Happy Valentine’s Day to my great students! Check out these five “Latino” love stories.
Btw I’m putting “Latino” in quotes because only two couples are actually Latino; two are Latin American and one is European.
Also, does Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s relationship qualify as “great” yet? Discuss amongst yourselves…
Luis Rodriguez is the author of Always Running, a powerful memoir about his turn away from gang life and inspiration to pursue community activism. it was one of the first Chicana/o memoirs I’d read when I was in high school.
Rodriguez has continued his legacy of community activism and writing (writing fifteen more books), and is taking it to the next level: running for governor of California. He explains,
The Democrats and Republicans for the most part just do not represent the interests of the homeowner, the poor guy working, anybody trying to survive. The idea is that I’m part of this world. I want to contribute in a meaningful way. I thought I could do it with my voice, my books, my writing, and now by running for governor, a very important position, bringing in vital, new ideas. My slogan is ‘Imagine a New California.’ That’s the first step.
Check out more of his interview at the O.C. Weekly.
On the power of representations and stereotypes in the media:
I was excited earlier this week to discover this TEDx talk by my fabulous friend, Evelyn Alsultany, professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Evelyn’s first book was Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11.
In this talk, she shares her research ion the power effects of stereotypes of Arab and Muslim Americans in popular television and film. Her works underscores the fact that representations matter: What we read, see, and hear in popular media shouldn’t be dismissed as “just entertainment”; rather, these are powerful texts that shape our world and, if we are smart enough, that we can reclaim in order to combat negative stereotypes.
Where ethnic studies and sports news meet: Here’s a fabulous ad by the National Congress of American Indians which should air during the Superbowl, but won’t.
The message: American Indians are proud to call themselves many things—but “Redskins” and other racist football mascot names, they are not. Check out Changethemascot.org to share your support.
From the Economist: “The counties with the highest concentration of Mexicans (as defined by ethnicity, rather than citizenship) overlap closely with the area that belonged to Mexico before the great gringo land-grab of 1848.”
As we should learn in any good, basic American history class, many Mexicans didn’t cross the border; rather, the border crossed them. Nevertheless, it’s maps and statistics like these that cause conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham to worry that the (nonexistent) decline of English in the US is due to “Mexican jingoism.”
Mexican “jingoism”? Seems like Ingraham could freshen up not just on history, but on English vocabulary, too!
NPR has a feature on a new book by David Dorado Romo, entitled, Ringside Seat to a Revolution. Romo’s research calls attention to a fascinating, yet little-known story from US-Mexico border crossing history: the Bath Riots.
The Riots were sparked by a teenage maid who refused the indignities of being deloused at the border crossing—a common and humiliating daily occurrence. As NPR explains,
Before being allowed to cross, Mexicans had to bathe, strip nude for an inspection, undergo the lice treatment, and have their clothes treated in a steam dryer.
When Torres and the others resisted the humiliating procedure, onlookers began protesting, sparking what became known as the Bath Riots.
The Mexican housekeepers who revolted had good cause to be upset. Inside a brick disinfectant building under the bridge, health personnel had been secretly photographing women in the nude and posting the snapshots in a local cantina.
Read about what happened to Torres and check out an excerpt from Romo’s book at NPR.org.
As Rice powerfully explains:
When I was a kid, there was no, that I read, Mexican-American literature or Chicano literature. And so I didn’t know it existed until I was 23 years old. I’m 46 now. And I was in a plane on Southwest Airlines, flying, and I read an in-flight magazine that had Rolando Smith-Hinojosa’s story about a snowman down in - down in the valley in Mercedes, Texas, where I’m close to.
And so that’s the first time I saw that a Mexican-American could write a story about his or her home. And the Rio Grande Valley where I’m from, head count is only 2,000 people. It’s a very small town 18 miles from the border. And so it was very rural.
And when I read that story, I realized, hey, you know, I could write about my home. And my home does have validation. Where I’m from is important.
Read more—or listen to the complete interview—at this link.
Presente.org responds to the Justin Bieber’s recent arrest for DUI and drag-racing.
This story comes from LatinoRebels:
Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe might be the most interesting competitor in the Alpine skiing field at the Sochi Olympics. Having qualified in the slalom, he would be the oldest competitor in the sport at 55 years of age. Descended from the reigning dynasty of a former principality in what is now Germany, von Hohenlohe, has competed in 15 World Championships and Sochi would be his sixth Olympic Games. In Vancouver, he was the lone Mexican athlete at the Games.
Maybe now I’ll actually have a reason to follow the winter Olympics.
My purpose in creating this blog is to address common misconceptions that People of Color did not exist in Europe before the Enlightenment, and to emphasize the cognitive dissonance in the way this is reflected in media produced today.
The ubiquity in modern media to display a fictitiously all-white Europe is often thoughtlessly and inaccurately justified by claims of “historical accuracy”; this blog is here to emphasize the modern racism that retroactively erases gigantic swaths of truth and beauty.
Check out the great images and follow this tumblr today!
In MAS 10A, students are always very interested to discuss gender ideologies and to learn about Two Spirit people throughout Native communities in the Americas.
PBS’s Independent Lens features a great map that provides information on communities around the world that embrace notions of gender that move beyond the male/female binary that persists in the US mainstream. Really interesting resource!
Also, check out this article by Barbara King on “Why We Need More than Three Genders" at NPR.org.