Cinco puntos

My tummy hurts!

  • I got an interview today for a half-time counselor position on campus. I’m nervous. Although I’ve had three “real” jobs in my life, I only interviewed for one position. That position was almost guaranteed and the selection committee was a bunch of people I knew well.
  • My roommate, Isa returned from her four day trip in Philadelphia with another good friend, Gabby. She brought me personalized stickers from Hershey, PA and chocolate covered pretzels from Intercourse, PA. She also added a new magnet to our refrigerator. It reads “I *heart* intercourse.” Um… yeah.
  • I picked up my diploma today. The man who handed it to me said, “congratulations.” I earned my MA in June and walked in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies ceremony for the fun of it. I still find it weird that I have a graduate degree, but it’s definitely nice.
  • I talked to Papá Chepe today about the protests marches and his immigration history. I’ve asked him questions before and even wrote a paper on the subject. Chepe was a bracero in the 1940s and then came to work in the ’50s before slowly immigrating the rest of his immediate family. I had my staff share their stories of how they got “here” when I was working with MEChA Calmecac. I find immigration stories fascinating and a good way to get to know people. I’ll be posting about my family’s immigration story within the next few days. It’s be cool to read others’ stories as well.
  • Only 13 people have taken the survey. What’s the matter?
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Mil palabras: short cut

I think it’s time for a break of the heavy stuff. Plus, I’m tired of having to answer HP’s “brief” comments.

The

Exactly one year ago, I decided I was tired enough of all the gray hair I had (I’m not exaggerating, I have a lot for someone who is just 25 years old). I went to visit my Tía Luisa so she could dye my hair. While at my Tía Luisa and Tío Chuy’s house in Ontario, I started flipping through her hairstyle magazines and became enamored with all the cute styles. Suddenly I no longer wanted to let my hair grow long. I went for a bob and a dye job.

A year later, my hair is the longest it’s been in a few years and I’m getting that urge to chop it all off again. Let’s see if my desire for the looooong hair I had back in 2003 will overcome my desire to change something.

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Will the marches and Mexican flags spur a backlash?

gran marcha

Ralph had more to say on the issue I referenced below. The following was copied with minor edits from his MySpace blog.

Many are worried over the use of Latin American flags in marches and of the walk-outs around the Southwest to combat HR 4437. But we must ask ourselves is there not already a backlash against Latinos?

While I understand the use of the Stars and Stripes as a precautionary measure to calm the xenophobic tendencies of Anglos, especially in the wake of a 500,000 march of Latinos that filled the megatropolis core of Los Angeles, has it come to this point in the political tactics of Latinos that we must receive approval from Anglos for everything? We seek to make them understand that we are humans and deserve rights, as in the case of contesting HR 4437, but must we also seek approval from them for the manner in which we demonstrate our anger at their vindictive immigration policies… such as what type of shirts we wear and what we can or can’t wave at a march?

As we get rid of the flags of Latin-American countries, why not be even more cautions and also hold a march in which we only speak English, better yet… how about we ask that all the dark-skinned Latinos stay home during that march so that they see many of “us” look just like them? For the naysayer, I challenge you to realize that the GOP is like 7UP, it does not like Latinos, “never has and never will.”

In fact, Americans, widely known for their “linguistic tolerance” of Spanish do not understand Latino protest language either. Within the Latino community we understand the use of flags is to demonstrate the representation of protesters by national origin. Although paranoid Anglos take every act Latinos do as either anti-American or an act of un-Americanism. In the eyes of Anglo-Saxon America, Latinos will never be “Americans”… this is demonstrated in the widespread fear of Latinos stoked by AM radio and Lou Dobbs on CNN. Many say that flags of Latin American countries will create a “nativist backlash.” Even with out the marches, the high school walk-outs, and the Latino politicians in office, Anglo-American have already created a backlash against Latinos. Not because of the flags at a march or the message of the pro-humane treatment to migrants, but in reality the Anti-Immigrant hysteria created by the GOP, AM radio, and the Minutemen from the DNC to the RNC, from Sen. Fienstien to Tancredo, from the soccer moms to the NASCAR dads, the new anti-immigrant movement is a distraction by America of its own failures.

The truth is that Anglo-America failed to protect its own democracy from the Republican Neocons and Corporatists. This deadly duo dragged the Evangelicals (Abortion Clinic Bombers) and fringe neo-nazi militia men (Minutemen type) voting blocs around by three golden words come election day: “Gods, Gays, and Guns.” These 3 words have allowed the Republican Neocons and Corporatists to plunder the coffers of the United States with a war on the world that has cost the American people plenty in terms of jobs, government services, and international prestige…. instead of blaming themselves for voting Bush & Co. into office TWICE, they do what every generation of Americans have done before them… they blame immigrants!

The issues around the Latino response to HR 4437 and the Anti-immigrant movement need not go the way of the convoluted responses generated by the Latino political elite during Prop-187. We need not prove that Latino immigrants love America, or that they enrich America economically, or even that they are law abiding citizens, the issue here is that for the last three presidential administration: Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr, Americans have allowed its leaders to embark upon a path of neoliberal corporate exploitation of the U.S. and the world. Policies such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and FTAA have decimated the agricultural-base of Mexico and Central-American, thus creating a push-pull immigration factor for those affected by neoliberal economic policies of Bush/Clinton/Bush through out the Western Hemisphere, forcing them to find refuge within the epicenter of that economic disaster called global capital… the United States of America.

Some may tell Latino youth to stay in school and learn about America and study English before they walk out to protest for the rights of the Undocumented. I scoff at those racists remarks and I challenge everyone Latino, Anglo, Asian, African-American alike to learn about the world of Neoliberal corporate globalization that you allowed to be ushered in on your watch. Look to the actions and teachings of the Zapatistas that clearly define what must be done to combat neoliberalism in la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona . We need not divisions or attempts to placate the beast, rather we need “a world in which many fit.”

“Para todos todo, y para nosotros nada!”

– Ollinkoatl (words and photo)

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A march and a funeral

A simple message A snippet of last night’s conversation with Ralph about la Gran Marcha (and the student walkouts):

Me: you know, a lot of the commentators say that the huge turnout and waving of Mexican and other non-American flags is going to fuel nativist sentiments and an even greater backlash against immigrants.

Ralph: [laughs] like those things don’t already exist…
(Ok, I took some liberty with writing out this conversation, but it went something like that.)

The way this is playing out in the mainstream media and blogs is disgusting yet fascinating for someone who finds language and symbolism both interesting and meaningful. Just think of the metaphors used (floods, invasions, aliens, etc). Speaking of the media, Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez has a great open letter to the US newsmedia and the way they’re talking about the marches, Latinos and immigration.

There are so many voices and yet few actually make sense.

Marco Antonio Firebaugh On a somewhat related note, I decided not to sleep on my first official day of spring break. While kids were walking out of high schools around LA against HR 4437, I was sitting in mass with hundreds of other people celebrating the life of Marco Antonio Firebaugh at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. Firebaugh wasn’t even 40 years old yet, but liver disease cut his life short. If in just 6 short years as a politician in Sacramento he was able to leave a profound mark by authoring AB 540, imagine what he could have done with a longer political career? I wrote about the mass at blogging.la and there’s video here (NBC story). Marco’s “gift to the community” was AB 540, a bill that permits California high school students to permit a higher education regardless of their immigrant status. Marco’s legacy will live on with the students who are able to go on to college because of AB 540.

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Getting the ball rolling

Last September I whined that Blogotitlán was too big, geographically speaking.

Several of the commenters agreed with my original suggestion that we should find a time and place to meet up. EMC suggested South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. As you may know, SXSW came and went yet we still haven’t gotten together. Several of us Cali folks still haven’t met each other. Gustavo and Nebur live only a few hours away, but I still haven’t had a chance to kick it with either one.

Last week, Oso tried to get the ball rolling again after checking out Gustavo’s latest post and the ensuing comments. So far, some of the Cali blogeros (me, Oso, HP, and Nebur) plus EMC are down. We want to see this happen, but we also want to see a lot of the other blogeros and blogeras whose words we’ve read for months/years come out to a meetup.

We’ve put together a survey to get more information on what would or would not work in terms of location and time. We hope that there will be a good number of people who will be able to make it and have people from different regions and host city involved in the planning.

Take the survey!

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