Alianza Latina Files Complaint Against Racist Taco Cid “Illegal Immigrant” Shirt

Remember the Taco Cid racist t-shirt and the restaurant’s #NoMames video explanation that went viral on the Internet? Well, looks like some people are taking action. According to the Palmetto Public Record in South Carolina, a group called Alianza Latina has filed a formal complaint with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission “claiming that the shirts violate the state’s Human Affairs Law,” which states “that all people are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of goods and services and public accommodations, including restaurants, ‘without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin.’”

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A statement by Alianza Latina on Tuesday said that shirt’s intent was to “compare Hispanics/Latinos and especially Mexicans to animals who need to be trapped.”

The statement continues:

“We call on all residents of this and other communities, to denounce the imagery and language used in the T-shirts and to stop patronizing with a boycott against Taco Cid, as a strong statement that degrading people’s dignity will not be tolerated. The messages being spread by Taco Cid are insulting to all people in our community, and must be strongly denounced until they issue an apology and discontinue selling and wearing the degrading T-shirts.”

The article also said that Taco Cid owner Leanne Snelgrove has changed her tune from her initial comments and initial video interview (see below), saying that she can understand that the shirt might ne offensive to some, although, according to the story, “she continued to refuse to apologize for the shirts.”

Here is what else she said, according to the article:

“I still hold strong to the fact that our shirts are not racist towards any one ethnic group(s),” Snelgrove commented. “And I strongly believe we all have the right to express ourselves. It’s our constitutional right to freedom of expression, belief and right to free speech.”

“I am a young business woman who wanted to own a Mexican restaurant, because I LOVE Mexican food,” she added. “So how can I be racist against a culture that I work hard to prepare food like?”

Snelgrove had gone on record previously, just days after news of the shirt spread. This is a segment of an interview she gave at that time.

According to the HuffPost, sales of the shirt have been quite successful, especially among Border Patrol agents in Texas.

#ICEFail: Another Home of Arizona DREAMer Gets Raided

Just a week after a highly publicized story about the home raid of Arizona DREAMer activist Erika Andiola went viral, another incident involving yet another DREAMer has occurred. According to a petition by DreamActivist.org, Edi Arma has been detained:

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I write to ask for the immediate release of Edi Arma, (A#089-815-011) currently being imprisoned at the Eloy immigration prison. Edi is being threatened with immediate deportation despite being a perfect candidate for discretion as outlined by John Morton, the Director of ICE.

Edi was first detained by ICE in 2009 after a neighbor called the police saying he looked “suspicious.” The police pulled him over and immediately began to grill him as to his legal status, the asked him if he had proper papers to be in the United States. Edi was honest and told them he did not; he was immediately turned over to ICE agents.

Edi has since been fighting his deportation to Guatemala, a country he left 12-years ago. Edi has three children; ages 11, 8 and 6. His 6-year old daughter suffers from asthma and recently had to be hospitalized. In 2009 Edi’s brother was murdered in Guatemala and, if deported, he fears the same fate.

On Monday, January 14th, 2013, Edi woke up just like any day and got ready to take his 3-kids to school. As soon as he opened the door he was attacked by sever ICE agents. He was arrested in front of his entire family and told he’d be deported soon. Edi’s 11-year old son attempted to hug his father goodbye, however the ICE agent pushed him away.

Edi’s entire family has been shaken by this raid and they fear Edi’s immediate removal. Edi is currently being detained at the Eloy immigration prison and is being told he will be deported any day now.

There is a demonstration scheduled for later this afternoon in Phoenix. Once we get more updates, we will share on this post.

Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin: One Student’s Perspective

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we all await the Supreme Court’s decision on Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin, we asked UT-Austin student María Ponce to share her perspective about the case. Here is what María submitted to us:

The University of Texas at Austin is home to over 50,000 college students from all over the nation and the world, yet diversity is still lacking and not very near in sight.

Last year the media shifted its focus to Austin and the Fisher v. The University of Texas case as it made its way to the Supreme Court. Fisher v. The University of Texas concerns itself with the affirmative action admissions policy at UT. Louisiana State University graduate Abigail Fisher brought the case to court in 2008 after being denied admission to UT and says that her denied admission is due to the fact that she is white. She asked that the Court rule in favor of limiting or ending affirmative action policies in the admissions process at the University which could ultimately affect public universities nationwide.

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As media attention grew, Latinos, the second largest racial/ethnic group at the University with 17.6% enrollment in the 2011-2012 school year, were rarely seen. Yet, Latinos are still affected by the removal or limitation of affirmative action.

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, the 7th largest city in the US with 63% of the population identifying as Latino/Hispanic. I was rarely in the ethnic minority at school, church, extra-curricular activities, etc. I wasn’t raised to question my abilities or level of success due to the color of my skin, gender, or heritage and it never became an issue until middle school. I attended middle school in a lower-income area, far from my house, in order to attend a Gifted-and-Talented- style magnet school.

During history class one day we began talking about our futures and I said, “In the next ten years I want to graduate from college and go to law school.” My teacher turned to me and said, “When you were three did you know what you wanted to do when you were 13? No. So how do you know what you want to do now? For all you know, you’re going to end up pregnant and out of school at 16 just like the rest of your people.”

I was thrown off, upset and angry.

I had never been singled out or put down in that manner due to the color of my skin.

From that day on I used his words as extra motivation to graduate from high school and fulfill my ten-year goal.

I graduated in the top 10% of my class, granting me automatic acceptance to UT Austin. An so, in August of 2010 I began my first semester as a Texas Longhorn, not far from home but in a city much different than my own. I went in with high hopes and expectations and three years later can say that they have been met, academically.

Yet this is not to say that my three years here have perfect or without conflict. Racial and ethnic issues were present and continue today. Since coming to UT I have been hit by a water balloon filled with bleach while walking through a predominantly white area near the University, questioned on my ability to speak English, have been told to “go back to where I belong,” and have had my cultural background and my parents legal status questioned, frequently.

These are only a few things that students of color on campus have had to deal with, along with non-PC themed parties involving legal status, offensive costumes and border crossings.

So, what does all of this have to do with Fisher v The University of Texas at Austin? Roughly 80% of the student body comes from within the state of Texas and admits the majority of those through top 8% (formerly top 10%; 9%). Although the University runs heavily on top 8% admittance (automatic acceptance to Texas students who are in the top 8% of their high school graduating class, regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status), a change in affirmative action policies could mean a significant shift to university admittance policies nationwide and can cause a decline in the already low number of students of color that attend these universities.

San Antonio Mayor (and one of my role models) Julian Castro attributed his admittance to Stanford and the opportunities higher education gave him and twin brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, on affirmative action policies. Though not perfect and not without controversy, affirmative actions is beneficial, yet even with its implementation, white students still compose the majority of students admitted not under top 10/8% rule.

With or without its flaws, I can still manage to say that I am proud for what I have achieved and proud that, in a year, I will graduate from one of the top universities in the nation. Hook ‘Em.