“Heyyy, what’s up, half-Mexican?” Gustavo Arellano answers his office phone, happy as a clam, probably because he’s not washing a white person’s car or running through Compton with a hubcap—a successful Chicano brother, indeed. Of course, my Mexican half is proud, but my resentful white half wants to call immigration right away.
Anyway, our editor Matt Coker used to work with Arellano down at OC Weekly and thought we should plug his appearance here in Sacramento.
“Matt’s a funny, funny fucker,” Arellano says. He’s right about that, and, it turns out, he’s right about a lot of other things, too.
Well, I know you’re not, but do you ever feel half-Mexican, like I am?
I think any child of Mexican immigrants in the United States is always going to feel that he’s not Mexican enough—usually because his parents tell him he’s not Mexican enough. For instance, my dad wanted me to wear a Tejana [a Stetson], and I wouldn’t do it because I’d look like an idiot. I wear glasses, and when was the last time you saw a cowboy with glasses? Because I wouldn’t do that, it pained my father to no end. I had it even [worse] than most Mexicans because I’m also a nerd. Apparently, there was no such thing as Mexican nerds.
Were you a nerd throughout high school?
Dude, I was a nerd from the day I was born. I was reading in kindergarten. I got humungous glasses that covered half of my face in second grade. I’ve been living the nerd life ever since. And it’s doubly tough when you’re a Mexican nerd.
Do you ever cringe when white people pronounce Spanish words correctly?
Yeah. Now the white people are turning Mexican. They’re going to be more Mexican than us, and they’re going to take us over again.
Is it irony that everything in California is named in Spanish, yet we’re trying very hard to keep Mexicans out?
Absolutely. Down here, in the ritziest part of the OC, all the street names are in Spanish—and that’s where the most virulent anti-Mexican sentiment in the county exists. If anything, it just proves that God has a delicious sense of humor.
Who would win in a fight, you or Cheech?
I wouldn’t fight him. He’s a god of all Mexican-Americans. Every Mexican kid in this country grew up watching [Born in East L.A.] and loving it because it had the Dodgers, and it had an orange fight. It was the standard.
I don’t feel Mexican most of the time. Is there anything I can do to feel more connected to La Raza?
If you get [Chuck Taylors], almost immediately your Mexican points go up tenfold. And … oh, offer amnesty to someone. Yeah, get an illegal-immigrant Mexican woman [and] say, “Hey, I’m a citizen. I’ll marry you,” and you will be a god in the Mexican community.

105550.ME.mexican

Gustavo Arrelano’s ¡Ask a Mexican! column won the 2006 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for the best column in a large circulation weekly. He’s a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times and has appeared on Today, Nightline, NPR’s On the Media, The Situation with Tucker Carlson, and The Colbert Report. And he’s published two books: Ask a Mexican and Orange County.

So I thought he’d be kind of a dick when I called him.

“Heyyy, what’s up, half-Mexican?” Arellano said when he picked up the phone. He sounded happy as a clam, probably because he wasn’t washing a white person’s car or running through Compton with a hubcap—a successful Chicano brother, indeed. Of course, my Mexican half was proud, but my resentful white half wanted to call immigration right away.

Well, I know you’re not, but do you ever feel half-Mexican, like I am?

I think any child of Mexican immigrants in the United States is always going to feel that he’s not Mexican enough—usually because his parents tell him he’s not Mexican enough. For instance, my dad wanted me to wear a Tejana [a Stetson], and I wouldn’t do it because I’d look like an idiot. I wear glasses, and when was the last time you saw a cowboy with glasses? Because I wouldn’t do that, it pained my father to no end. I had it even [worse] than most Mexicans because I’m also a nerd. Apparently, there was no such thing as Mexican nerds.

Were you a nerd throughout high school?

Dude, I was a nerd from the day I was born. I was reading in kindergarten. I got humungous glasses that covered half of my face in second grade. I’ve been living the nerd life ever since. And it’s doubly tough when you’re a Mexican nerd.

Do you ever cringe when white people pronounce Spanish words correctly?

Yeah. Now the white people are turning Mexican. They’re going to be more Mexican than us, and they’re going to take us over again.

Is it irony that everything in California is named in Spanish, yet we’re trying very hard to keep Mexicans out?

Absolutely. Down here, in the ritziest part of Orange County, all the street names are in Spanish—and that’s where the most virulent anti-Mexican sentiment in the county exists. If anything, it just proves that God has a delicious sense of humor.

Who would win in a fight, you or Cheech?

I wouldn’t fight him. He’s a god of all Mexican-Americans. Every Mexican kid in this country grew up watching [Born in East L.A.] and loving it because it had the Dodgers, and it had an orange fight. It was the standard.

I don’t feel Mexican most of the time. Is there anything I can do to feel more connected to La Raza?

If you get [Chuck Taylors], almost immediately your Mexican points go up tenfold. And … oh, offer amnesty to someone. Yeah, get an illegal-immigrant Mexican woman [and] say, “Hey, I’m a citizen. I’ll marry you,” and you will be a god in the Mexican community.

Comments

  1. Laureen says:

    I have a collection of Chuck Taylors, does that mean I inadvertantly joined new the mexican take over, or that I was a mexican in a past life or that I’m just a mexican at heart? I mean the only mexican food I ever really liked was when I bought it from a cart in south central…I don’t know, I’m just so confused now.

  2. Yanz says:

    “Is it irony that everything in California is named in Spanish, yet we’re trying very hard to keep Mexicans out?”

    Great question followed by a great answer. Very humorous interview.

  3. melanie d. says:

    so awesome that you interviewed him. i’ve been reading ask a mexican for a few years.

  4. David Pérez says:

    You will definitley feel more connected to La Raza after watching Blood In Blood Out güey!

    Great Interview.

  5. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this website on a regular basis, this site is
    truly pleasant and the visitors are actually sharing fastidious thoughts.

  6. Ahaa, its nice dialogue about this post at this place at this weblog,
    I have read all that, so now me also commenting here.

  7. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with
    Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

  8. tinyurl.com says:

    For hottest information you have to pay a quick visit world wide web and
    on world-wide-web I found this site as a best web page for latest updates.

  9. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re using? I’m having some minor
    security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe.

    Do you have any suggestions?

  10. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality used to be a entertainment account it.
    Glance complex to more introduced agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  11. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done
    a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  12. Amazing blog! Do you have any suggestions for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but
    I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting
    with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Cheers!

  13. ps4 games says:

    I think this is one of the most important information for me.

    And i am glad reading your article. But want to statement on few common issues,
    The web site style is great, the articles is in point of fact great :
    D. Good process, cheers

  14. I delight in, cause I discovered just what I used to be having a look for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a
    nice day. Bye

  15. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  16. ps4 games says:

    Good post. I am experiencing many of these issues as well..

  17. Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up very
    fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  18. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This webpage
    presents helpful information to us, keep it up.

  19. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not positive whether
    or not this post is written by means of him as no one else recognise such precise about my trouble.

    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  20. I am curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be working with?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my
    latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  21. Great goods from you, man. I’ve take into accout your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely excellent.
    I actually like what you have obtained right here, really
    like what you are saying and the way in which through which
    you are saying it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible.
    I can not wait to learn far more from you. This is actually
    a wonderful site.

  22. Hi Dear, are you actually visiting this web page regularly, if so after that you will
    definitely take good experience.

  23. Howdy, I think your website may be having internet browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.
    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that,
    fantastic site!

  24. ps4 games says:

    That is really fascinating, You’re a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  25. ps4 games says:

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through troubles with
    your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to
    join it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  26. ps4 games says:

    I think this is among the most significant information for me.

    And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna
    remark on few general things, The site style is great, the
    articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  27. ps4 games says:

    Hey very interesting blog!

  28. ps4 games says:

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m
    trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

  29. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  30. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  31. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Appreciate it

  32. Hi there to all, for the reason that I am truly eager of reading this blog’s post to
    be updated daily. It contains good information.

  33. I am really loving the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my website
    not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  34. ps4 games says:

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post
    reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good
    read. Many thanks for sharing!

  35. ps4 games says:

    I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  36. ps4 games says:

    This is very attention-grabbing, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and stay up for in the hunt
    for extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I
    have shared your website in my social networks

  37. ps4 games says:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly
    the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  38. ps4 games says:

    Thank you for any other informative web site. Where else may just
    I am getting that type of information written in such a
    perfect means? I have a project that I am simply now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

Leave a Reply

Josh Fernandez © 2019
Web Design: Baap Media