Ron Paul Opposes DREAM Act, But Says Latinos Have Become “Scapegoats”

The current quartet of mainstream GOP presidential candidates are all against the current version of the DREAM Act, now that Ron Paul has spoken out the proposed bill, which is supported by 91% of US Latino voters, according to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Paul's decision to not support the DREAM Act is an economic one. That is what he told Latinos in Politics, Nevada's oldest Latino political group. This is what Univision News' Jordan Fabian reported from the site's Tumblr page on February 2:

“I can’t endorse [it] because there is a lot of money involved. And you know there are a lot of subsidies in there between the billions of dollars.”

Both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney both support a military-only version of a DREAM Act-type bill, even though at one point Romney was against the DREAM Act altogether. Paul's comments and position are a bit curious since during the same speech with the Nevada group, he said:

“I believe Hispanics have been used as scapegoats, to say, they’re the problem instead of being a symptom maybe of a problem with the welfare state. In Nazi Germany they had to have scapegoats to blame and they turned on the Jews.

“Now there’s a lot of antagonism and resentment turned just automatically on immigrants. You say, no not immigrants, it’s just illegal immigrants. I do believe in legal immigration. I want to have a provision to obey those laws. You have to understand this in the context of the economy.”

 

How Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” Speech from 1940 Still Resonates Today in a World of Injustice

In 1940, the great Charlie Chaplin created a film that went after Hitler two years before America did. It was Chaplin's first talking movie and his most successful one. At a time when the United States was still at peace with Nazi Germany, Chaplin's movie, which was political satire at its most provocative, played a role in how American public opinion began to shift towards Hitler's dictatorship.

What is interesting to note is that Chaplin and the rest of the world knew very little about the Nazi atrocities going on in 1939 and 1940. According to sources, Chaplin said that he very likely would not have satirized Hitler if he knew the real facts about the crimes on humanity that the Nazis had committed. Still, he did create this film, and revisiting it now can serve a reminider to all of us that injustice must still find warriors.Chaplin was one of the most popular figures in the world at the time.

Like he said, he wanted to expose the Nazis as "machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts."

The trailer from the film's re-release gives you a flavor of "The Great Dictator," a work that was clearly ahead of its time. A full snyopsis can be seen here, but the the key plot motive was a simple classic case of mistaken identity. Chaplin played two roles in the movie, Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber, whom eventually is mistaken for Hynkel near the end of the film and then gives a rousing speech basically condemning Hynkel's repression, anti-Semitism, and hate, and calling for a new world of harmony and peace. To think that a movie that is over 70 years old has merit today. The themes are uncanny, in the time of Arab Springs and Occupations.

If you have never seen "The Great Dictator," see it. Here is the trailer.

 

Here is the final speech that the Jewish Barber (as Hynkel) gives.

The following version contains Spanish subtitles.

This is the full text of the speech from the movie.

Written and delivered by Sir Charles Chaplin 

General Schulz: Speak – it is our only hope.


The Jewish Barber (Charlie Chaplin): I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. 

Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. 

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! 

[Huge hurray from the huge crowd – scene changes to Hanna (Paulette Goddard) a refugee on the floor with eyes still in tears from having been beaten down by the Dictator’s soldiers. Romantic string music in the background. Hanna’s beautiful face and eyes are in awe as to how her Jewish barber friend who was imprisoned by the Dictator’s troops is not speaking as the Great Dictator!]

Hanna, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hanna! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kind new world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hanna! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow. Into the light of hope! Into the future! The glorious future! That belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hanna! Look up!

Hanna's Father: Hanna! Did you hear that?

Hanna: Listen! [as her great acting and incredible cinematography turns her face into a goddess as the music takes the movie to conclusion.]

Al Jazeera Features Tony Diaz of @librotraficante in Extended “Losing the Latino Vote” Segment

Tony Diaz, the leader of the Librotraficantes group, made an appearance this week on Al Jazeera in an extended segment called "Losing the Latino Vote." The segment tried to answer following: With each passing US election the Hispanic vote becomes more crucial to clinching the presidency. But does the Republican party risk alienating that constituency with its increasingly hostile rhetoric and policy?

"They've really got to reach out and I want to remind people that the Latinos will be a big swing vote… Offensive things like our ethnic studies being denied and banned in states like Arizona to us represent the Republican party. Right now Obama has got to capture our hearts and imagination with good old-fashioned American values that we children of the American dream believe in."

- Tony Diaz, novelist and leader of the activist group Librotraficantes

Our favorite Librotaricante held his own and got his point across, one that we tend to side on. The Republican Party missed a huge opportunity to capitalize on the dissatisfaction and disappointment many Latino voters had with President Obama. However, when their main candidates continue to harp on short-sighted immigration rhetoric (and this means you too, Speaker Gingrich), it is no surprise that right now, Obama 2012 is going to still take a large chunk of the US Latino vote. It is a long election cycle, but we don't see any indications that Mitt Romney will change his tune. He is still stuck on pushing a self-deportation policy that was actually a joke initiated in 1990s by an activist group in California.

Diaz was part of a panel that include Israel Ortega, the editor of Libertad.org, a conservative Spanish language website, and Brent Wilkes, the executive director of the League of United Latino American Citizens.

“Precious Knowledge” Documentary Chronicles The Civil Rights Battle at Tucson High School

If you want to see a detailed account of the ethnic studies controversy in Tucson Unified School District, the award-winning documentary "Precious Knowledge" is a good place to start.

Precious Knowledge illustrates what motivates Tucson High School students and teachers to form the front line of an epic civil rights battle.

Precious Knowledge is a co-production of Dos Vatos Productions, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Arizona Public Media, and Latino Public Broadcasting, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

You can like them on Facebook or learn more about the movie here. Here is a trailer:

Precious Knowledge Trailer from Ari Palos on Vimeo.

In the Bronx, A Community Demands Answers from NYPD About Shooting of Teen

This story comes out of The Bronx, and we saw it when we were watching NewYork1 (BTW, NY1, we would be more than happy to embed your own video on our blog, but you don't have an embed on your site.)

Nonetheless, it appears that the New York City Police Department will be facing some tough questions about the shooting death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, who was killed in his home after being chased by police. There are questions about whether the NYPD actually had the authority to enter the Graham's home in the Gun Hill section of the Bronx, but as the report suggest, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly right now is sharing the NYPD's official version.

We don't think this story will be going away. Here is what NY1 reported about the response from Graham's family:

Graham's relatives say they are devastated by his death and are demanding more answers from police.

"The police kill him…for what? Him no have a gun, not a weapon, not nothing. He smoke weed, that's about it," said Graham's brother, Delmar Scott.

"They do deserve the death penalty. They need it. They need it badly. I don't believe in the death penalty myself but he needs it. The way this happened, he needs it, he needs it," said Graham's sister-in-law Sarah George.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Graham's mother said officers went too far.

"Like a regular kid, he's like you know, just like any other kid. You know you have kids who get in trouble, simple other stuff. But he wasn't that bad, he wasn't a bad kid. Not the kind of kid who carries guns around and slings no guns, he's not that type of kid," said Graham's mother, Constance Malcolm.

The shooting officer and his supervising sergeant – both assigned to the 47th Precinct – have been placed on modified duty pending an investigation.

This Meme Will Never Go Away: Now It’s “Sh*t Reggaetoneros Say”

This meme will never go away. Maybe it is time for a "Sh*t People Say" TV channel?

Here is "Sh*t Reggaetoneros Say"

Arizona Politician Makes a Public Suggestion for a White People Holiday

Is it possible to just have Arizona secede from the Union? Or at least see some of their "leaders" can get the "hell out of the country," to paraphrase Congressman Allen West?

This week, KPHO out of Phoenix ran a story about Arizona state representative (and Republican) Cecil Ash, who suggested in on the floor of the Arizona House that the state should celebrate for white people. Sounds unbelievable? See the segment and decide for yourself.

As KPHO reports:

Rep. Cecil Ash, a Republican from Mesa, is suggesting Arizona needs a holiday for white people.

"I wanted to speak to you all about Latino Americans here in Arizona," said state Rep. Richard Miranda on the House floor Monday, starting the conversation that sparked the controversy.

Miranda said Arizona should have a Latino American day in Arizona.

After some heated debate, Rep. Cecil Ash stepped up to the mic.

"I'm supportive of this proposition. I just want them to assure me that when we do become in the minority you'll have a day for us," Ash said.

The report continues:

"Crazy idea," one person said.

"Good idea. Like they have Cinco de Mayo for Mexicans. We need something for whites," another commented.

Ash never thought his comment would cause such a stir.

"There was a little contention there so I was just really trying to lighten things up a little bit," Ash said.

He did get some laughs that day.

But he said he's not backing down from his statement.

"Yes, I think it was appropriate. It was appropriate for the mood that was in the House and I think that if and when the Caucasian population becomes a minority, they may want to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions of the Caucasian population the same way," Ash said.

Ok, Rep. Ash, we know you are missing the point a bit, but yes, we will give you a Celebrate Whites Day. You are right. Start choosing a date and get back to us. We will petition for it.

Ash has not be a stranger to controversy, as this segment with CNN's Anderson Cooper about President Obama's birth certificate shows.