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Is there a Spanish word for “Uncle Tom?”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. pauses while speaking about Libya,  Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. pauses while speaking about Libya, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rubio seen as ducking immigration issues

Despite touting his parents’ Cuban heritage and his wife’s Colombian roots, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t taking the lead on immigration legislation — and that’s drawing the ire of those who put him in office.

One answer I found on the web: The most immediate corollary to “Uncle Tom” in Spanish is Tío Tomás or Tío Taco, but both are pochismos (pocho sayings) with little usage in Mexico, where the slur for a sellout is malinchista, referring to Cortés’ Indian translator, or a vendido. As you imply, the only Mexicans who care whether someone is Mexican enough are insecure twits who aren’t Mexican enough, and some of the most notorious examples come from professors of Chicano studies (but not all of you, oh noble researchers of everything wab!) and Carlos Mencia. Oh, and immigrant elders, but their angst is excused — that’s the American immigrant experience, after all.


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