You may know him from a little column in Westword called “Ask a Mexican,” in which readers pose politically incorrect questions about immigration and all cosas (things) Latino. The Mexican—who moonlights as nationally award-winning reporter, editor, author, food critic, radio host, and university lecturer Gustavo Arellano—answers the questions with even more irreverence, causing a commotion in some communities confused by satire. In fact, when it comes to igniting emotions, Arellano isn’t so unlike Tom Tancredo, the anti-immigrant-crusading former Republican congressman and would-be U.S. president or Colorado governor—if only voters would elect him.
Finally, the two will appear together on one stage next Tuesday at Denver’s Curious Theatre for a debate, thanks to the persistent efforts of Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, who’s been trying to set off this bomba since the Tanc was in Congress. Arellano has already taken on the likes of Glenn Beck, but this matchup should be special. “I look forward to debating one of the great Know Nothings of our time,” Arellano tells Calhoun, “and just hope that the audience will allow us to make asses of ourselves without any interruptions.”
Arellano, who will be in Denver on the Metro State 2010 Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professorship, is also scheduled for a panel discussion and speaking engagement Tuesday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. during a free event at the Denver Public Library. –