never marry a mex  
In​ ​Sandra​ ​Cisneros’​ ​“Never​ ​Marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican”​ ​the​ ​reader​ ​is​ ​able​ ​to​ ​look​ ​into​ ​the​ ​mind​ ​of a​ ​mistress,​ ​Clemencia.​ ​Ever​ ​since​ ​she​ ​was​ ​a​ ​child​ ​Clemencia​ ​was​ ​told​ ​repeatedly​ ​by​ ​her​ ​mother to​ ​never​ ​marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican​ ​even​ ​though​ ​she​ ​was​ ​married​ ​to​ ​one.​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​would​ tell​ ​her​ ​this because​ ​even​ ​though​ ​she​ ​was​ ​Mexican-American​ ​she​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​she​ ​was​ ​never​ ​able​ ​to​ ​live​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the expectations​ ​of​ ​a​ ​true​ ​Mexican​ ​like​ ​her​ ​husband.​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​did​ ​not​ ​want​ ​Clemencia​ ​to​ ​feel​ ​the same.​ ​When​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​father​ ​was​ ​ill​ ​on​ ​his​ ​deathbed,​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​would​ ​spend​ ​her​ ​time​ ​with​ ​a white​ ​male,​ ​Owen,​ ​who​ ​she​ ​met​ ​at​ ​work.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​something​ ​Clemencia​ ​would​ ​never​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to 
forgive​ ​(Cisneros​ ​73).​ ​After​ ​her​ ​father’s​ ​death​ ​it​ ​was​ ​like​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​had​ ​left​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​After marrying​ ​Owen,​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​was​ ​too​ ​worried​ ​about​ ​herself​ ​and​ ​her​ ​life.​ ​Fast​ ​forward​ ​a​ ​few​ ​years and​ ​Clemencia​ ​is​ ​an​ ​adult.​ ​She​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​clear​ ​that​ ​she​ ​will​ ​never​ ​marry​ ​let​ ​alone​ ​marry​ ​a Mexican.​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​had​ ​unknowingly​ ​taught​ ​her​ ​to​ ​be​ ​racist​ ​to​ ​her​ ​own​ ​kind.​ ​Clemencia’s mother​ ​would​ ​be​ ​the​ ​reason​ ​why​ ​Clemencia​ ​only​ ​has​ ​relationships​ ​with​ ​married,​ ​“borrowed” men.​ ​She​ ​would​ ​ultimately​ ​end​ ​up​ ​ruining​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​love​ ​life​ ​because​ ​of​ ​the​ ​racism​ ​she​ ​taught her.  
Clemencia​ ​and​ ​her​ ​mother’s​ ​self-racism​ ​are​ ​evident​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​story.​ ​The​ ​story 
begins​ ​“Never​ ​marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican,​ ​my​ ​ma​ ​said​ ​once​ ​and​ ​always”​ ​(Cisneros​ ​68).​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​was frequently​ ​expressing​ ​​ ​how​ ​unhappy​ ​she​ ​was​ ​married​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Mexican​ ​when​ ​she​ ​would​ ​use​ ​those words.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​unhappy​ ​because​ ​she​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​she​ ​could​ ​never​ ​live​ ​up​ ​to​ ​what​ ​was​ ​expected​ ​of her​ ​from​ ​her​ ​higher​ ​middle​ ​class​ ​Mexican​ ​husband.​ ​By​ ​telling​ ​Clemencia​ ​to​ ​never​ ​marry​ ​a Mexican​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​was​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​prevent​ ​her​ ​child​ ​from​ ​going​ ​through​ ​what​ ​she​ ​went​ ​through but​ ​instead​ ​she​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​teaching​ ​her​ ​racism.​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​was​ ​unknowingly​ ​teaching​ ​Clemencia to​ ​hate​ ​her​ ​own​ ​kind. 
Throughout​ ​the​ ​years​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​had​ ​accomplished​ ​brainwashing​ ​her​ ​because​ ​at​ ​a​ ​later age​ ​in​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​life​ ​she​ ​firmly​ ​believed​ ​that​ ​she​ ​would​ ​never​ ​marry​ ​especially​ ​marry​ ​a Mexican.​ ​She​ ​exhibits​ ​her​ ​self​ ​racism​ ​when​ ​she​ ​says​ ​that​ ​the​ ​Mexican​ ​men​ ​who​ ​cleared​ ​off tables​ ​or​ ​chopped​ ​meat​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​butcher​ ​counter​ ​or​ ​drove​ ​a​ ​bus​ ​are​ ​not​ ​men​ ​(Cisneros​ ​69). Clearly​ ​she​ ​had​ ​an​ ​issue​ ​with​ ​men​ ​of​ ​color.​ ​She​ ​would​ ​never​ ​consider​ ​any​ ​of​ ​those​ ​men​ ​as “potential​ ​lovers”​ ​(Cisneros​ ​69).​ ​It​ ​wasn’t​ ​just​ ​Mexican​ ​men​ ​who​ ​she​ ​would​ ​never​ ​consider being​ ​romantically​ ​involved​ ​with.​ ​Clemencia​ ​would​ ​never​ ​consider​ ​being​ ​involved​ ​with​ ​a​ ​“ Puerto​ ​Rican,​ ​Cuban,​ ​Chilean,​ ​Colombian,​ ​Dominican,​ ​Venezuelan,​ ​Guatemalan, Peruvian..”(Cisneros​ ​69).​ ​Her​ ​mother​ ​influenced​ ​her​ ​to​ ​be​ ​racist​ ​to​ ​her​ ​own​ ​kind​ ​and​ ​men​ ​of color​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​what​ ​race.​ ​However,​ ​Clemencia​ ​knows​ ​this​ ​was​ ​her​ ​mother’s​ ​fault.​ ​She​ ​states “My​ ​mother​ ​did​ ​this​ ​to​ ​me”​ ​(Cisneros​ ​69).​ ​Clemencia​ ​isn’t​ ​oblivious​ ​to​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​her​ ​mother is​ ​the​ ​reason​ ​why​ ​she​ ​can’t​ ​see​ ​men​ ​of​ ​color,​ ​especially​ ​Mexicans​ ​in​ ​a​ ​romantic​ ​way.​ ​Alexandra Fitts​ ​mentions​ ​in​ ​her​ ​analysis​ ​of​ ​“Never​ ​Marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican”​ ​that​ ​race​ ​plays​ ​a​ ​role​ ​in​ ​the​ ​actions​ ​of Clemencia’s​ ​mother.​ ​Fitts​ ​writes​ ​“​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​mother​ ​felt​ ​inescapable​ ​discrimination​ ​from​ ​both cultures”​ ​(1).​ ​It​ ​is​ ​arguable​ ​that​ ​Fitts​ ​also​ ​agrees​ ​that​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​mother​ ​led​ ​her​ ​live​ ​a​ ​life​ ​where she​ ​is​ ​only​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​relationship​ ​with​ ​a​ ​married​ ​white​ ​man.  
 im mex
As​ ​a​ ​little​ ​girl​ ​Clemencia​ ​was​ ​taught​ ​what​ ​it​ ​was​ ​like​ ​to​ ​marry​ ​up​ ​or​ ​marry​ ​down.​ ​When her​ ​father​ ​had​ ​married​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​it​ ​was​ ​seen​ ​as​ ​marrying​ ​down​ ​because​ ​she​ ​was​ ​neither​ ​full Mexican​ ​or​ ​full​ ​American.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​like​ ​she​ ​didn’t​ ​belong​ ​to​ ​either​ ​culture.​ ​Trying​ ​to​ ​avoid marrying​ ​down​ ​Clemencia​ ​decided​ ​not​ ​to​ ​marry​ ​and​ ​she​ ​willingly​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​with​ ​a married​ ​man.​ ​But​ ​is​ ​wasn’t​ ​just​ ​any​ ​married​ ​man,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​white​ ​man.​ ​Her​ ​mother’s​ ​racist teaching​ ​is​ ​what​ ​leads​ ​Clemencia​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​relationship​ ​it​ ​the​ ​married​ ​man,​ ​Drew.​ ​Clemencia​ ​is in​ ​a​ ​way​ ​following​ ​the​ ​footsteps​ ​of​ ​her​ ​mother.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​time​ ​of​ ​her​ ​father’s​ ​death​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​way seeing​ ​a​ ​white​ ​man.​ ​Clemencia​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​married​ ​but​ ​Drew​ ​is​ ​making​ ​the​ ​relationship forbidden​ ​just​ ​like​ ​her​ ​mother’s.​ ​However,​ ​Clemencia​ ​doesn’t​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​care​ ​seemingly​ ​because of​ ​Drew’s​ ​wife​ ​race.​ ​Clemencia​ ​said​ ​“​ ​I​ ​was​ ​sleeping​ ​with​ ​your​ ​father​ ​and​ ​didn’t​ ​give​ ​a​ ​damn about​ ​that​ ​woman,​ ​your​ ​mother.​ ​If​ ​she​ ​wa​s ​brown​ ​like​ ​me,​ ​I​ ​might’ve​ ​had​ ​a​ ​harder​ ​time​ ​living with​ ​myself”​ ​(Cisneros​ ​76).​ ​Undoubtedly​ ​Clemencia​ ​is​ ​showing​ ​signs​ ​of​ ​racisms​ ​to​ ​the​ ​wife’s race​ ​possibly​ ​because​ ​of​ ​​ ​her​ ​mother.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​Harvard​ ​psychologist,​ ​children​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to learn​ ​to​ ​be​ ​racist​ ​as​ ​early​ ​as​ ​the​ ​early​ ​age​ ​of​ ​three​ ​(bostonglobe.com).​ ​From​ ​a​ ​young​ ​age Clemencia​ ​remembers​ ​being​ ​told​ ​that​ ​marrying​ ​a​ ​Mexican​ ​would​ ​bring​ ​her​ ​unhappiness​ ​and self-doubt.​ ​Since​ ​her​ ​early​ ​years​ ​she​ ​was​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​hatred​ ​of​ ​her​ ​own​ ​race.​ ​If​ ​she​ ​was​ ​taught to​ ​hate​ ​her​ ​own​ ​people​ ​how​ ​could​ ​she​ ​not​ ​have​ ​negative​ ​feelings​ ​towards​ ​them.​ ​Again Clemencia expresses​ ​her​ ​racism​ ​when​ ​she​ ​refers​ ​to​ ​Drew’s​ ​wife​ ​Megan​ ​as​ ​“redhead​ ​barbie​ ​doll”​ ​(Cisneros 79).​ ​Her​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​words​ ​have​ ​a​ ​such​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​connotation.​ ​It’s​ ​almost​ ​like​ ​she​ ​means​ ​for “redhead​ ​barbie”​ ​to​ ​be​ ​an​ ​insult.  
There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​doubt​ ​that​ ​Clemencia’s​ ​mother​ ​was​ ​the​ ​reason​ ​she​ ​had​ ​a​ ​long​ relationship with​ ​a​ ​white​ ​man.​ ​Her​ ​mother’s​ ​words​ ​haunted​ ​her​ ​for​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​her​ ​life.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​over​ ​and​ ​over to​ ​never​ ​marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican.​ ​If​ ​she​ ​did​ ​he​ ​would​ ​end​ ​up​ ​being​ ​unhappy​ ​just​ ​like​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​was. Clemencia’s​ ​racism​ ​is​ ​seen​ ​in​ ​the​ ​way​ ​she​ ​expresses​ ​about​ ​certain​ ​people.​ ​She​ ​tries​ ​to​ ​insult Megan​ ​by​ ​calling​ ​her​ ​a​ ​barbie.​ ​She​ ​also​ ​expresses​ ​her​ ​self​ ​racism​ ​when​ ​she​ ​implies​ ​that​ ​Mexican men​ ​who​ ​have​ ​decent​ ​jobs​ ​aren’t​ ​really​ ​men.​ ​She​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​have​ ​an​ ​issue​ ​with​ ​people​ ​of​ ​color​ ​for
no​ ​apparent​ ​reasons​ ​besides​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​her​ ​mother​ ​was​ ​unhappy​ ​with​ ​one.​ ​Nowadays​ ​racism can​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​everywhere​ ​but​ ​no​ ​one​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​it​ ​or​ ​offer​ ​a​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​end​ ​it​ ​if​ ​there​ ​is​ ​one. Too​ ​many​ ​people​ ​are​ ​unknowingly​ ​teaching​ ​their​ ​children​ ​to​ ​be​ ​racist.​ ​There​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​​ ​be​ ​an​ ​end to​ ​this.​ ​Clemencia​ ​is​ ​a​ ​prime​ ​example​ ​of​ ​what​ ​can​ ​happen​ ​when​ ​self​ ​racism​ ​and​ ​racism​ ​are 
taught.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Works​ ​Cited  
Cisneros,​ ​Sandra.​ ​“Never​ ​Marry​ ​a​ ​Mexican.”​ ​​Woman​ ​Hollering​ ​Creek,​ ​​Random​ ​House, 
1991,​ ​68-83. 
Fitts,​ ​Alexandra.​ ​“Sandra​ ​Cisneros​ ​Modern​ ​Malinche.”​ ​​The​ ​International​ ​Fiction​ ​Review, 
vol.​ ​29,​ ​no.​ ​1​ ​and​ ​2,​ ​32,​journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/ifr/article/view/7712/8769​.  
Burnett,​ ​James.​ ​“Racism​ ​Learned.”​ ​​Boston​ ​Globe,​ ​​12,