Although it is hard for us to admit it, we Mexicans like gringos to like us. They also raffle the convenience, the necessity, many times that of “a güevo”. Of course we are not the only ones. It is indeed a global trend. Film and television, the road to the Grammys, plastic exhibitions in New York or San Diego. The academy, in all its aspects, achieves degrees of excellence in universities top of the United States, something that fills us with pride, as much as having a fellow astronaut, the best chef in Washington or an outstanding baseball player.
We certainly have different ways of looking good with them. As many as reasons. The wealthy and aspirational middle classes thoroughly identify with the american way of life and half or more of your favorite words are in English. They can afford it. They are at home in La Joya, Miami, San Antonio, Houston, Vail. But many more, millions, go on their own backs, surreptitiously enter gringo territory and begin to be chased by human hounds that smell like the Mexican who is going to harvest and pack their vegetables, serve in their cafeterias, throw out the garbage, take care of the shops, sell popsicles in carts, load their packages, take care of their gardens, wash their cars and dishes without ever going overboard.
This “relationship” with loaded dice is not new, where we almost always have to lose. It dates from the fascination for the “democracy” of the whites for the independentistas of New Spain, who purposely baptized us the United States of Mexico, an imitation that did not really work. Here authoritarianism was always a win. They went to war on us several times, sometimes taking large chunks of territory from Mexico. Despite the humiliations and dangers, Benito Juárez himself and his contemporaries embarked on Freemasonry linked to the powers of the United States. Only Francisco Villa challenged them; our rustler hero, SE busca, media, undefeated.
So ingrained is the contradictory romance that inspired a children’s classic, now somewhat outdated, the three gentlemen (1944), by Walt Disney, herald of stabilizing development. Three amigous they undertake a musical and landscape tour where Pancho Pistolas and Pepe Carioca screen the gringo Donald Duck with the attractions of Mexico and Brazil. In another tenor, it is the seal of “the three amigous” filmmakers, that if they have done anything, it is to like them and skilfully portray them. As well as the laborer and the janitor they manage to like them, they drive with a license without ever going over the stops and they send their remittances to Mexico.
We shouldn’t even be sorry. We have it well in. There is also a resistance, almost always intimate, that is expressed in cultural rejection, nationalism, neglect to speak English, mispronounce it or not learn it. They take Rubén Darío at his word: will so many millions of us speak English? Extreme stories have already been told, such as the Tu’un’savi and the Otomi learning English in the San Joaquin Valley or Queens before Spanish.
When Salinismo allowed itself to be carried away in the height of Santanera self-satisfaction, it sold its soul to the first free trade agreement, under the promise that we would be like them. Finally in the Major Leagues. Our millionaires multiplied, little did we learn how. Time and again the thing is to like them, not make them angry. There were defiant governments, like that of Lázaro Cárdenas, and propaganda misfortunes like Donald Trump’s success in systematically insulting Mexicans. However, the relationship with the United States is one of collaboration, negotiation and endurance in the face of its often unfavorable conditions. Mexicans know very well how rough a gringo can be.
Racism and denial aside, a large number of Americans experience a similar attraction charged with curiosity, an avidity for the native, the beaches, the landscapes. And it is hard for them to convince us of their good vibes, that they are allies, companions, cross-border brothers. An obsession we share is the border, Federico Campbell, Carlos Fuentes, John Reed, Cormac McCarthy.
The haunting American writer of Mexican origin Richard Rodriguez, famous for books like Hunger of Memory (The Education of Richard Rodriguez) Y Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father, he made his work the construction of his being an American despite the name and face of Mexican. He tried to be an intellectual American just like the whites. He even changed his pronunciation of Spanish and his family called him “pocho”. He only writes in English.
Sweets, music, fashions, technology, emanate from there. Tequila and beer brands belong to their citizens. The largest diaspora in the world to a single country is ours. The United States represents for Mexico a destination that always reaches it. For this reason, our nationalism, each day more porous, and the anti-colonial conscience are entirely defined with respect to our neighbor to the north.
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like the gringos