Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Immigration Reform Memes

Sweet Brown breaking it down 

Between Republicans, the President and everyone else and their momma talking about immigration reform, I thought to myself, why hasn't anyone made any memes about what's being said yet? So guess who had the bright idea to start making some? This guy right here. I gotta admit, I out did myself on some of these cause not only are they hilarious, but they're also on point.

Some of the banter being used in the conversation about immigration reform, is that what is being proposed now, is similar to what was proposed in 2007 and in 2010. Those were different times and immigration reform needs to reflect the realities of the present. That being said, we didn't have memes back in 07 or 2010. So, I offer ya'll all of the memes I have 'created' up to this point. Feel free to share on social media networks. You'll notice that my affinity for grumpy cat knows no bounds.

Huffington Post video on me talking about access to higher education for undocumented immigrants

I was on the Huffington Post Live again, this time talking about access to higher education for undocumented immigrants. It's 30 minutes long and I end up dominating a chunk of the panel toward the end. Although, I noticed the other day that I say 'umm' a lot.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Immigration Reform messaging that excludes rather than include

From my homie Nancy Meza: "Frame Shift when talking about immigration : We do not need to "fight for our parents " this immigration round we need to INCLUDE OUR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY IN THE ORGANIZING AND DECISION MAKING IN THE FIGHT FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ! come on most of our parents were more savvy and brave at the age of 18 than we will ever be , lets give them that credit .... they deserve it , they know and understand whats going on :)"

Over the last couple of years of being around the immigrant rights movement and seeing how the wheels in the machine turn, I've had my share of issues with how things got done, what was being said, and how it was being said. Inherently, it's going to happen because even though we're all working for the same goal, we all have different ideas as to how to get there.

And with the 'fight' for immigration reform already gearing up, the messaging coming from non-profits, organizations and others is one that excludes folks, rather than get them personally involved and invested. So much rhetoric and messaging is pushed with the idea that 'we need to fight for these people.' Not in those exact words, but that's what I take away from it. 'THESE, THOSE, THEY, THEM PEOPLE.' I hate that shit.

And while I have my issues on how and what is said, like everyone else, I'm working and fighting for immigration reform that won't condem the majority and only allow a select few qualify for permanent residence and citizenship. But all of that is overshadowed by weak messaging that doesn't get anything across other than to annoy who ever is on the receiving end of that message.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hyper Local Activism

Ever have an epiphany that was right in front of your face the whole time, but you were clueless in seeing it? That's how I feel right now. Since last year, I've been reflecting on my role in the social justice movement I have chosen to be a part of. To fight not only for myself, but for others in whatever shape or form that may be. But I've never been one for the big picture. All the stuff that happens on a larger scaled never really called my attention.

Having been part of different campaigns at different levels and aspects, I've gotten an opportunity to see how things work and where I can plug myself in. When I first started out, I was taking on other roles that helped me develop in areas that haven't caught up to the rest of me. It helped immensely in helping me grow and become well rounded, but it also helped me focus on what I want to do specifically, which is communications.

In the neighborhood that I live in, Boyle Heights, I was able to become a sort of hyper local reporter/blogger. It was easy for me to write about the neighborhood I lived in because I knew what was going on at any given time. That helped me earn a reputation as a resource of things going on around the hood and of things coming down the pipe line.

Never did I once think to combine both my activism and journalism work in such a way that they both become one. If anything, for the last few years I've been double dipping and doing things here and there, but never fully combining the two and going with it. The idea of being a hyper local activist is something that I'm liking the more I say it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Migration is Beautiful

Artist Favianna Rodriguez is featured, along with other talented artist, on the lastest trend of art that is bringing attention to immigration. I've known of Favianna's work for years now, but it was great to see other artist she works with featured in the 3 part video series for Voice of Art. The videos highlight numerous aspects of what causes immigration, how laws and policies are directly affecting folks, but also the movement that is fighting those very same policies and laws. One of the highlights of the videos was putting the spot light on the Undocubus and the actions they held all over the south.

You can check out the rest of the videos here:

Video 2
Video 3

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finding Love on Public Transportation

In all of my time riding public transportation, there's one idea that I've always romanticized, falling in love with someone I met on public transportation. It's the kind of thought that brings a smile to my face because part of me believes it. That on a random day, I'll be going on about my business, but somewhere along the way, I'll meet this beautiful woman, we'll talk and by coincidence, both get off at the same spot. Needless to say I've given this idea a lot of thought.

But the realities of public transportation don't lend themselves to the kind of romance I want from a woman. I've heard countless stories on the horrors women endure while on public transportation. Groping, perverted old men staring, cat calls, even threats of violence and rape. No, I'm afraid that when I see women on public transportation, all I see is the face they have to put up to deal with all the crap that goes their way.

A simple smile won't do here. Hell, even trying to talk to them is a challenge in itself because folks just wanna get to their stop and not have to deal with anyone along the way. Alas, I just keep to myself and smile a non-perverted smile when I make eye contact with women on public transportation. Besides, this notion of finding 'love' on the bus/train is one that comes from a place of privilege as a man. I don't deal with any of the nonsense women have to deal with, so of course it's easier for me to romanticize an everyday, uncomfortable situation women have to put up with.

Still, the idea that in a city this big, we both just happened to be on the same bus, made eye contact, talked to each other enough to peek interest and follow up with lunch. And the rest is history from them. Sigh ....

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

30 Days: Immigration

Most folks will remember this episode of Morgan Spurlock's short lived tv show, "30 Days." This is the episode that has a minute man living with a family for 30 days. There's nothing in this episode groundbreaking or of highlight for the episode, other than it was filmed in 2006, when immigration was being discussed in congress and families were taking to the streets in marches. The family featured in the show also lives in my neighborhood of Boyle Heights and one of the girls featured went to the same high school I did, Roosevelt High. Things have changed dramatically since then to say the least.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Couch Drifting

It's going on six years now that' I've been doing the couch surfing thing. I started reflecting on these last six years through a fever induced dream I had the other night that was in turn inspired by an earlier conversation I had with the current people I'm staying with. The dream was a trip and a lot of things kept coming back again and again. Mostly how I've been a perpetual house guest this whole time and the eventual moment when I know I've over stayed my welcome and have to bounce to the next couch. Something I've become an expert at.

Looking back through the majority of my life, it seems I've always been drifting in the most existential and literal sense. My parents never could stay in one place too long growing up and it continued on when we got the to the US. The reasoning always changed, but the moving didn't. My current life right now is one that has been built upon happenstance and as such, it's no wonder it's taken me this long to even find any kind of stability that I've never had.

I gave up asking and wondering the whys of things, rather, just going with the flow of things. This has afforded me once in a life time experiences that I can never give back, for better or worse. But after living like this for all these years, I'm finally in a place where I can finally stand on my own. I have the capacity to be in my own how and not a house guest. Not taking up space, annoying others or being an awkward inconvenience to have around. That's something I won't miss at all.

And while it won't be easy, by the simple fact that I have finally reached a level on independence I should have reached long ago, I wouldn't have been able to do the things I've done, meet the people that I've met and most importantly, never would have made the friends that I treasure with all my heart. But we'll see how things go, there's a lot more awkward moments to come before everything comes to a close, so I'll just have to go with the flow.