How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The forgotten history of Angelenos' lost ñ

I linked earlier to a post on the KCET website by author D.J. Waldie on the disappearance of the Spanish consonant ñ, pronounced "enye," from the word that we in Los Angeles use to describe ourselves, and from our regional identity altogether.

But the post is so nice, I want to share more of it here, starting with what Waldie writes about the now commonly used term "Angeleno:"

There's another word, original and more correct. The word for us is Angeleño (with a tildé over the n). The sound of ñ is roughly approximated by the "ny" in canyon. In telling the Spanish alphabet, the letter ñ is pronounced "enye."

Even after the Americanization of Los Angeles (and until the early 1860s), nearly all residents of the city - Anglo and Latino both - spoke Spanish. Presumably (if it ever came up in conversation), they called themselves Angeleños, because that's the usual form of the noun.

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Quote of the moment: UC Berkeley chancellor on the Arizona shooting and immigration

"A climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to such a tragedy."

- Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor of UC Berkeley, in a letter to the campus community


UC Berkeley News has published Birgeneau's letter, in which he cites Arizona's political climate as it relates to immigration - in particular, the state's embrace of controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation - as contributing to an environment "in which such an act can be contemplated, even by a mind that is profoundly disturbed."

Here's the quote in context:

Such a brutal and violent attack on an individual who has devoted herself to public service is deeply regrettable. It calls upon us as an academic community to stop and ponder the climate in which such an act can be contemplated, even by a mind that is profoundly disturbed. A climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to such a tragedy. I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.

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In the news this morning: The Florida 'Arizona' law, Tucson sheriff's immigration stance, trafficking suspect arrested, gay heroes, more

Florida lawmakers size up Arizona-style bill - Miami Herald Gov. Rick Scott's plan to bring an SB 1070-style immigration law to Florida may have trouble passing in Florida, some state lawmakers say.


Lone ranger: Tucson's tough-talking sheriff suddenly has national spotlight - Christian Science Monitor Not a stranger to controversy, Sheriff Clarence Gupnik has referred to SB 1070 as "racist" and is considered by many as the foil to Maricopa County's Joe Arpaio.


Suspected Brothel Manager Is Arrested While Gambling - New York Times A woman suspected of being involved with a human-trafficking ring that smuggled young Korean women into the country and forced them to work as prostitutes was arrested in a Connecticut casino.


Angelino, Angeleno, and Angeleño | Commentary | SoCal Focus - KCET Author D.J. Waldie on L.A.'s sad dismissal of the ñ (pronounced "enye").

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Tweet of the moment: The irony of the hero intern

Jan Brewer now honoring Daniel Hernandez as hero, which he is.

- @Karoli

What if Daniel Hernandez were a DREAM Act candidate? would she honor him then?

- @Karoli


Of course, it's not the only tweet of the moment concerning Daniel Hernandez, the 20-year-old, openly gay Latino intern who is credited with saving the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, his boss, on Saturday in the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and many others injured.

Perhaps the most popular tweet of many tonight, when Hernandez appeared on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, came from the certified account of filmmaker-activist Michael Moore, @MMFlint: "20yr old Daniel Hernandez credited w/ saving Rep. Giffords life. "Hernandez?" Is that legal? Arizona, have u checked his papers?"

But then Moore already gets plenty of attention. The tweet above came from a lesser-known but avid Twitter user and blogger named Karoli who, like others captured by the story, saw irony in it. Hernandez, who is dark-skinned, was honored today in Arizona by Brewer, the governor who signed SB 1070, the anti-immigration law whose critics have warned could lead to racial profiling.

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Why Arizona intern Daniel Hernandez's heroism is about much more than that

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1_8ASswyZ0

Much has been made by now of the story of Daniel Hernandez, the 20-year-old intern credited with likely saving the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after Saturday's assassination attempt and shooting rampage in Tucson. The University of Arizona student ran toward the victims after hearing shots fired, checking the pulses of those on the ground and holding Giffords upright as he applied constant pressure to the wound on her forehead. Even after help arrived, he didn't leave her side. He had been on the job with Giffords' office for five days.

At first, it was simply news that he was heroic. It then became news that he was heroic while also being Latino and gay.

In another place at another time, only the heroism would have mattered. But because this occurred in 2011 in Arizona, where it's no secret that Latinos and gays have felt slighted by some of their political leaders, Hernandez's act of bravery has become as much symbolic as heroic.

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