By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: I am a Mexican who owns a successful wholesale liquidation business, which happens to be an industry dominated by Jews and Asians and some gringos. So why does almost everyone, including mexicanos, that visit my warehouse think my business or any successful business (for that matter) is always owned by a Jew or a gabacho? Can’t a pinche Mexican own a successful business? Just ‘cause I’m 5’4″, named Armando and don’t look like the typical “business type” and I don’t have a MBA? My customers always assume I’m the sales rep or the forklift operator and ask to speak to the owner or “El Arabe” and almost always include a statement like, “El dueño es judio, ¿verdad?” Well, no, the damn owner is not judio: soy yo, si este mexicanito es el dueno de esta bodega. Like if only Jews can own a business? Like the stupid joke says, “Two Jews walked into a bar…and bought the place.” Yeah, I don’t think it’s funny, either. Que la chingada, attention everyone: my pockets may not be as deep as those fucking camellos but we are getting there. Échame la mano to my Mexican-owned business. I’m thinking about putting up a sign like during the Rodney King riots “MEXICAN OWNED”… or maybe not, mis gabacho clients se van asustar. P.S. A Mexican designed our website, not Patrick or Chang, I support the cause.
Mexican Businessman—Believe It
Dear Wab: Okay, we get it: you’re not a Jew, and you don’t like Arabs (calling Arabs “camels”? Everyone knows Mexicans call Arabs “Talibans” if they want to be insulting). But the reason why people are so surprised you own a business is because there’s nearly not enough of ustedes. “Mexican-American Entrepeneurship,” a 2008 study by Robert W. Fairlie and Christopher Woodruff, showed that only 5.1 percent of Mexican-American men were business owners, compared to 12.6 percent of gabachos. The researchers blamed—surprise, surpise!—U.S. immigration policy that kept Mexicans undocumented and away from the roads to owning a legitimate business. On the other hand, recent research by University of Southern California professor Jody Agius Vallejo and others show Mexican-Americans getting into the middle class by starting their own businesses and in some ways succeeding more than other immigrants based on how low they started. And the Mexican would argue that Mexicans are born small-business owners. Selling oranges at freeway exits? Small businessperson. Tamales from car trunks? Small businessperson. Jornaleros, cutting grass for gabachos, screwing wives gabachos don’t screw properly? Small businessperson, Small businessperson, small businessperson.
Why do my 90-pound junior high students wear three and four white T-shirts (all sized 6x or larger) layered one on top another in 100-degree heat…then complain about the heat?
Maestro De Foto
Dear Photography Teacher Gabacho: Por pendejos—DUH. Then again, logic and fashion sense among American high schoolers of any ethnicity go together like the PRI and clean government.
¡ASK A MEXICAN! VIDEOS ARE BACK!: Gentle cabrones: after a years-long hiatus, I’ve relaunched the video version of this columna. Follow my weekly rants on Twitter by clicking the hashtag #askamexican and ask away. Enjoy!