Ask a Mexican: On Manifest Destiny and a Love For Jewelry

I was a history major at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which I believe was part of the Gadsden Purchase, the last piece of old Mexico the United States "acquired." That got me thinking: What was the citizenship status of all Mexicans/gringos who lived in parts of Mexico "acquired" by the United States, in that big piece of territory from Texas to California? Did Mexicans gain dual citizenship — Mexican and American? Did gringos gain dual citizenship? Was Sam Houston now an American and Mexican citizen? Did Mexicans in the Gadsden Purchase now have to show their papers to U.S. sheriffs?
Curiousa y Chula

So many questions, all related to one — didn't that degree teach you economy of words? You're right about Tucson being part of the Gadsden Purchase and that Mexis had to show papers then, as we do today. The gabachos who lived in Texas when it ceded from Mexico technically were still American citizens becaise they were all really scouts for Manifest Destiny even if they took a citizenship pledge for Mexico. That made it easier for the United States to reprocess expat gabachos upon taking Aztlán, and those gabachos never bothered with their Mexican status again (besides, history major: remember that they called themselves Texians to differentiate themselves from the Hispanic tejanos). The Mexicans who lived in the conquered territories, on the otra hand, were offered the chance to become American citizens per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Not que that did any good. Those Mexicans proceeded to suffer through a century of official segregation, unlawful land grabs, and persistent discrimination — not that we're bitter about it or anything. And, yes: Sam Houston was a Mexican and American citizen at one point, but not like he bothered with the former other than to ensure a clear path to dismantle Mexican rule.

I've had a lot of gabachos ask me constantly about my gente's love of gold jewelry. I mean, from my mom and sisters' semenarios to me and my dad's rope chains with a cross or santo dangling from them, it's true! Even the fact that I remember wearing jewelry even way back when we were struggling to make it day-to-day, picking onions. Way before black rappers made gems and gold in their teeth so commercial, my relatives have been sporting that same look. I'm not sure where I heard it, but is it true that one of our ancestral cultures was the first to sport gold or gems in their teeth?
Beaners Love it, Nosy Gabachos

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By "ancestral cultures," you're probably referring to the Mayans, whose artistry with shoving metals onto their dientes for aesthetic purposes has long fascinated archeologists. I wouldn't call them the first culture to do that, though, as mankind has modified their body parts since the days of the Venus of Willendorf. The whole cosa about the poor showing off bling isn't anything cultural but rather an indication of class, or what sociologists know as conspicuous consumption, whereby los pobres spend beyond their means on items that have no real value to them other than appearance of status. But the modern-day phenomenon of Mexicans sporting gold or silver caps and fillings in their mouth is actually physics and economics of a different kind: gold alloys tend to last longer than other caps, while silver is more affordable. Perdón for not coming up with a funnier answer, but Mexicans aren't always about the irrational, cabrones.

New project! Times are tough for everyone, but especially Mexis. The Mexican wants to help los buenos as always, and thus ask ustedes to send him non-profits, projects, community spaces, stores — anyone and anything helping out Mexis — deserving a shout-out. For example, Dos Vatos Productions is currently filming Precious Knowledge, a documentary highlighting the Mexican American Studies program offered by the Tucson Unified School District currently under attack by Know-Nothings aghast that not all educators think Sam Houston is a saint. But Dos Vatos needs funds to complete their docu, so anyone interested in helping out can visit dosvatos.com. Know of a worthy cause? E-mail the Mexican!

 
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linaimai

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Rumi
Rumi

If you were a history major, and you "believe" that Tucson was part of the Gadsden purchase, then you weren't much of a student.

The Ole Man
The Ole Man

You guys suck to the max .Why don't you open a newspaper stand in mexico and see if you can actually sell any of your garbage.Believe me, if you rag wasn't free no one would read it.

Mexsux
Mexsux

The turds need to stay in the toilet! then somebody needs to flush it!

Ihatemex
Ihatemex

If CA, And Texas were mexico they too would be toilets and the roaches would just be trespassing into the next state not part of the mexican toilet

Greendot33
Greendot33

whaaa! the poor mexicans are so abused! stay in your own toilet country, your not welcome here!

Bigdpw
Bigdpw

Interesting take on history.Too bad it's wrong. My family were "Gringos" in Texas and we took an oath to Texas. The whole point of Texas was to separate from Mexico and America with our own American style Republic. The "Mexicans hated Mexico and their class system and the Gringos wanted to get away fromthe Northern aggressors who wanted to limit the freedoms of Americans and Slavery was not part of that. As far as "Manifest Destiny" is concerned I'm sure the Myan/Aztecas with their slave trading routes in North America believed in it as did the Spanish and their Divine Right to all lands. Americans were more interested in freedom than conquest.

napikoski
napikoski

I just (this morning at 2 a.m.) finished a good book about this! It's called Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter Borneman and it gave me tons of insight into the whos and hows and whys of the U.S. "acquiring" Texas, Alta California, etc. Totally worth a read. And Sam Houston was a manipulative little !&*#$ but I had already figured that out from the previous book I read, about John Tyler. (I'm reading a bio of each president in order to see where we went wrong.)

Bigdpw
Bigdpw

Maybe you should read original documents and talk to families that were directly involved in this. Reading books with Political agendas cannot be considered authoritative,

 
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