Salem Weekly will now be printing the award-winning ‘Ask a Mexican’ column by Gustavo Arellano.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy to have Gustavo’s column in our opinion section,” said Shawn Estes, editor of Salem Weekly.

Arellano was featured in April 2008’s Salem Monthly, where he spoke about the beginnings of the column:

“It was supposed to be a satirical take on the immigration debate in Orange County and how silly it is; how even though Latinos are a third of the county’s population many people don’t know why they do what they do.”

The column is now syndicated in multiple markets, including Eugene. Arellano himself has been featured on MSNBC’s Today show, Nightline, NPR’s On the Media, and The Colbert Report. His bio also boasts that he’s available to mow your lawn for $10-$15 if he gets a water break.

“That kind of humor and brashness is something that is needed in the very serious debate that immigration has become,” said Estes. “Salem’s a diverse community and we’re looking forward to turning the debate on its head.”

‘Ask a Mexican’ is intended to be humorous, but Arellano uses his humor and sarcasm to bring about real debate. He’ll tackle racist questions, with biting responses. In fact, he enjoys them:

“I actually like the racist questions the best because they are the ones that really allow me to execute what the original purpose of the column was, which was to combat hate, debunk stereotypes about Mexicans and really just give it to those racists who are out there.”