Recently in Latin@ Category

They're not detention centers, they're prisons, where migrants are treated like criminals for the noble act of seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Cuéntame continues its frontal assault on the Corrections Corporation of America, and evil institution if there ever was one:



Cuéntame also started a new campaign "An Honest Conversation" that seeks to shine a disinfecting light on homophobia in the Latin@ community.
I've still been settling into my role as a campaign associate at Presente.org and trying to figure out how best my pro-migrant blogging fits into my time, but in the meantime I thought it was worth cross-posting the following statement regarding the Cecilia Muñoz controversy which my co-blogger, Dave, recently provided excellent analysis on.

Before I do so, however, I will provide a summary of developments up to this point in case people are having trouble following this. Cecilia Muñoz raised the ire of the pro-migrant community when she came out defending the dangerous S-Comm program at the same time that she essentially compared us to nativists. Many pro-migrant organizations came out against Ms. Muñoz's statement, and some Latin@ bloggers like Mario Solis-Marich and Maegan Ortiz, came out asking Ms. Muñoz to resign.

It wasn't until Ms. Muñoz came out in the documentary "Lost in Detention" defending the horrific immigration practices of the Obama administration that Presente.org called on Ms. Muñoz to correct the misrepresentations she's relying on to defend harmful program like S-Comm. Presente.org has not called on Ms. Muñoz to resign. In response to Presente.org's actions and the increasingly vocal cries of Latin@ bloggers, a group of pro-migrant organizations came out with a letter defending Cecilia Muñoz. Following is Presente.org's response to that letter:

In a Racewire doubleheader, it looks like neither Fox News nor President Obama can make up their minds on immigration and the growing U.S. Latin@ population.

Fox News wants Latin@s to watch one of its channels, and white nativists to watch the other.


Obama
wants to be both Deporter in Chief and champion of immigrants.

If Obama doesn't become a true champion of immigrant communities and continues to deport record numbers of immigrants, he will lose in 2012. At this point, though, it's hard to see how the next president could be worse than this one for immigrants in the U.S. Getting him out of office would be a step forward, not a step back.

It was blogged at midnight, here
The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

It's been one month since the DREAM Now Series started, and it's been far more successful than I had ever imagined.  DREAM Now Letters have been cross-posted and mentioned by a wide selection of bloggers.  Those blog posts, in turn, have been viewed, shared and retweeted tens of thousands of times.
When I first saw Made in L.A. last year after it won an Emmy, it hit a soft spot in me to say the least. When my father first came to this country way back in the '90s to pave the way for the rest of the family to make it over, he worked in one of those garment factories. I remember those days because of where we lived, how we lived and my father telling us later on, in his drunken ramblings, how much he hated that work when he was doing it. Yet, he did it and put up with it because that was what he needed to do in order to get the job done, so to speak.

Yerba Buena is a New York based Latin collective that has produced some very danceable music.

I first heard them coming over the speakers in a cafe in Fort Green, Brooklyn, and asked the waitress who it was. Later that day, I got both albums on eMusic.

The band's sound is hard to pin down, and it's magnetic. From Wikipedia:

Yerba Buena's music (as described by Razor and Tie, the band's record label) is a blend of African-rooted Latin music (Cuban Rumba, Colombian cumbia, Pan-Caribbean Soca, and Nuyorican Boogaloo) with hip-hop, Motown soul, Nigerian Afrobeat with a dash of Middle Eastern themes.

Celebrate First People

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Columbus Day is a loaded holiday for many, full of painful remembrances of vanquished peoples, dominating cultures, ethnic cleansing and genocide on the one hand, and parades and national pride on the other. In Spain, it is El Día de la Hispanidad, and in Mexico, El Día de la Raza. I see it as a day to learn some history, reflect, mourn, and look forward hopefully to a future that does not include the repetition of past atrocities.

Whether you're trying to decide how you feel about the holiday, or quite sure how you feel and would like the opportunity to celebrate and mourn at the same time, I recommend a visit to Never In Our Names for their featured writings Celebrating First People. The contributors focus on our history, including the story of Golden Flower, Taino Princess, by a talented young writer, and The Trail of Tears. The implications of Columbus Day on our present-day treatment of people and a more accurate version of Columbus' "discovery" than we were taught in school make for satisfying, enlightening reading.

Update: I missed this excellent NYTimes editorial on the McCain ad from yesterday, more below. (end update)

Both the Washington Post and the NYTimes picked up the story of McCain's Spanish-language ad directed to key Western swing states with large Latin@ populations in which the McCain campaign accuses Obama of sabotaging comprehensive immigration reform.  While both articles introduced useful information about the story, the Post's discussion was ultimately more informative. 

Be sure to read Nezua's latest post on Hispanic Heritage Month.  It sent chills down my spine.  No on can touch the spice in Nezua's writing.  Here's a taste:

Soy Indio y Euro, soy mestizo, soy Latino.  I am the conqueror and the conquered, I am the field and the worker and the hungry consumer; I am all these things, but my heritage is and will always be la lucha. And that is why I am here many days. For mi gente are still in the fields.
Nezua - The Unapologetic Mexican (15 September 2008)

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