mexican-heavy schools and therefore screw over youngsters whose band departments can't afford tubas in these Great Recession times. Moral of the story? As with the question before, sometimes, the worst enemies of Mexicans are...Mexicans. La raza unida and all that jamas shit, cabrones.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.