On White Boys and Not Having an English Equivalent

 I'm a pan blanco and my wife is puertorriqueña. Our son basically looks white, while a casual observer might admit that there is some Latin going on there. I'm not sure how this pertains to my question — it may or may not be worth mentioning. Our son is a high-functioning autistic 12-year-old. The way he looks and behaves makes him a target for bullies. He is sweet and innocent. He doesn't understand sarcasm or how to be cool. He studies hard and gets good grades. He is a classic four-eyed Harry Potter dork. He doesn't bother anyone, but he gets teased and bullied by cruel classmates. It breaks my heart and makes me furious.

Today, a bigger kid came up and twisted his arm behind him, causing him pain. After he told me about it — and as I fought back tears of rage (yes, I tell the authorities, and they do what they can, but they can't be everywhere at once) — he asked me "Daddy, why is it that every time I'm bullied, it's by a Mexican?"

I'm wondering the same thing. Every time, and I mean every single time, that he's been bullied and tormented since we moved to California three years ago, it's been a Mexican kid. Oh, and the Mexican students are in the minority in his school. A large minority, but a minority nonetheless. It's not like he's the only white kid in the yard. I'm truly at a loss as to why this seems to be so. Are all of these kids beaten by their fathers so they have to take it out on what they might perceive to be a pampered gringo? I'm guessing. Other than teach my kid how to defend himself, I don't see what can be done about it.


Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, myspace.com/ocwab, facebook.com/garellano, find him on Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

Is it cultural? I wonder if you could suggest what I might say to my son to prevent him from hating Mexicans by the time he reaches adulthood, if not before. Or what I might say to myself, for that matter. Why is it always a Mexican kid tormenting my son? Every fuckin' time. Why? I don't like the dark place my mind is going to. Can you help me?
A Good Papi

The more I think about this question, the more it saddens me — about the bullied kid, of course, but also about the father's thought process. The dad's not a racist pig — just an understandably upset papi. But pendejos exist in every ethnicity, and there's no reason to use those fuck-ups to smear a group as a whole. It's a natural inclination to do so, but a wrong one. To the dad: My best advice is to get on the school administration's ass to protect your beautiful son. And trust me: At some point in his life, there'll be a good Mexican kid who'll kick the asses of those bullies like any good person would.

Whenever I read something about Mexican history, I'm always amazed at the variety of first names that apparently have no English equivalent. I'm 40 pages into a book about Pancho Villa and already I've seen such beauties as Indalecio, Fidencio, Maclovio, Nemesio, and Belisario. I've tried Google but can't seem to find a place where the origins of these names and their meanings can be found. Any suggestions?
Flummoxed in Flagstaff

Try Google again. All the names you mentioned are the Hispanicized nombres of Catholic saints (respectively, Indalecio, Fidelis, Maclou, and Nemesius) with the exception of Belisario, which refers to the great Roman general Belisarius. Mexicans traditionally pulled their names from the Bible and the Papist calendar. This resulted in two separate celebrations for someone's birth — the cumpleaños (the actual birthday) and the día de santo, the feast day of the saint corresponding to the person's name; sometimes the twain did meet and knocked back Herradura. Those traditions and esoteric names are unfortunately disappearing, because American culture devours all. But you know what's the weirdest male name I've heard? Susano. Etymology? From Susanna, obviously, but pinche clue how it became accepted for hombres...

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Flummoxed, Try Ask.com and what ever you want with the City or State, For example, Pancho Villa Batopilas, Mexico. or Spain. these are the orgins of him that I know of because my grandfather ran with him in those days. Hope you can find something. Good luck Diane


Well the only thing that i can say besides............to put it mild is I undetstand where your son is coming form. You see I am Latin and as a child I was being tormented by "Mexicans" or "Latin." I din't understand it either. I got so fed up with it that one day I took the bus to a neighborhood that was on the other side of town. I got out and began to scream from the top of my lungs for the gril that began the whole thing. Her brothers and sisters all lined up against a wall as I shouted for her. Well she never showed up after that day I showed them that I was not scared. Guess what she nor anyone else bothered me at all.

You are right athority can't do much but you can teach your son to box or take some kind of self defense, because sometimes one just needs to stand up to these bullies.

You also need to remember when someone is unhappy "they" will always try to bring everyone around them to their level. If they are not happy they don't want anyone else to be happy.

and Yes "Pray" for your sons safey.



I also feel sorry for the kid.But the samething happen with my son,but the other way around.He is mexican attending to a school that is about 90% white.I got tired of listening to my son complaint about these kid(that happen to be white)bullied him.I went to talk to the principal,they said they were gonna take care of it,but nothing happen,so i finally told my son that if it happens again,to tell the teacher,and if that don't solve the problem,then he had to defend himself.so he did,and after he stood up to the bully and giving him a black eye,he never bother him again.Of course he got in trouble at school,but sometimes it is necesery to defend yourself,and now the principal takes these kind of complains seriosly.

Montrose Mike
Montrose Mike

I love your comments to "A Good Papi", and I hope it is another Mexican kid that puts these bullies down and helps his son.I truly wish they lived in my town, my son has stood up to bullies for himself and for his friends for so long that he now has a reputation of a protector and has made more then one bully apologize to children just like papi's. My son is 16, 6'2" around 295 pounds of solid muscle and has a very good chance of going to Collage on a football scholarship as a defensive tackle, but it was not that long ago that he was being pushed around because the other kids thought he was fat and because he was the NEW kid.

The good thing is that he wants to get into law enforcement and with his own code of ethics and morals where he looks after those that have trouble looking after themselves or that are prayed upon by others I think he would make a good cop no matter where he winds up.

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