LA Mayor Villaraigosa Told To “Go Back To Mexico” At California State Capitol

Another day, another Latino getting hated on, this time it is Los Angeles Mayor and chairman of the Democratic National Convention Antonio Villaraigosa, who, according to a profile in the Sacramento Bee, felt the sting of bigotry on a visit to California's state Capitol.

This is an excerpt of what the Bee's Dan Morain wrote during his time with the mayor:

Villaraigosa understands that gay rights issues split society. He also knows the divide is wide over questions of race, racism and immigration. That all came into focus, jarringly, as he and I were leaving the Capitol, and a middle-aged man wearing jeans and a T-shirt was entering.

"Go back to Mexico," the man said as he walked past Villaraigosa.

What? Yes, we all heard the same thing.

Here is the twice-elected mayor of the nation's second largest city, a former Assembly speaker, and a man who will stand on a national stage this September in North Carolina.

And a guy who had never met nor spoken with Villaraigosa told him to go back to Mexico, as if this proud graduate of Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles and UCLA ever lived south of the border.

Villaraigosa flashed his Hollywood smile, laughed it off, and kept on walking. I went back into the Capitol to find the guy, who, as it turned out, was heading to the same Revenue and Taxation hearing that Villaraigosa was leaving.

Do you say that mayors to all the time? I asked.

"Eh, he is a pissant," the man said, proceeding to spew about how an "illegal alien" killed the son of a friend down in L.A., and how it was Villaraigosa's fault. "He is a Mexican. That is what he claims. He is always defending illegal Mexicans and Mexico. … I have no qualms about saying anything to him."

The fellow's name is Davi Rodrigues. From where? "Right here in Sac," he said. "I'm an American. Period."

 

Jimmy Kimmel Interviews Will Ferrell in Spanish: Thank God for Guillermo

We got this from our friends at TuVez. Will Ferrell. Jimmy Kimmel. All in Spanish. This needed to stop like 30 seconds into the bit, but the person who SAVED the skit? Guillermo! Thank you, Guilermo. We kind of felt the same way.

The good: The fact that Kimmel already knew that this was going to be weird. And did we say, thank God for Guillermo (well, except for the chihuahua and pistol)? Some of the interplay was good too.

The bad: yeah, Ferrell, we get the Mexico thing, the writing could have been better, and it could have been a knockout, but it wasn't and it was to glossed over. Also, WHY WHY WHY do the big white comedians get to do this skit? Take two Latino comics and they would have slayed it.

Nice try, guys. Almost there. We will give you a B for idea, C+ for execution. Just a bunch of gringos trying to be edgy, but in the end, meh. What do you think?

Fortuño Meets With Santorum (Sorry, Mitt!) and Santorum Says English Is Required for Entry as 51st State

The GOP presidential race just got even weirder the last two days, and Puerto Rico is right at the center of it. With a GOP primary scheduled for Sunday March 18 in Puerto Rico—a US territory (most say colony) since 1898 and a place where its residents have been US citizens since 1917—the quest for delegates among Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum has truly reached the bizarre. First, the irony that Puerto Ricans vote in presidential primaries but cannot vote in national presidential elections is classic in itself.

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

Add to the fact that the GOP's quest to "capture the US Latino vote" (right now they will be lucky to take 15% of this demographic) and that Puerto Rican governor Luis Fortuño, a potential VP candidate for the GOP, has become a pervese symbol of political opportunism during his re-election bid as governor, and as they say, you can't make this up any more. You really can't.

Here are two stories that just defy logic to us. Example one: Hey, don't worrry about endorsing someone, if they are losing, just move on to the next guy and forget the guy you endorsed. That is basically what Fortuño has done today, after meeting with Santorum at La Fortaleza in San Juan (press access was limited, according to reports). Just last month, Fortuño was seen proudly endorsing Romney during the heat of the GOP Florida primary. It was seen by pundits as a clear move by Romney to recoginize the Other Latino Caribbean Politician Not Named Rubio. However, today in San Juan, Fortuño met with Santorum. Hedging your bets for political opprtunism?

This is what was reported:

  • Santorum assured that he would support statehood for Puerto Rico if the Puerto Rican people chose that option in November’s plebiscite and he is elected President. ”It is the responsibility of a U.S. President to hear the voice of all Americans, including the territories,” Santorum said. ”Puerto Rico is a very important part of the United States and I will take the responsibility to represent all Americans.”
  • Santorum also talked about how he is good friends with Fortuño, since they both attended the same church in the Washington DC area. Santorum said that he was a key player in bringing Medicare to the island and that he has a good relationship with the current Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi (a Democrat) as well as Pedro Roselló, an ex-governor of Puerto Rico and a pro-statehooder.
  • When he was questioned about Fortuño’s endorsement of Romney, Santorum said that said many other governor have done the same. Santorum will visit several churches on the island and also meet with other pro-statehood leaders, including Jennifer González and Thomas Rivera Schatz.

Looks like Santorum is here to state his case of Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the Union, and in case you want to know, you can read our Enlgish translation of an interview he gave with EL VOCERO before meeting with Fortuño:

EL VOCERO: What is your position on the status of Puerto Rico?

Rick Santorum: "I always had the same position.Puerto Rico should have the right to choose and we must work together to make this possible and determine what kind of relationship we want to develop. We have worked extensively with the Government of Puerto Rico and have made many efforts to help with important issues.We have an interest in Puerto Rico and I support their right to choose. "

EV: Would you back a state where Spanish is spoken as a first language?

RS: "As in any other state, it must comply with this and any federal law.Other states recognize more than one language as in the case of Hawaii, but to become a U.S. state, English should be the primary language. "

EV: What are your plans for your visit to Puerto Rico?

RS: "To meet with as many people as possible, collect information, and understand the needs of Puerto Rico. This is very important for me to understand the particular issues they have. Puerto Rico has a resident commissioner, or whatever you call the post, but no representation or votes in the Senate. It is the responsibility of the executive branch to address those problems.'

EV: What would your position be on abortion for family planning programs receiving federal funds currently operating in Puerto Rico?

RS: "I do not support that organizations like Planned Parenthood receive federal money. I believe that services should be available, but I do not think that should be federally funded. That is the position that I have and I will keep. "

EV: The federal government is partly responsible for two issues affecting Puerto Rico, which is the economy and crime. What is your proposal on these issues for Puerto Rico?

RS: "One thing I understand is that drugs and drug trafficking are serious problems and I am committed to working with Governor Fortuño to ensure that the resources needed, reach the island."

EV: Governor Luis Fortuño supports Romney as a candidate. Will you meet him [Fortuño]? 

RS: "I've known him for years, I know his wife and children because we were together at the church when he was in Washington. I understand that Romney made a commitment early in the campaign and no problem with that. We talked and we remain friends. "

EV: Would back that Puerto Ricans could elect the President of the United States (the presidential vote)?

RS: I have discussed options and I think that an idea is to participate in the primary and open vote, to participate in the popular vote, but not in the polls. That's not something I would support. "

EV: How do they justify allowing Puerto Ricans to participate in the primaries and not choose the President?

RS: "That's a party rule, not a rule of government. I support the party that allows people to participate. "

Poem: “What Does An Illegal Immigrant Look Like?”

Palabras are powerful. You don’t have to look too far to find great examples and we were fortunate to find this gem written by Juneau, Alaska raised Christy Namee Eriksen titled, “What Does An Illegal Immigrant Look Like?’

A beautiful poem that challenges you to think and see undocumented immigrants as anything but the stereotypes that have fueled laws like SB1070 to be mandated. In times of need, in times of a voice, it seems poets are the first to respond. Even though this poem was written in 4/28/2010 it still holds truth today as it did when it was created and its important that we share such important words.

It is also good to mention that this poem was also featured on race-talk.

Credit: http://nysiaf.org/2010/10/02/drop-the-i-word/i-am-not-illegal-2/

We here at Latino Rebels would like to extend our gratitude to Christy Namee Eriksen and thank her for such beautifully written piece.

WHAT DOES AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT LOOK LIKE?
4/28/10

An illegal immigrant
looks like a nickel
tails up
on the sidewalk,
fallen out of someone’s pocket.

She looks like pressed bleached sheets
on cheap beds
tucked tight,
a hundred of them
twelve stories high.

I saw one like a mango,
peeled and sprinkled with chili powder
on a stick like america,
layers cut diagonally,
a flower on Lake Street.

She looks like an amethyst grape
plucked by the millions,
stains like bruises
but she’s sorry and she loves you.

He looks like that kid
I don’t know his name
but he sits over
there
and his lunch stinks.

She looks like a street of Harajuku,
straight cut bang and bangles,
heavy print and bright colors
-oh my bad -
that’s Gwen Stefani!
(She might be legal.)

An illegal immigrant looks like
Chinese Exclusion 1882
Asian Exclusion 1924
Executive Order 9066
Patriot Act 2001
SB1070 five days ago

1911
looks like an angel made of bunk beds and cells
where Chinese men write poems into the wooden wall like it could weather the wait,
looks like a store sign
in 1922
“Absolutely no dogs or Filipinos allowed”,
like 1942 spam
rolled up like an enemy
internment camp sushi.

He is a community tree in the 1930s.
Or the 1940s or the 1960s
who has seen
too
many
dead people
to climb on.

He is a boat
in 1492
sailing the ocean blue

black
brown
red
yellow.

He looks like a hill
made of bodies
covered in grass
and a playground,

like a scar
on the bottom of my feet,
still growing.

He looks like
Joseph Ileto who looked like Vincent Chin who looked like Fong Lee who looked like
your neighborhood postman, like a good husband, like a boy on a
maddening threatening five deviled bicycle,
looked like a good target, like a bad seed, like the wrong crowd, like a jap mother f**ker who stole “our” jobs,
so one by one by a hundred they
killed them

innocently.

Because if you look
like the law
you look
legal.

And the rest of us are just wire cages
and a magic trick away
from knowing whose turn it is
to be the sacrificial pigeon

and it’s showtime,
all the time,
so you need to know the difference.

Christy Namee Eriksen is a Korean adoptee poet who holds a B.A. in Social Justice, concentrating in Resistance and Racial Justice. She has performed in the Twin Cities at Patrick’s Cabaret, Intermedia Arts, Hamline University, Pillsbury House Theatre, and Equilibrium’s spoken word series at The Loft Literary Center. She is a featured artist on the 2009 Minnesota Spoken Word Album of the Year, “¿Nation of Immigrants?” produced by The Loft Literary Center. She has shared the stage with Ishle Park, Mayda del Valle, Bao Phi, the Good Asian Drivers and other really cool people. She lives in Juneau and is a proud mother. For more information please visit http://tsunameepoetry.blogspot.com/

In Latest EA Sports Ad, Tiger and Shaq Hawk PGA Tour 2013 With Silly Kung Fu Spoof

We are really wondering who was the genius who marketed this?

What do you think? Funny stuff? Stereotypical? Really trying hard to go viral? We are also wondering if EA Sports knows that Shaq recently made disparaging remarks about Puerto Ricans? Also, the PGA Tour series is a premier video game. Why do this in the first place? What is the intent of the ad? Let us know.

Maybe EA Sports should stick to the product and the brand, but it is likely that Tiger doesn't have the buying power as he used to have, and silly stereotypical stunts are being done for desperation. Who knows?

VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Contrabando y traición” from Los Tigres del Norte, the Norteño 70s Classic

Every genre has an iconic song and as we covered the news about Los Tigres del Norte getting banned in Chihuahua, we clicked on our IPod shuffle and went back to simpler times. Los Tigres are iconic, with a career that spans over 40 years and counting. To us, they are just as important as any other band in popular music.

So when our Facebook community (yes you, Ismael!) started posting Tigres songs last night after we shared our story about the band, we all smiled. We were all transported to a time where we would listened to the “Pink Floyd of Mexican music” (nice one, Ismael) and life seemed a bit simpler. Most of us who listen to their music don’t see a “glorification” of drug culture (and btw, the band sings about a lot of other important issues), instead we see sadness, reality, life. The Tigres are our troubadours, our tellers of truth, of what can be tragic at times, but joyous at other times. Maybe it is the voice of Jorge Hernández, whose nasally beautiful harmonies evoke beauty, honesty and reality every time he sings, but there is something about this band that will always be dear to us (perhaps because our parents used to play it at parties and every time they did, people were happy?). Nonetheless, 32 millions records and counting, five Latin Grammys. Fans from all corners of the world. Artistic expression lives.

Here is the song that started it. You got to love the 70s!

And here is another version done later in their career with a video. Remember when videos told stories?

Salieron de San Isidro,
procedentes de Tijuana
traían las llantas del carro
repletas de hierba mala
eran Emilio Varela,
Camelia, la Texana
Pasaron por San Clemente
los paró la inmigración
les pidió sus documentos
les dijo: “¿De dónde son?”
ella era de San Antonio,
un hembra de corazón
Un hembra si quiere un hombre
por el puede dar la vida
pero hay que tener cuidado
si esa hembra se siente herida,
la traición y el contrabando
son cosas incompartidas.
A Los Angeles llegaron
en un callejón oscuro
las cuatro llantas cambiaron
ahí entregaron la hierba,
y ahí también les pagaron
Emilio dice a Camelia
“Hoy te das por despedida,
con la parte que te toca,
tu puedes rezar tu vida
yo me voy para San Francisco
con la dueña de mi vida”
Sonaron siete balazos,
Camelia a Emilio mataba
en un callejón oscuro
sin que se supiera nada
Del dinero y de Camelia
Nunca más se supo nada.

On CNN, Luis Fortuño Answers VP Questions and Says GOP Has Done a “Good Job” With Latino Voters

The Luis Fortuño GOP VP Campaign made an appearance on CNN tonight, and the pro-statehood and Republican governor of Puerto Rico said two very telling things tonight when he spoke with Wolf Blitzer. (Sidenote to Wolf: Fortuño is not "popular." Do your homework about the Governor and about Puerto Ricans in general.)

  1. The GOP is doing a "good job" in courting the US Latino vote, although it could do better.
  2. He gave a very diplomatic non-answer about being considered for the party's vice presidential slot. 

Now that our jaws are off the ground (yes, this is the same Fortuño whose campaign is playing Lee Atwater politics on the island during his run for re-election, while his campaign denies the reality that Puerto Rico is the next Greece), we share this video from CNN: