Monday, September 28, 2009

Doing work

It feels a little odd to be posting from a computer when I'm use to doing it on my phone. Anywho, I wrote this open-ed/opinion piece about the DREAM Act. Nothing new that most of you don't already know, but the students at my school, well that's another thing. It never hurts to spread the word and inform new people about the issues going on with their fellow students.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act needs to be passed immediately. Commonly referred to as the DREAM Act, this bipartisan legislation will give thousands of college educated, undocumented residents a pathway to legal residency here in the U.S. The DREAM Act is a stepping-stone in fixing our countries broken immigration system that has become abused and unjust in allowing people attain legal residency in the U.S. The DREAM Act focuses only on the select few who have risen to be productive members of society, despite living in the shadows. Students that qualify for the DREAM Act must have entered the country no later than the age of 16, have a high school diploma or GED, five year presence in the country and demonstrate good moral character. From there they must obtain a degree from a college/university or serve two years in the military, from which they will be able to legalize their residency and naturalize. Students that would greatly benefit from the DREAM Act were brought to the U.S. as infants or at a young age, like luggage, through no fault of their own.

They have not only assimilated, but also surpassed some of their fellow student’s in terms of academics by graduating valedictorians, with honors and being accepted to some of the most prestigious colleges/universities in the U.S.

They have never stepped foot outside the U.S. and know nothing of the country they were born in. Through transnationalism, students have developed their identities and have now taken up arms and are fighting for the opportunity to be given a chance to prove that they belong here and can contribute greatly to the U.S. Students who have graduated from colleges/universities with various degrees, but are unable to use them to their full potential because they cannot legally work, have taken the initiative to help get support for the DREAM Act from legislators, labor unions, public institutions and universities to sign resolutions that they support the passage of the DREAM Act. Since it was last shot down in 2007 and reintroduced in March of this year, students, educators and allies have united forces and created a national wide network of support groups that are all working together making legislation visits, raising awareness and helping educate others about the DREAM Act and other issues attached to it. This led to the creation of, which is one of the biggest grassroots efforts in the nation to organize groups and individuals all across the U.S. in actions and events that promote the passage of the DREAM Act. A local group here in Los Angeles, aptly named Dream Team Los Angeles, which is composed of local organizations, student support groups and individuals, helped pass a resolution from the Los Angeles Unified School District in support of the DREAM Act on Tuesday September 22. Through the united efforts of all the different organizations and individuals working with the dream activist, the DREAM Act is receiving a lot of support from senators and congressmen and women because individuals have been making phone calls and visits, giving testimonials about the importance of the DREAM Act and showing them that supporting it will only be beneficial in the long run. Despite the tremendous strides and accomplishments all these groups and individuals have made, xenophobes and nativist askew the facts about the DREAM Act and make accusations that say that allowing legislation like the DREAM Act to pass will only hurt the country more and take away resources and jobs from citizens. Groups like the Federation for American immigration Reform, a national non-profit organization, claim that by allowing the passage of legislation like the DREAM Act will further cripple and hurt the U.S. economy and give amnesty to undocumented residents. In a statement the group released on their website in March after the DREAM Act was reintroduced, President Dan Stein said, “Once again, Congress is ignoring the interests and concerns of hard-working, law-abiding Americans in order to reward illegal immigrants and pander to the illegal alien lobby.

“The American people have made it very clear that they reject amnesty for illegal aliens whether it’s in one comprehensive bill, or piecemeal,” Stein said.

“The DREAM Act would not only allow millions of newly legalized illegal aliens to compete for their jobs, but allow them to compete for their own children’s educational opportunities.

“With private university tuitions already out of reach for most middle class families, and tuitions at public universities rising three times faster than median family incomes, the DREAM Act would be more than a reward for illegal aliens.

“It would crush the hopes and dreams of countless American families trying to provide opportunities to their own children.” Accusations such as these mirrors those of the general public who don’t completely understand what is going on and make decisions out of fear. The DREAM Act is not amnesty because the people who fall under the DREAM Act never committed any crime to begin with. They had no say in coming to the U.S. and despite living in the shadows; they still abide by the laws and respect their adoptive home. They are all far from taking away anyone else’s jobs and fellow students educational opportunities because they work just as hard as everyone else to make a living. These are students, who despite not being eligible for financial aid of any kind, outside selective scholarships, paid for their college education with the help of family, friends and working two, three jobs at a time. They put themselves through school as AB 540 students, an assembly bill that allows students to pay instate tuition rather than out of state fees, and now just want an opportunity to use their degrees, contribute back to their adoptive country and have the same rights as everyone else. These are individuals who are abiding by the countries laws and have chosen to not take the easy way out by marrying a citizen. They are waiting for their opportunity to prove that they belong here just like anyone else who was born here. Their economic contribution to the country would greatly benefit everyone as they would have the ability to work legally, pay all sorts of taxes, and buy a house, car, insurance and other things of that nature. All of it stimulating the economy and helping the country. Since it was first introduced in 2001, the bill has yet to pass because of opposition from politicians who mirror the views their constituents have, in that the act will reward undocumented residents for breaking immigration laws. That’s why it’s crucial that allies who can vote and have a political voice to call their local representatives and ask them to support the DREAM Act. By simply just looking online and getting the right information on who to contact in their area, allies can make phone calls, write letters/emails and make legislation visits to urge and impede legislators to support the passage of the DREAM Act. To deport them to a place they have never been is completely unjust and unwarranted because the only crime these kids have committed is living their lives like any other person born in the U.S. To find out how to get more involved with the DREAM Act campaign go to and to find out what you can do locally, you can contact Dream Team Los Angeles at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Papá

I have a, how can I put this, ackwerd relationship. I should be
greatful and joyful that I grew up with a father in my life right ?
Well what can I say, I don't see things like that. He has legal
residence and because things go so bad back home, he's here in LA
looking for work to move my sistas and mom back. How he plans to do
this remains to be seen and that's my biggest issue with him.

He doesn't speak fluent English, yet he's made it so far in life with
little to now skills. Just a work ethic that will get him through
anything he sets his mind to. I admire that about him, but that's
about it. I don't admire much of him as my father, but more on the man
I remember when I was growing up.

It frustrates me that no matter what, he won't change his mind and go
off and do something with the greatest of hopes and ambitions, giving
it his all no matter what anyone says. He goes out and does his own
thing. He's his own man and no one can ever take that away from him.
That still doesn't make up for the fact that commen sense and logic
escapes him sometimes.

So here he is in LA again, trying go find work and digging in the old
holes he use to know. He gets me to help him when it comes to legal
info and translating of course and that frustrates me. I know that
when he has something goi g he'll want me to go help him and I know
that I won't. I don't really know why I resent him so much now.

He's my father and he's respocible for molding me and my core values.
Because of him I am who I am one way or another, we're interconnected
like that. All family is. He's still the same man I knew as a kid.
Driving drunk when the whole family is telling him not to. Starting
some sort of misadventure, shennanigans that'll end up who knows
where. Last time that happen we moved to a different state. All these
years he's still the same man, more or less. I use to look up to him,
now adage I see him on a level plain and at times down on him. My
father is a man, no doubt about. He raised his kids well and provided
for his family. Sacrafices his life for ours. I'll eventually return
the favor but not right now. Not anytime soon. They give us more hangs
up than gifts. Eventually I'll see over these stupid notions, but not
right now.
~ con safos ~

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When keeping it real goes wrong

I loved those episodes of Chapells show. Alas, I am face with a moment
in life where keeping it real can go wrong. To fill you in, I wrote an
opinion piece for the school paper about the Chican Studies dept.
getting short changed for more than 40 yrs and my journalism advisor
responded by telling me, in front of the rest of the news staff, that
I'm whinning, selfish and greedy be because of over crowded classrooms
and crappy classrooms. She makes her point by telling me that I should
go somewhere else if I think it's soo bad at school.

According to her logic I should be going to a more prominent college
with better facilities in what I can only imagine is the better side
of town. Where minorities are the yard keepers, baby sitters and
custodians. Excuse me when I say WHAT THE FUCK !?!?!?!?!?!?!? I can go
on and on about the conditions at school and whine some more but it
doesn't get to the social and economic problems that are underneath
the surface.

I'm a second class "citizen" so I should get a second class education
to train me for some trade profession rather than academic
achivement ? And there's nothing wrong with that either, but there is
more out there than we are told. It's sad that students today still
have go overcome adversities such as the ones I mentioned. I don't
know the entire truth of things because honestly, I'm getting ahead of

I see the world for what it really is and it pisses me off. So then I
turn around and want to spread the word, but I can't articulate
myself. I still have a TON of catching up and even though all these
ideas are coming in and I want to act on them, I gotta remember to
take a step back and know what I'm really getting into before I put my
foot in my mouth. It's all a learning process of course, so it's only
a matter of time, as I further develope my consciousness to see the
real truths of the world. Other wise I might end up having a moment
when keeping it real goes wrong.

~ con safos ~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On not being good enough

You ever get that feeling ? I think at one point in our lives we all
face that feeling of not being good enough for sports, life and other
junk of that nature. I know I have felt that sting in my life one too
many times and everytime it hurts. It's one of those pains that never
get any easier no matter how often you go through.

Fore though, as of late anyway, I take it with a sort of grain of
salt. A life time of not being good enough for just about everything
has given me a unquie look/take on life. Whenever I think I'm not good
enough for something nowadays, I understand the why and the how of it.
It eases the pain but it never completely takes it away.

Yet, it's when the people you love and admire that do it to you, that
it hurts the most. You respect them with all your heart and they tell
you, sometimes for our own good because we need to hear these things
from someone else, that we aren't good enough to do whatever it is
we're trying to do. It hurts when love ones do it because they know
where to hit us.

I always take it stride and I keep in mind that it's for my own good.
That it'll help me grow as a person and let me see things from a
different side. Yes sometimes we need tough love and sometimes we end
up getting hurt. For whatever the reason. It's when loved ones do it
that hurts the most because we love them.
~ con safos ~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

See what I see

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day

Like I wasn't gonna write about this. Come on this is the perfect
subject to blog about, specially for me considering my situation. Even
though I was late to the show, LA had a ceremony at city hall with the
Mexican Consulate to celebrate Mexican Independence Day I.E. El Grito.
This is when Mexico was free of Spanish rule. Now, some of you might
be questioning where my alligiance might fall on days like this. After
Sept. is nationa Hispanic month or something to that affect.

Well to be perfectly honest, like most of the people there I
celebrated my birth countries freedom and yelled VIVA MEXICO many a
time. But why do I still hold an alligiance to a country I dont live
in anymore you ask ? BecUse no matter where we are we can NEVER forget
out roots and where we come from.

One thing I noticed this night was that no matter how hard people
tryto assimilate Nd how hard they try to look like Americans, they
love and salute their country of birth like any patriot would. They
may have left for personal reasons but that doesn't take away any of
the love and passion the have for it. It's the duality of things. We
can love more than one but others don't see it that way. To them I say

~ con safos ~

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Busy as a bee

I mean that in every sense of the word. A bee killing itself gathering
nectar to feed the next generation of worker bees so the queen bee can
sit around all day, like the fat ass she is and fuck all day long.
Fucking bitch. Yes that's how life feels sometimes. Like your busting
your ass so someone else can be fat and fuck all day long. Sigh.
School feels like that sometimes.

I already mentioned some of my gripes and thoughts about coming in
this semester older and wiser and while my classes may not challenge
my full potential, even though I need them to transfer, I'm enjoying
myself and making the best of it. All my classes really require is
busy work and some effort and that's about it. A few presentations
here and there about the DREAM Act and blogging and I should pull of
all A's this semester.

As you can see from the pic, photo class is something that I have been
dying to do. I know my way around photography, but who doesn't now
adays right ? So I know that taking a black/white film class will help
build my foundation and over all picture taking skills no matter what
I use. No matter what SOME people might say or argue cause they don't
know better.

So, to recap. I'm giddy about going full throttle with my "Peter
Parker" journey as a photog and making sure I do my busy work in my
classes. I was recently asked why I don't take other classes that
aren't Chicano studies oriented, I've been doing that as of late, an I
said because I've spent enough of my life learning about everyone else
EXCEPT ME. I know more about other countries than my own history and
that's not right. So yeah, Chicano power. Not that I identify as one
but that's a whole nother post. Hope everyone is holding up ok. Ohh
and thanks for the emails and comments. I may not reply but I read
them. Thanks everyone :-)

~ con safos ~

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Stop me if you heard this one before, but I'm too old to be where I
am. School wise that is. Seriously. I had an epiphany and today in
Chicano Studies it materialized as a class of 30 plus students had a
discussion about the sociological, enviromental and personal reasons
students identify as chican@, Mexican, Salvidorian etc. Course this is
a begining chicano studies class and even though I know what I know,
by learning it from the streets, and have a firm grasp of things.

So it occured to me during class, the discussion took up the ENTIRE
class time, that knowing what I know, I have to start somewhere and in
that I realized I was getting grifted. Never mind the whole I know
what Chicano is thing, I'm in a fucking over crowded class in wack ass
bungalows with bare minimum equipment almost literaly fighting for
bread crums with everyone else. Course this being California, budget
cuts, tuition increases and enrollment caps are flooding the gates
even more.

I feel this way in all my classes, except photo cause I love that
class :-D. Honestly this is some fucking bull shit. I'm suppose to
compete with students who have every advantage at their disposole from
other schools when I join them at the university level. We're all
going up to the plate with two strikes and three balls on the board
agaisnt us. Bases loaded, tie game bottom of the ninth inning. And
here I come dusting off my shoes with a splintered bat, not wearing
the proper equipment, the hopes and dreams of the team resting on my
shoulders. And it's only going to get harder the higher you go.

~ con safos ~

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Its been un rato since I last checked in my thoughts. Going back home
to see my familia and just getting out of here for those few days made
some dramatic impact in my life and my way of thinking. Again. Getting
older is something that I'm taking great pleasure in. Seeing
everything through different eyes than everyone else. Knowing what
it's like to live a thousand life times before the one you currently
have makes things harder.

Going back home is stepping back in time. My familia is still the same
familia that I knew when I was still with them. Little older, wiser
and rounder but the same. I on the other hand have changed and grown
so much that even I don't recognize myself. Picking berries with my
mom and sister for an entire day, helping my dad mow lawns and sitting
around the house doing nothing. It all added up into something bigger.

Even today, the first day back at school grinding that axe for a real,
real, long time. I only had 3 hrs sleep but none the less, I was in
class knowing I won't have any problems gettings A's. I feel so much
older than everyone there that I see things differently and I like it.
Our experiences makes us who we are. Our suffering makes us who we are
and our dreams make us who we are. But it's not until we get pass all
of that mumbo jumbo that we do it.

Initially this post was going to be about the stuff making me want to
go into a fetal position and give up, and I do but I won't. Life is
never set. It's like water, taking the shape of what it needs to be,
moving and crushing anything in its way. Healing and helping those
that need it. Taking and giving life because we all have to move on
and be recycled for the next life. I don't really how I am going to
get through this next chapter, but I will be like water and navigate
through the river of life. Wherever I end up, I Know that's where I
need to be going.

~ con safos ~