Are Mexicans Really That Rude?

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.

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3 comments on “Are Mexicans Really That Rude?

  1. Are we really that rude?
    Well, we’ll push and shove our way in front of you in stores, we’ll loudly demand service from the store clerk even though we can see he/she is busy with someone else. We’ll lunge our vehicles at you as you’re half-way across the crosswalk – even though the light is still red and we’ll jump the red light if there’s nothing coming the other way and no cop.
    I don’t believe these things are ‘uniqely Mexican’ but there seems to be an awful lot of it here.


  2. Felipe Zapata says:

    Yes, Mexicans are rude. I define politeness as a sincere regard for the feelings of others. You don´t see that here. The “polite” stuff is pure social armor, custom, much like the Japanese doing that little bow with the palms together. It don´t mean nuttin.
    The United States treats Mexico very kindly, considering that most Mexicans in the U.S. are there illegally.


  3. Mary Lou Halbach says:

    Since I was born in D.F. and came from a “mixed” family, mother Mexican and Dad German/English, born in Texas and raised in Mississippi, I have been around both mentalities. My mother woud be the first to tell you that Mexicans are indeed rude. She would wax eloquent on the manners of those raised properly with consideration for others, as she raised me, and those who were improperly trained with little regard for themselves, much less anyone else.
    All of my family in Mexico is of the former and they deplore the behavior they see around them. They will be the first to say that it gives Mexicans a bad reputation. They will also tell you that manners are something that even the poorest of the poor can master if they are brought up right and taught to respect others.
    It is just the same way here in the U.S. There is white trash and then there are folks who place value on gracious and considerate behavior. The longer I live here in the U.S., the more I see this idea falling by the wayside. Constantly my friends are commenting on the loss of common courtesy among the masses. And we are not rich, just aware of it’s true meaning.
    In fact, I will tell you that the most impertinent and rude people I have ever encountered were the AARP tour groups in Hawaii that would literally try to knock me down and out of the way to get on a tour bus first. They would cut in line, laugh loudly, yell at each other from one end of the bus to the other, and complain bitterly about the culture of the “locals”. Truly a portrait of the “Ugly American”. I was embarassed for them. These were not the poor of America either.
    In Mexico the urban areas are so dense with people that the rude will be in high numbers as they are here in the states. There will always be those with real manners and those that just pay lip service, and maybe not even that. It is universal around the world. But the Machismo mentality of many Mexicans does not help the situation down there. It gives a certain “license” to act a certain way. It is not going to change. And it can easily be perceived as rude, and sometimes it is.
    By the way, in a recent New York Times article I read that only 16% of the Mexican population here is actually illegal. One would do well to keep that in mind as you go through your daily lives. Most Mexican folks are legal, and any more, most were born here, as well. Their numbers are high and we need to remember our manners and not be rude.


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