kyledeb: July 2008 Archives

I'm not usually a fan of the multiple public relations pitches that come through the contact us page on Citizen Orange.  Yet, I have to admit that when someone from Big Think wrote me about the story of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, I was hooked and had to share the story.  I'll embed the Big Think video that tells his story here, but below the fold I'll expound upon it.

It's the practical and moral thing to do.  David Neiwart has the reasoning over at Orcinus.

The Right To Stay Home

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David Bacon has an excellent piece on the right to stay home over at New America Media. (sombrero tip to Alternet)
It's a little late, but as promised, I've put together a video from the footage I caught while I was at the annual National Council of La Raza conference in San Diego.

It turns out that after I wrote my post documenting the racism of the San Diego Minutemen, an even more heinous case of racism emerged.  It was caught by Naui Huitzilopochtli (YouTube user nauiocelotl).  Naui was a little bit hostile with the Minutemen.  But coupling his footage with mine really builds a solid case for the hypocrisy of the San Diego Minutemen.  It seems the hypocrisy of them holding up signs accusing others of racism at the same time they spewed hateful terms like "wetback" and "beaner" was lost on them.

Without further ado, here's the video.  Please Digg it, give it a thumbs up on StumbleUpon, and uprate it on Reddit:

The migrant story has more facets than a finely cut diamond.  The facet of Guatemalan adoption is one that I've touched every now and again. 

The BBC is reporting that for the first time, the Guatemalan government has "irrefutable evidence that a stolen child was put up for adoption."  The story is an unbelievably sad one.
Thank goodness for Man Eegee.  I received an email from the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos a few days ago, issuing a call to action in defense of Isabel Garcia, a staunch defender of migrant rights, but as I tried to write something I realized I didn't know where to begin.  Fortunately, Manny knows the area and the players well, and his latest post, "Piñata Porn Extraordinaire Jon Justice", really put everything into perspective for me.  
My mother sent me this video and I had to post it.  This is 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki speaking before the UN's 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



You know something is wrong when a child makes more sense than the leaders of the world.
If people do not believe in my constant call for a more global approach to the issue of migration, read this latest shocking article from Guatemala's main newspaper, Prensa Libre
UPDATE: It looks as if the global perspective was discussed pretty extensively.  More in the comments.

If the internets sound a little quiet to you today, it's probably because a lot of people are at Netroots Nation.  Man Eegee from Latino Politico seems to be doing the best job at providing information relative to the sanctuarysphere.  He live blogged both the Immigration Panel and the Latino Panel.  It looks like you put a lot of work into it Manny.  Thank you.  Definitely go check them out for a summary of what looks like a good discussion.

What a Mess

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Sometimes I feel like I'm reading the screenplay for some shoot-em-up movie as I follow this Guatemala crime odyssey, but I'm not.  All this case inspires in me is sadness for the country I was born and raised in.
In a post I wrote earlier today, I made my thoughts about this "flip-flop" narrative known.  This is a happy day for migrant youth.  Today, a courageous member of One Dream 2009 got Senator McCain to say he supports the DREAM Act.

The Democrats have put out a video documenting the flip-flop(sombrero tip to Todd at MyDD who has been covering this with me):



I just stepped outside to witness the craziness of the protestors again.  There was a much heavier police presence today as there were protesters and counter-protestors, but I'll have more on that later.  For now, below is a copy of McCain's remarks at the National Council of La Raza conference here in San Diego:

Watching McCain's Speech

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Note: Credit for this post should go to The Sanctuary.

There are a lot less people here to see McCain in San Diego, today.  Janet Murguia, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), just introduced John McCain in a heap of praise over how John McCain has always kept the door open to NCLR.  If NCLR is so important to John McCain, then how come he doesn't list this speech in the Upcoming Events section of his website?  It lists the Coronado Campaign headquarters Grand Opening across the bay from here, but not the NCLR speech.

McCain's now mentioning his roll in trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  He's refuting Obama's complaint that McCain turned his back on comprehensive immigration reform.  He's tauting his efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the past, saying that Obama tried to pass and vote for ammendments meant to kill comprehensive immigration reform.  McCain says he means it when he says he wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and that with all due respect, he's earned that trust.  Awkward smiles all around. 
Much ado has been made over McCain's "flip-flop" on migration.  Mainstream progressive bloggers used to call migration a "pet issue" that wasn't worth blogging about.  It used to be a monumental struggle for bloggers like myself to get people to pay attention to migration policy.  Policy that I felt would not only define the future of the United States, but the future of the entire hemisphere, maybe even the world, for centuries to come.

It's hard to believe how far we've gotten since then.

Note: Link back to The Sanctuary for this post.

I'm here in San Diego where Barack Obama just spoke at the annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) conference.  NCLR flew out me here and provided with me accommodations at the luxurious San Diego Marriot Hotel & MarinaI was given the opportunity after I helped publicize NCLR's latest We Can Stop the Hate video using Digg and StumbleUpon, among other new media tools.  I didn't do it to advance myself in an particular way.  I just thought the video provided the most succinct description of the link between leading "anti-illegal immigration" groups and white supremacy.  I wanted as many people to see it as possible.

In fact, when NCLR invited me here, I did everything I could to get them to bring one of my blogmig@s along with me, or in my stead.  I identify as white and there should be a latin@ blogger here covering this conference.  I hear Todd Beeton of MyDD, and Lucas O'Connor of Calitics are here liveblogging Obama's speech, as well.  They probably weren't hand picked by NCLR like I was, but if you don't see a problem with three white male bloggers covering a National Council of La Raza conference, I'll leave that for a post that I'll write when all of this is done.  For now, we'll get back to Obama's appearance here.

I'm here in San Diego at the annual National Council of La Raza conference, where Obama just spoke.  I'm writing up a longer post on the experience right now, but in the meantime I thought I'd put up a copy of Obama's remarks:
(Full Disclosure: I am a consultant for the online component of the Welcoming Massachusetts campaign)

The Boston Globe did a good piece on the Welcoming Massachusetts campaign, today.  My favorite part of the article is the picture that went with it, taken by Globe photographer David I. Ryan:



The article also got some good messages out there.
In yet another case highlighting the fact that the U.S.'s broken immigration system is affecting everyone, NECN did a report on a local New England couple where a Canadian wife was an unauthorized migrant to the U.S. without even knowing it.  As a result, the usual stories repeat themselves:  families have been separated and needless suffering endures. 

Mark and Barbara Myers will not be together for their 25th wedding anniversary. Barbara may, in fact, be barred from the United States for five years, and the resulting economic hardship might result in the loss of their home. Watch the video, if you get the chance.
Over at the Sanctuary, Duke has posted the account of interpreter Erik Camayd-Freixas, who has gone into more depth then anyone about the proceedings in Postville, Iowa.  I think it's one of the most valuable first-hand accounts of what happened in Postville and it also busts the myth of the criminality of these migrants.  Some of my favorite quotes though, are the ones that humanize the migrants of which we have heard so little.  You should read the whole thing here, but I'll highlight some of them below:
Welcome to the World of NumbersUSA, FAIR, and ALIPAC:



Building walls.  Making millions of migrants miserable.  That's not the world I want to live in.

(Picture from Signs of the Times)
My post, The Intolerant States of America, made just a mild splash on the web, but some interesting things came up that I wanted to discuss.  It garnered 55 Diggs, 23 recommends and comments on Daily Kos, a few more comments over at Alternet, Blue Mass. Group, and The Sanctuary (feel free to show some love in any of these forums).

But it was a link from the blog of Samaha, that I'm most proud of.  She describes the mission of her blog as such:
I don't think U.S. citizens realize how closely the rest of the world is following the U.S. election.  I've spoken to U.S. volunteers in Guatemala and everywhere they go Guatemalans want to ask them them what their feelings are on the candidates.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, it looks as if McCain was met with "skepticism" on his trip to Mexico and Colombia.  One student in Mexico had this to say:

Some Mexicans say they favor McCain, but a zeal for Obama, as a minority, is an undertone across Latin America. "Obama will change everything if he is elected... there will be true immigration reform and not a band-aid because he has African heritage and understands the plight of immigrants," says Marco Polo Herrera, a student in Mexico City. "McCain will be more of the same."
Christian Science Monitor - Sara Miller Llana (3 July 2008)
I am still doubtful over whether or not Obama is the best candidate for those concerned with the migrant plight, but it's interesting to know that there are those in Mexico who feel that way.
  
There's not a person who is passionate about migrant rights that does not believe they have the answer about where the debate should go.  Workers' rights activists believe the answer lies in unions and in targeting exploitative employers.  Others believe the solution is in targeting the racism of the anti-migrant side.  Others believe the solution is in human rights, and the list goes on and on. 

I myself have always believe that the only solution to this problem is to give opportunities to migrants in the countries that they are coming from.  I believe the only solution is to move towards a world where people migrate out of want, and not out of need. 
Ask a Chola records a message for Lou Dobbs in this video:



The Pro-Migrant side is so much more fun than the nativist side.
Ray William Johnson is a college student in New York who produces Capitol Hill Gangsta on YouTube and he recently put out this video:



It's good to know that at least some people take the time to research the facts as they pertain to migrants.
"I think Obama would be a disaster, and there's a lot of reasons," said [Leroy] Pollard, explaining the rumors he had heard about the candidate from friends he goes camping with. "I understand he's from Africa, and that the first thing he's going to do if he gets into office is bring his family over here, illegally. He's got that racist [pastor] who practically raised him, and then there's the Muslim thing. He's just not presidential material, if you ask me."
Eli Saslow - Washington Post (30 June 2008)
Welcome to the Intolerant States of America.  Liberal elitists will read the words of Leroy Pollard, a resident of Flag City, U.S.A., and feign disgust.  This arrogance betrays the truth that we are all part of Leroy Pollard, and Leroy Pollard is part of us.  The first person I ran into who believed the myths about Barack Obama was not a resident of a small town like Flag City, U.S.A., but a wealthy investment banker, and the parent of a Harvard graduate.