By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
Dear Mexican: I'm a Mexican-American, but I always lie and tell people that my ancestors were from Spain and immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. My whole family says this. We feel embarrassed because Mexicans in the U.S. are so dirty, mostly gang-bangers, and they spray graffiti everywhere. My family is not like this—my father went to UCLA, and I'm going to USC right now. Should I face my background and tell people the truth? —Coconut Cabrón
Dear Wab: Felicidades—you are officially the most pendejo person ever to ask the Mexican! I'm fine with people labeling themselves whatever they want given that ethnic identity is as fluid as water (special shout-out to all the pochos who must endure the "You're not a real Mexican" bigotry of Mexicans and Chicano yaktivists but who are nevertheless proud of their heritage), but you're just stupid. You obviously don't consider yourself Spaniard, since you begin your pregunta by identifying yourself as a Mexican-American, so labeling yourself Spanish is a lie born out of vanity rather than pride. You then state, without inserting any qualifiers, that Mexicans in the U.S. are dirty, tagging cholos, but quickly offer your family as counterexamples, thus invalidating your overarching claim. Go ahead and tell people the truth about you—that eres un wimpy wab who's so self-hating he must ask the Mexican for a blessing. Here's your bendición: Vete a la fregada, pinche puto pendejo baboso.
I'm from a little Podunk area that relies heavily on labor-intensive agriculture (mostly raising tobacco) and has a lot of Mexican immigrants. I've noticed that most of the Mexicans I've worked with or met share the same interests as most of the rednecks I grew up with. Both want big Dodge trucks with something on the back window (rednecks usually go for Confederate flags, Mexicans for the Virgin of Guadalupe); both often wear boots made out of some exotic animal skin; both seem to listen to country music, drink a lot of cheap beer, and hit on chubby redneck girls. Are the new immigrants just adapting to the dominant redneck culture, or do rural folks north and south of the border just share a lot of the same interests? —Hillbilly In Central Kentucky
Dear Hermano: The South will rise again—thanks to the help of Mexicans. United States Census figures show that Dixie experienced the largest increase of Latinos, percentage-wise, of any region in the United States, with Mexicans constituting the vasto majority of the population. While a lot of gabachos have fretted about the influx, you're right to embrace the immigrants, Hillbilly. Mexicans and rednecks are removed only by birth. The differences are negligible — Ramón Ayala is our Bill Monroe; "Rocky Top" is y'alls' "Canción Mixteca." We both cheer sports that everyone else jeers (NASCAR, soccer), use plural second-person pronouns, and hate invading Yankees. The only matter we part on is the idea of secession from the United States: While Southerners tried but failed, we're perfectly content with allowing our birth rates to advance across America like Stonewall Jackson did through the Shenandoah Valley.