Can We Talk?

I'm a culturally sensitive, PC Asian-American who laughed my head off at Jack Black's imitation of a Mexican in Nacho Libre. Is this wrong?
Vietnammy Mammy

Dear Chinita,
Wrong? Of course not. While Latino activists weep and moan about how gabachos like Jack Black reduce Mexicans to stock characters with mustaches and bad accents, real-life Mexicans not only don't care about those stereotypes, they embrace them. Visit your local Mexican restaurant, and its logo is most likely the Mexican that American consumers have demanded from Hollywood for over a century — a fat greaser sleeping under a cactus or burro. Check out my real-life portrait that runs with this column. Mexicans know that caricatures are just that — exaggerated depictions based on a kernel of truth that no one should take seriously.

What's the deal with Mexicans and their fear of banks? In my neighborhood, a home invasion netted the robbers $2,000 that the Mexican victims were using for their next mortgage payment. Doesn't word reach the wabs from their relatives in el Norte that American bank accounts are insured to $100,000?
Güero in the Barrio

Dear Gabacho,
Mexicans have distrusted American banks for generations — because of bad experiences with Mexico's shaky financial institutions, because American banks wouldn't allow non-residents to open accounts, and because many Mexicans are paid by their tax-dodging gabacho employers in cash. Hence, a gray-market financial system based on mattresses, tomato cans, and cacti. But that's a habit nowadays practiced by only the wabbiest Mexicans because, in 2001, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and other major American banks received approval from the United States Treasury to accept Mexican identification cards (known as a matricula consular) as proof enough for illegals to open bank accounts. The underground money of illegal immigrants soon flooded American bank vaults and continues to do so.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at garellano@ocweekly.com. And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we'll make one up for you!

 
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