A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

quinta-feira, maio 30, 2002

I will have explanations and actual life stuff later. In the meanwhile, many, many responses to my soccer article to Pacific News Service...and they're still rolling in! They will be broken up by lines...
I read your article about immigrants, etc as nauseam.

Pure garbage.

These ungrateful bastards represent what is wrong with the corrupt U.S. Immigration policy that is the result of pandering whores like Bush or Gore. These people should go home.......where their hearts and souls never left.

Cheap labor is a hoax....over population of uneducated, unskilled cowards who leave their faltering country behind is not what the U. S. needs. As a taxpayer, I join the millions who are tired of paying the bills of these folks who have hijacked programs set up for black Americans. Time for that sleaze ball Vicente' Fox to call these people home.

My response...

Thank you for your comments, although I'm not sure why you turned it into a diatribe against Mexico; after all, it was a Salvadoran I interviewed.

Person's response back...

The thrust of my "diatribe" is aptly directed at Latin America immigrants, primarily from Mexico. I am not anti-Mexican, having helped a number of them become citizens. It is the latest wave of anti-American immigrants that are here for the handouts, by the millions..abandoning their own country. Thank you for your response.
I'd like to comment on some of yours:

...rooting against the American soccer team symbolizes resistance to being absorbed into a country (We would say..rooting for the American soccer team symbolizes
>acceptance to being welcomed into the greatest country in the world) You resist everything American; our language, our culture, so it is only natural for you to feel "absorbed" and resist it...but you take the money. There's no resistance to our countries money is there?

...rooting against the U.S. -- immigrants have an outlet to express both frustration with their new home and pride in their old country. (We would say..rooting for the U.S. --- citizens have an outlet to express both pride in their country and a lack of allegiance to any country of our ancestors) I could care less about my homelands of Germany, Poland and Italy. Mexican immigrants will never understand that and until they do, they will never, ever feel welcomed.

My response...

Thank you for your comments, although please do not limit them to specifically Mexicans (after all, the immigrant I interviewed was Salvadoran). And I do not "resist" anything American; I merely reported on what I have seen (for better or worse) in the immigrant communities of today.

Their response to my response...

Sorry, but I only see "differences" in people (white, black, Mexican, Salvadoran, etc), when they openly profess them. Thanks for your response
A nice one for a change...

We here in Detroit enjoyed your article regarding the social aspects of this years futbol tournament. Keep up the good work. We found you while surfing through the web-site of "Sam's Army". I'm guessing you are aware that they are the States' largest soccer fan club. They seem to enjoy presenting a balanced viewpoint. You can check them out at: http://www.sams-army.com Even though I'm a gringo, we will be getting up early and staying up late to check out athletes who can jump like Michael Jordan, move like Barry Sanders, and coordinate like Tiger Woods. Hope your team plays well enough to make you proud!
Not so nice...

You are a liar.

I was at that world cup match in Pasadena, the Illegal Aliens who comprise the majority of Mexicans in the Southwest did much more than cheer for the Tricolores,
they threw cans, bottles, and trash at the US team and spat upon those close enough to reach.

The some 13 Million criminals who have invaded this country don't seek some outlet for frustration or connection to their "home country" they have no
intention of assimilating into US culture, they seek only to use the United States as an ATM with free education and health care for themselves and their
children, while the US citizens and legal immigrants pick up the tab. They don't cheer for the US because first and foremost
they are Mexicans, not Americans and have no desire to be otherwise.

Try a little truth instead of just spewing multi-cultural crap...Amigo.

My response...

Buddy boy,

Two points:

1. Wasn't a World Cup match; it was a Gold Cup match
2. The match was played in the LA Coliseum, not Pasadena

Get your "truths" right before you accuse me of anything. Makes you seem like the crap-spewer instead of me.
I read your article on the Internet about why Latino soccer fans boo the United States during soccer contests with Latin American teams, and concluded that you need to see more of these athletic contests. If you’d do this, you’d see this goes far deeper than athletic favoritism.

What I saw in 1998 at the L.A. Coliseum when I attended a US Mexico soccer match (Mexico 1-0), convinced me that the U.S. needs to rethink its immigration policies. I saw the overwhelmingly predominant group of Latino fans hurl plastic bottles filled with water at the U.S. soccer team, splashing and bouncing at their feet. This was followed by avalanches of water and beer-filled cups, lemons, giant empty boxes, more water, more plastic and a few glass bottles, plus mountains of garbage that covered the U.S. team like an ugly blanket. I saw fathers instruct their sons how to urinate into plastic cups and hurl them at the Gringo athletes. All this was accompanied by choruses of words screamed in Spanish. All this infantilism & disloyalty followed loud booing by Mexican fans, presumably future citizens, when the American National Anthem was played, while hundreds more of these “fans” displayed American Flags, - -upside-down.

These disgraceful anti-American outbursts went far beyond a soccer game and convinced me that fool-proof ways must be found to determine one’s allegiance to this country before they’re ever allowed to become U.S. citizens.

My response...

Thank you for your comments,

I agree with you that the soccer matches go much farther than athletic favoritism; in fact, that was the crux of my argument. Saying that does not mean that I endorse the sometimes-ugly displays of it (as you accurately noted in the 1998 match) but that said, I would not go as far as to take the measures you would take to ensure that things like this do not happen again. After all, the fans do keep this anti-Americanism in expressions like sporting events (and it even happens with “Americans” as fan hatred towards wrestling star Kurt Angle attests)—and that’s much better than having these immigrants marauding around constantly spouting these anti-American sentiments. And while I do agree with you that we must make sure that future immigrants become good Americans, we must also allow Americans (whether current or future) in general to express distrust towards this country once in a while. Thank you once again.
Although I agree with many of the things you have said in your recent article, I find myself torn, quite often frustrated with the mentality of US-immigrants in this country when it comes to its support. This form of duality when it comes to loyalty is as much annoying as it is disturbing. As a an American of Guatemalan and Mexican heritage (and strongly associated with them), I see no reason why it is not possible to support both the mother country and the new adopted country with similar amounts of fervor. Immigrants choose to live here for the opportunities that are available to them, and to raise families here with an overall better quality of life. To continuously blame the United States for the social, economical, and political climates of their (previous) home countries is preposterous. It is simply wrong.

One way to start away from this destuctive road (in my opinion) is to follow the examples set by immigrants of the past to begin with: to integrate elements of their society, their identity into the American one. Why must soccer not be included in those? Frankly, I support Guatemala, almost as much as the US, and I will also be rooting for Mexico, Costa Rica, and the US in this world Cup. I see nothing wrong with immigrants choosing to root for THEIR team when they play the US, but they should support the US when they play other opponents. This is THEIR country. They are acting to improve it. Why not act by helping to make this country a world champion? It would be just as much their accomplishment as any true red-blooded American. These same people are the ones who stay away from MLS in droves. Consider how successful soccer in this country would be if the immigrant population chose to embrace it here. They do not need to shed their identity in order to share this most wonderful passion with others, and to be truthful, Americans have long been deprived of the meaning and passion of the game. In effect, by isolating the American public from it, they are contributing to and exacerbating the original problem which you cite as your reason why immigrants don't cheer for the US in the first place. US-immigrants and would-be American citizens have a duty to this country to integrate the US into the World Community just as much as the US has a duty to integrate these same into American society. I can't think of anything more that encompasses the entire world with such passion as soccer.

My response...

Thank you for your comments. I completely agree with you when you posit soccer as a unifying factor for this nation. And I do believe that as the children of these immigrants grow, they will expand the ranks of the American side. But major steps must be taken by both Americans and immigrants to make this a reality.

Take municipal soccer leagues. I'm not sure how it is back East, but in Los Angeles parks are crammed every weekend with soccer matches--of immigrant soccer leagues. And not just Latino immigrants--I've seen Somalian teams, Iranian teams, and many other nationalities. But I've never seen much of a recruitment effort on behalf of MLS or AYSO to tap into this soccer-crazed vein. Things are improving (such as teams like the LA Galaxy getting foreign stars that would appeal to their fan base) but I think this is a project in the making. Thank you once again for your remarks.
"At its essence, rooting against the American soccer team symbolizes resistance to being absorbed into a country whose populace and government do not always do
the right thing -- especially against the immigrants and their home countries. And when the booing is over, soccer-loving immigrants -- relieved of any anti-American sentiments and proud that the motherland has won -- return to bettering this nation."

You are out of your fucking mind my friend. These anti- American immigrants (if here illegally) should be tossed out of the country on their ass.

These are people who throw batteries at the US players and boo the US National Anthem. Your glossing this over and suggetsion that this behavior is somehow healthy is
disturbing. What the hell is Latin American studies anyway? The study of why everyone wants to get out of their hell holes and come leach off Uncle Sam?

My response...

Thank you for your remarks. It's not just "these anti-American immigrants" who boo the hell out of American sports representations; check out the WWF's Kurt Angle, a bona fide Olympic gold medalist who is booed mercilessly precisely because of his patriotic credentials.

As for your critique of my major...no, you're mistaking my major with Chicano studies. Latin American Studies examines how Uncle Sam turned the region into a hell hole.
Interesting article, but don't you think comparing Alexi Lalas to Patrick Buchanan is a bit of a stretch. After all, Alexi was part of the team that the 'healthy venting' was aimed at, and Buchanan is a right wing demagogue. Do you think you would be very happy after 100,000 people booed you?

My response...

Thank you for your remark. Yes, I should have made the distinction between Buchanan and Lalas since they are obviously not of the same meter. Lalas did have good reason to be angry (although I still maintain that his comments were a bit overdramatic) while Buchanan just used a sport he probably cares nothing about for his own needs. Thank you once again.
And to close on a nice note...

I appreciated and enjoyed your submission on why immigrants root against the U.S. but came away perplexed. As the son of a Dutch immigrant I've never rooted against the U.S. when they play anyone except the Dutch. Even then I'm more neutral and celebrating life when the two play. Knowing that my families assimilation is much easier for various reasons I note the difference for Mexican or Iranian immigrants. However I find it disturbing that immigrants would root against the U.S. soccer team all of the time and hope/wish that you are mistaken. Finally I'm confused as to why South Koreans would be so against U.S. foreign policy. Comparing their history and economic growth with their bretheren to the north would lead me to believe they don't have the same animosity as Mexican or Iranian immigrants. Granted I may be guilty of having my head in the sand but feel you may be off-base on this point. Again, thanks for writing this piece!

My response...

am glad that you enjoyed my article. One of my best friends is also the son of Dutch immigrants (my note: aint' that right, MV?) and is crushed that the Orange didn't make it into the Cup this year.

When I stated that immigrants want to see the United States lose all of the time in soccer, that might have been a bit of an overgeneralization. Soccer fans are notoriously provincial and will root for a neighboring country if their own country is not playing. For example, my main teams are Mexico and the United States, but I will also be cheering for the Costa Rican and South American clubs due to the hemispheric relationship with me. So your average Mexican immigrant would most likely cheer for the U.S. if they played a European side. But if the American squad faces any team from the Western Hemisphere, they'd most likely root for the opposing side. It's a complex issue within the complex world of sports that really deserves more analysis than my article.

Finally, South Korean animosity towards the States has always been latent due to the American military presence in the DMZ zone. Tensions have also been rising due to the American opposition of South Korea's reunification talks with North Korea. This stance by the Bush administration has led to massive student protests and angry words from South Korean officials. And the Winter Olympics/Jay Leno anecdote that I referred to in my article really inflamed passions (in fact, a South Korean civic organization is considering to sue Leno and NBC for defamation of character). The final straw (one I didn't mention in my article) was perceived pressure by American activists to ban the eating of dog meat during the Cup. Many South Koreans find this to be cultural imperialism and an intrusion. I hope this might give you some idea of why some South Koreans might be angry with the United States. Once again, thank you for your response.
Way more where those came from, but I figured I should give Uds. a break from me. I'm sure there's going to be plenty more where from those came from.