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Is a Chicano Studies major worth a hill of frijoles

The Mexican wants to know.

Dear Mexican:

I was going through a local state college's academic program the other day and found that the school offers a bachelor's degree in Chicano studies. My question: In what field of work would someone with a bachelor's in Chicano studies land? Here are a few jobs I came up with: working at a lowrider or tattoo shop, designing Virgin de Guadalupe T-shirts, making Loc's shades, working for Nike in its Cortez shoe department, or designing a Web page like Mapquest that shows popular cruising routes in the city.

The Bean Who Thinks Outside the Burrito

Dear Bean:

I've launched darts at Chicano studies with the best of them. I've accused the program of creating humorless PC pendejos who focus too much on victimization. And I still maintain that Chicano studies faces a looming crisis borne from the fact that so few folks nowadays identify themselves as Chicanos. But as a discipline, Chicano studies employs the same rigorous standards of research and inquiry (save for the extra-credit Ozomatli concert) as other majors — a degree in the subject is as valid (or as worthless) as any other humanities degree. As for jobs? The short list includes doctors, lawyers, social workers, nonprofit saints, artists, journalists, musicians and un chingo de teachers and professors — and those are just the professions of people I know. But don't believe me — listen to the graduates themselves. Awright, Chicano studies cabrones: This is your chance to show America that your degree isn't just a capitulation to whiny minorities. Tell the Mexican how Chicano studies helps your career, and he'll publish the best testimonials in the coming weeks.

Dear Mexican:

I own a red 1994 Ford Ranger with a Fiberglas shell. Mexicans are always asking me if I want to sell it. At first, I was confused when a woman asked, "Do you wan sell jour pee cup?" They ring my doorbell, accost me in my driveway, put notes on my windshield and send their kids after me. No one will cop as to why they think my short is so hot. Why do Mexicans want my truck?

Camionero Rojo De la Madre

Dear Red Bad-Ass Truck Driver:

"My short is so hot"? This is Ask a Mexican, not Car Talk or The Anal Dwarf, so cut the ambiguous lingo. Don't worry too much about Mexicans coveting your troca — it's as natural to us as mustaches and menudo. See, Mexicans have largely replaced burros and horses with trucks (and SUVs) in the past couple of decades as their beasts of burden and leisure. I really don't need to overstate the utilitarian purposes of a pickup, but here it is for y'all nonhillbilly gabachos — big bed, extra seats for work buddies or familia, ideal for smuggling contraband. To honor the troca's place in modern-day Mexican culture, singers of a new generation pen hits about big vehicles much as previous corridistas praised horses — famous examples include "El Cherokee de la Muerte" ("The Cherokee of Death"), "El Suburban" and Los Tigres del Norte's infamous "La Camioneta Gris" ("The Gray Truck"). But not all is glamorous with Mexicans and their trucks. In the 1995 study "Who Carries Passengers in the Back of Pickup Trucks?" researchers with the University of California-Irvine found that Hispanics (read: wabs) were more likely to do what the paper's title stated, leading to muchos injuries. Goes to show that sometimes, you can take the wab out of the rancho but you can't take the rancho out of the wab.

Shameless self-promotion alert: Pissed off about Iowa Congressman Steve King's idiotic statement that Mexicans who live near their families are proof we're not assimilating? Read the Mexican's rebuttal in his new book.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at

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January 27, 2020

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