Photo by Dana Robinson/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Par-tay! Ethnic drag on Halloween, October 2007
Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it must be time to, er, don an afro wig, a sombrero and fake mustache, or a Kim Jong Il costume? Nah, not so much.
I save the side-eye for those special outfits which turn cultures in to costumes; while some people think it’s “fun” to be “Ghetto Fab“, “Seductive Squaw” or “Asian Doll“, I have to restrain myself from reminding these insensitive boors that some of us can’t take off our skin.
My point is, ethnicity isn’t something to be ordered online for $52.95 and then worn to a succession of bars, where other revelers spill drinks on your micro-kimono or faux-feathers. Some of us are born with a certain phenotype and this affects how we are viewed and treated, every moment of every day. We don’t have the luxury of selecting our culture from a catalog and then discarding it, conveniently, after a holiday.
The results of a new national survey from the Pew Hispanic Center show the political backlash against illegal immigration creating divisions on a number of issues among Latinos (including between those who are immigrants and those who are native-born) and prompting worries about discrimination.
To begin with, the survey found Latinos in general to be divided over what to do about the nation's estimated population of 11.1 million undocumented immigrants. From the report:
A small majority (53%) says they should pay a fine but not be deported. A small minority (13%) says they should be deported, and a larger minority (28%) says they should not be punished.
More people surveyed saw discrimination as an issue than they did during a previous survey:
Today, more than six-in-ten (61%) Latinos say that discrimination against Hispanics is a “major problem,” up from 54% who said that in 2007. Asked to state the most important factor leading to discrimination, a plurality of 36% now cites immigration status, up from a minority of 23% who said the same in 2007. Back then, a plurality of respondents—46%—identified language skills as the biggest cause of discrimination.
More U.S. Latinos say they face discrimination - The Washington Post Nearly two thirds of Latinos surveyed as part of a new study believe they are being discriminated as part of a backlash over illegal immigration.
Ethnic media take different views of Sanchez-Tran congressional race - 89.3 KPCC How ethnic media is covering the race for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County, what appears to be a close contest between Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez and Republican challenger Van Tran.
Ariz. Spends $1M To Defend Immigration Law - KPHO Phoenix Gov. Jan Brewer's office reportedly spent more than $620,000 defending Senate Bill 1070 in July alone.
Los Cenzontles: A 'Little Factory' Of Culture - NPR The group was formed when leader Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American, created a place for kids in San Pablo, Calif. to hang out.
“The Latino community will be huge in these elections, they were huge two years ago…Because two years ago this community turned out, things were surprisingly different.”
- First Lady Michelle Obama on this morning’s “Piolín por la Mañana” radio show in Los Angeles
The interview was the second this week with a member of the Obama family on Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo’s influential morning show on Univision's La Nueva 101.9. An-studio interview with President Obama aired Monday, during which Sotelo pressed him on his promised support for comprehensive immigration reform, a sore spot for some Latino voters given the lack of a successful bill so far.
Today's interview with Michelle Obama, taped in-studio yesterday, is yet another testament to the growing influence of Spanish-language media and, as election season rolls around, the power of the highly-coveted Latino vote. Obama's remark above was in response to a question from Sotelo about "the importance of voting." The interview was aired on Univision radio stations around the country.
One of the striking things about "The Wave," the latest and perhaps most controversial of the immigration-related ads produced by the campaign of Nevada's Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, is how similar it is in its tone to what is perhaps the granddaddy of the illegal-human-tide campaign ad genre, a television spot from former governor Pete Wilson's 1994 re-election campaign known as "They Keep Coming."
The ad starts with a video image from the early 1990s (one that was repeated for years on television as synonymous with illegal immigration) of people running north into the United States from Mexico, along the southbound lanes of the San Ysidro border crossing. Rushing the southbound lanes was a maneuver that some smugglers encouraged for a period back then, as was telling border crossers to run across Interstate 5 to avoid border security, a tactic that led many to their death on the highway.