by Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: Say the immigrant makes a few bucks and goes back to his/her hometown. Think they’ll put up with the shit that prompted them to move in the first place? (How ya’ gonna keep them down on the farm?)
— Putting the Red into Redneck
Dear Gabacho: Absolutely not. I love how Know Nothings are currently calling Mexicans cowards for supposedly not confronting the narcos down south, for abandoning their homeland for a new pa’s (funny how they shut up when you present the same slurs about their ancestors), when those supposedly weak-willed wabs have pushed Mexico out of the Third World and into the lower rungs of the First World over the past 25 years via their remittances and newfound libertarianism. I’ll let you read the full explanation in my book (hint: look for the respuesta that has the tres por uno program in it), but the short response for you ahorita is that these immigrants have brought back democracy and infrastructure to their ranchos that the Mexican elite would’ve preferred had never come. The only problem, of course, is that though the immigrants still return to the farm as often as possible, they’re never coming back for good — for that phenomenon, I urge you to read Sam Quinones’ True Tales from Another Mexico, which I’ve probably plugged 28 times in this pinche column and will plug forevermore because it’s that amazing and insightful — even more so that this infernal weekly babada.
I have a Mexican-American friend who loves boxing (who doesn’t?) just as much as I do, but he hates Manny Pacquiao.He and I would sometimes get into an argument (friendly but passionate), especially because he seems to resent the label which many in the press and boxing fans have given Pacquiao: “The Mexicutioner.”I think he’s taking it too personally, which is quite amusing, actually. But do you think most Mexicans are like my friend, i.e., Pacquiao haters like Mayweather?Or do you think Pacquiao has more Mexican fans than Mexican haters?
— Canelo over Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Dear Wab: The Pac-Man has many more Mexican fans than haters—and even those haters don’t despise him so much as give the fierce Filipino his respeto. Sure, Pacquiao has beat down Mexicans like a migra agent — Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Antonio Margarito, Oscar de la Hoya, and Juan Manuel Marquez (who he’s scheduled to fight this fall), but Mexicans always appreciate small, humble brawlers in the classic Mexi mold. That’s why we’ll support Cuba but resent the United States — stay in your own weight class, you know? More importantly, beaner boxing buffs despise Floyd Mayweather, Jr. — not because he’s a negrito (we loved Mike Tyson, after all) but because the so-called Pretty Boy refuses to fight Pacquiao to settle, once y para siempre, who’s the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. We can appreciate people who kick our ass, but to not even try and fight us? You might as well be the American Southwest.
GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK: A Better Life is The Bicycle Thief for Latino USA, a touching, bitter, beautiful tale about an undocumented gardener and his son looking for the stolen truck that’s their livelihood. It’s not a perfect pel’cula — almost every Mexican-immigrant dad I know speaks to their children en espaøol, and the Chivas soccer propaganda is a bit much (çviva Pumas de la UNAM, cabrones!) — but it’s a must-see film and that rare Hollywood effort that doesn’t resort to century-old stereotypes of spicy seøoritas and greasers. Director is Chris Weitz, the guy behind American Pie and About a Boy, and who is part-Mexi — who knew? You do now! Demand it at your local megaplex, por favor.