How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

A writer asks: What if the Arizona shooter had been Latino?

Photo by Patrick Dockens/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An opinion piece from an NPR contributor relating ethnicity to last Saturday's shooting in Tucson has drawn hundreds of comments on the website. Titled "Across America, Latino Community Sighs With Relief," it poses this question: What if the gunman had been Latino?

The essay is written by Daisy Hernandez, former editor of the magazine ColorLines. In it she describes her reaction when she heard about the rampage. She rushed to her Android phone, she writes, searching for the suspected killer's surname:

My eyes scanned the mobile papers. I held my breath. Finally, I saw it: Jared Loughner. Not a Ramirez, Gonzalez or Garcia.

It's safe to say there was a collective sigh of brown relief when the Tucson killer turned out to be a gringo. Had the shooter been Latino, media pundits wouldn't be discussing the impact of nasty politics on a young man this week — they'd be demanding an even more stringent anti-immigrant policy. The new members of the House would be stepping over each other to propose new legislation for more guns on the border, more mothers to be deported, and more employers to be penalized for hiring brown people. Obama would be attending funerals and telling the nation tonight that he was going to increase security just about everywhere.


In the news this morning: GOP leaders court Latino voters, more on border agent accused of harboring, Arizona and immigration politics, more

GOP Tries New Effort To Bring In Hispanic Voters - NPR Republican leaders that include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are launching a new effort to reach out to Latino voters.

Secret underground room at Border Patrol agent's home may have hidden illegal immigrants - Los Angeles Times More on the 26-year-old agent accused of harboring his twice-deported father and another man.

Weekly Diaspora: Tucson Shooting Reshapes Explosive Immigration Debate - The Media Consortium While the shooting had no direct ties to Arizona immigration politics, "the tragedy bears a number of weighty implications for immigration issues both in Arizona and across the nation."

Slain woman was Juárez activist - El Paso Times Police have identified the body of a woman found last week as an activist who had long protested the femicides in Juárez.


Quote of the moment: Daniel Hernandez at the Tucson memorial service

"On Saturday, we all became Tucsonans. On Saturday, we all became Arizonans. And above all, we all became Americans."

- Daniel Hernandez, the intern credited with saving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's life during last Saturday's shooting in Tucson

In addition to being impressively courageous, 20-year-old University of Arizona student Daniel Hernandez turns out to be an impressive public speaker.

Hernandez spoke at the memorial service held at the university in Tucson tonight, also attended by President Obama. During his speech, Hernandez begged off the title of "hero," saying it belonged to others, among them his boss, Giffords. But Obama called him a hero anyway.

Hernandez had been working for Giffords for five days Saturday when suspected gunman Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a public event outside a grocery store. Six were killed, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, and several others injured. Hernandez ran to the victims as he heard the shots, taking the pulses of those on the ground, stemming the bleeding from the bullet wound on Giffords' forehead and preventing her from choking.


San Francisco's first Chinese American mayor

Photo by Steve Rhodes/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The city whose past is perhaps most closely intertwined with Asian immigrant history, including its most troubled periods, has achieved a milestone: San Francisco has its first Asian American mayor.

Yesterday's swearing-in of City Administrator Ed Lee as interim mayor came after a flurry of political jockeying as city leaders scurried to fill the seat being vacated by former mayor and now Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who was sworn in to his new office Monday.

Lee was voted in by the city's Board of Supervisors and is expected to serve only until next January, when the winner of next November's mayoral race would take over. He has said he will resume his previous post after the temporary term, limiting his long-term influence.

Still, the selection of Lee as mayor is seen as a symbolic victory in a city that is synonymous with Asian immigrant history.


In the news this late morning/early afternoon: More on immigration and rhetoric, new House immigration leader, farm labor plans, more

Hi, all. I'm off to a later start that usual after a non-blogging assignment last night. But without further ado, here's the mid-day reading list:

Immigration groups consider security and tone after Tucson shooting - 89.3 KPCC With much of the recent political rhetoric in Arizona focused on immigration, two immigration groups with ties to the Southland consider the impact of the shooting on their work.

Arizona Rhetoric In 2010 Driven By Immigration Bill - National Journal The tenor of Arizona politics has grown increasingly strained in recent election cycles, with the immigration debate front and center.

Meet Elton Gallegly, The Chair Of The Immigration Committee - Talking Points Memo Gallegly, a Republican from California, will lead the House subcommittee after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was passed over for the job.