As a native Canadian, I'm well aware that my countrymen have been suckling America's teat for years at the expense of other hardworking immigrants. William Shatner , Shania Twain, Martin Short, that hot girl from Lost and countless Bobs and Doug McKenzies — we're all part of the culture infiltration conspiracy. Meanwhile, Latinos and Muslims take the heat. And so far, no one's caught on.
The quiet intersection of San Felipe and Augusta is filled with shouts and honks as the Mexican Minutemen hold their first protest in front of the Canadian Consulate. These Minutemen want to stop the real invaders of our borders: Canadians. They've got stances that you can't argue with, such as hockey is taking attention away from soccer.
As drivers beep in support, the four protesters chant "Canadians are illegal too!", "No French on the voting ballot!" and my fave, "Chorizo, not Canadian bacon!" Their signs leave no question as to their motives: "English Spanish Only" says one. Another: "DRYBACKS GO HOME."
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Louisville Cardinals College Football
TicketsThu., Nov. 17, 7:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTEP Miner Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 19, 11:00am
SWAC Football Championship
TicketsSat., Dec. 3, 3:00pm
TicketsSat., Jan. 7, 7:00pm
MFA, the group's leader, tells me that the group is here to educate the American public, who've been misled by the other Minutemen and the media. "When you say 'border,' people think it means Mexico, but it's actually about Canada," he says. "The Mexican border, they got troops out there, they got border patrol, but the Canadian border is porous. They got ferries that go back every day; if you're a Canadian citizen, all you have to do is show your license, if that, and you can cross back and forth. That's like a corporate coyote coming back with impunity day in and day out."
He also wants to re-educate people about a billboard that's recently been put up on I-10. "There's a different group taking credit for it," he says. "But it's actually about the northern border. So people are confused."
And then there's the issue of terrorism. He brandishes a black ice hockey skate for effect."Two-hundred-pound Canadian hockey players can come into our country wearing these dangerous devices," he says. "But as an American citizen, if I get on an airplane, I have to turn in these things," he notes, whipping out some nail clippers. The skates suddenly seem that much more ominous. Damn, he's got it figured out. "Have you seen the size of hockey players?" he adds. "They're huge. Mexicans? Small."
Maybe the federal government has overlooked the northern border, but MFA and his group won't. "Since we're Mexicans, we work harder, we work longer, we work for less. So we're going to do a better job securing the northern border than the white Minutemen have done securing the southern border." He plans to get day laborers to build a human wall. (Anyone who wants to subcontract their day laborers can donate, so long as the Mexican Minutemen get a percentage.)
Then there's the roundup. "We want to find out how many illegal Canadians are in the country. No amnesty for them — drybacks should be deported," he says coldly. But that could be tough. MFA knows that Canadians are deft infiltrators and assimilators. "They look white. They talk white," he says. "So you have to trick them by making them say different words, like 'about' or 'aluminum.'"
Not to mention that Canadians are almost inhumanly friendly. "Hollywood has had a hand in portraying Mexicans as gangbangers and drug dealers," says MFA with a sneer. "Canadians, you got Paul Schaeffer and Shania Twain, they all seem polite. But slowly, they're taking over." He points out subtle clues, such as the fact that there's no Canadian flag outside the Houston Canadian Consulate. Perceptive. Very perceptive...
Naturally, there are risks involved with this kind of movement. MFA knows them well. "We're all American citizens because we'd be scared to be deported otherwise. They had the roundups after the first protests, and a lot of Hispanics learned the hard way. We're American citizens, and we don't want Canadians coming in and taking away our jobs."
Jobs? "Oh, yeah, there are jobs being stolen by illegal Canadians," says Crazy Mex, another Mexican Minuteman. "Their education system is accepted over here, so they can come and take the higher level jobs — especially the jobs Affirmative Action has guaranteed us."
For full disclosure, and maybe to test their will, I finally reveal myself to the Minutemen. "You should know," I begin, slowly walking backward, "that I was born in Toronto. Toronto...Canada."
They seize upon me like Ann Coulter on her own young. "You got your papers with you?" they shout. "Get him! He's got a job a Mexican should've had!" I miss the rest as I sprint the hell outta there. I am, in fact, illegal. Well, illegally parked.
Back at the office, I ring up (that's Canadian for "call") the Canadian Consulate and speak to a nice lady named Trish. She's not aware of any protest outside their office, nor is she aware that the Mexican Minutemen are protesting a Canadian invasion.
"So is there a Canadian invasion?" I ask.
"Not that I'm aware of," she replies with perfect Canadian courtesy.
Well done, Trish, well done. — Steven Devadanam
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.