Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Free tickets to El Cantante preview Wednesday night

Relaunch of Tennessee Hispanic Chamber

The Hispanic Nashville Notebook has free tickets to a preview screening of El Cantante, the story of salsa singer Hector Lavoe, starring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony (official movie site here, review here). The preview screening is at 7pm Wednesday, August 1, at Green Hills Regal Cinemas and is also being used as a kickoff event of the "new" Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce*, according to chamber President Ramon Cisneros.

For tickets, e-mail the editor of the Hispanic Nashville Notebook. The only information required is your name, your occupation, and your contact information, but extra consideration will go to submissions attaching original photos of anything related to Hispanic life in Nashville (for inclusion in the Hispanic Nashville Scrapbook).

*Hispanic Chamber 101: There are at least two active Hispanic chambers of commerce in Middle Tennessee: the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is redefining itself after the ouster of its former President (story here).

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber hosts Business After Hours July 31

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce* sent out this invitation for its July 31 event:

You are cordially invited to join us as we present our 2007-2009 NAHCC Agenda

* Year-round Business Literacy Programs
* Minority Business Procurement/Registration
* SBA loans - Trainning and Business Planning
* SCORE trainning sessions
* Business to Business (Negocio a Negocio)
* "Contactos" Exploring a world of opportunities within our membership
* NAHCC Business Directory "NEW"
* Membership Benefits NAHCC+ card
* Latinforma Lunch and Learn Business Series
* EDUCANDO Educational - Building Community Series
* Y.E.P - Young Enterpreneurs & Professionals

Join us at our
"Business After Hours" to meet and greet members and the board of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as we prepare to take a full member delegation to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the 2007 USHCC Annual Convention.
Tuesday July 31st
from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm


5560 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211

Tel. 615-833-3716

(corner of Nolensville Pike & Old Hickory Blvd)

Free to NAHCC members and guests.
Light appetizers, music and cash bar.

Please RSVP with Alejandra Peña at 615-216-5737 or via e-mail to info@nashvillehispanicchamber.com
To learn more about the NAHCC please visit us online at: www.nashvillehispanicchamber.com

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6 non-profit business organization. The NAHCC keeps the highest level of accountability on sponsorship funds received or other corporate contributions. The mission of the NAHCC is to help Nashville become a better place to live, work and visit by creating positive environments conducive to business growth, education, integration, and cultural appreciation. Partnerships with corporate members wishing to fund NAHCC programs and events are subjected to Board of Director's approval and are primarily to support educational causes and/or empower entrepreneurship opportunities as well as mainstream business member initiatives not restricted to the Hispanic enterpreneur or market.

*Hispanic Chamber 101: There is more than one Hispanic chamber of commerce in Middle Tennessee: the currently active chambers are the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nissan contributes to civil rights efforts of National Council of La Raza

NCLR has "a rich history of helping to further the Hispanic community - a community that is very important to our company"

Nashville-based Nissan North America announced in this press release that it was a "Gold" sponsor at this year's annual conference of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and that it would contribute $35,000 "to help the nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization that works to improve opportunities for Hispanic-Americans."
"Nissan values NCLR's mission of helping Hispanics achieve the American dream," said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, Sr. Manager of Philanthropy and Diversity Communications, Nissan North America, Inc. "The National Council of La Raza has a rich history of helping to further the Hispanic community - a community that is very important to our company. Nissan has always recognized the value and contributions of the Hispanic community."

Nissan has long been a major contributor of other Hispanic organizations across the country including the National Hispana Institute, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and is a proud long-time sponsor of the Copa Nissan Sudamerica.

"NCLR is pleased to partner with Nissan. We are proud that such a prestigious American institution like Nissan has joined the ranks of our wonderful partners," said Janet Murguia, President and CEO of NCLR. "Nissan's generous support will help us continue to develop and implement programs that make an impact on the Hispanic community across the nation."
Nissan is not NCLR's only high-profile corporate partner. The Verizon Foundation used the NCLR annual conference to announce a $1 million grant to the Latino child literacy program Lee y serás® (story here).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tennessean op-ed page asks, too much hate in immigration bureaucracy debate?

IMMIGRATION DEBATE TOO HATE-FILLED? Illegal immigration is an issue that has made a lot of Middle Tennesseans angry. Do you think the tone of the debate becomes so harsh at times that it qualifies as hate speech? Send your thoughts to Tennessean op-ed page and issues editor Terry Quillen at tquillen@tennessean.com.

Update 8/6/07: The Tennessean published the responses of Avi Poster (here), Carol Swain (here), and other readers (the online compliation of reader comments here contains more than the print version). Poster's response is the only one that uses direct-quote examples. Next to local comments, the Tennessean also ran this local column by Dwight Lewis, in which he challenges the "crisis" argument in relation to certain crimes and immigration, and this syndicated column by Ruben Navarette, in which he argues that the immigration bureaucracy debate has had racial overtones, but that it "isn't really about hate as much as it is fear and ignorance."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Perishable import/export project at Nashville airport resurfaces

Fresh Link could bring food from Latin America to Middle Tennessee twice as fast

From the Nashville City Paper: a perishables facility is being contemplated for the Nashville International Airport that would cut in half the time it takes for Latin American food to reach Middle Tennessee shelves. The effort is being led by the new company "Fresh Link" - which is a reincarnation of "Perishable Link" (see May 2004 story here). The effort to create this facility has been underway since before the 9/11/2001 attacks, according to the 2004 story.

From the Nashville City Paper article today:
It’s needed, Russell said, to break the bottleneck Miami has on much of the perishable air freight business in the Southeast, particularly imports from Central and South America. Miami is currently ranked No. 1 among all U.S. airports in international freight, according to preliminary 2006 figures.

Fresh South American seafood arriving through Fresh Link in Nashville, for instance, could arrive in front of Middle Tennessee customers up to five days faster than seafood imports going through Miami gateways, Russell said.

Tommy Jones, director of business development for NIA, says the airport is currently negotiating the lease price with Fresh Link, and would work closely with Fresh Link to build the facility.
Both the City Paper article today and the 2004 article from the Tennessean reference China Air's existing international cargo flights into and out of Nashville, at a rate of six per month.

Photo credit: Darwin Bell

Former Nashville refugee wins $8.25 million at World Series of Poker

From the Los Angeles Times:
[Jerry Yang,] [t]he ethnic Hmong immigrant from Laos, a relative rookie, is getting used to being the world's poker king. He's already bought his wife a new Cadillac Escalade, set aside college funds for their six children and pledged 10% of his windfall to children's charities.


Nicknamed "The Shadow" for his tendency to surge from the back of the pack to win, Yang was eighth out of nine players when the final round began at noon July 17.

After 14 hours, Yang beat Tuan Lam of Ontario, Canada, to win it all — besting 6,358 players in the tournament.


Raised poor in the Laos countryside, Yang and his family fled the Communist takeover in the mid-1970s and spent five years in a Thai refugee camp, where Yang suffered malnutrition. At age 13, Yang went to Nashville, Tenn., then moved to California in 1982.

"I grew up with nothing. I understand what poor kids are going through," Yang said. "I wanted to be a doctor because of all the suffering I've been through."
Photo credit: Kevin Labianco

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dominican-born sculptor Freddie Cabral moves to Nashville

Painter, sculptor, and architect, Freddie Cabral, aka “The king of metal” has relocated from Boston, MA to Nashville, TN where he will continue to give us with the product of his tasteful industry. Cabral, who during the seventies started his career in plastic arts and architecture at the prestigious universities “Autonoma de Santo Domingo” and “APEC” in his native Dominican Republic also lived in Paris from 1980 to 1985, completing his studies on monumental arts in the Ecole Nationale Superioure des Beaux-Arts.

Cabral's meticulous works, made from various metals, mud and wood as well as scraps, address the essential components or common fabric of all human beings, as well as the correlation between humans and their environment. It also links sources such as the ova and the sperm (two key elements of the biological creation during its initial phase), putting in perspective the similarities and differences of the cellular and the cosmic worlds. Opposing ways, yet concurrent.

In his creative universe Cabral uses items from everyday life such as nails, cans, and bottle tops, which would most likely be discarded. He transforms them into stars, astrals or other parts of the micro world, raising their category and degree of importance. The tenuous lights that emanate and flow from the interior of his work piece produce an optical illusion of closeness and distance, and cast a special effect of displacements of all participating elements which is most effective in dim or darkened rooms.

Freddie Cabral has presented 13 personal exhibits, the most recent one being “Prenumbras” (shadow cast) based on the year he spent at the University of Massachusetts in Boston as well as numerous collective expositions in different countries throughout Europe and America. Among these are France, Italy, Holland, Mexico, Cuba, Ecuador, Canada, and the sculptor’s homeland, the Dominican Republic.

In 1992, Freddy Cabral received the “Escultura de la Bienal” prize in his native Santo Domingo and in 1978, he was awarded the “Escultura Casa de España“. His creative work has been widely depicted in books and magazines that specialize on art of the different countries of the world.

“Cabral and Associates” has a workshop in Nashville, where they elaborate custom made pieces based on their clientele's ideas. Among these are murals, interior designs, metallic structures, jewelry, paintings, drawings, and sculptures in a wide array of materials. For more information, please call (615)513-8991.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Briley, Dean, Dozier, Eaton, and Gentry address New American, Friends & Supporters forum

Early voting now; Election Day August 2

New Americans, choose your Nashville Mayor

Mayoral candidates David Briley, Karl Dean, Buck Dozier, Kenneth Eaton, and Howard Gentry appeared at the New Americans mayoral forum at University School of Nashville last night. Congratulations to Christina Allen, Mary Griffin, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and others who planned and supported this important event.

If you attended the forum and have any thoughts about the comments made there or the candidates themselves, please send your thoughts to me and I may post them here. Same goes for any photos, videos, or audio taken.

Each candidate exhibited some strengths:

Most likely to acknowledge unfamiliarity with some issues but be willing to investigate
Buck Dozier

Most sophisticated answers
David Briley

Most heart-felt answers
Howard Gentry

Most likely to seem like Mayor Purcell
Karl Dean

Best use of humor
Kenneth Eaton

As for Eaton's humor, his zingers were that he would like to learn Spanish, but what people try to teach him, he can't repeat in public; and that surely some people in the audience didn't agree with everything he said during the forum, but that he wasn't sure if even he agreed with everything he said.

As they described their views on certain issues, more than one candidate indicated that constituent contact informs their opinions. A lesson, then, to New Americans, friends, and supporters: VOTE, and when you're not voting, WRITE and CALL your elected officials.

Definitely, vote if you can.

Update 7/23/07: Comments from readers:

"I am impressed and very appreciative of the candidates' willingness to participate. ... Candidate Gentry, was very thoughtful and I could see his words have been marinated by personal experience, history and struggle. ... At least Mr. Buck [Buck Dozier] is what he says he is. And I have no doubts about it. ... A final message to our distinguished panelists, Mr. Eaton and Mr. Dozier: the U.S. Constitution protects all the people that are in this country, legal or illegal (if there is such a definition)."

"I didn't like how David Briley told the Tennessean how wonderful the 287(g) program was and then last night he said there were problems with it. It seemed like we were being fed whatever he thought we wanted to hear."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nashville mayoral race turns to New American issues Thursday July 19 at USN

Candidates to address forum hosted by Nashville’s New American community and its supporters

Christian, Latin American, Ethiopian, Indian, Islamic, Philippine, Somali, Sudanese, and Korean roots unite sponsors

Night for undecided voters

On Thursday, July 19th, Nashville’s mayoral candidates will participate in a forum hosted by New Americans, Friends, & Supporters. The forum will take place from 7:00 to 8:30pm at the University School of Nashville.

Based on estimates of the number of naturalized citizens and U.S. born children of immigrants, there will be approximately 131,500 New Americans in Tennessee who will be eligible to vote by 2008 (93,164 in 2004, and an additional 38,300 by 2008). With 25% of Tennessee’s immigrant community living in Davidson County alone, the importance of these community members on Nashville politics is becoming increasingly clear.

“We are very pleased to see Nashville’s mayoral candidates take such a strong interest in the growing New American community, and recognize the need to address the concerns of immigrants themselves,” said Ahmed Dahir, civil liberties organizer at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

“Immigration in Nashville is relatively new, and we are at a transition point where many New Americans are obtaining their citizenship and becoming eligible to fully participate in the electoral process. These community members promise to play an essential role in our city’s future,” said Cristina Allen, the forum’s moderator.

New American community members and their allies will ask mayoral candidates questions on topics such as:

o Immigrant integration policies
o Cultural competency and government training
o Ethnic profiling and police relations
o Language access and English classes for limited English-proficient (LEP) individuals

This event is being hosted by: Catholic Charities, Conexion Americas, Ethiopian Community Association in Nashville, Health Assist Tennessee, India Association of Tennessee, Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission, Middle TN Hispanic Democrats, Islamic Center of Nashville, Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Philippine-American Association of Middle, Somali Community Center of Nashville, Sudanese Community and Women Services Center, TN Foreign Language Institute, TN Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, TN Hispanic Voters Coalition, TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, and the TN Korean-American Citizens Organization of Tennessee.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Maury County official: "We won't have a White House, we'll have a Brown House"

Maury County

Maury commissioner's skin-color comment implies preferred position of whites

Multiple negative remarks about Hispanics made by local officials in Middle Tennessee

This is not a story about what ordinary people say, which has been covered previously here. This is a story about the statements of some of Middle Tennessee's elected officials and public servants.

This Tennessean article quotes Maury County Commissioner Bob Farmer as stating a preference of skin color in American political life, in the context of Sheriff Enoch George's recent arrests of underground expatriates:
"[Sheriff Enoch George] wears cowboy boots everywhere, including with the suit he's wearing to a Safety Committee meeting on a recent afternoon. At the meeting, he has a special announcement: 13 illegal immigrants have been arrested after his men went out with immigration officials looking for a Juan Villa, who is wanted in the rape of a 15-year-old girl."

"Villa has not been found yet, George says, but the commissioners are still pleased. One asks for an 'illegal' section on George's monthly reports. Another commissioner, Bob Farmer, says after the meeting that if it weren't for people like George, 'we won't have a White House, we'll have a Brown House.'"
Farmer's sentiment, which refers to a skin color commonly associated with Hispanics*, is part of the already-documented effect of last year's political weaponization of immigration, namely the "fear [that] the sheer number of Hispanic migrants will drown American culture," and "warnings of impending race wars as hordes of Hispanics bent on re-conquering America convert middle-class suburbs into Mexican barrios" (story here).

At the national and even the local level, there were warnings about the cost of a spiraling negativity towards Hispanics in general in the context of immigration. In 2005, U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) called on Nashville's business community to "stand up and make a difference, otherwise the debate on this could get out of control in a hurry" (story here). That same year, former Bush White House official Leslie Sanchez warned Republicans against fanning the intensity of immigration politics "into an anti-Hispanic free-for-all" (story here). Acknowledging and apologizing for that free-for-all in Nashville last Saturday was U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), who "[asked] a Hispanic man onstage for forgiveness for the negative tone Washington's immigration debate has taken," and said, "'We want you in America. We love you and ask you to forgive us for these negative comments'" (story here).

With the "Brown House" remark, Farmer has put Maury County on a list of Middle Tennessee counties whose officials have made negative comments about Hispanics in the past year - including Robertson County, Davidson County, and DeKalb County (see map and links to stories below).

Coopertown, Tennessee: A Robertson County Chancery Court rules that Coopertown Mayor Danny Crosby encouraged police officers "to issue multiple citations to Hispanic individuals due to the likelihood that these persons would not contest the citations in court." The Mayor's alleged justification was that Hispanics were "mostly illegal anyway" (story here). (The suspended Mayor was reinstated, because even though it was determined that the Mayor did give instructions to target Hispanics, it was not proven that this and other questionable directives were carried out.) November 2006

Smithville, Tennessee: The first Hispanic police chief in Middle Tennessee resigns, citing prejudicial behavior by city officials as one of the reasons for his departure after only a few months on the job. One of the problematic comments cited in his resignation letter was, "I am going to buy that Cuban a boat and send him back to where he came from." August 2006

Nashville, Tennessee: Metro Councilman J.B. Loring uses the words "people of a foreign race" to describe some of his constituents. July 2006

Springfield, Tennessee: Alderman Ken Cherry describes a "growing Hispanic problem" and proposes banning Hispanics from city parks. July 2006

Last year, in a different context, Vanderbilt Professor John Thatamanil stated that "politicians who can see the many shades and hues of American life only as exotic, foreign or even un-American have no role in shaping our common future" (see story here).

In addition to Rep. Cooper, mentioned above, there are other Tennessee officials who have publicly refused to succumb to hostility against Hispanics, and in the same time period in which the negative episodes above occured. A few examples include the Marshall County Library Board of Directors, which defended its trilingual Puerto Rican librarian, her Spanish-language story hour, and the library's multilingual collection (story here); Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, whose veto saved Nashville from being the largest U.S. city with a language ban (story here); and Governor Phil Bredesen's comments in advance of the 2007 legislative session that "Illegal immigration is bad. It is OK to fight it ... [b]ut when that starts slopping over into ‘We’re opposed to anybody who speaks Spanish or we’re opposed to anybody who’s not American-born,’ I think you get into very, very bad territory. And there’s been some of that'" (story here).

As for the possibility of Hispanics in the White House, Commissioner Bob Farmer may have something in common with a majority of Hispanic voters, according to this story: they haven't heard of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, the first Hispanic to seek the Democratic presidential nomination (2008 campaign web site here). Richardson was a featured speaker at the Tennessee Democractic Party's annual Jackson Day fundraiser in June.

* "Hispanic" does not describe a single color or race (see Aunt B.'s pamphlet proposal here). And not all Hispanics are immigrants (about half of the Hispanics in Tennessee were born in the USA - story here).

Maury County Commissioner Bob Farmer
Source: maurycounty-tn.gov

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bedne and Lamb endorsed by Tennessean for Council seats

Sean Braisted notes here that Fabian Bedne and Julie Lamb* have been endorsed by the Tennessean in their bids for Metro Council seats in Districts 31 and 22, respectively. Both are challengers against incumbents, and both were mentioned in this Tennessean article about local politics and immigrants.

Bedne's official web site is here and Lamb's official web site is here. The Tennessean interviewed Lamb here.

Early voting starts today.

*no relation to John Lamb

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yuri Cunza, Jose Gonzalez, and Priscilla Partridge de Garcia among guest curators for Cheekwood's Music City Picks

Exhibitions runs July 7 - September 16

The Tennessean reported here about Music City Picks, an art exhibition at Cheekwood revolving around prominent Nashville personalities and their favorite pieces from Cheekwood's collection.

Yuri Cunza, Jose Gonzalez, and Priscilla Partridge de Garcia were named among the curators. Cunza is President of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Gonzalez is a former Executive Director and co-founder of Conexión Américas and recently joined the faculty of Belmont University's College of Business Administration. Dr. Partridge de Garcia is a clinical psychologist with a degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in counseling psychology, with expertise in posttraumatic stress disorder with children and adults.

From Cheekwood's announcement:
In a unique exhibition, Cheekwood invites fifty Nashville residents known in the world of sports, politics, music, and more to browse through the collection and choose their favorite work of art. Music City Picks: Choices from Cheekwood’s Collection will provide visitors with a fresh perspective of Cheekwood. Guest curators can choose from familiar images such as works by Andy Warhol or Red Grooms, or they can bring a lesser known work back to light, such as an early American portrait or modern photograph. Some of the guest curators that have already committed include Andrea Conte, Red Grooms, Gordon Gee, Marty Stuart, John Hiatt, Butch Spyridon, Demetria Kalodimos, Daron Hall, and Nancy Peterson.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not just another knock-knock joke

contribution by Cesar A. Muedas

Knock-knock! -- Who's there?
Amos -- Amos who?
Amosquito just bit me.

Knock-knock! -- Who's there?
Andy -- Andy who?
Andy just bit me again!

Knock-knock! -- Who's there?
Abelardo -- Abelardo who?
Dr. Abelardo Moncayo

Meet Abelardo C. Moncayo, Ph.D., Medical Entomologist of the State of Tennessee and the first Hispanic-American in that position.

On a serious note, Dr. Moncayo’s work in scientific research and reporting, public communications and university and community outreach have become vital components of a sound public health policy in our state’s government.

Dr. Moncayo’s parents where already living in Maryland when they returned to their native country of Ecuador for the birth of their son. Born in the capital city of Quito, by 6 months of age Abelardo and his family had returned to Maryland. His K-12 years included completing grades in Ecuador, Spain and the US. Abelardo was raised in Athens, Ohio where he attended grade school through college. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His extensive research and fieldwork allowed him to study the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in Latin America, Africa and the U.S. Dr. Moncayo worked as a research fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch and as a professor in Ohio Northern University before coming to Nashville in 2005.

Dr. Moncayo’s role as Tennessee’s Medical Entomologist puts him in charge of the Vector-Borne Diseases Branch of the Communicable and Environmental Diseases section that is part of the State Department of Health. Simply put, mosquitoes are pests that can get us very sick or even kill us, and our State is at work recruiting the scientists that are going to devote their expertise and talent to learn more about the causes, prevention and control of such diseases. In addition to policy- and prevention-driven activities, Dr. Moncayo continues doing public health research in direct collaboration with universities (e.g., Harvard, Vanderbilt, UT Knoxville and Union University) and with various sources of funding at the state and federal levels. He also serves on the faculty of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

So, let’s try now:
Why did the mosquito cross the road?
Old answer: Because it hitched a ride on the chicken …
New answer: Because Dr. Moncayo was coming!

About Cesar: Born and raised in Lima, Peru, he landed in JFK in August 1986, moved from Houston to Nashville in February 1996, became a US citizen in November 2004, and lives in Davidson county with his wife of 10 years and his 2 children. Cesar is an independent business consultant and is completing his term as first chairman of COPLA (Council of Hispanic parents with children in Metro schools).

Nashville banks keep trying for Hispanic customers

Hispanic population estimated to be 38,000

The Nashville Business Journal reports here on the efforts of Nashville banks to get Hispanic customers:
Middle Tennessee's growing Hispanic population brings both challenges and opportunities for area banks.

On one hand, the group that's estimated to be 38,000 strong and growing, presents an opportunity for banks to gain new customers to increase deposits and grow loan portfolios.
The online article is restricted to print subscribers. It features SunTrust's Tatia Cummings, who is often cited in stories about Hispanic banking in Nashville (see earlier stories mentioning Cummings in February 2007, December 2006, and November 2005).

Photo by Jen Jen

Nashville Univision affiliate Equity Broadcasting says local programming for Nashville will come from Little Rock

Equity Broadcasting Corporation ("EBC") has plans to broadcast local Nashville news from Little Rock, Arkansas, as it does for other cities, according to this article. Equity announced 13 months ago (here) that it planned on moving into the Nashville TV market as an affiliate of national Spanish-language network Univision.

As reported here, Nashville has only one local news anchor in Spanish, and that is on Telefutura/Channel 42, in partnership with WTVF/Channel 5.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ask a Mexican author Gustavo Arellano at Davis-Kidd July 12

Davis-Kidd Booksellers announced that Gustavo Arellano will discuss and sign his book Ask a Mexican on Thursday, July 12th at 6:00 p.m.

The Nashville Scene runs the weekly "Ask a Mexican" column, as previously reported here in the Hispanic Nashville Notebook. The latest column can be found here.

From Davis-Kidd's announcement:
An irreverent, hilarious, and informative look at Mexican-American culture is taken by a rising star in the alternative media, as well as a new kid on the block in such mainstream venues as NPR, the LA Times, Today, and The Colbert Report.



Questions and answers about our spiciest Americans. I explore the cliché s of lowriders, busboys, and housekeepers; drunks and scoundrels; heroes and celebrities; and most important, millions upon millions of law-abiding, patriotic American citizens and their illegal-immigrant cousins who represent some $600 billion in economic power.


At 37 million strong (or 13 percent of the U.S. population), Latinos have become America's largest minority -- and beaners make up some two-thirds of that number. I confront the bogeymen of racism, xenophobia, and ignorance prompted by such demographic changes through answering questions put to me by readers of my "¡ Ask a Mexican " column in California's "OC Weekly," I challenge you to find a more entertaining way to immerse yourself in Mexican culture that doesn't involve a taco-and-enchilada combo.


Where do you want us to park them? The garage we rent out to a family of five? The backyard where we put up our recently immigrated cousins in tool-shack-cum-homes? The street with the red curbs recently approved by city planners? The driveway covered with construction materials for the latest expansion of "la casa"? The nearby school parking lot frequented by cholos on the prowl for a new radio? The lawn is the only spot Mexicans can park their cars without fear of break-ins, drunken crashes, or an unfortunate keying. Besides, what do you think protects us from drive-bys? The cops?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Candidate Brownback asks Latinos for forgiveness from Nashville platform

Repentance for tone of immigration debate

"We want you in America. We love you and ask you to forgive us for these negative comments."

From today's article in the Tennessean about TheCall, a gathering of Christians yesterday at LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans:
"TheCall was billed as nonpolitical, but U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, who is running for president, appeared alongside Engle shortly after the program started at 10 a.m."

Brownback "[asked] a Hispanic man onstage for forgiveness for the negative tone Washington's immigration debate has taken."

"'I want to say to my Latino brothers, forgive us for that,' Brownback said. 'We want you in America. We love you and ask you to forgive us for these negative comments.'"

"Illegal immigration is the senator's top priority, according to his campaign Web site, and he has voted for hundreds of miles of border fences and additional detention facilities."
Brownback's faith has spurred him to apologize in other contexts, as well. It was recently reported here that Brownback apologized at a prayer breakfast to fellow U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, for his self-described hatred of her and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Brownback was one of a number of legislators who joined then-Majority Leader and U.S. Senator Bill First on a trip organized by the Faith and Politics Institute to various civil rights sites including Nashville (original story in Hispanic Nashville here).

Senator Brownback was honored by the National Council of La Raza in 2002. Brownback was described by the NCLR's President as "a moderating force in the Congressional leadership. At a time in which there are loud Republican voices in Congress challenging the rights of immigrants, Senator Brownback has been a voice of reason, promoting positive immigration policies that recognize the many contributions immigrants make to this great nation with their hard work and energy," according to the organization's press release. The NCLR describes itself as "the largest constituency-based national Hispanic organization, serving all Hispanic nationality groups in all regions."

Brownback ultimately voted to kill the latest immigration bill in the U.S. Senate, saying in this press release that, "We need to help 'the widow and orphan and foreigner amongst us,' but must do so in a way and at a time the American people support. This is not yet the right way. We should let the topic rest for now while we work diligently to secure our borders. Americans support legal immigration, not illegal immigration. We desire to be compassionate but demand adherence to the rule of law."

For positive voices about immigrants and Hispanics, including voices of faith, read Liberty Together.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

True Americanism

They speak of the greatness of the Roman Republic! Oh, sir, if I could call the proudest of Romans from his grave, I would take him by the hand and say to him, Look at this picture, and at this! The greatness of thy Roman Republic consisted in its despotic rule over the world; the greatness of the American Republic consists in the secured right of man to govern himself. The dignity of the Roman citizen consisted in his exclusive privileges; the dignity of the American citizen consists in his holding the natural rights of his neighbor just as sacred as his own. The Roman Republic recognized and protected the rights of the citizen, at the same time disregarding and leaving unprotected the rights of man; Roman citizenship was founded upon monopoly, not upon the claims of human nature. What the citizen of Rome claimed for himself, he did not respect in others; his own greatness was his only object; his own liberty, as he regarded it, gave him the privilege to oppress his fellow-beings. His democracy, instead of elevating man kind to his own level, trampled the rights of man into the dust. The security of the Roman Republic, therefore, consisted in the power of the sword; the security of the American Republic rests in the equality of human rights! The Roman Republic perished by the sword; the American Republic will stand as long as the equality of human rights remains inviolate. Which of the two Republics is the greater -- the Republic of the Roman, or the Republic of man?

Sir, I wish the words of the Declaration of Independence "that all men are created free and equal, and are endowed with certain inalienable rights," were inscribed upon every gate-post within the limits of this Republic. From this principle the Revolutionary Fathers derived their claim to independence; upon this they founded the institutions of this country, and the whole structure was to be the living incarnation of this idea. This principle contains the programme of our political existence. It is the most progressive, and at the same time the most conservative one; the most progressive, for it takes even the lowliest members of the human family out of their degradation, and inspires them with the elevating consciousness of equal human dignity; the most conservative, for it makes a common cause of individual rights. From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. And when the rights of one cannot be infringed without finding a ready defense in all others who defend their own rights in defending his, then, and only then, are the rights of all safe against the usurpations of governmental authority.

This general identity of interests is the only thing that can guarantee the stability of democratic institutions. Equality of rights, embodied in general self-government, is the great moral element of true democracy; it is the only reliable safety-valve in the machinery of modern society. There is the solid foundation of our system of government; there is our mission; there is our greatness; there is our safety; there, and nowhere else! This is true Americanism, and to this I pay the tribute of my devotion.

By Carl Schurz. Full text here.

Happy Fourth of July (with thanks to Mexico and Spain)

"The American Revolution used funds collected from people living in the present states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California--then a part of Mexico. An important percentage of financial support originated in New Spain, now called Mexico. Eventually, thousands of Spanish troops fought British troops throughout the Americas."

"One of the more important figures to assist the Colonies' struggle for independence was Bernardo de Gálvez. He helped the cause through diplomatic, financial and military exploits against Great Britain in the Mississippi River Valley, the Gulf Coast, including the Floridas, Louisiana and in in the Gulf of Mexico. from 1776, when he became govenor of Louisiana, until 1783 when the American Revolution ended, Gálvez's patience, audacity, appreciation of frontier people, diplomatic knowledge and military skill greatly contributed to the eventual British defeat."


See also State of Maryland declaration here.

See also this timeline, including thank-you letters to Galvez from prominent American forefathers Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson:

1777 Oct. -- Patrick Henry wrote two letters to General Galvez, thanking Spain for its help and requesting more supplies.

1778 Jan. -- Patrick Henry wrote another letter to General Galvez, thanking Spain for it's help and requesting more supplies.

1779 Nov. 8 -- Thomas Jefferson wrote to Gen. Galvez, expressing his thanks for Spain's assistance during the revolutionary cause.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...