Tag Archives: Latism

Get Real: Get informed about the rulings

28 Jun

While working on what I would share today, I couldn’t get passed all that has happened this week in Supreme Court of the United States rulings. So let’s get real about how we educate ourselves about today’s current events

photo from sxc.hu

“On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down three key portions of a polarizing Arizona immigration law, but upheld the most controversial part of the bill requiring law enforcement to check the legal status of individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.” – HuffingtonPost.com

“The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying its requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members.” –NYTimes.com

Over the last few days I have been scouring the web for news of these two rulings. I could sit and talk politicos all day long. Sometimes I get to via Twitter, like tonight on the #Latism (Latinos in Social Media) chat about healthcare reform and what it means to Latinos. Except that tonight I did more ‘listening’ than talking. I don’t know all the impacts of the Affordable Care Act. I have my fair share of research and learning to do. Same goes for SB1070. I get the gist of it but I don’t know the ins and outs.

Here is the bottom line: Whichever side you are on or not on, GET INFORMED. 

With the speed of information coming at us online, there is no reason you can’t find out the answers you are looking for. First, you have to want to find them. There are plenty of reliable sources that report on what is going on. And there are plenty unreliable sources so be careful and research the facts. Today social journalism can keep reporting transparent but again, check the facts.

Some sources are biased and some are not. Biased isn’t necessarily bad. People may want to know what like-minded people think about breaking news or new SCOTUS rulings. Now, with blogs and niche reporting, it is not a difficult task to find your community.

Personally, I read articles from news sources/authors who are more aligned with my philosophies first.  Then, I look to  what “the other side” is reporting too. So I go check them out. It keeps me balanced. Most of all, it keeps me informed. What is making news today could be affecting you tomorrow. You will want to know.

Where do you get informed? I found a great infographic from Mashable.com revealing how social media is changing the way we access news today.


post 28 of 35 … 

Mexican-ness Identity Crisis

1 Jun

I have heard of this insane idea of blogging each day for 3o days. I thought “Wow! That would be fun but a lot of work.” This month I am up for the challenge! Not just 30 posts but 35! It’s a special number because it is how many years my presence has blessed this earth. Oh wait, I mean I’m blessed to be turning 35 this year!  So here’s post 1 of 35.

This blog originally began as an “Identity Crisis”. Struggling with my career identity and my identity as a wife and a mother, I realized a lot of it stemmed from my culture identity as a Mexican-

American living in Texas. The best way to describe it is the scene from the movie Selena. Edward James-Olmos, playing Abraham Quintanilla, shares how tough it is to be a Mexican-American. “We’ve got to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are. We’ve got to prove to the Americans how American we are. … It’s exhausting. … Nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexcian-American!”  (Just watch the whole movie, it’s one of my favorites!) 

Personally, I dealt less with Mexicans from Mexico and more with Mexican(-American)s in Texas. This felt a bit more tragic as we all lived in the same place but somehow I still wasn’t as “Mexican” as them. I didn’t speak Spanish or ‘know’ many Mexican traditions. (read my Story of  Qué) And you can feel really lost when you don’t know “who you are”. While I love  immigrant stories of Latino families that came to the US, my story isn’t one of immigration. I am third generation Texan from both my mom and my dad’s side of the family. Which means only my grandparents’ parents were born and lived in Mexico.

Honestly, I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a gringa learning about a Mexican-American family. And that is the honest to God truth. As time passed along, I had put this burden on myself to prove my “Mexican-ness” to others.

Maybe if I wear a Mexican Flag Badge??

Now, I’m in a different place. Now, instead of focusing on what it seems I may be lacking as a Mexican-Latina-whatever you want to call it, I celebrate all my Texicana-ness in Spanglish! (English with un poquito Español) Recently, it’s due to a large part of my online community that I have learned to embrace me just as I am. Meeting supporters from mommy bloggers, Latina bloggers, groups like LATISM (Latinos in Social Media), the Hispanicize conference and like-minded people on Twitter  has contributed to me becoming aware and confident of myself and my own “Latina-ness” or “Mexican-ness”.The more people I talked to about my ‘identity crisis’, the more I found that we actually have a lot in common no matter what their background. This makes me want to keep the conversation going!

It has been a moving, hilarious and crazy adventure exploring my “Mexican-ness”.  Thanks for reading and giving me a space to create, celebrate and share my culture. ¿Qué Means What? allows me to explore my culture with emphasis on justice, healthy living, education, family and faith. And I’m not just talking about lessons from the past but also what is relevant for the Latino community today.

Do you have an identity crisis? Or do you know who you are and celebrate your culture? Or how about a little of both?

post 1 of 35 … 

Honoring Chávez …

24 Apr

On March 31, 2012, we took our family to San Antonio’s 16th Annual César E. Chávez March for Justice from the West Side through downtown to the Alamo.  I want to share these pictures with you as a part of our journey participating in our first César E. Chávez march.

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Beginning on the West Side at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

It was our first year to participate and the first year supporters were able to march down “César E. Chávez Blvd”.  Last year, San Antonio renamed Durango Blvd to César E. Chávez Blvd but it wasn’t without controversy.  So it wasn’t a surprise that the crowd cheered louder as we approached the boulevard. “¡Sí se puede!”  You could feel the energy rise … it didn’t hurt that there were a few bikers parked nearby revving up their engines really getting the crowd excited.

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My mom, two boys and my husband marching on César E. Chávez Blvd.

Leaders stopped and gathered in on the steps of San Antonio’s City Hall to recognize Paul E. Chávez, the Grand Marshall of the March (and son of César) and make a proclamation of the day.  In a recent interview in Phoenix, Paul is quoted saying of his father, “He told us to remember that the work is not like a baseball game. It doesn’t end. The struggle only ends when we give up.” (source: MySA.com, http://bit.ly/JmVNwf)

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Paul E. Chávez, son of César E. Chávez and Grand Marshall, receiving the proclamation from SA's Mayor Castro on the steps of City Hall.

Although there was no official count, it was estimated approximately 10,000 people participated in the march, a number that I hope will grow year after year.

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From the bridge on Guadalupe Street on the West Side

Many San Antonio college students were seen and heard.  Chanting loudly:

“What do we want?”

-“Dream Act”

“When do we want it?”

-“Now”

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St. Mary's University was one of several local colleges that were represented.

City officials, local politicians and several corporations came out to honor and pay tribute to César and create awareness around the issues that are affecting our community today.  We came out to be a part of a community that doesn’t forget about honoring a man’s legacy who dedicated his life to others.  He worked tirelessly and protested by means of fasting to make a difference for others’ lives and bring justice to people around him and in this country.  To learn more about his life and work and San Antonio’s Annual March, visit www.cesarchavezlegacy.org

My son, asleep after marching for justice.

An unexpected result from this experience that puts a smile on my face is now my sons will randomly begin to chant “¡Sí se puede!” I know they don’t understand it now but I do believe that if I expose them to standing up for justice and equality, they will begin to understand why it is important to participate.  What’s the saying … “Children learn more from what is caught than what is taught.”

There is more work to do than showing up and walking 3 miles through downtown but we’ve taken our first step.  What acts do you show children the importance to stand for justice and equality?

César E. Chávez March 31, 1927 - April 23, 1993

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