Thursday, July 29, 2010

Look In The Mirror. What Do You See?

I look in the mirror and see someone who is out to do what is right. I see someone who is in a position to make a difference in a time where the word "token" is thrown around and used to describe the purpose of our very existence in the party. We are being put in a position where we can just go along for the ride until the election is over, or we can position ourselves to become the leaders of this nation when there are some Latinos that say that we will always just be the help.

You get what you expect. If you expect to always be the help you will be just that. But if you set your mind on being more, then you will be more. It is as simple as that. We as Latinos in the United States have a tendency of putting ourselves down. We tell each other that we shouldn't do certain things because the Anglo will never take us serious. Isn't that conforming to racism?

A reference was made referring to Latinos in politics to slaves in the field that really caught my attention. You can click on the link below to read the whole post.

"Even if massa’ brings you in the from fields to work inside the house, isn’t it still slavery?"

We enslave ourselves by making statements like that. We as Latinos are strong and hard working people but are not limited to field work. We are smart and intellectual, we are doctors we are scientist, we are engineers and we are lawyers. We are just like very other American, we are represented in every industry in the U.S. Our language is the only thing that sets us apart from everyone else and we have work on that because many are forgetting the language.

It is a numbers game. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation. There should be more Latinos in local, state and federal offices. Not because Latinos are better, but because the numbers are there. We have dropped the ball and put ourselves in this predicament. We don't go out and vote enough, we don't run for election enough and we sure don't help those who aren't eligible to vote become eligible enough. We need to get off our rear ends and do something about it and stop just complaining about it.

"Mejora La Raza" People in Mexico use this saying to encourage one another to make a difference. It literally means improve your race. I would hear my father say it when someone would do something stupid or do something to bring shame to people from Mexico. He told me that it was each persons responsibility to do what they could to improve the race and raise their own quality of life. It must be a really old saying or a tradition that has been forgotten because today's Latino in the U.S. sure doesn't think that way. Well, not all Latinos, just those who have fallen into the trap of government assistance. We all need help at one point or another, but to live a life dependent on government hand outs goes against the beliefs and traditions of Latinos around the world.

"Immigration The Right Way" I, like many others in El Paso have family members who are currently going through or recently have gone through immigration the right way. I am not talking about my ancestors who came over during the days of Pancho Villa, I am talking about relatives who are still alive, relatives who I see on a frequent basis. They waited in the lines, they filled out the forms and paid the fines to come into this country legally. How do you think they feel? If you talk to them or anyone who has recently gone through the process you will find that they are against allowing immigrants to stay without going through the proper procedure like they did. They have said that if the government allows undocumented immigrants to stay that they would ask for a refund. Now you and I know that will never happen.

Latinos have been turned against each other due to the failed campaign promises of our current administration. We need to stop race baiting, calling each other names and stop tearing ourselves down. We may not agree on how to get there, but we all want what is best for all Latinos. Engaging in conversations is one thing but gouging each others eyes out because we disagree will get us nowhere.

A very smart man told me; Be passionate about what you but don't get emotional. Being passionate is being consistent while being emotional is like being on a roller coaster.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Constant Struggle; Am I A Vendido?

I was recently contacted by an old high school friend of mine over the Internet. You have to love social networking sights and Instant Messaging. How else would we find long lost friends, for free?

We caught up a little on where we were in our lives and talked a little about how times have changed since high school. I told him the crazy things I have been up to and he told me that he worked for Customs and Border Protection. I was really impressed. I felt proud of him, probably the same way he felt of me when I left to serve in the Marine Corps sixteen years ago. WOW, that sounds like so long ago!

For some reason he didn't sound too proud of his accomplishment. He told me that working for "the man" wasn't all that it was cut out to be and that he was going through a constant struggle. He said he was very good at his job and that his immediate family was very proud of him, but it what was what his family in Mexico called him that made him second guess his choice of employment. They called him a "Vendido", to the non Spanish speakers, they called him a sell out.

Why would they call him that? I would be proud if I knew one of my family members was able to get a job with the government in another country. I would be so happy to see that some of my family left to another country and was able to make a better life for themselves and their kids. It would give me something to shoot for, not something to make fun of.

My friend said he was proud of his heritage and described himself as a proud Chicano. It sounded like he felt that he couldn't be both at the same time. Why not? His heritage and the government's laws have nothing to do with each other.

To My Friend:

Be proud of what you do, you have come along way. You have a very respectable job that not just anyone can do. Wear that uniform with pride and remember with all the crime and drugs in this country you are the first line of defense. A Chicano is an activist for the betterment of his people, your job helps get rid of crime and drugs that in return gives your people a better life. Good Luck My Friend.

What Is A Sell Out? This term has been thrown around more lately since there are more conservative Latino groups that are coming up.

Let me ask you this; Are you a sell out because you want to help Latinos achieve the American dream the right way? Are you a sell out because you are trying to eliminate the suffering people endure when being crossed over illegally by coyotes who take advantage of them in every way possible and sometimes leave them out in the heat to die? Are you a sell out because your idea of empowering your "people" is to give them the opportunity to be heard by helping them earn the right to vote in elections instead of having them depend on others to speak out for them?

People try to pin us against our own heritage by calling us names. It is very easy to throw out the word "vendido" without backing it up with any facts. It is a word that is supposed to make us feel guilty, a word that is supposed to make us realize that we are wrong, but that is not the case. "Vendido" is just a word with no power behind it. People can call us what ever they want but they will see that our actions will have a positive impact on Latinos and that we really care about the well being of our community, we just do things in a different way. A better way if you ask me.

Capitalism vs. Socialism. Why should anyone settle for working the fields when they can own them? We would rather see Latinos be business owners and entrepreneurs than see them in line for a handout. Why allow Latinos to be controlled by social programs. There is no justice in these social programs that the current administration is imposing on us.

Immigration. For some reason people think we forget about our heritage because we support things like legal immigration. How dare we want "our people" to migrate here without having to walk miles in the hot sun or swim in dangerous waters? How dare we believe that laws should be followed by everyone? People who oppose enforcing immigration laws are only guaranteeing the Coyotes jobs. People will continue pay these human traffickers to cross them illegally and put their lives in danger time and time again unless we do something about it. We have to get tougher at the border, people might not like the sound of it, but that's what is best for everyone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What We Are Supposed To Do

A recent article in is going to cause some people to stop in their tracks and say "what the?"

In the article, the Arizona Latino Republican Association has come out in support of Arizona and Senate Bill 1070 and made itself a defendant in the Department of Justice's lawsuit against the state of Arizona.

Most people are thinking "Are they out of their minds?"

Their actions go to show that there are some Hispanic groups who are willing to stand up for what they believe in without being scared of going against the norm. We have been talking about this in El Paso for a couple months now and have only heard why we shouldn't stand up for laws like SB 1070 or stand up in support of Legal Immigration. We have been told that it would only offend people and scare off the Latino/Hispanic vote that the Republican Party needs.

I am glad to see the ALRA has done what they did. They are standing up for SB 1070 because they believe we need to protect ourselves by securing our borders while still supporting legal immigration and did not go against SB 1070 simply because they are Hispanic. They did not go along with the idea, a misconception by many across the country, that as Hispanics you are "supposed" to be against laws like SB 1070. They are a courageous group who put the safety of our country first.

I hate it when people tell me I'm "supposed" to be against this or for that. It really bothers me when people say I'm "supposed" to think a certain way, or talk a certain way or dress a certain way because of my heritage. If my father doesn't tell me what I'm "supposed" to do, what gives anybody else the right to? Telling me that I am "supposed" to be anything is only contributing to the stereotyping and to the racism that has our country split into many pieces and is only made worse when its somebody from the same ethnic background who says you are "supposed" to. Are they doing anything to help fight racism or are they only adding fuel to the fire?

I think we should follow suit and take a more aggressive stance on this issue. As Latinos we are human beings just like everyone else. We have the right to think on our own like everyone else and not be pigeon holed into something we are not. Latino or not, I believe you should follow your heart, decide what you believe in and not allow the media or anyone else to tell you what you are "supposed" to do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Racism; The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

These last few weeks have been interesting when it comes to the issue of racism. We had the NAACP calling out the leaders of the TEA Party to expel the bigots and racist in their ranks or take full responsibility for their actions.

I have to be honest with you, I agree. But at the same time I agree with his statement more than they would like me to. There is no room for racism anywhere. There is no room on the left and their is no room on the right. Our problem is that we tolerate it. Turning the other way on racism is just as bad as being racist.

Racism has no party affiliations and it knows no boundaries. The NAACP calls out the Tea Party but turns the other way on the actions of the New Black Panther Party. They must have not been watching their You Tube channel or where not notified of how the current administration refused to prosecute Black Panthers for voter intimidation after standing at a polling place with a billy clubs. The current administration tolerated the racism.

You might say, that doesn't affect me here in El Paso. But does it? Most of the time El Pasoans don't care as long as its not against "Mexicans". Just a few weeks ago Blanche Darley used the N word at the State DemocratIC convention and not a darn thing was done. Once again, it was tolerated.

If that is not enough, I'll use the most recent example. Ban Arizona is a group here in El Paso that pushes banning all businesses based out of Arizona to punish them for not standing up against SB 1070. They also pride themselves in spreading the Ban Hate campaign, yet they post pictures of what they believe are non Latinos(they racially profile) and post hateful and racist comments about them on their social network sites.

Racism needs to stop. It is our job to stop it. We can do that by not tolerating it. We can do it by putting people in their place when they tell you a racial joke, we can do it by telling people to stop forwarding you those racist jokes, we can stop it by holding people in power accountable for using racial slurs. We have to remember, one day its to one group but then the next it will be against our group. Let's stop racism in its tracks now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Let's Ask El Paso What They Think

Arizona's controversial Senate Bill 1070 has people up in arms all around the country. The media reports stories of those who are against the bill and some that are for the bill itself or one similar to it. We often hear about polls that are taken in Arizona and other places around the country. Polls that tell us what other people feel about immigration. Except for those in Arizona, they are people that live hundreds of miles away from the border. What we don’t see is a poll that reflects the opinion of El Pasoans. We deserve to know where we as El Pasoans stand on this very polarized issue. We live a few yards away from the world’s deadliest city yet nobody has taken a poll asking us what we think about immigration or about secure borders. I would like to see an actual poll conducted of the people of El Paso. A poll that will help us better understand where we all stand on this issue.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Double Standards; Blanche Darley Does it Again

Blanche Darley is a member of the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats and is going around the state of Texas spreading hate and using racial slurs. She used the N word at the Democratic State Convention held in Corpus Christi a few weeks ago referring to Don Williams, the new El Paso State Democratic Executive Committeeman. This wasn't the first time either.

I don't curse in my blogging(my momma might read it) so you can read the original blog by Jaime Abeytia here. I have to warn you, the N word makes several appearances in his post.

Now it seems that Mrs. Darley, who is the sister of long-time former Democratic State Rep Paul Moreno, holds some sort of leadership role in the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats. What type of leader is that? and where is she leading those poor blind sheep she has been herding? They are lucky there are not many cliffs here in El Paso.

The real question is why hasn't anything been done to Blanche Darley? Why has the El Paso DemocratIC Party given her a pass on her actions? A law was passed in Arizona that did not include the N word or in this case the W word(referring to a person's back) anywhere in the long document yet it is being called racist and has people up in arms.

Where are those people now? Why wasn't there a protest by a human rights group to protest her actions? Did they take this weekend off?

Is it because she is not white? For some reason only Anglos are accused of being racist now a days. Jan Brewer can't even say she ate brown rice for dinner without being accused of making a racial comment and causing the country to go into a panic. Talk about double standards. So much for people stereotyping the Republicans as racists. A racist is a racist, no matter the pigment of their skin or political affiliation.

I just hope the people of El Paso stand up and fight racism, even if it is within their own ranks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Five Year Old Who Battles Leukemia Wants to Meet Shakira



EL PASO, TX- Alex Cisneros is a five year old boy who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at just eleven months old. There are only seven known cases like his in the world and up to a few weeks ago he had lived a normal life showing almost no signs of even being sick. Alex was in the hospital for three weeks due to a case of pneumonia. He was doing so well but due to the pneumonia the cancer is no longer in remission. Alex is getting sick and needs to get a bone marrow transplant. A match has been found for Alex using chord blood. Alex will start ten days of chemotherapy and then get the transplant. Doctors say it is a 50/50 chance that he will be able to live a normal life. That is a chance his parents are willing to take.

Alex is your normal five year old boy who is full of energy and who loves to play with other kids. But when you ask him who his favorite person in the whole world is he doesn't give you the name of a super hero like every other boy his age. His answer is Shakira. Alex knows many of her songs and his parents say he watches her music videos religiously that he even knows the choreography to to the songs. Alex's dream is to meet Shakira. Many attempts have been made by the family to reach the singer but have not been successful. The family is asking for help to grant their son this wish. Shakira will be in El Paso in October for a concert and they would like to take advantage of her being in town to make his wish come true. Anyone who can make this wish come true for Alex is asked to call 915-633-4724.