Why in the world would Mexicans dislike the United States?

Today Mexican President Felipe Calderon is in Washington to meet with President Obama. The situation between our two countries is rocky, with the contentious issues of immigration, the illegal drug industry and trade imbalances at the forefront. Seemingly beneath the tensions lay some deep-seated resentments that Mexicans  have for the U.S.

Maybe it’s just because we tend to consider ourselves as the real “Americans” with our country deserving of the name “America”, which arrogantly demoted Canada and Mexico to the status of remoras feeding off the scraps of the U.S.shark. But then why don’t the Canadians seem to dislike us as much as our neighbors to the South? Well, this is nothing new.

The love/hate relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is nothing new.  Recently, the Mexican dislike for the US came to the limelight with the notorious reaction they  Miss USA slipped and fell during 2007  Miss Universe Pageant (again, she was first billed as Miss America before she was Miss USA).   To the average U.S. citizen this dislike was surprising and unfathomable.  Because if they hate “America” so much why do so many of them want to move to the U.S., often illegally? ( Maybe to escape Mexico’s challenged economic and social conditions  that, arguably, the U.S. is to blame for.)   Though they likely share the same reasons with other countries for being annoyed with the U.S.,  Mexicans seem to harbor some special inherited resentment of America.

Maybe it has to with the fact that, if all was right with the world, the country that today claims to lead the world in freedom and democracy, that sees itself as the shining example of liberty, fairness and the rule of law, would have a national map that looked more like this:

I’m sure every Mexican child is fully aware of what happened to their country at the hands of a northern aggressor nation and this could hardly foster warm fuzzy feelings for the United States. I wonder, if there was a country around at that time that wore the mantle that the United States wears today – as world policeman and arbiter – if they would have stepped in to prevent our young, impudent nation from conquering almost half of Mexico.

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  1. #1 by logiopath on March 3, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    Hmm. Maybe you ought to operate in current political conditions, and not in the past? We negotiated a treaty (Guadalupe Hidalgo) and the Gadsden Purchase to acquire those lands (although I understand we did not pay).

    Is it our fault that Mexico has a poor education system, almost no social welfare, a corrupt system of bribes for “justice,” prisons that are more bleak and far more dangerous than those in the U. S.? And what of the drug cartels? Why doesn’t Calderon step in and take care of HIS people, instead of worrying about how our Immigration and Customs service enforces (or doesn’t enforce) our laws.

    Also, the U. S. did not usurp the name America–when the U. S. became independent, most of Canada was simply British North America (run mainly by the Hudson Bay Company) and made official by the BNA Act of 1867. Mexico at the time was New Spain.

    Oh My God! We’re all imperialists!

    • #2 by Christian Beyer on March 3, 2011 - 4:33 pm

      That’s exactly right. We are imperialist.

      Treaty or no treaty, payment or not, the land was taken by force under less than genuine circumstances. Um, aside from the Indians (who we all screwed) who was living there first? Besides, the Gadsen Purchase was for a relatively small piece of land between the borders of Mexico and the land we had already taken.

      And yes, we do bear some responsibility for the corruption of Mexico since we took it upon ourselves to clandestinely influence more than a few of their elections and sitting governments. Many of the problems of today that you cite are directly the result of the burgeoning drug cartels which would not exist but for:

      1. The insatiable U.S. appetite for drugs

      2. Our governments misguided and horrendous “War on Drugs”

      And no, the U.S. never officially usurped “America” but the citizens have bestowed themselves of this name defacto.

      Once again, you have been foiled.

  2. #3 by logiopath on March 3, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Hey, to the spoils go the victors.

    • #4 by Christian Beyer on March 3, 2011 - 7:24 pm

      Spoken like a true democratic Christian. But remember: the sons will bear the sins of the fathers.

  3. #5 by AlienaVale on November 6, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    A few issues:

    First…the sins of the father bit is taken out of context. Biblical text also includes the following sentiments (and in far more general terms not related directly to the original covenant/Pentateuch):

    (Ezekiel 18:20) – “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.”

    (Deuteronomy 24:16) – “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”

    People should tread lightly when paraphrasing scripture; especially when the intent is to damn their peers.

    Next up is Beyers’ statement “The insatiable U.S. appetite for drugs” which by exemption insinuates this “crisis” is found either exclusively or to a greater degree in the USA than it would be in other countries/continents. I am not going to cite sources and make this into some lofty dissertation on the very real crisis of statistical innumeracy (or brazen misinformation/exaggeration) of some folks but here are some facts pertaining to drug use world wide:

    –Illegal drug use is pretty consistent across the US and Europe. Somewhere around the 10% mark. The order of use is also fairly consistent with only minor deviations…in order of use from greatest to least: pot (rates across Europe can be as low as 1% and as high as 35%), amphetamines/pills, cocaine, opiates. Now, in Russia and many former soviet countries, Heroin is the drug of choice (mostly from Afghanistan) and in fact Russia is the worlds biggest buyer of heroine (not the US). The CDC has the stats for Americans over 12 yrs and over while the EMCDDA has stats for Europe…some other number crunching has also been done by the UN INCB. We often forget the USA is a very large country compared to the sovereign and autonomous nations states.

    –Which brings me to #3…the usurpation of the monicker “America” by the monicker greedy citizens who “stole” the name from Canada and Mexico but not so much from South America. I suppose one question would be, what would you have the citizens of this befouled drug infested country call themselves and the bloody land on which they stand? Originally I would be a Virginian hailing from the sovereign state of Virginia and only beholden to a common treaty protecting states from outside harm and from one another. That idea was given the ax and all the many states were glued together as one overwhelmingly large (decidedly not homogenous) country. So, now I suppose I am a what? Liberal minded progressives have centralized all processes and rights into the federal government pretty much negating the states rights…Are you suggesting that I have no right to exist at all? Should we rename the country? Or maybe we should a good half of it back to the Mexican government, kick a bunch of folks out of their homes, uproot their families and force them to move into government housing in some state bereft of an indigenous Mexican legacy…but wait…

    –Here is the kicker…who are the Mexicans? Well, they are very similar in the Euro-muttness to Americans. About 14% or so of the Mexican population is indigenous with about 1/2 the number speaking an indigenous language (this is per the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples). Has it been forgotten that Spaniards conquered Mexico and in doing so killed most of the indigenous people leaving a mixed population of people with varying degrees of Spaniard, Amerindian and African in the wake? Yes, Mexicans were slave owners, slaves and natives. In fact most populations are some mix of slave owner, slave and native. That is how humans have rolled until just recently (although human trafficking is still a problem but with our mind fixed on bogus issues like this there are precious few resources allocated to the real devastation in the world). Despite popular culture and the need for self defamation these acts were not the sole domain of the pasty Britts, French and Germans of the northern regions. In fact the Spaniards and Portuguese dominating the southern regions of this side of the world pretty much cornered the market (that is until they alter the history books and all melanin deficient folks are lined up for the mass execution to pay for the sins of their great great grandfathers.). But who needs facts when you have hubris and such divine self loathing. Because you know in the end the dark folks to the south (the ones you say cannot care for themselves and so are forced to move here and mow your lawn) will only grow and become self sufficient if we make up ways to be guilty for their plight…they need us to hate ourselves right? They need to be bigoted and generalize an entire population of heterozygous individuals in order to feel better (sounds eerily similar to those emotional abuse/domestic violence PSA’s)

    –Last point…How poor is Mexico? Well they are the 6th largest oil producer in the world…2nd in this hemisphere only behind the United States of whatever you want to call it. So they are pumping some black gold. They are also pumping cash out of the US at about 21 billion a year (I feel this is a low average but without crunching numbers myself I’ll go with the US Govco numbers on this one despite their demographics numbers being way off). The GDP ranking is around 14th (depending where you look) and the GDP (PPP) ranking is around 85th (above the center line and far above that of most countries unaffected by US policies or old contractual agreements between governments). Disparity across the country is enormous. The chasm between the rich and poor is wide. Almost everything of any value is owned by the government including but not limited to all natural resources. That is what happens when you centralize everything…the rich take power and everyone else lives in poverty. Don’t worry though…it will be the same here soon enough…

    • #6 by Christian Beyer on November 7, 2011 - 12:02 am

      Very detailed and thoughtful response (to something I posted so long ago). A concise, and typical, American apologetic. But no matter how eruditely you rationalize things, it does not change history: America holds large lands that used to be Mexican. Sure, this kind of conquest happenned all the time. But that did not make it right. And this conquest, along with a number of other things, believe it or not, has not made us very popular with people to the South (and elsewhere). We’ve seen that people all over the world have long memories. Heck, look how your average Tea Partier gets all bent out of shape whe someone dares to question their cherished Anerican mythologies.

      Biblical accuracy aside (and who really cares, BTW, as long is it makes the point and isn’t taken too seriously) we can without a doubt trace many, if not all, of our current international challenges to actions that we, or our allies, have made over the years.

      Self loathing? The dark folk I say cannot survive without my lawn to mow? You are very good at mowing down straw men yourself. And the way you naturally assume that I must also be a fan of the collective state….well, not very imaginative of you there. So it is not surprising that you seem not to have the imagination to feel what it must be like to be other than a US Anerican. Which is the mistake our nation consistently makes. It is folly to disregard the complaints of other people merely because we think they are wrong-headed, particularly when our main criteria for findingy any legitimacy with their gripes is whether or not it is good for America.

  4. #7 by joe on February 18, 2012 - 12:35 am

    honestly don’t see why they are holding a grudge over something that happened two hundred years ago. Perhaps its time for them like the rest of the world to grow up, by the way if they want to call themselves american then why cant we as well? I mean we live on the “AMERICAN” continent so we can lay claim to that name just as much as they can. IT seems that they are in fact the arrogant ones

  5. #8 by xxxx on June 21, 2012 - 9:56 pm

    Mexicans invaded the southwest just as Americans did. It was not the Mexican’s ancestral land, it was the American Indians’. The U.S.A. has claimed the land for longer than Mexico did. The claim that Mexico has a right to it is just an excuse to pit the Mexicans against us. They come up here and actively attack the U.S. culture and are openly racist against the “gringos” without any apparent shame.

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