Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

¡Ask a Mexican! 

Dear Mexican: Why are there Mexicans in the Border Patrol?  What a hypocritical thing to do to our people. 

— Carne Asada Carlos 

Dear Wab: Not only are Mexicans in the Border Patrol, but la migra’s own figures show that Latinos make up about 52 percent of its force, comfortably outnumbering gabachos (that pop you just heard was the exploding heads of apoplectic Chicano Studies majors). It’s easy for Mexicans to dismiss these agents as vendidos, but let’s not pretend the United States-Mexico border is a playground on the level of Xochimilco. Lot of bad people inhabit la frontera — drug-runners, coyotes, Guatemalan aliens who invaded Mexico first before setting their beady eyes on the United States — and no one is better than a Mexican to deal with scum, mostly because we deal with it daily in the form of our governments. Besides, don’t bash our Mexican migra — we all know those brown Border Patrol agents are Manchurian Mexicans waiting for Obama to become president so they can open the gates once and for all. 

Mexican-Americans are named Eduardo, Juanita, Jose, Rosa, and all have a cousin named Jeff.  What do they really think of their cousin Jeff?   

— Cousin Jeff 

Dear Gabacho: Jeff’s a stoner pendejo who hasn’t returned my copy of Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie

When I reveal to Mexican acquaintances that my mother’s side is German, I get a strange reaction of strong approval. The accordion in ranchera music is the only apparent link I know of. Is there something else Germany did right by Mexico to garner such affection and honor, or is that it? 

— Haunted by Memories of Lawrence Welk

Dear Gabacho: Though your inclinations are right, your terminology is wrong. The Mexican music genre that employs accordions is conjunto norteño, and it was Polacks and Bohunks that introduced squeezeboxes to the borderlands, not Germans. Krauts did influence banda sinaloense (the mestizo version of an oomph-pah band), but only wabs from central Mexico truly enjoy the sound of 18 brass instruments blasting into one’s ears. Some Mexicans mistakenly think we ripped off our quinceañera waltzes from Germans when, in fact, we stole it from the Hapsburg court of Emperor Maximilian. And though Frida Kahlo’s father was born in Germany, that wouldn’t explain the awed hush you received. 

Maybe those Mexicans you hung out with bemoan the fate of the Zimmerman Telegram. That was the secret correspondence between German Empire officials where they planned to help Mexico retake the Southwest United States in return for its support during World War I; British cryptologists decoded the message, the United States declared war on the Huns, and Mexico declined the offer. Nevertheless, this episode forever poisoned the relationship between Mexico and the United States to the point where the Zimmerman Telegram makes up one-quarter of the quesadilla that is the Know Nothings’ modern-day Reconquista conspiracy theory (the other parts being the Aztec belief in Aztlan, the Spanish Reconquista against the Moors, and the historical reality of Mexico’s territorial losses in its 1846 war against the United States). Mexicans look back on the Zimmerman Telegram as the country’s greatest what-if but don’t dwell on it too much — after all, we didn’t need Teutonic ayuda to accomplish what they proposed.  

Get all your Mexican fun at,, and!

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Section Cover, ¡Ask A Mexican!

Latest in ¡Ask A Mexican!

More by Gustavo Arellano

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 6, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation