Ernie is an American patent lawyer living in Japan, and this morning he wrote:
I just read stories of Mexicans’ general hatred for America and the booing of our Miss USA contestant. It does not bode well for good U.S.-Mexico relations.
I saw what happened when South Korea had a major burst of anti- Americanism when they elected a very anti-American Roh. The result was a worsening of relations, as many politicians in America spoke of pulling out troops and letting South Korea protect itself (what some Koreans had wanted). American investment pulled out. The result of all this is that South Korea’s economy is a shambles, and Roh’s approval ratings makes Bush look like Mr. Popularity by comparison. It got so bad that his party is splitting up so that the politicians won’t be associated with him.
Are the Mexicans really that rude, or is it U.S. media hype? What is the view from your part of the world?
I don’t think the booing of the Miss USA contestant really meant anything. There’s a certain crowd mentality, and a certain kind of people who’re attracted to beauty pageants in the first place.
It’s media hype. For every comment insisting that Mexicans are rude is another claiming how polite we are. The truth is that we’re both. We will race you to the intersection, sometimes driving like bats out of hell, acting like a red light doesn’t apply to the first two cars who zoom through, but we’re actually very resigned to a lot of things that would force Estadounidenses into road rage. We’re all kinds of people, and most of us have some kind of U.S. connection, whether it’s having kinfolk in the U.S., shopping in the US, watching U.S.-made movies, and shopping at Walmart.
Carlos Mencia jokes about "Two Kinds of Mexicans" in Take a Joke America, comparing them to White People Who Live in Trailers and the other White People. The enmity between those two groups is far larger than the enmity between Mexicans and plain ol’ Americans.
The idea of courtly manners still pervades Mexican society. We’ll kiss and embrace, ask about your family, say "yes" when we really mean "no" to avoid hurting your feelings, dance around indirectly before getting down to business. We’ll add the honorific Don or Doña to anyone even slightly above us in stature, and we’ll call the head bricklayer maestro. It’s just a little something we picked up from the Spanish….and the Aztecs.
Are we really that rude? No. Do we really hate the U.S.? No, not really. We just wish that the U.S. would treat Mexico a tad more kindly.