Dear Mexican: First it was the Native-Americans, then it was the blacks, then the Japanese. Now I fear that American prejudice will soon overwhelm Mexicans. Is it possible that America will cause another ethnic group to suffer in a way similar to the Japanese and blacks?—Mex-Jap
Dear Wabby Chinito: A couple of key differences: Mexicans were never enslaved en masse like the Africans were (Know Nothings can spare me their pseudo-populist bullshit about illegal immigrants getting paid slave wages—one man’s pennies is another’s muy grande pesos). Nor do the detention pens where la migra places recently rounded-up illegals compare to the World War II internment of Issei and Nissei. And Mexicans in the United States definitely never dealt with genocide like the Indians (as in Native Americans)—the Manifest Destiny–ing of Texas and the American Southwest, sí, but not mass extermination. I doubt Americans will allow any of those ignominies to occur again to any non-gabacho group, but the residents of this Republic constantly surprise me with their repetition of historical skid marks (i.e., Dillingham Report, Vietnam War, a Bush in the Casa Blanca), and we’ve yet to truly see how America’s going to treat Barack Obama for his middle name. In the meanwhile, Mexicans can rest easy, knowing we only have to put up with the same annoyances from gabachos that we have for over a century.
Dear Mexican: Why is it that Mexican parents don’t want their daughters to date or marry a black guy? I’ve seen them go crazy because they found out their daughter was going out with one, or brought him home to meet the família. —Black (Sometimes) Is Beautiful
Dear Gabacho: You know what film I caught the other day on cable? Only the Lonely, the 1991 comedy starring John Candy as an Irish cop whose mom doesn’t want him to marry a guinea Polack. Afterward, I caught Mississippi Masala, the Denzel Washington flick where he beds a hot Indian (as in the subcontinent) chick to the consternation of her relatives. I concluded the evening with Ashton Kutcher’s reprehensible remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and remembered that the parents of my Vietnamese ex didn’t want their darling daughter to date a Mexican. I’m not denying the caca that some wabs throw at negritos, but if we’re going to play The Dating Game, let’s remember that parents of all races or immigrant status frequently freak out when their progeny date out of their social group—and if you don’t believe me, talk to Jeb Bush.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 3, 2008