Recently in Citizen Orange Category



I'm here in the land of eternal spring, Guatemala, thankful for the privilege that gives me the means and the ability to cross borders to be home with my family, this holiday season. My gift, this year, to those reading this, is one of my favorite Christmas songs--The Kinks' "Father Christmas"--The punk rock they helped inspire clearly shining through.

There's a lot to reflect on, this year.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

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I thought I'd share a little bit of Bob Marley this holiday weekend. I can't think of a better musician to express both the gratitude that has become the core of this U.S. holiday, along with the solemnity of the violence from whence it came.
I'm doing a lot of radio these days, I guess. Today, I'm kind of cheating. I'm in the Detroit area with family and a friend of my father's and mother's from college, Gary Baker, hosts this radio show called Internet Advisor.

I've actually been on it, once before, when I was just a kid. Either way, I just thought I'd let folks know in case they have time and want to listen. I'll be on with my father which I think will be interesting.
A lot has happened over the last few months and I've done my best to keep the readers of Citizen Orange apprised of every thing that I believe affects my writing. I wrote about my commitment to Catholicism in April, and I've tried to inform readers about my recent part-time job at Neighbors United For A Better East Boston (NUBE) working against S-Comm in Boston.

Today, I'm excited to announce that I just completed my first full day working for Presente.org. My first public action was tweeting Obama's NCLR speech. I'm going to be handing off some of my responsibilities at NUBE over the next few weeks, but I hope to continue to work out of the NUBE office to stay connected to the local pro-migrant community and to get out of my apartment.

I've got to say that I'm really excited to be working for Presente alongside of Carlos Roa, Favianna Rodriguez, Felipe Matos, and Laurie Ignacio. It's not just that this is the first time I'll be getting health insurance outside of school (yes I'm frequently among the 2% of folks that don't have health insurance in Massachusetts), it's the first time that I'll be able to dedicate myself full-time to the pro-migrant social media work that I love and am skilled at, and will be able to do it from anywhere.

I'm equally, if not more excited, to be doing this sort of work with people that I trust and respect, which if I can impart some advice, is probably one of the most important factors to consider when you work with people in the public arena. While I don't plan on leaving the Boston area in the next couple of years, it's dream of mine, primero Dios, to be able to do pro-migrant work for an organization like Presente from my home of Guatemala, at some point.

Saying that, I want to be clear about what I envision my role at Presente to be. I identify very firmly as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, and as a Latin American leftist among many other things, but I've tried to be clear since I started blogging that within the racial context of the U.S., I'm identified as white and benefit from white privilege. That's a big part of why Citizen Orange has always been identified as an ally space.

That's not something I feel I have to apologize for, it's just the reality of the world we live in. It is just something that those of us who benefit from white privilege have to be conscious of and have to try to work against to the best of our ability. Though I've certainly made mistakes, as we all have, I believe in general my actions and words up to this point in my life have proven that I'm willing to give my life, several times over, to work against systems of oppression like racism and nativism. I can only pray that I'm able to keep that fire burning in my belly for the rest of my life.

I bring all this up because I see Presente as a Latin@ space, and I envision my role there to be a mostly behind-the-scenes supporting role. In other words, me taking credit for things like the tweets I wrote today won't happen much outside of this blog post. Everyone working at Presente, right now, is a rock star. I want to be there to take some of the work off of their hands so that they can continue to be the rock stars they need to be for the Latin@ community.

That doesn't mean I won't leave my mark. I've already got a few things up my sleeve for when I get into the flow of things, but I'll leave that to discuss at another date. For the time being, I just wanted to inform people of my new role, and to thank everyone at Presente for the honor of working alongside of them.

Happy May Day 2011

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According to the Massachusetts Jobs with Justice website, the May Day march in Boston will take places at the following times and places:

East Boston: 1:00 pm Central Square March from Liberty Plaza in Central Square to Chelsea City Hall

Everett:1::00 pm Everett City Hall March from Everett City Hall to Chelsea City Hall

Chelsea: 3:00 - 5:00 pm Chelsea City Hall Rally and Entertainment

I might not be able to make it until 3 p.m., but you're welcome to follow along on twitter if you're interested in what I'm up to.


"It's much more like Egypt then MoveOn", is the comparison Roberto Lovato used to describe how migrant youth use social media as we prepared for our panel in the National Conference for Media Reform here in Boston.  It's an apt comparison, I believe.  Unauthorized migrant youth, or Dreamers (after the DREAM Act), have had to use social media differently then most in the U.S.  

This for two major reasons, I believe: (1) because of the widespread political violence, now escalated by the Obama administration, which has been unleashed on our communities (Yes, I count myself as being in community with migrant youth, as we all should), and (2) because only a few years ago there was not a single media outlet you could find that truly gave voice to undocumented youth.  What has sprouted up in resistance to that violence and systemic silence is truly unique, I believe, and it's good to see social media behemoths like Mashable start to recognize it.
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter, today, from Citizen Orange.  It's a special Easter for me this year and I hope that it is for you to.
I don't know how clearly it has been coming out of what little writing I've been doing as of late, but for those who don't know, I started a process of soul searching almost as soon as I started my pro-migrant work.  Five years of prayerful consideration has finally allowed me the great privilege of taking the first steps of what I hope will be a lifelong journey.  

Today, as Holy Week comes to an end, Primero Dios, I will formally be receiving my First Communion and will be Confirmed into the Catholic Church.  For those in the Boston area, the ceremony will officially take place starting at 7:30 p.m. in St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish.  All are welcome.

I've been working on writing something explaining my commitment.  What was meant to be a clear and succinct piece of turned into an almost 6,000 word behemoth.  It's difficult for me to gauge whether Citizen Orange is the place for my religious ruminations, or not.  Still, I feel an obligation to disclose to readers here any new affilations that I have because this decision certainly effects my writing.

What follows is a excerpt from a draft I've been working on explaining my commitment.
I'm happy to report that after almost four months of sitting on it, the comments at Citizen Orange are up and running again.  It turns out I was right to wait.  After trying to install Disqus, the new comments system here, a bug came up in Moveable Type, which no longer allowed me to post.

Thankfully, Jose Lopez at tumis.com was gracious enough to help me fix the bug last night.  I met Jose at Web of Change last summer.  Since then Tumis put together the United We Dream website, which I think is really well done, and not just because orange plays prominently into the design :)  This is just a long way of saying that if you ever need a good looking and functional website and want to support pro-migrant web developers, I can't imagine you doing much better than going with Tumis.

I've also got to say that though Jose just informed me that Disqus isn't very compatible with Moveable Type because it's written in Javascript, I think that it functions and looks great.  It's a testament to the design skills of Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican that many years later I'm still able to build on the beauty he created.  
Citizen Orange was down for a couple of hours tonight after the Movable Type script "mt-comments.cgi", which is what makes the comments run here caused undue strain on the server that hosts Citizen Orange.  This is the second time something like this has happened to Citizen Orange.  The first time there was a problem with the Search script, which is why you'll notice the search box on the right doesn't work. 

Bluehost, as always, was very helpful and understanding in helping me to deal with problem, especially since I'm not as technologically saavy as I should be.  They told me what was wrong and for now I just basically deleted the "mt-comments.cgi" script, and will leave it that way until I can figure out a more permanent solution.  I don't believe this is a political attack on Citizen Orange, it's the just the result of a bunch of spam bots overloading the outdated Movable Type installation I have here. 

I've put the maintenance and updating of Citizen Orange off for much too long while focusing on the DREAM Act.  I'm going to be speaking with my co-blogger Dave, shortly, about the best strategy for Citizen Orange moving forward so that we can inject some much needed capital into getting this site up to date.  In the meantime, if you know of any Movable Type experts that can get the comments up and running on Citizen Orange again as a temporary fix, I'd appreciate the help. 

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