Legend – Mexico

The Legend of Pancho Villa

“There was a man named Pancho Villa who was a Mexican revolutionary. He was a leader. He didn’t agree with certain laws set by the gringos. He stole from them, he stole like important things that they were using like weapons, food, money, and he gave it to his people, (Mexicans). Pancho Villa was mostly known because he helped the people- but not only that- he got away with a lot of shit. But in the end his people gave him up, they set him up because of money that the gringos bribed them with. This motherfucker was smart, he put his horseshoes on backwards so that the gringos would follow him the wrong way. The most important part of Pancho Villa though, he had skills with guns, that made him powerful. He could kill people blindfolded. This type of shit you don’t hear in college. My uncle told me the real shit because he’s related to Pancho Villa. American history- they don’t like Pancho Villa. Who would like a Mexican to be smart?”

In the eyes of many descendants of Mexican ancestors, Pancho Villa was a hero. To them, they hear Pancho Villa’s story and feel a sense of pride of the heritage. Just as we learned in class, no actual linkage can back their connection to Pancho Villa to anyone who lived during those times. However, the story is passed down though generations to spark feelings of appreciation for Pancho Villa and resentment towards the white man. Even today there are tee shirts, murals, and other dedications to Mexican revolutionaries done by first or second generation Americans who still feel a strong sense of hostility towards the “gringos”. There are many racial conflicts that exist especially in Los Angeles today. Passing down stories of “heroes” who killed the white man allow future generations to remember what happened to “their people”.

Although I describe this in a questionable light, I can appreciate to the stories of glorified underdogs whose people are being repressed. As I have learned in one of my classes, “Religions of Latin America,” the Spanish conquest of the Indigenous peoples in the 16th and 17th centuries were absolutely horrible. Millions of innocent indios were beaten, forced into slavery and killed over their land to which they naturally inhabited. If the same new generations of Mexican-Americans hear about this story adjacent to the legend of Pancho Villa, it is with obvious understanding that Pancho Villa will be looked at as a hero.

There will always be numerous angles in which Pancho Villa is remembered, positive or negative. But Frank’s interpretation of the legend of Pancho Villa is funny to me. It uses modern day slang to tell a story in which others might find boring in history class. He is a first generation American with Mexican roots who definitely appreciates Pancho Villa in ways to which he can relate.