What Kind of American Will They Ask Next?


The OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, one of my favorite writers, is hanging up his nationally syndicated alt-weekly column "Ask a Mexican" after years of explaining to baffled and/or angry gringos why brown folk wear pants to the beach, sell oranges on freeway off-ramps, and hate on the Guatemalans. From his assimilationist adios:

[L]ike Mr. Dooley, Olle I Skratthult and The Katzenjammer Kids before me, this column's time has come: It's no longer necessary to explain Mexicans to Americans because Mexicans are Americans. Gracias for all the fights, the propositions of sexytime explosion, and the slugged-back tequila shots after book signings, but there's a little ranchito in Zacatecas waiting for me and a barefoot muchacha ready to cook me dinner. Vaya con Dios, America, and always remember: Order the enchilada-and-taco combo TO GO.

The punchline, though, goes to my vigilant anti-Reconquista pals at the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, whose subject header on its e-mail alarm was: "Gus Arellano Claims Mexicans ARE Americans and Then Retires!"