Monday, December 8, 2008

Hispanic business leaders in Knoxville sit down for "roundtable" with News Sentinel

The Knoxville News Sentinel conducted a roundtable interview with local Hispanic business leaders in that city - the article is worth a read.

Some excerpts:

Mother unaware her daughter was in the infirmary

I do think that the state governments have certain measures to care for the community. Public schools do a great job of taking kids. They don't ask. They don't care if your parents are legal - if a kid was born here or not. If you live in the area, you come to school no matter what. So that's great. However, there are like three or four translators for the whole county. That's not enough. I've been as a mom in meetings at the school where all the parents are there and the principal of the school has asked me to translate? And he sits me in a corner with all the Hispanic parents, and me a parent, is translating the meeting. So, yes, they're taking the kids, but it doesn't stop there. A lot of these parents don't speak English. I'm just using public schools as an example because that's what I see every day. A Hispanic lady called me and said "can you please call school. They are calling me. I don't know what's happening. And they just tell me OK, OK." She didn't know what they were saying. I called. Her daughter was throwing up in the infirmary and they wanted her to pick her up. If you're going to take the kids, you need to care for that community.

FBI apologizes

I was at the Citizens Academy of the FBI and one of the agents mentioned that the Hispanic community was growing and with the growth of the Hispanic community they also brought their problems, which is gangs. So I raised my hand because I thought, well I'm part of that community. I don't think I bring my problems like a gang. So I make the correction that the problems follow all these gangsters, they follow the community because we are a target of them. Then they made the correction and apologized.
Photo by Timothy Wisniewski. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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