ramona gardens

My mother, Carmen, often sent me to La Paloma Market, while my brother Salomon watched I Love Lucy re-runs. We lived in East Los Angeles’ Ramona Gardens housing project, where I had to be selective about the routes I took.

Since I feared the barking dogs along the alley, I always took a shortcut through the hill that was controlled by a local gang, the Hill Boys. The homeboys never bothered me on my daily trip for groceries, especially since we attended Murchison Elementary School at the same time. [Mas…]

trumpanzeeOn the first day of class, I always inform my university students that I hold two PhDs — one from a premier research institution, UC Berkeley, and the other from one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country, East Los Angeles’ Ramona Gardens housing project or Big Hazard projects (named after the notorious gang).

While I’ve relied on my research and analytic skills to criticize Donald Trump, as the Republican presidential nominee, I’ve also depended on my street smarts to deconstruct his extremist politics and erratic behavior. While political foes, pundits, cable news anchors and journalists are bewildered by Trump, I grew up with his type: Wannabe tough guy, bully and hustler. To deal with Trump, we must view him through these typologies, among others, such as xenophobe, racist, money-grubber and liar. [Mas…]