Photo by Joe Hall/Flickr (Creative Commons)
A multilingual sign points the way to a polling place, November 2006
"Much has been made about Latino enthusiasm around voting on Tuesday, suggesting that low enthusiasm means 'not voting.' Well, here's the thing: I am voting on Tuesday, but I would hardly describe my mood as 'enthusiastic.'
"All to say that there are different factors vying for Latino attention--some could dampen participation, some could energize it--and the way that candidates define themselves on the issues makes a difference to those energy levels."
Martinez's opinion piece made the Twitter rounds this weekend. In it she wrote about about the varied perceptions of Latino voters as either a) a solid voting block, aligned on issues and focused chiefly on immigration (which they are not); b) no different than the rest of the electorate, without common interests (which they are also not).
Opinion | The myth of the monolithic 'Latino vote' - Seattle Times On Latino voters as a culturally, politically, geographically and demographically diverse group.
The GOP's immigration problem - CNN How obstructing Congress on immigration could hurt the Republican party in the midterm elections and long-term.
Democrats see Latino votes as key to winning races - The Associated Press Unlike in the 2006 midterms, some of the most competitive races this year are in states with large Hispanic populations.
Muslim Voters Face Difficult Choice in Tuesday’s Election - Feet in 2 Worlds An interesting take on New York's 13th Congressional District, where both the Democratic and Republican candidates have opposed the Park51 development, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque."
Somali-American Becomes Prime Minister of Somalia - New York Times A former community college instructor from Buffalo, NY takes the nation's top job.
Photo by Jim Benning
Just as Halloween is almost here, so, too, is Día de los Muertos, the day of the dead.
It amazes me how mainstream the ancient Mexican celebration has become in Los Angeles in recent years. But then, that's the beauty of an immigrant town. The sight of sugar skulls is becoming nearly as commonplace as that of jack-o-lanterns at this time of year, and there is a degree of cultural respect that comes with that. And if one of the central themes of Día de Los Muertos comes across in the translation - that even in death, our loved ones remain a part of our lives - even better.
How to celebrate the holiday (which officially takes place Nov. 1 and 2)?
- LA Eastside has a long list of just about every public event between now and then, including the longstanding Noche de Ofrenda tradition at East L.A.'s Self Help Graphics tonight and the ever-more-enormous annual festival at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, also tonight, about which blogger El Random Hero had this to say:
"Well, the answer is: It breaks my heart, but she should be deported, because she forged documents and she lied about her immigration status."
- Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor, regarding her former maid Nicandra Diaz Santillan in an interview last night with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren
Whitman's remark was in response to a direct question from Van Susteren while discussing her former housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz Santillan. "Should she be deported?" Van Susteren asked.
The scandal that erupted last month over Whitman's employing Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, for nine years then firing her last year after deciding to run for governor has threatened to derail her campaign against Democratic candidate and state Attorney General Jerry Brown, causing her to lose ground in particular among Latino voters.
The AtlanticWire has a roundup of stories on Oklahoma's State Question 755, an until-recently obscure ballot initiative in the Sooner State that, if approved by voters, would prohibit the state's courts from using international law or Islamic Sharia law when making rulings.
I wrote about this curious bit of proposed legislation the other day. As unusual and geographically removed as it seems, State Question 755 is relevant beyond Oklahoma in the same way that Arizona's SB 1070 - and Oklahoma's similar HB 1804, which preceded it in 2007 - have been politically relevant beyond both states.
The inspiration for the measure, according to its backers, comes from a New Jersey case. From CNN:
The question might seem a befuddling one for a ballot in the heartland, but it stems from a New Jersey legal case in which a Muslim woman went to a family court asking for a restraining order against her spouse claiming he had raped her repeatedly. The judge ruled against her, saying that her husband was abiding by his Muslim beliefs regarding spousal duties. The decision was later overruled by an appellate court, but the case sparked a firestorm.