Ask a Mexican!

Dear Mexican: Mexicans always reference the Reconquista. However, I think you should be invading Spain instead. The Spanish did to the Native Americans in Mexico what the whites did to the Native Americans in America. In fact, we treated them better. We gave them reservations, they pay no taxes, they have the right to gambling, etc. We also treated the Mexicans a lot better than the Spanish. The Spanish slaughtered the Native Americans in Mexico, and I believe their indigenous cultures have been totally destroyed. Let's not forget the Spaniard's great gift of syphilis. If “Mexicans,” Spanish illegal immigrants, are going to go back 160 years to hold a grudge against the Americans, why don't they hate Spain too?

Heep Big Jerk

Dear Gabacho: With a question as ahistorical as yours, I had to give the respuesta to my former college profe, Paul Apodaca, a professor of sociology and American Studies at Chapman University and the scholar who turned me on to one of my all-time favorite books: Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building, which perfectly explains gabacho foreign policy. “American Indians pay Federal and sales tax like other US citizen but do not pay State income tax while living on their Federally recognized reservations,” Dr. Apodaca says. “The United States did not give land to Indians anymore than England gave freedom to the U.S.; both governments recognized the God-given rights of men. Millions of Indians in Mexico speak their own languages, cultivate their indigenous foods, practice their folk arts, continue their histories, have participated in two revolutions and retain the entire country of Mexico as members of a nation they formed. Indians have travelled across North America for thousands of years searching for resources for their families. Time changes every culture and Mexico reflects those changes but the people are continuing and that is something wonderful to celebrate, not begrudge.”

Pressed for something funnier, Dr. Apodaca concluded, “The fellow has conclusions but no accurate premises—simply opinion. His use of the word ‘grudge’ is Freudian, as I make clear in the last line. Some folks don’t see the forest for the trees or the Indian for the Mexican.” BOOM!

Do Mexicans resent meaningless, wannabe Spanglish advertising slogans like Taco Bell’s “Live Más”? This gabacho finds it rather offensive. Sniff. Shouldn’t such odious assaults on language(s) be outlawed?

Shepherd of Shakespeare

Dear Gabacho: This Mexican resents Taco Bell’s meaningless, wannabe Mexican dish called the Doritos Loco taco—leave it to a company founded by a guy who ripped off a Mexican family’s recipe to earn his billions (true story—read my Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America) to fuck up what could’ve been an amazing dish. Hard-shell tacos are Mexican; Doritos were created by Mexicans at Disneyland (again: in my book). Yet the Doritos Locos taco is too salty, has little Doritos flavor—and then there’s the Bell’s “beef.” Guacatelas!

As for your complaint: some Mexicans do despise Spanglish, but those Mexicans need to get laid more often. Anecdotally, Mexicans like Spanglish advertising if it’s clever, and “Live Más” was okay enough to not spur a yaktivist revolt. Scientifically, don’t believe the hype: most studies done on whether young Mexican-Americans prefer advertising in English, Spanish, or Spanglish is laughably biased. Take “The Bilingual Brain: Maximizing Impact with English- and Spanish-Speaking Millennials," a 2014 study involving Nielsen and Univision that unsurprisingly found that advertising in Spanish “offers a unique advantage for brands striving to connect with bilingual Hispanic Millennials”—the most foregone conclusion since Mexico underachieved in the last FIFA World Cup.

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