Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

My latest for NBC Latino

NBC Latino

I am now cynical enough to believe that whenever a Latino dies under suspicious actions by law enforcement, the lack of national outrage no longer surprises me. Cases such as David Sal Silva’s in-custody death or Anastasio Hernandez Rojas’ Border Patrol death raised serious issues about the excessive use of deadly force, yet how many people in this country really knew or cared about those tragedies? How many national Latino organizations shouted in front of TV cameras that justice be served? Where was the 24/7 coverage?

The latest example comes from Santa Rosa, California. On October 22, 13-year-old Andy Lopez was shot seven times in a span of about 26 seconds by Sonoma County deputy Erick Gelhaus after Gelhaus, who started shooting before his partner even got out of the patrol car, saw that Lopez was carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle. According to police, Gelhaus warned…

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Interesting add about Lopez march.

Just Me

Today’s protest was planned last week.  In fact, I was confused Thursday night, thinking someone had made a mistake in saying there were two marches to the Sheriff’s Department, one for Friday and one for Tuesday.  Santa Rosa Junior College’s M.E.Ch.A.* planned this one.  Friday’s march went well, but was rather disorganized, mostly since it had been pretty spontaneous.  People wanted something a bit tighter for today.

Fast forward to Sunday night.  A secret meeting was held at Supervisor Zane’s home to discuss logistics for Tuesday.  In attendance were two school board members and the superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools, Supervisor Efren Carrillo and other “community leaders.”  According to an email from Supervisor Zane sent to my friend:

FYI Laura wasn’t invited due to Brown Act. I didn’t create the invite list, just worked with Jenni Klose and Efren on it. There were 6 Latinos, one Afro-american and 6…

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Latest for NBC Latino

NBC Latino

Recently President Obama spoke publicly about the need to get immigration reform passed. As he was closing his remarks, he said the following to the people watching him at The White House: “I want to thank you for your passion and your heart when it comes to this issue.  And I want to tell you, you’ve got to keep it up.  Keep putting the pressure on all of us to get this done.”

So in the interest of “keeping the pressure on all of us to get this done,” it is imperative that the President hears from all those who are pushing for reform, and not just the ones who are taking a more moderate approach and saying all we need is for the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to start moving on a bill. Those moderate voices have been doing a very noble job in raising that awareness: from a…

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My dear friend AJ Delgado finally caught some of The Stream last week. And then she wrote this. Awesome.

A.J. Delgado

So tonight I tuned in for Al Jazeera America’s The Stream show (7:30 pm EST), featuring a panel discussing whether baseball can unite Americans and Cubans but, more so, the Cuban embargo and Cuban policy overall.

Thoroughly impressed by the show’s format and the debate, I felt compelled to write a quick post on it.

First, some background. When Al Jazeera America debuted earlier this year, the shrieking was rampant. Some, including (I’m embarrassed to say) my fellow conservatives, Tweeted that it was a sign of “Islamists” taking over the country. When I cautioned that we should maintain an open mind and reserve judgment, I was attacked mercilessly and unfollowed by multiple accounts. One even urged me to fess up and asked if my viewpoint was due to my dating an “Islamist.” Oh my. (For the record, no, I’m not dating a Muslim nor have I but, guess what? I’ve…

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My latest for NBC Latino.

NBC Latino

Before I share the reasons as to why I detest Hispanic Heritage Month, I pause to offer a history lesson.

Did you know that this whole Hispanic Heritage Month thing started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and it only became Hispanic Heritage Month on August 17, 1988, when a public law of the United States was enacted? Need proof? Here’s the public law.

And here’s the government page that describes the history of what is turning into one of the most annoying four weeks of the year.

If Hispanic Heritage Month actually achieved what it was created to do , that is, to celebrate “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America,” then I would be cool with it. Instead, the hope of real and authentic celebration has turned into oversaturation.

Spare me.

Just like almost everything…

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My bro Efrain breaks it down. Great piece.

Pa'lante Latino

By Efrain Nieves

Aaron Hernandez’s life and upbringing, in many aspects, is similar to ours with his stellar athleticism being the one variant setting him apart. From early on, he had all the numbers to beat the odds: he was ahead of the pack. For those reading this blog, that like me grew up poor, forgotten and marginalized in all ways possible, perhaps can relate to why for many boys that grew up in the hood, Aaron Hernandez gave us hope. Particularly for those of us that are of Puerto Rican descent, like him.

Without any intent of generalizing, if we ask boys growing up in the inner cities what success means to them chances are that they will answer “playing football like Victor Cruz, Ray Lewis and Lawrence Taylor or playing basketball like Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony. But yet there are some boys whose role models are not…

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My latest for NBC Latino.

NBC Latino

With the news of the Dream 30 continuing to dominate the immigration reform debate this past week, a new twist to the public border action has emerged.

On Monday the group of 36 immigration activists who crossed the Texas-Mexico border in Laredo to protest record deportations by the Obama administration and call for Congress to move on immigration reform, hit a roadblock when the action’s organizers asked that Texas congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat who favors immigration reform and represents Laredo, write a letter to President Obama asking him to expedite the release of the 27 individuals still being detained.

Cuellar would not support the group, a part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA). As a local Laredo news report said, “Cuellar told us [Tuesday night] that he was opposed to the methods used by what he called professional activists who support the Dreamers movement. He told us…

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