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.


Speed dating and sponsors: Latino bloggers 2.0

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Schmooze-fest: A "speed dating" session between Latino bloggers and corporate sponsors, April 7, 2011

I wasn't sure what to expect this afternoon when I stopped by a conference in Hollywood dubbed Hispanicize 2011, a three-day affair billed as a "public relations and social media conference."

The combination sounded intriguing, if the kind of mix that could go, well, any number of ways. And while it leaned heavily toward marketing, in the end, it was rather fascinating.

This dawned on me as I witnessed a "speed dating" session between bloggers and corporate marketing types, standing in a hotel ballroom surrounded people rapidly exchanging business cards and giving one another three-minute pitches before the moderator called time-out.

"Are you a sponsor?" asked an eager-looking young woman, seeing me unattached. I said no, but she explained anyway that she had a parenting blog - a "mami blog," in Latino blogger parlance - dedicated to organic child-rearing, and she was hoping to find the right kind of corporate sponsor.


In Hollywood today for 'Hispanicize'

Photo by TravelingMan/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Why am I posting a map of the island of Hispaniola? Because today I'll be checking out the Hispanicize 2011 social media and public relations conference in Hollywood, which began yesterday. And while a clichéd photo of the Hollywood sign would have done fine, how often do we see maps of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic?

The three-day conference is in second year and is being billed as a Latino blogger-fest: Latino culture bloggers, mami bloggers, tech bloggers, food bloggers, entertainment bloggers, even coupon bloggers, they'll all be there. And so as an immigration blogger who happens to also be Latina, I'll be there too.

I'll be checking out panels and tweeting the occasional observation @Multi_American. Any Twitter followers, if you're there also, feel free to send me a message.