The Corner

Banned in Juarez

The band Los Tigres del Norte will be campaigning for Obama. The leader is a dual citizen who says he’ll cast his first U.S. ballot (wonder if he also voted in the recent Mexican presidential election). Someone should ask the Obama campaign what it thinks of the fact that the group was banned earlier this year in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, for glorifying drug traffickers at a concert there.

And Los Tigres don’t just lionize (tigerize?) dope-pushers; there’s also a strong chauvinist strain in their music. This is what I wrote about them in my 2008 book:

For ordinary Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans. Reconquista radicalism is largely absent, but a stubborn resentment against the United States is nonetheless widespread. The Grammy-winning musical group, Los Tigres del Norte, are very popular among their fellow immigrants, singing often of the Mexican immigrant experience. Notable among their many love songs and ballads about drug smugglers is “Somos Mas Americanos” –“We Are More American.” It contains lyrics such as “Let me remind the Gringo / That I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed me” and “We are more American / Than any son of the Anglo-Saxon.” The fact that this resonates deeply with ordinary Mexican immigrants doesn’t mean they will demand an Anschluss between California and Mexico, but rather that ambivalence runs very deep – and not ambivalence normal to any stranger in a strange land, but ambivalence about America as such.

On second thought, this is perfectly consistent with the Obama administration’s views, so never mind.


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