Today in History: El Grito de Lares, September 23, 1868

Originally published in Pa’lante Latino on September 23, 2011

We live in a time where revolutionary sentiments unite people under one cause to help them topple dictatorships, sanguine regimes and challenge government policies.  It is no surprise that such outcry is spreading around the world. From Egypt to Libya to Wall Street, people have become aware about the power of collective demonstrations. When demands are not met, an uprising is bound to occur and the events that follow will change the status quo.

bandera de lares

Such was the case on a fateful September 23rd, 1868 in Lares, Puerto Rico. That historic revolution is better known as El Grito De Lares.  

On plans designed by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruíz Belvis, nearly 1000 rebels gathered on September 23, 1868 in the hacienda of Manuel Rojas, located in the vicinity of Pezuela, on the outskirts of the town of Lares, in the midwest region of Puerto Rico.

Poorly trained and armed, the rebels reached the town by horse and foot around midnight. They confiscated local stores and offices owned by “peninsulares” (Spanish-born men) and took over the city hall. Spanish merchants and local government authorities, considered by the rebels to be enemies of the fatherland, were taken as prisoners. The revolutionaries then entered the town’s church and placed the revolutionary flag (the Lares flag), knitted by Mariana Bracetti, on the High Altar as a sign that the revolution had began and the Republic of Puerto Rico was proclaimed under the presidency of Francisco Ramirez Medina. Many of the Puerto Rican rebels were African slaves who had escaped and in hiding. Others were middle and upper class creole that were motivated by the idea of freedom to develop economic opportunities without the restrictions of a foreign feudal power. All slaves who had joined the movement were declared free citizens. The revolt would be known as El Grito de Lares.

Spanish forces eventually ended the insurrection when the rebels attempted to take the next town, San Sebastian del Pepino. Even though the revolt in itself failed, its overall outcome was positive, since Spain granted more political autonomy to the island.

On this day, we honor those who sacrificed their lives for believing in freedom. Although these brave souls knew the odds were against them, they still plowed ahead. For them the only way was forward for their bloodstream was impregnated by the heroism and willingness to die for what they believed in.

In honor of their legacy, to their souls, we proudly “gritamos” Pa’lante y Viva La Revolucion.

Yankee’s Mariano Rivera is Not Going Out Like That: Video

Sports analysts and fans took to Twitter and Facebook when Mariano's career was being questioned after injuring his knee practicing. Here's a video of Mariano speaking with the media about his uncertain future. 

Today, Mariano released these motivated words to the press:

Because we love baseball and the Rebel spirit of future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, we are dedicating one of our favorite Cypress Hill songs "Ain't Going Out Like That" to Mariano:


Our Interview with Top NFL Draft Prospect Evan “ERod” Rodriguez

By Efrain Nieves and Victoria Cepeda

We are pleased to introduce you to Evan "ERod" Rodriguez, a two-time all Mid American Conference tight end/fullback for Temple University who ended his 2011 season with 35 catches, 479 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He has the ability to play different positions, making him a versatile player and a 2012 NFL draft prospect. He is expected to be picked on the third to fifth round of the NFL draft that starts this upcoming Thursday, April 26th.

We met Evan at the North Bergen Bruins Stadium on a windy but exceptionally sunny day. Evan, who is a tall and very approachable young man, greeted us with an honest handshake. You immediately get the sense that he is pumped but cautious. It is not by luck that Evan has been picked as a draft prospect for the NFL. A natural athlete and overachiever who has won countless of awards at county, state and national levels. Currently he is a senior at Temple University and a few courses away from earning his Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. This multifaceted young man was born in the Bronx and grew up in North Bergen, NJ. But, in our opinion, what makes Evan exceptional is his humility, involvement in his community and his desire to share with the Latino community his success in a show of gratitude and pride of his roots.

VC: Evan thank you for granting us an opportunity to introduce you to our fans and congratulations on your NFL draft prospect status. I hear that the  NY Giants, SF 49ers and the SD Chargers, among others have expressed an interest in you. How excited are you?

ER: It's a long process and overwhelming to know that a lot teams are interested in me given that I am a tight end, coming out in this year's draft and I am versatile.

Sports motivated me, my mother motivates me. I was raised by a single mother her name is Frances Rodriguez. Growing up I did not have a  father figure but my mom got me into the Big Brother/Big Sister program. That's where I met my mentor Tom Schoenewald who sat me down and told me "you don't want to become a statistic of "Should have/Could have been" type of person in life. He is still very much someone that I look up to and is still involved in my life." I just gave the local BB/BS  tickets to come to my Temple Owls vs. Army game this past season game, hang out with kids and give autographs.

VC: What keeps you motivated and inspired?

ER: My mother to be honest being that she was a single mother who raised two kids on her own. It is inspiring to see how strong she is. My job is to take care of her and my little brother as well. I don't want to let them down but my daily routine when I get up is to work out although it is hard at times but that is life. You just got to keep pushing for it. Every little effort pays off in the long run.

VC: How hard is it to combine sports such as football with studies? What message do you have for young athletes?

ER: It  is not easy, it's not easy. But, you just got to keep pushing…can't quit. If you need help ask for help, don't be scared. Everyone needs help.

VC: Was playing football breaking the stereotypes about the sports? Especially with Latinos comprising only 1% of NFL players and preferring to play baseball or basketball?

ER: I have been playing football since I was, you know, seven years old. It's not easy you know, guys would say "oh,you're Spanish you should play baseball" or something like that.

VC: But you can play right? How good of a baseball player are you?

ER: Baseball? Baseball? I can play. (Smiles.)

VC: Why do you identify yourself as Latino?

ER: Being in the community that I come from,  Hudson County, you're surrounded by so many Latinos and I just try to give back, especially to the younger kids. I actually did a presentation at Lincoln School where my younger brother, Louis Rodriguez's attends school.  I told them about life and to set goals but to understand that you have to take baby steps to get to your goals. And do not give up regardless of what people tell you. As long as you believe in yourself do not give up.

VC: What is your background?

ER: I am half Puerto Rican and African American. I am a Boricua although I am not fluent in Spanish, I can still understand it. If you speak to me in Spanish, I would most likely speak to you in Spanglish.

VC: That is alright, we are fluent in Spanglish besides Latinos come in all colors and shapes.

VC: Ok, tell us what is your favorite meal?

ER: My mom would make us rice and beans "arroz con habichuelas", empanadas and her killer coquito during the Christmas season.

EN: What NFL players do you look up to?

ER: First my favorite NFL players, I have to say, are Sean Taylor and  Deion Sanders but my friends in the league are Steve Maneri who is a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs because while going to Temple he helped me out a lot. Muhammed Wilkinson who plays for the Jets and these are all a bunch of Temple guys they played a big factor in my life. They have told me that If I have any questions or doubts to give them a call. Especially coming from Temple, we don't get a lot of respect as it is, but the guys that are in the NFL have made a name for themselves and Temple is  now starting to get on the mat and have moved to the Big East and are getting more attention. Guys in the NFL respect Temple players but you want the whole country to respect Temple players. We're getting there, we're getting there.

EN:  I read an article the other day, while doing my research on you, where Brian Griese has spoken highly of you and compared you to Tony Gonzalez and other articles also comparing you to Aaron Hernandez. How does it feel to be compared to these guys that are icons not only within the NFL but to the Latino community as well?

ER: Gonzalez, wow. He's a Hall of Famer in my book and he's definitely going to be a Hall of Famer. He's been playing the game for over ten years and is someone that I would like to meet at some point to ask him how do you manage your career to be so long.

And Hernandez, he is a guy that I look up to. I patterned my game after  him. I kind of play like him you know. We got the same style of play, being that my head coach was Steven Adazzio. Steven was the offensive coach at Florida when Hernandez was there and then came to Temple, and took the head coach job, he would call me "baby Hernandez". So I respect that and I have looked at films and say I play like this guy.

EN: Last year, at Temple if I am correct, you started twelve games, you got 35 catches and 479 yards? 35 catches is a lot for twelve games. What do you think you can bring to the NFL with seventeen games?

ER: Being that at Temple we basically were a running team, I lead the team in receptions but once I get to the NFL, a team can fit me in the right system and use me real well. I bring a lot of versatility since I play more than one position, tight end, fullback, slot receiver. I look at myself as very versatile.

EN: Any last words before we go?

ER: I would like to give a shout out to North Bergen, my entertainment team New League Nation, my lifelong friends from North Bergen Chris Macias (aka "Chris Major") and Robin Castro (aka DJ Rob Cast). Thank you and God bless.

We wish Evan Rodriguez the best at the 2012 NFL draft and will be supporting him. Off the record, we know which team Evan would like to play for, but that is for us to know and for you to find out.

Follow Evan "ERod" Rodriguez on Facebook and Twitter:, @ERod_Inc

And check out what the major sports outlets are saying: 2012 Top NFL Draft Prospects and Evan Rodriguez, Temple, NFL Draft – –

Hologram Immortalizes Tupac Shakur

Almost sixteen years after his death, Tupac once again claims the stage. A hologram of Tupac produced by AV Concepts was joined by Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre at the California's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in what only one word can describe, WOW! On Twitter, a @HologramTupac account has been created and has over six thousand followers. But the owner is not known.

Fans have shown both approval and disapproval with the concept. Many of the fans who disagree believe the slain rapper should be left in peace and argue that capitalizing on the dead is unethical.

I grew up listening to Tupac I watched him go from the rap group Digital Underground to becoming one of the greatest rappers of all time. I remember his lyrics from his 2001 single Until the End of Time "Gettin raw till the day I see my casket, Buried as a g while the whole world remembers me" This is exactly how he wanted to be remembered.


The Life of César Estrada Chávez

March 31, 1927 César Estrada Chávez was born in Yuma, Arizona to a family of six. Chávez's family owned a grocery store and ranch but lost their land when César's father agreed to clear eighty acres in exchange he would receive the deed of forty acres that linked their home; the agreement was broken and the land was sold. César's father borrowed money to buy back his land but couldn't afford to pay the interest and subsequently their home was sold. 

In 1939, the Chávez family settled in San Jose, California in a barrio called Sal Si Puedes, "get out if you can."  

There, César's family started working in the fields. Also, César and his sister Rita would drive farmer workers and neighbors to the hospital without taking any compensation for gas.

César and his brother attended thirty-seven schools with "Whites Only" signs, constant racist remarks, and punished for speaking Spanish. Eighth grade was his last year in school because his father was injured in an accident and he would not allow his mother to work the field so he became a farm worker.  Regardless, César's passion for education remained in him throughout his life. 

In 1946 he joined the United States Navy and hoped to gain skills he can use in civilian life but quickly learned Mexican-Americans were only allowed to work as deckhands and/or painters; he described his experience in the Navy as “the two worst years of my life.”

César married Helen Fabela in 1948 and they visited California mission from Sonoma to San Diego for their honeymoon. After, he met father Donald McDonnell who spoke with him on farm workers and strikes and influenced him into reading St. Francis, Gandhi and non-violence.

In 1952 Chavez left the fields and was hired by Fred Ross. He worked as an organizer against police brutality for the Latino civil rights group,the Community Service Organization (CSO). Chavez traveled throughout California and made speeches supporting workers' rights and urging Mexican-Americans to register and vote. He became the CSO's director in 1958.

The following time from highlights Cesar's life from 1962 to 1993.

By 1970 the UFW got grape growers to accept union contracts and had effectively organized most of that industry, at one point in time claiming 50,000 dues paying members.

César Chávez completed his 36-day Fast for Life on August 21, 1988. The Reverend Jesse Jackson took up where Cesar left off, fasting on water for three days before passing on the fast to celebrities and leaders. The fast was passed to Martin Sheen, actor; the Reverend J. Lowery, President SCLC; Edward Olmos, actor; Emilio Estevez, actor; Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy, Peter Chacón, legislator, Julie Carmen, actress; Danny Glover, actor; Carly Simon, singer; and Whoopi Goldberg, actress.

César Estrada Chávez died peacefully in his sleep on April 23, 1993 near Yuma, Arizona, a short distance from the small family farm in the Gila River Valley where he was born more than 66 years before.

On April 29, 1993, César Estrada Chávez was honored in death by those he led in life. More than 50,000 mourners came to honor the charismatic labor leader at the site of his first public fast in 1968 and his last in 1988, the United Farm Workers Delano Field Office at "Forty Acres."

It was the largest funeral of any labor leader in the history of the U.S. They came in caravans from Florida to California to pay respect to a man whose strength was in his simplicity.

Editor's Note: In honor of the Spanish editorial style, we have added accents to Chavez's name. This is an editorial decision.

New Jersey State Troopers Pose with Drugs and Puerto Rican Flag

This morning I was sent a link which caused me to question the professionalism and motives of the New Jersey State Police. released photos from 2009 of state troopers holding a Puerto Rican flag and sitting behind drugs seized in a raid in Camden, New Jersey. 

Camden Latino activist Angel Cordero is outraged and stated: "You are saying my community is the drug dealers. My community is responsible for all the crime. You are sending a message that we are all criminals. You are desecrating my flag. Why would you do that, come on. You don't do that."

Lieutenant Stephen Jones provided a statement to

"The photos provided to us by the media appear to depict contraband seized during a 2009 narcotics trafficking and illegal weapons investigation. The images have been referred to the Office of Professional Standards to determine the facts and circumstances concerning their content. The New Jersey State Police is sensitive to concerns of the communities we serve and regrets any offense caused by the images."

Remembering La Masacre de Ponce

On Palm Sunday, March 21st 1937, The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party peacefully marched to recognize the ending of slavery by the governing Spanish National Assembly in 1873 and in protest of the imprisonment of Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos by the U.S. government in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Days before the peaceful march, organizers received legal permits by the mayor of Ponce José Tormos Diego. But when the U.S. appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, General Blanton Winship, heard of the protest he immediately demanded the permits be revoked. Governor Winship then directed Colonel Orbeta to gather police units from across the island and stop the protest. It was reported that over 200 heavily armed police officers surrounded the protesters.

As Puerto Rico's national song "La Borinqueña" began playing, the demonstrators started marching. The police fired at them from four different positions for over 15 minutes killing 17 men, 1 woman, a 7-year-old girl, wounding over 235 and arresting over 150 unarmed protesters.

Afterwards, an investigation took place on whether the protesters or the police shot first. Governor Winship pressured the district attorney's office and prosecutor Rafael Pérez Marchand to not file charges against the police officers and arrest more Nationalists but Pérez Marchand resigned, seeing that he was not allowed to conduct proper investigation. The US Commission for Civil Rights, led by Arthur Garfield Hays, independently investigated the incident and concluded the March 21st event constituted a massacre.

On July 25th 1938 Governor Winship held a military parade in Ponce, Puerto Rico to prove his success against the Nationalists. But the parade was met with gunfire aimed at the grandstand where the Governor sat in an attempt to assassinate him. This was the first time an attempt on a Puerto Rico's Governor life was made.

Today, We remember the dead and wounded on that unfortunate day and pray a time will come when justice is served. Pa'lante!

The video below shows actual footage of the Ponce Massacre:

Original post found on Pa'lante Latino.

Why Teaching Latino Literature/History in U.S. Schools Matters

Though initially I wanted to follow the Tucson Unified School District's ban on Mexican studies classes and related books, as it unraveled, given the many conflicting versions and accounts of what was taking place, I gave up on covering it altogether.

That was until yesterday when I decided to attend a presentation by Librotraficante at John Jay College in Manhattan. Panelists Tony Diaz, Liana LopezSergio Troncoso, Rich Villar and guest speakers Pulitzer prize winner Oscar Hijuelos (The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love) and his wife Lori Carlson (Cool Salsa) lent their voices to object the banning of books as well as the ramifications that such motion can have on the Latino community as a whole. These experienced panelists, whose range in occupation go from radio host to writers, have one common passion; the love and preservation of Latino literature. While listening to them speak on the issue of TUSD banned books, which by the way have all been written by "minorities", I wonder what would happen if what had taken place in Tucson would spill over to the rest of the country. What would happen if, in the case of my blog Pa'lante Latino where we showcase Latino contributions to the U.S., were to be banned? Most importantly, what if the people I was trying to reach were prevented from reading their own history? Then it hit home. This is exactly what is happening in Tuscon, Arizona and it not only affects the students but the authors of the banned books as well. Their work, research and time has been undermined and discarded as irrelevant.

By attending the conference I have learned a new perspective on the TUSD Mexican Studies issue. At stake here is not just the blatant disregard for a writer's work and the banning of certain books that deal with Mexican studies, but also the lost opportunity for Latinos to learn about their culture and their history in the U.S. 

Edited by Victoria Cepeda


Jorge Ramos’ Exclusive Interview With Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Kudos to Al Punto for broadcasting the Jorge Ramos exclusive interview with the controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, who claims he is not anti-immigrant and that Latinos "love" him. The full Engish transcripts and full video in Spanish can be found below.

JR: Sheriff Arpaio, thank you so much for talking to us again.

JA: Thank you.

JR:  I understand that you're going to release your own findings about President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Do you really believe that President Barack Obama is not an American? Why are you doing this?

JA:  You know, I've had 250 Tea Party come to my office wanting me to investigate that birth certificate. I'm the elected sheriff. I decided to do it. I have my cold case posse, volunteered ex-cops, lawyers — no cost to the taxpayers — so we have been working on this and on March 1, I will release our preliminary findings.

JR: What's your suspicion? I mean, President Barack Obama released on April 2011 his long-form birth certificate. What is it that you want to find out? You don't believe that he was born in Hawaii?

JA:   I'm not going to avoid your question. On the other hand, on March 1 I will present what evidence we have. I'm really investigating the birth certificate, which — not really the President — I want to see all the facts of that birth certificate.

JR:   But what's your motivation? Why are you doing this? Is there a political purpose for this? You're doing this right before the election you know that.

JA:   Well, that has nothing to do with it. This has been going on for three months. The people have come to me, my constituents, and asked me to look into it. I don't throw it in the wastebasket, so I'm looking into it. It's very simple. Maybe I can clear the President. We don't know.

JR:     Clear the President, for what?

JA:    Well, there's been a lot of controversy about whether he's a U.S. citizen; a controversy on the birth certificate itself.

JR:   Are you questioning that the President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen? Are you really doing that?

JA:    I'm not saying that. We are looking at the birth certificate to see if it's valid and that's what our thrust is, with a few other questions we have and other matters regarding that situation.

JR:   All right, let's talk about politics and about the Republican candidates. I've been listening to them for the last few months and all of them sound like you when it comes to immigration. Do you feel vindicated?

JA: Well, I met with all of them in person in my office or on the campaign trail or by telephone. They all want my endorsement. I presume if they didn't like my fight against illegal immigration they wouldn't be asking for my endorsement. I'm not tall, dark and handsome so there must be a reason that they're asking me to support them.

JR:   What do you make of Romney's self-deportation policy. Do you think that could work?

JA:   Well, I don't know about that situation. Why wait for them to self — to leave the country? Why not enforce the laws here in the United States if they're here illegally and send them back to their country? What is this self-deportation have to do with it?

JR:  But how are you going to send back 11 million undocumented immigrants Sheriff Arpaio? That's completely unreasonable.

JA:  Well, we've done all right here. 

JR:   But not 11 million –

JA:   They said over — 100,000 –

JR:  – I mean, are you going to send them back by buses or airplanes? What's the plan?

JA:    – if every state did what I'm doing I think we wouldn't have a problem.

JR:   Are you still arresting, detaining undocumented immigrants in Arizona?

JA:  Yes, we are. We just arrested 31 more recently coming into our country illegally, arresting them. The majority we booked into our jail. We don't turn it over to ICE, and we're going to continue to raid businesses that hire illegals. The majority have false identification, so I'm not stopping doing my job.

JR:  But are you breaking the law? I mean, the Justice Department just banned you from being part of a federal partnership program that would have allowed your agents to become immigration officers, so aren't you breaking the law now by doing that?

JA: No, because we're enforcing state laws. They don't want me to enforce the federal laws. I don't have to. We're enforcing state laws.

JR: Did you say that it is political garbage not to arrest undocumented immigrants in this country?

JA: No, I said — I may have referred to the Justice Department investigation where they went public on a press conference without allowing me to know about it and accuse me of racial profiling. All I want is the facts from the Justice Department.  We're working together. I hope to get it resolved, but if not, we'll have to go to court, or they will go to court against me.

JR: But they have accused you of racial profiling, Sheriff Arpaio. They accused you of “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.” 

JA:  – That’s their opinion.

JR: — They are accusing you and your agents of targeting Latinos simply because the way they look and because of the way they talk.

JA: That's their allegations. Why didn't they come up with the facts and prove it to me? This is what? just a 22-page report that they put out accusing me. Why don't they come up and give me the facts, the proof? That's all I ask for.

JR: Well, I mean they've been investigating this for three years and they are simply saying that what you do is unconstitutional policy; that what you're doing is not constitutional; and that basically you are targeting Latinos and immigrants because of the way they look; that you have implemented racist policies.

JA: Well, you know — well, let me ask you. You talked about politics. They've been doing it for three years. Why are they cracking down with their press conference right now? Because it's politically — it's politics. That's what this is all about.  What took them so long?  Why are they doing a –

JR:   But it's not –

JA: — big press conference now?

JR:  It's not my opinion, Sheriff Arpaio. One hundred and six people have reported being victims of racial profiling in your county, where you are.

JA: I want — I want to know who the victims are, who's making these allegations, and put the facts on the table, and we'll work with them and try to correct any measures if there are any problems. But they're not giving us the information.

JR: Now, as you know, to many Latinos, Sheriff Arpaio, you are the face of racism and discrimination. You know that.

JA:   Well, I'm a pretty nice guy, having lived in Mexico City, South America, Texas and Arizona. I've never had any problems with a Latino. They love me.

JR:  They don't.

JA: — So just because I am enforcing the state laws –

JR: They don't.  They don't, Sheriff Arpaio.

JA:  – they don't like –

JR:  You're making fun of this, but –

JA:  No, they did.

JR: — but they don't love you.

JA:  No, I'm not making fun.

JR: Yes, because you are making fun –

JA:  Well, how do you know they don't?

JR:   You are making fun of the fact –

JA:  No.  How –

JR:– do you –

JA:  – do you know? How do you know?  How do you know they don't like me?  How do you know? There may be a small group of activists.

JR:  I've seen — I've seen many polls. I've spoken to many undocumented immigrants, and they are simply telling me this: that for them you are –

JA: Well, what polls?

JR: — the worst of America –

JA: I've got my own polls. 

JR: — the face of racism and discrimination.

JA:  Okay. All right. That's what they want to say. Then I'll tell you what, I'm going to tell you I'm going to continue to enforce the laws. If they don't like what I'm doing, get the laws changed in Washington or in the State of Arizona.

JR:  Let me give you an example.

JA:  Then I won't be enforcing the laws.

JR: Let me give you an example. You keep on calling them illegals, right?

JA:  Illegal aliens.

JR:  Okay. 

JA: That's what's the official –

JR: You call them illegal aliens.

JA: — connotation.

JR: Why don’t you call illegal –

JA: That's what — that's what they are.

JR: — all the American companies that hire them, who are also breaking the law? So that's a double standard. You call them illegal.

JA:   No.

JR: You don't do the same with American citizens. Why — why do you do that?

JA: Do it — I do it all the time, that so-and-so committed an illegal act. They committed murder. I use the word "illegal" in any crime. It doesn't matter whether it's fighting the drug or illegal immigration problem. 

JR: Are you for a fence? Do you think there should be a fence between Mexico and the United States?

JA: That's a good question. Of course, they can buy ladders to hop over it. What I want to do, I'm getting tired of politicians saying we must secure the border and then they say, “First, we'll do it first and then we'll look at the illegal immigration problem.”

JR:  So you think it's a good idea, again, to build a fence?

JA:  Well, I'll go for the fence on one condition, and that is when they hop the fence with their ladder that they go directly to jail. That's it. Don't send them back so they can get, you know, a fence that's higher. If they hop the fence, I want them to do time in jail, and then I will be for the fence.

JR:  And let me just finish with this. We've spoken twice, and I still can't understand why you keep on talking to us. Are you — why are you doing this? As you know, many people in the Hispanic community, many immigrants simply hate you.Why do you insist on talking to us?

JA: Well, I don’t –

JR: What's your agenda? What do you want to achieve by talking to us? I really appreciate it as a journalist, but why are you doing it?

JA: Because — because you called me. I didn't call you, and you are a fair, well-known reporter, well respected. So why — what do you think, I'm afraid to talk to you? I'm not afraid to talk to you or anybody else. I talk to everybody. I'm an equal opportunity guy. I don't back down for the media or anybody else.

JR: Sheriff Arpaio, thank you so much for talking to us, really.

JA:  Thank you.


Latino GOP Groups Produce a Significant Rift Due to Immigration Stance

Blogging attracts like-minded folks just as much as dissenting foes. It is part of the game, and in my own experience, the criticism I have received (of any kind) is always better than indifference. Yes, I have been criticized by Latinos from all sides with much of the criticism and/or disagreement ending up in a mutual respect. After all, the ultimate goal is to find a voice within our community and make a statement. However, there are those whose attacks on each other are solely based on partisan politics, even when ranking within the same party. Such is the case of Bob Quasius and Rev. Howard Dotson when it comes to immigration.

Mr. Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe con Leche Republicans (CCLR), a website "dedicated to making America and the GOP a friendly place for immigrants". Recently he has been attacked by Rev. Howard Dotson who stated in his article "Step Aside, Latinas and Latinos can Lead Themselves!  " that Quasius' group is "a Republican Latino advocacy group that hedged his bets on whether Gov. Romney is anti-immigrant " .  

We reached out to Bob Quasius to go on record about his opinion on Dotson's support for Somos Republican's ("SR") and their statement "we will not align with Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans any longer, except when there are clear mutual interests', also on the account of differing immigration SR stated that  "Mexican Americans no longer consider themselves represented within the party by Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans."

Quasius: "CCLR has never defined itself as a Latino Republican organization. We are a Republican group that supports immigration reform and immigrants. You can find this in our mission statement and guiding principles. I also blogged about this several weeks ago (read Defining Cafe Con Leche Republicans).CCLR has never endorsed Mitt Romney either and we have been critical of Mitt Romney for his ties to Chris Kobach and harsh immigration positionWe have formally endorsed Newt Gingrich, though we took exception to some of his immigration positions."

"Howard Dotson is a friend of Shirl Mora James, co-president of the Tequila Party (along with DeeDee Blase). I worked with Shirl and Howard last year to defeat Nebraska anti-immigrant legislation. I don’t know his motivation for attacking CCLR, but needless to say I’m disappointed. He apparently didn’t bother to check his facts, and I’m not sure whether he even wrote this hit piece himself."

Rev. Dotson, ended his article by stating that "Latinas and Latinos will lead themselves" but then goes on to endorse an organization that publicly promotes segregation within Latinos, in this case Latinos within the GOP that do not share the same view on immigration. Thus, I call it like I see it. The more divisions we have the less successful we would be. This is true regardless of the political affiliations we have.

Somos Republicans and the Tequila Party were founded by DeeDee Blase.