“Undocumented, Unafraid, Unapologetic:” Annual Rally Returns to Daley Plaza in Chicago on March 10

We got this posting from our friends at Gozamos and from the Immigration Youth Justice League.

On Saturday March 10 at 1pm CST, a rally will be held at Daley Plaza in Chicago. You can find more information about this rally on its Facebook event page:

Coming Out of the Shadows Day National Coming Out of the Shadows Day began here in Chicago on March 10th, 2010 and then spread all over the nation. Since then, young people have been “coming out” as undocumented to their friends, teachers, legislators, and classmates, which has even led to actions of civil disobedience in Arizona, Washington D.C., New York, Illinois, California, Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. 

Last year, during March 10th, undocumented immigrant youth along with our allies publicly defied fear and criminalization without shame by declaring to be "undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic" in the pursuit of equal rights and immigration reform. 

Now, in 2012, we are still undocumented and are still finding people who have lived silent and scared for too long. We believe that being able to speak publicly about being undocumented, despite our fears, lets us remember that we are not doing anything wrong, and that we have the right to be here and be treated as human beings. We are no longer going to allow anyone to blame our parents for bringing us to the U.S. when we were young. Coming out is a way to challenge immigration enforcement to make a choice: take action and show the world that the people they are deporting are us –students, workers, their friends, classmates; or stay silent and affirm our right to be undocumented and unafraid.

Today is the time that the undocumented youth movement is taking ownership of our actions, our politics, our stories, and the risks that we are willing to take for the movement. 

Come out and join the Immigrant Youth Justice League, Nuestra Voz, and LOY@L from Chicago and suburbs as we come out of the shadows on March 10th 2012. Invite your friends and bring your voice!

Much love,

IYJL, Nuestra Voz, LOY@L

*Note to those who are undocumented: Please know that as individuals and as an organization we have experience doing actions like this, including civil disobedience where as part of the strategy undocumented youth have gotten arrested. Immigration enforcement has never intervened, as we are all still here. None of us are planning to get arrested this time; it is NOT a civil disobedience or direct action. This is a rally to empower undocumented people, but we wanted to make sure you knew that in our experience immigration will NOT show up (and that if they do, it would be bad for their public image and good for our movement). We also have legal counsel and training should anyone get harassed, etc. Lastly, even if someone does get detained as a result of coming out, we have won campaign after campaign to fight youth deportations, and we will win again. 

For various opportunities to financially support please visit
http://www.facebook.com/events/189035341197785/

And if you can't join us, you can always organize your own event or support us by donating online :)
Donations: http://bit.ly/wxK9K4
50 ways to come out Undocumented Unafraid: 
http://www.iyjl.org/?p=2863
[email protected]

This was the promotion video for the 2011 rally.

The Latino Rebels Manifesto

We would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few misunderstandings about Latinos and specifically, the Latino Rebels. We’re not hard to figure out. In fact, we’re just like you. Except for one thing: we’re bicultural. We have one foot in each place: the United States and our origin of ancestry.

The group of Latino Rebels represents the most progressive of Latinos. We're making waves and taking names. Take for instance, the Latino Rebels who are online 24/7. What do you think we’re doing? Just playing on Facebook? “Not I,” said the cat. We are building bridges, communicating, writing, reading and educating ourselves about the world in which we live. We are making it happen for ourselves because, let’s face it, mainstream media doesn’t cut it like we can and who’s to say we don’t control the internet at this point.

A lot of what we find on mainstream media is sugar coated or stereotyped. They find it easier to put on a sombrero on it and call it Mexican than to find out that Mexicans don’t wear the hats on a daily basis. We’re not only Spanish speakers and we’re not just English speaking Latinos either (which is what 2nd and 3rd generation has come to mean). A large chunk of us are, in fact, bilingual and damn good at it. We are proud of our culture, especially our language.

Spanish is spoken by a half billion people by world estimates and the “dumbing down” of American media does all it can to trap Latinos (and especially English-only speakers) in a media loop that is full of inaccurate propaganda and biases—sometimes even against their own people, as evidenced in the contemporary Republican sphere of politics.

There have been studies done on us, facts and figures have been posted and the fact of the matter is, we live in an accented world. Yes, that’s right. We speak English and then say, “Boricua” when referring to someone of Puerto Rican heritage. We can roll our Rs and say our names loud and proud the RIGHT way. We feel a connection with our heritage because that’s what we are, that’s our history and is what makes us unique and different. Giving up our mother tongue is surrendering our history.

When we connect with Spanish-only speakers in, at times, parts of our nation and throughout the world, we are encouraging the breaking down of national and ethnic barriers so that our hearts and minds can exchange ideas in a larger world scope. Thus, Latino assimilationists who favor the colonial language of the United Kingdom versus that of España are doing the same as the rest of America: refusing to learn another language—and not just any other language—but the cultural language of our unique colonial history, brilliant and tragic. Speaking Spanish has become a radical act in today’s heightened xenophobic pre-presidential frenzy, and that gives us even more cojones to prove it.

We’re not stupid. Just because some of us may speak with an accent, doesn’t mean we’re dumb or don’t understand you. In fact, it means that we’re intelligent, that we speak another language; that we’re BILINGUAL. Don’t hate.

“Can you anglicize that?” NO!

We look different, we act different and we listen to different music. But what you don’t realize is we grew up here. We listen to the Smiths, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, and the Temptations yet, we can’t stand mainstream Latino music because it’s played out and it falls into one genre. We talk to our parents or grandparents in Spanish and can express ourselves in English. We can tell you off in either one though, don’t doubt that. We watch Spanish movies without subtitles and get excited to hear particular words from other countries like, “Vale,” "Pana," "Chamo," Ché," “Joder” and “Tío.”

A part of us wants to say that people are jealous that we Latinos can hold on so tightly to our roots. We know exactly where we come from and how we got here. We know our stories and for some reason, those who don’t, find us strangely peculiar and too attached to our ancestry.

Let’s have a chance to speak the truth for a second though: Even though we graduate from state schools and Ivy League schools, a lot of us came from gang-infested neighborhoods. Just because we knew them doesn’t mean we were one. That was the first steps in critical thinking and precaution. In reality, those of us who did come from those particular situations embrace the fact that it happened to us. We emerge tougher, we emerge as the generation of rebeldes, out to tell you all that we made it and we’re going strong.

While there are many that want to rid our generation of negative stereotypes, including the Rebels, we remember where we come from. We came from the streets, we were discriminated against, we were held to where society’s standards held us and we use all of that to our advantage.

If there’s anything Latinos know, it’s the consumer market and it’s the internet. There have been reports to explore all of these different facets of our lifestyle and guess what: We’re not cheap! In fact, we look for quality over quantity and that goes for videos, marketing arrangements and more. We can see right through you and we know when you’re BSing us. We know what we need because we live it every day. Don’t underestimate the experts.

The bridges that we have built and continue to build are strong and rooted. We find correlations and relationships with each other. Just because I’m Mexican doesn’t mean I can’t listen to salsa on Saturday mornings. Just because I’m Peruvian doesn’t mean I can’t be a kick ass bilingual spoken word poet. Just because I’m Boricua doesn’t mean I can’t love Café Tacuba. Because what Latino Rebels is bringing to the table is a multifaceted conglomerate of real relationships built on similarities and not the fact that we’re different.

We’re educating each other on our realities, explaining inside jokes and becoming stronger every day we communicate among ourselves and with the rest of our fans and readerships on all of our platforms.

Coming from Latin America, speaking Spanish and eating particular foods are traditions within our worlds but in no way does it limit our capabilities or experience in the United States. We’re as brown as brown can get both by skin color and by blood. Yet, we can all honor the flag of the United States and maintain respect for where we live and how this geographical location has allowed us to prosper.

We become angry when we are not heard, especially because we’re screaming loud and clear. We work with you, walk down the street with you, send our kids to the same school, are just as wealthy, have our own businesses, graduated from the same universities and still, we’re looked at a little sideways.

We’re placed in one big pot of BROWN, with no distinction and no respect. In no way will we silence ourselves or what we stand for. We will not dumb ourselves down and stoop to the levels at which we are treated, but we will exceed your expectations.

This is our reality. This is why we have to make our voices heard. No one will do it for us. It will come to the day in which you will either fight us or join us and we’re all more than willing to accept you with open arms.

Chick-fil-A Voted Down by Northeastern Students Because of Its Founder’s Anti-Gay Support

This week a story out of Northeastern University in Boston caught our eye. Here is the scoop: the wildly popular and addictive Chick-fil-A (CFA) wanted to open up a franchise at Northeastern. However, on February 27 Northeastern's student government voted 31 to 5 against having the Atlanta-based fast food chain open up on campus, specifically stating on Twitter that CFA has a "history of donating to anti-gay organizations."

As a result, according to Boston.com, Northeastern officials ended all talks with CFA and said, "Thanks, but no thanks." As the report states:

The Equality Matters website reported that the Atlanta-based company's charitable arm, WinShape, has donated millions to anti-gay causes in recent years.

"Based on the outcome of Monday night's senate resolution, Chick-fil-A will not be part of the group of vendors considered for the renovation of the student center," Northeastern said in a statement.

“We are proud of the decision that affirms our university’s commitment to be an inclusive, diverse community that is respectful of all," college spokeswoman Renata Nyul said in another statement.

One of the charities that WinShape supports is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). The FCA has a very detailed application process for individuals and groups interested in supporting them. Here is one of the statements that all applications must agree to:

FCA'S SEXUAL PURITY STATEMENT 

God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternate lifestyle acceptable to God. While upholding God’s standard of holiness, FCA strongly affirms God’s love and redemptive power in the individual who chooses to follow Him. FCA’s desire is to encourage individuals to trust in Jesus and turn away from any impure lifestyle. Do you agree with FCA's Sexual Purity Policy? *

CFA responded with two statements to Boston.com, stating that this decision was "hasty." Here are what they sent to Boston.com:

Thank you, for contacting Chick-fil-A, Inc. and allowing us to provide you a response on the situation that is developing at Northeastern University.

First, I am providing the two attached statements, our response from our president Dan T. Cathy, and an interesting article, I believe, by a student at Bowling Green State University.

The campus article [link here] says it as clear as we potentially can…likewise, we feel the decision at Northeastern was too hasty, and we did not have an adequate opportunity to speak into the circumstances on the Northeastern campus with greater clarity and correction. Remember that the student governing body had overwhelmingly selected the Chick-fil-A brand as an addition to it campus restaurant offerings.

The most important thing we need to confirm is that we are not anti-anybody and Chick-fil-A have no agenda, policy or position against anyone as some reports continue to represent. Here’s the clarification and correction. Chick-fil-A has been scrutinized of late about our charitable giving, specifically through our WinShape Foundation, and whether or not we have some hidden political agenda. We don’t. Our agenda is simple: to graciously serve great food and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A. This is the reason why we were initially invited to the campus.

We certainly feel detailed and fair information about our giving has not be shared by some. I want to assure you that the historical intent of our Foundation and corporate giving have been toward compassion, principally by serving youth and families (See detailed examples in the Corp Statement where, for example, we give millions of dollars every year to education.). As some have looked back at the public giving records of the WinShape Foundation, they have unfortunately misinterpreted this support as having a political agenda, largely referencing any religious or faith-based giving as “anti-gay.” For example, if you take the example of FCA, and ask us what was the purpose of the giving, it was to support inter-city mentors and chaplains for schools and colleges primarily here metro Atlanta. Those monies have been labeled as “anti-gay” because of the affiliation with a faith-based organization.

Chick-fil-A and WinShape have no political agenda. If some of our previous support is being viewed and reported as political or insensitive, that was not our intent. The historical roots of the WinShape Foundation is the philosophy of “Shaping Winners” for youth, family and educational programs.

I am sorry that we were not made aware of the immediate voting actions by the student governing body. We would have enjoyed an opportunity to share this clarifying information. Without a doubt, we feel the actions were hasty, and unfortunately based on one side of misinterpreted reports.

Sincerely,

Donald A. Perry 

Vice President of Corporate Public Relations
Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Media Statement — January 30, 2012

Dan T. Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A, Inc.

At Chick-fil-A, we have a genuine commitment to hospitality for all of our guests. We are not “anti anybody” and have no agenda, policy or position against anyone as some continue to confuse with misleading reports. Instead, we have a 65-year history of providing hospitality for all people and, as a dedicated family business, serving and valuing everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions.

Every morning when we open our restaurants across the country, we strive to treat each customer with honor, dignity and respect. At the cornerstone of this commitment is a belief in the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. We will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family.

We believe that to whom much is given, much is expected. A major focus of our giving is investing in the future of our nation. With our family foundation, we have supported numerous summer camps for girls and boys, established 14 foster homes and have provided nearly $30 million in college scholarships across the nation. Our commitment to the youth of America will endure, as well as our commitment to helping marriages and families stay strong.

We want to thank everyone for supporting our restaurants and for your love of the Chick-fil-A brand. On behalf of our independent franchised Operators and their 60,000 team members, it has and will continue to be our pleasure to serve you.

We would encourage you and your contacts to explore the websites for both Chick-fil-A and the WinShape Foundation to determine the purpose of our foundation and funding versus relying on reports or articles. Again, we have no political agenda, policy or position against anyone, especially the LGBT community.

As a private, family-owned company, Chick-fil-A has worked faithfully to be a good steward of the resources that our guests have entrusted us with. In a world with business leaders that do not always practice generosity and a genuine concern for their fellow man, the Cathy families have a long history and desire to give to others through their personal resources!

Proposed San Antonio Mural of Sleeping Mexican Draws Anger and Debate

Last week MySanAntonio.com reported that the city's proposed mural of a sleeping Mexican being considered for the revitalization of a historic drive-in has drawn protests and anger by several Latino activists and artists. The issue? The city wants to re-create the Mission Drive-In's original art, which showed Mission San José as well as two men in sombreros sleeping.

As MySA.reports:

“Latinos are not asleep,” said Gabriel Velasquez, a District 3 member of the city's Cultural Arts Board and an organizer of the press conference. “We are mayors of cities; we are doctors, lawyers, astronauts and teachers.”

 

“We cannot regress by allowing a painting from the old days to show us as less than we really are,” he said.

 

Felix Padrón, head of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs, characterized the criticisms as part of a misunderstanding of city processes, adding that the finished work will not necessarily include every element of the original marquee.

 

The marquee mural is a part of a preservation and neighborhood redevelopment project that includes a plaza to be completed this summer. The marquee remains blank for now.

 

At issue is an Office of Cultural Affairs request for proposals, or RFP, a document that describes the marquee project and lists requirements for potential artists or companies to follow.

"You have got to be kidding me,” prominent San Antonio artist Jesse Trevino said when he was invited to submit a bid to help create the mural. “I have been fighting this all my life by trying my best to portray the positive images of Mexican Americans."

Here is the question we have: why even consider it in the first place? Was the city not thinking that it would get a reaction to all this? Like Velasquez says at the end of the report and we tend to agree:

“Placing a derogatory, stereotypical and demeaning illustration on the cover sheet of an RFP is not only unacceptable, but offensive,” he said. It “depicts a Mexican asleep under his sombrero against the wall of Mission San José.”

 

When finished, the former outdoor theater will serve as a venue for community and cultural events. The Mission Marquee Outdoor Plaza is expected to be completed this summer and sits adjacent to the Mission Branch Library, a $7.4 million facility that opened last year.

 

In all, the drive-in's 26 acres are part of a redevelopment plan.

 

Padrón said his department is “sensitive to the issues being raised” and doesn't believe the offending images will be incorporated into the marquee, “given the concerns of the community.”

 

“At end of the day,” he said, “we will probably introduce a new mural.”