Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stand up and be counted

Kudos and thanks to the City Paper for picking up the always vocal Jose Gonzalez’s comments about drinking and driving deaths and illegal immigrants- City Paper June 19. Jose was dismayed by irresponsibility behind the wheel by members of our community and suggested that education is the best way forward. Thanks Jose.

However, if you read the article on the City Paper website( and see the blog comments and opinions the issue has prompted what I fear may be another backlash against immigrants, particularly those from south of the border.

There are those,of course,who will find any excuse to attack another group and find scapegoats. However I believe emphatically that we as a community should take a stand and make it known by everyone that nobody in the Hispanic community in Nashville will tolerate drinking and driving and other criminal activities. We have to stop making excuses about cultural differences and face the issues head on. If we are to win the support of mainstream America we need to be seen to not tolerate illegal activity whether it be gang violence, robbery, drinking and driving, prostitution and particularly those crimes that result in the death of innocent people. If we do not make an issue of this, and condemn our own who refuse to act with responsibilty and concern for others, then don't be surprised when every Hispanic is painted by the mainstream as a potential criminal.

Read the online comments on Jose’s quotes in the City Paper article. The backlash is beginning-let’s deal with this now. I eagerly await everyone's input on this issue.

Eva Melo


  1. The backlash is just beginning? Eva, perhaps it is in the comfy confines of Franklin, Tn, but I have lived with this my entire life. Look, we are under no obligation to "proclaim" our outrage about this senseless death. Of course we are outraged. The people who think we aren't will never be convinced no matter how vocal we are condeming it. This drunken driving problem isn't confined to the Hispanic community, or the immigrant community. Before they Nativists had this sad event to use, they were accusing immigrants of bringing disease to their healthy little enclaves, or suggesting that we are somehow more prone to commit crime.

    I'm offended that someone would expect me to "go on the record" as being against drunk driving. It's demeaning.

  2. I applaud any community for trying to improve itself.

    Besides, this is a political problem, above and beyond statistics of DUI and race. If there is a perception that this is a greater problem in the Hispanic community than I think it's just smart to take control of the issue.


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