Ask a Mexican!

Here are a few questions I have for the Mexican:

1. Why are wages so low in Mexico?

2. Why is Mexico such a violent country?

3. Why is Mexico so corrupt?

4. Why have the drug cartels taken over large swaths of Mexico?

5. Why can't one drink the water in most towns in Mexico?

6. Why are there so few public libraries in Mexico?

7. Why are Mexicans so fat? Mexico is listed as the country with the highest rate of obesity on Earth?

8. Why is public education in Mexico so miserable and pathetic? In my many years of working there, I have yet to come across a worker who could multiply, divide, or read a map.

9. Why don't more Mexicans up here go into physical science and engineering?

10. If you are a Mexican, why are you here? Is it possibly due to 1 through 8 above?

—Dickhead in Denver

Dear Gabacho: Answers 1-4 are easy: United States. Número five is bullshit—though water quality isn't pristine in Mexico, it's not at California levels of scarcity yet. And we'd be better if the U.S. didn't muck up the water in the Rio Grande, steal the water from the Colorado River, and have factories making cheap products headed to the U.S. that use up precious water and foul up the rest of the supply. #6 is a flat-out crock of mierda: Mexico has roughly 6,000 public libraries, which averages out to .049 libraries per 1,000 Mexicans—barely below the U.S.'s .052 per 1,000 Americans. Spare me 7, since the U.S. and Mexico have flip-flopped for the crown of world's fattest nation for over a decade now—and it's all the U.S.'s fault. For number 8, United States, just for the hell of it. I'm not sure how to answer #9, because the same could be said of American students—why else are we importing un chingo of Indians and Chinese? Finally, Mexicans are here to make a better life for themselves—thanks to los Estados Unidos.

I'm writing to ask about an epiphany I had recently about government-sponsored clamors for crackdowns on immigration, especially against members of a certain race/creed/color/ethnic group. It seems to me to be that whenever there is a cacophony of support for deportation and closing our borders coming from the highest offices in the land, there's also a war going on that's going rather badly for us. Is this just coincidence, or is there more to it?

—A Farewell to GúantanaManzanArms

Dear Pocho: You're off. World Wars I and II went splendidly for us, but that didn't stop American from demonizing Germans in the Great War and interning Japanese-Americans (and more than a few German- and Italian-Americans) in the Good War. If anything, it's when wars are going bad for us that the American government makes a push for Mexicans in the military—look at what's happening during this War on Terror, or during the Vietnam or Korean War. To paraphrase South Park, call it Operation Get Behind the Beaners.

Ask the Mexican at be his fan on Facebook. follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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