Chicanos: How did we become America’s new slave culture?

Chicano_Pride_by_fokrWho are we?

In my journey as a community activist and Chicano advocate, I’ve experienced many fascinating elements that have inspired me but also scarred me to my very soul.

I have fought the Chicano politician who capitulated in the selling out of his community, broke bread with the “Old Man” whom lent the little he had but gave unselfishly of his wisdom, and have shared space with our sons who have fallen victim to a privatized prison system.

I have fought the white dragon of racism and today… today will begin the telling of those many travels.

There are many obstacles preventing the Chicano people from achieving American uni-culturalism, but none more profound than the many differing points of view available within the Chicano community itself on what it means to be Chicano.

Mas…Chicanos: How did we become America’s new slave culture?

Pocho Ocho signs you grew up in a Mexican family/household

popowarriorHere is a listicle partially inspired by a mas longer listicle on BuzzFeed, because they are the listicle professionals, tu sabes.

¡Mira! The Pocho Ocho signs you grew up in a Mexican household/family:

8. Virgen de Guadalupe veladoras.

7. Your first introduction to dramatic acting was a telenovela.

6. You always wondered why gringos celebrated Cinco de Mayo more than your family.

5. You can recognize the Aztec princess Iztaccihuatl AND the warrior Popocateptl (photo) on sight.

Mas…Pocho Ocho signs you grew up in a Mexican family/household

Mexclusive: Hollywood has called my bluff with ‘Bordertown’ at Fox!

bordetowntoonborderstereotypestweetFox has just announced the pickup of a new animated TV show called Bordertown, debuting in 2014. It was created by the showrunner of Family Guy, Mark Hentemann.

I was offered a gig writing and consulting on the show, and I happily accepted.

This will be the first animated prime time network TV show with a significant number of Latino characters.

Over half the cast will Mexican or Mexican-Americans or Chicanos. It will be historic.

Mas…Mexclusive: Hollywood has called my bluff with ‘Bordertown’ at Fox!

[Breaking] Back to School: Boys named ‘José’ get new names

kidsinschool(PNS reporting from SAN ANTONIO) All across America, elementary school teachers performed a traditional back-to-school ritual this week — the ceremonial renaming of thousands of boys named “José.”

The annual ritual is performed when teachers take roll in the morning:

  • First, teachers call the boys named “José” by new “American” names, typically “Joe,” “Joey,” or “Joseph.”
  • After a moment of silence, the boys realize the teacher is calling them, and the ceremony concludes when the boys accept their new names by answering with “here” or “present.”

The ritual was performed here earlier this week at Indian Creek Elementary School.

Mas…[Breaking] Back to School: Boys named ‘José’ get new names

An Open Letter to the Denver Public Library Commission

An Open Letter to the Denver Public Library Commission:

I am writing in response to the so-called “ire” that was reported in the Denver Post regarding the new West Denver library being named after Rodolfo Corky Gonzales.

I am an author/publisher and a Denver native. I am also Chicano. My roots in Denver run deep and though I may live far from the Mile High City now, Denver will always be home.

How can one convey to you in such a limited space how iconic Gonzales is? The man is legend, not just in Colorado but nationally. Though the Chicano/a movement is not what it used to be in Denver, its roots are still there. There are those who would balk at this library – those who would like nothing more than to wipe Corky’s memory from the history books, just as they are trying to do with our books and history in Arizona, despite the fact that these things are as American as anything else. Ignorance speaks volumes.

Mas…An Open Letter to the Denver Public Library Commission

It’s Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and Google threw a Doodle party

Late Saturday night, as I searched for some historical images for a new history book I’m illustrating, I saw that Google had finally honored farm labor icon Cesar Chavez with their “Google Doodle.”

My first thought (and tweet) was, “Brace yourselves for anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, anti-Cesar Chavez racist hate from internet Christians on their Holy Day.”  Faster than you could pull up a thousand images of the Mexican-American hero on Google Images, the harsh comments started rolling in.

As I called it, a few hateful internet Christians declared jihad on Google because it’s not a Jesus Christ Doodle or their main religious figure, the Easter Bunny (historical image below). 

Mas…It’s Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and Google threw a Doodle party

Grad student realizes lesbian tendencies don’t make her Frida Kahlo

(PNS reporting from EAST LOS ANGELES)  María de Luz Guzmán Villa had a disturbing realization this week: being a lesbian in grad school does not make her more like the Mexican icon Frida Kahlo.

Like many others, Guzmán Villa first experimented with trying to be like Frida, especially her lesbian tendencies, after her first Intro to Chicano Studies course at Cal State L.A.

But instead of giving up her fascination upon graduation, she gave up her boyfriend César and applied to grad school.

Mas…Grad student realizes lesbian tendencies don’t make her Frida Kahlo