How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'A crime to dream the American dream?' Reaction to 'Dreamers' and their support network

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A poster at a pro-Dream Act student gathering place in Los Angeles, December 2010

A post from last Friday detailing how undocumented youths have been using social media to build a support network - and in some cases, to fight deportation - was  widely circulated over the weekend. It also drew a very long string of comments, a mix of cheers and outrage.

Here are just a few, unedited. John Collins wrote:

Isn't that sweet. Those young activists are giving away something which doesn't belong to them to illegals. That something is OUR country, which rightfully ought to preserved for OUR children. How generous.

Overpopulation is not just an issue for developing countries. Own own resources are running out rapidly, ad we will have a sharp drop in our standard of living and quality of life as a result.

Eduardo (who posted several comments) responded with this excerpt:
The money they earn, for the most part, is invested here in houses, consumption, education, taxes ($14 billion annually only from undocumented immigrants), and by keeping up a deteriorated economy with cheap labor that translate into less expensive products for you and all the John Collins to enjoy.

And even the money that they send back home is a blessing for the US. That money is promoting development that has been proven to stop immigration to the US.

Every time you go to a restaurant, every time you enjoy a nice garden, a beautiful landscape, a clean bathroom. Every time you can go out for dinner with Ms. Collins while safely leaving your kids with undocumented Maria, every time you hear Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, all this times, John, your life gets better and better.

Is it a crime to dream the American dream? People don´t break real laws by migrating to where there is work and a chance to find prosperity. John, you are living among entrepreneurial, non conformist people...the best of the best of the countries that could not keep them.


The cultural mashup dictionary: Twittear and Feisbuk

Photo by TexasT/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A recent post on the neologism Googlear has inspired two related entries to Multi-American's evolving cultural mashup dictionary: The social media mashup terms Twittear and Feisbuk.

First, the Wiktionary definition of twittear:


From the online microblogging website, Twitter.


twittear (first-person singular present twitteo, first-person singular preterite twitteé, past participle twitteado)

1. (Internet) to tweet

I've used and heard "twittear" among Spanish-English bilinguals for quite a while, but there's also this adaptation below, as posted in the comments under the "googlear" post by ar2ro:
more than likely i see "el twitter" being used more in time than "twittear."

ex: ya mandaste el tweet? (did you send the tweet?)
mire tu mesaje en el twitter. (i saw you message on twitter)
me gusta el twitter (i like twitter)

twittear somehow does not sound right. even googlear sounds a bit funky, but does roll off the tongue in spanish rather well.


Japan quake draws links, comments and prayers on Facebook

Photo by Making-Things-Better/Flickr (Creative Commons)

As has become the norm during world events lately, one of the ways in which people have been getting togehter to provide information, ask questions or simply comment on the killer earthquake that struck Japan yesterday afternoon is on Facebook.

In the time since the quake hit off the country's northeast coast, a series of English-language pages dedicated to the earthquake have sprung up on which people are posting good wishes or valuable tools, like links to the bilingual Google Person Finder page specific to the disaster.

Some Japanese American Facebook group pages have been active also, like that of the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. From the page this morning:

My family in Yokohama said this is the biggest earthquake ever felt there. 10 hours later, the land was still shaking. They have their shoes on in the house ready to evacuate!! I could not get hold of them by phone, but I did through email which went to their cell phone as a form of text. (Thank goodness for the internet!!) My heart goes to the people in Miyagi where devastating Tsunami hit.


For some Egyptian Americans, the revolution will be Facebooked

Photo by Asim Bharwani/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An Egypt solidarity rally, partly organized on Facebook, outside the federal building in West Los Angeles Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social media has played a remarkable role not only in how Egyptians used it to coordinate the anti-government protests that are now in their ninth day, but in how the world has witnessed, relayed information, and organized around the crisis.

Stories have ranged from the ways in which Egyptians finagled ways around a government shutdown of Internet and cellular access to continue using Twitter and Facebook to how a UCLA graduate student, employing a network of acquaintances in Egypt and old-fashioned telephone land lines, relayed eyewitness updates via Twitter @Jan25Voices.

Among Egyptian Americans, Facebook has played a big role in communicating, commiserating and organizing around the protests, as many have done in recent days to stage solidarity rallies in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. Many of the Facebook pages dedicated to the Egypt crisis are administered out of the United States (where they tend to be pro-demonstrator).