Richest 62 = Half of World’s Wealth

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How many of you heard this story that made headlines about a week ago? That the wealth of the richest 62 people in the world is equivalent to the wealth of half of the world’s poorest population? Just to add to the asco (disgust) of it all, the equation would be as follows:

62 rich cabrones = 3.6 BILLION people living in poverty

62 = 3,600,000,000

How is this possible and most importantly, how is this ethical? I kept repeating the number over and over to my kids when we first heard this story on NPR and although I’m not certain that they could analyze the extent of it, they clearly understood that this was/is just not okay.

To think of the lives of people who truly live in poverty around the globe and the absolute sufrimiento they endure on the daily from hunger to illness, meanwhile across the globe those #62cabrones live their greedy lives in utmost comfort.

“Most concerning, this growing divide isn’t just the product of the rich getting richer: According to Oxfam, the wealth owned by the poorest 50 percent fell by a trillion dollars over the past five years, a 41 percent drop. The net worth of the richest 62 people grew by $542 billion, a 44 percent gain.” (nymag.com)

Is it that these #62fregados learned to pull their bootstraps better than 3.6 billion others? Is their wealth due to their ‘hard work’ and intelligence? Or, is their wealth a complete mockery of humanity?

62. A number providing us with a rude and harsh reminder of the effectiveness and unfairness inherent in the capitalistic system. #62filthyhumans stepping on the broken (but resilient) backs of 3.6 billion Others.

And for those of you who have scoffed at the 99% movement, here’s a quote in support of their most logical argument:

“Analyzing data collected by Credit Suisse, the anti-poverty organization further reports that the global one percent controlled as much wealth as the bottom 99 percent in 2015” (nymag.com)

So what will it take for us to finally act? How much more inequity do we need to witness until we finally say – “Ya basta!” Does the figure need to reach 62 = 99% of the world’s population wealth for us to finally move?

I sit here and wonder if any one of the #62wealthhorders feel anything… Do they feel any ever so slight guilt or discomfort knowing that their billions are at the expense of billions of lives? Do they think about the suffering children? The abuelitas fallen ill? The cold nights? The sub-par conditions that 3.6+++ billion humans are subjected to at their expense?

My thoughts suddenly head in another direction… And what about us? Those that lie somewhere in between… The headlines make us shift our focus to the abhorrent 62, but are we to be completely absolved from taking a part, even if it is only a ‘small’ part, in the wretched game? Should we not be held accountable as well? Although the majority of us are far from being part of the #62club, we cannot remotely state that our fate is similar to the 3.6 billion. If the 3.6 billion cannot move due to abject poverty’s stifling stronghold, then shouldn’t we help in creating a stir or are we held still, immersed within our own despicable complacent comfort?

So next time any one touts capitalism as a form of freedom, let’s hope someone nearby gives them a real good cachetada on behalf of the 3.6 billion.

 

#lablogadora #62richcabrones #Chicana

Xicana Mid-Life Crisis

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Maybe my cuñada was right when she responded a couple months back – “How old are you again?” – to what in my brain had seemed like the logical question posed of what path I should pursue – the nonprofit industrial complex or the academic ivory tower? [I sometimes wonder if the best answer is neither?]

I had been so utterly offended and hurt by her statement (if you’re reading this Smelo, you know I love you forever and ever), but maybe there’s something to it. Shouldn’t I have figured out by this ripe age of 40 something [yes 40 something y que], what I should be doing with my life? Isn’t everything supposed to have fallen into place by now? Aren’t I supposed to be rolling in the big bucks and be close to hitting the glass ceiling? Obviously not. Ugh.

I think I’m currently at a Xicana-at-43 midlife crisis. Yup, I said it.

When I subject all of this to greater psycho auto-analysis it may be that I feel this way because of the many sidetracks I’ve taken in life. Looking back and reflecting a bit, is it that I took a couple of wrong turns down the road? Is it that I got suckered into a higher form of tracking where most of the bright Xicana/o minds somehow end up in teaching? Dammit! Don’t all of those ‘what ifs’ have a tendency of kicking us in the pants?

The other day a student in class asked me the following question – “If you could do anything, what would it be?” With only a couple of seconds of hesitation I promptly responded – “I would write all day and night.” Yes that’s what I would do in the ideal nonexistent world my delusional mind at times resides in. I would write todo el fregado día. Pipe dreams of following the path of Anzaldúa, Cisneros, y hooks.

¿Pero porque no? ¿Que es lo que me detiene?

I have thought long and hard about what keeps some of us Xicanas firmly in place and after many years of contemplation I have arrived at the following conclusion – it has to do with the after-effects of being colonized people. Deeply buried inside the majority of us raza, there is a seed of doubt that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to pursue our dreams. And I’m not talking about landing what is considered a ‘good’ job, I’m talking about our real dreams, you know the ones that we keep hidden from most of those on the outside. I’ve encountered this situation many times – an opportunity shining before me but somehow I can’t and don’t accept it. Is it a fear of my own ‘success?’ Is it a grappling with a relentless battle to not somehow sell-out or be seen as a vendida? Is it that part of my colonized being that just can’t let go of what it sees as its set place in life? I think it’s all of the above coupled with a heavy dose of inner doubt and struggle. I’ve denied it for years but I’m now at the point where recognition is the only step forward.

So maybe this isn’t a mid-life crisis after all since these episodes are not accompanied with desires of buying a sports car and wearing leather pants. Maybe it’s a type of cachetada to the face reminding me that our time here is limited and so I better get moving on things.

Tales of a Xicana Feminist Heart here I come.

 

#lablogadora #xicana #midlifecrisis

10 lessons learned during jury duty

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Of course when the semester was just about to end and things were getting intense and los pinches grades were due, I was summoned to jury duty and I’m not talking Metro Court, I’m talking about Federal.

The night before I was scheduled to go in I had made up my mind that like a good resistor of anything oppressively systemic, I would self-sabotage as soon as I got the chance. I would quickly blurt out when asked anything about my background – “I have problems with authority, sir” to “Isn’t the entire legal system inherently racist?” But of course as I was about to walk out of the house, the man says something that completely squashed my plan. “You could be the person that makes a difference.” Ahhh!!

So I show up to court ready with book and coffee in hand and like most other people of color, I feel tense and nervous just being in that space. As I was sitting in the audience I suddenly realized that I was even grinding my teeth and feeling constant waves of discomfort. Of course with my luck and strategy of silence, I ended up being one of the lucky 12. Karma people, that’s all I got to say.

I’m not going to get into the details of the case but here’s the quick and dirty list summarizing what I learned:

  1. First of all, if you are in any way involved in the selling of illegal substances that make people happy and then fuck them up, please, just stop. Not worth it. Eventually everyone gets caught or caught up.
  1. The 80s methods of selling and distributing stuff are out people! Keep up with the times and do your research [watching Breaking Bad doesn’t count, I think?]. Code words are outdated and become obvious no matter how creative and clever you think they sound. “Hey, can I get a dozen tamales?” or “We’re gonna cook up those tamales real good” just doesn’t cut it.
  1. Don’t say anything on your cell phone that you wouldn’t want your spouse/partner or the cops to hear. Serious, nothing, nada. No they aren’t always listening but when they do, they’ll use anything and everything against you. And did you know that they can hear everything that you’re saying as soon as the damned phone starts dialing, even background conversations going on, todo.
  1. I’ll never say ‘I’m working’ on the phone ever again. Kid #2 to mom: “Mom are you working right now?” Mom to kid #2: “Hell no!”
  1. For it to be considered distribution, you don’t even have to sell it! It’s considered distribution even if you pass it along to your friends at no charge. So next time you’re having a lil party, just leave all those ‘party favors’ out of the picture. Again, not worth it.
  1. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.08.10 PMNext time I will self-sabotage during jury selection. How does “I hate the police!” sound?
  1. DEA no you’re not cute or entertaining, I don’t care how many jokes you tell, you’re just not.
  1. If you’re a person of color, good luck with the jury of your peers crock of crap they tell you, it’s completely not true. Hmmm… how did three women of color and nine white folk on the jury equate to a Hispanic man’s peers?
  1. People will get real ugly real fast during deliberation. Most of them want to find a person guilty immediately. That tendency is exacerbated if it’s a person of color and even more so if they have any priors. As soon as we walked into the deliberation room, there was an angry white man who said, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” and a young white teacher who laughed and stated, “well this shouldn’t take long!” Seriously? What happened to everyone deserves a fair trial?
  1. Raza: please think more about the consequences of your actions and decisions. No I don’t believe in that lame pull-yourself-by-your-boot-strap mentality but we can always say no to las movidas que no? Isn’t it better to have an honest job than to succumb to el vicio de las drogas and quick cash?

Thinking about it all, it was a depressing and hard experience for me. Yes I learned quite a bit about the law, how it is written, and basically everything I needed to know about selling and distributing and even making it, but most of what I felt throughout the dreadful time was the weight of oppression making it difficult to breathe. I tried to avoid making any eye contact con su pobre mama but the times that I did glance her way, all I could see was her suffering from the gigantic cruz she has to bear.

I still think about you and as often as I can, I will ask the universe to be kind to you and steer you in another direction.

#lablogadora #juryduty #chicana #xicana

feminista

Xicana Feminist y Que!

Yeah that’s right people. I can just see some of you shaking your head at this opening statement and I can almost hear your remarks.

“I thought only crazy white women were feminists?” “Que le paso a la hermana? Now she really lost it!”

But take a close look around and you will find that the women’s movement is on the rise. Actually, it has never stopped and I’m not referring to some first, second, third wave feminist b.s. either. There are and have always been continuous discussions, work, programs, projects, and theorizing in our communities centered on women’s issues and lives. Whether it’s a Panocha Platica (yeah I said it without flinching) to an indigenous woman centered group, feminista talk and action is everywhere y que bueno.

All I have to say is that I’m a Xicana feminist y que! Xicana and not Chicana because I’m consciente and connected to the fact that not only am I from indigenous roots, but I continue those traditions, practices, and ceremonies in my life. The “X” symbolizing a relentless micro-resistance to the conquistadores changing indigenous languages at their and for their convenience. It’s a way of paying respect to las que siguen luchando, mis abuelitos y los antepasados. QEPD.

zapatistas

Feminist. Not feminist-aligned or advocate of, just straight out feminista. The way I’ve been trying to explain to my students that by utilizing the word, we claim, not reclaim the term and the philosophy because it has always belonged to us. We’re on the move for a re-cooptation of the word by women who rightfully can lay claim to it. Me, the light brown, but brown-skinned woman who has the privileged space (but damn it’s about time!) to speak these words and share these thoughts with other women of color, queer women, and white women allies (or so I think?) in a class residing in absolute white space.

We’ve been engaging all semester long, for weeks now, on what it means to be a feminist and how feminism and being feminist has impacted every one of us. But what I want to shout is how can we get to that point if many of us cannot even utter the “F” word in public, not even in private?

This is the thought that plagues my mind. If we state that feminism has indeed impacted our work and life but yet cannot lay claim to it, then how are we reifying its stigma? Can we simultaneously disconnect from being a feminist while reaping from its beneficial impacts on our bodies and minds? Como?

But I understand you mis hermanas for I feel your pain as well – the pain of having been excluded from a discussion that we actually started. You (white feminists who continue to dominate and throw the reverse racism card in our faces every damned chance you get) say we’re at the table now… yes, maybe so. That is, the table in the other room intended for the Others. But what I say to you is that we are present, always have been and we’re not leaving or raising the white flag.

Las feministas están presente!

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Afterthought:

A note to mis hermanos and confused hermanas that continue to think that feminist means a man-hating-military-boot-Black-clothes-no-bra-wearing-White-middle-class-loca – well you’re wrong.

To be feminist is to be critical, aware, eyes wide open, viva

To be feminist is to understand that there’s a lot of work that needs (has) to be done.

To be feminist is to strive to end all forms of oppression as hooks taught us long ago.

If you care about the treatment of my female body, if you understand how it has been mistreated, regulated, violated, and commercialized by an oppressive controlling society, then you are a feminista as well.

Feminista – el respeto para la madre tierra, la mujer y todo tipo de humano.

Feminista es reconocer que yo soy tu otro yo.

Feminista=humanización.

Fin.

 

 

#lablogadora #feminista #feminist #Xicana

trump meme 1

WTFF Moments

AKA – “What the Fucking Fuck?!” Moments

First of all, please mi gente, excuse what can easily be perceived to be extremely foul language, but I had to write this piece and if I’m honest, it reflects how I often feel throughout the course of dealing with life and the many curve balls it throws at us.

I also have to give credit where credit is due and this is not my original idea, it came out of el ruco’s mouth and we were cracking up so hard that I had to share it.

Here’s what happened…

The other day the ruco was telling me about this high level meeting he was forced to attend. This was a typical institutional meeting filled with suits and individuals wound up so tight they can hardly move, laugh, or even breathe. At this meeting the very high paid execs were responsible for sharing what was supposed to be a super analytical report that of course didn’t live up to its hefty bureaucratic price tag (more than most of us make in a year, serio).

office meme

He said that as he was sitting there trying to understand what this ‘high-end’ person was explaining (or better yet, trying to convince them that this watered down b.s. report was worth the money and time) when in the back of his mind emerged – “What the fucking fuck?!” Said in his tone and with his expression, we just busted out laughing because this statement is so reflective of how many of us feel about the academy, about la politica, about los vendidos and other confused people wandering about. [Disclaimer: calm down raza, this doesn’t pertain to all of you who inhabit the institution. Okay, maybe a little.]

The beauty of the “What the Fucking Fuck?!” Moment is that it’s not just a WTF kind that most of us experience on a daily, maybe hourly basis. No, this type is at least a grade or two above. It’s when you are so absolutely stunned and shocked with what a person had to say or what they did that a WTF was definitely not enough, you had to add the adjective to emphasize the absurdity, the self-righteousness, the disgust, the absolute idiocy of the statement and/or act that was observed.

Here are a couple of other examples that pop in my head and maybe some of you can offer your own to share:

Example 1. The feeling you get when you hear Trump’s latest tonteras. Wow, so many examples to choose from – starting from his plans to deport us all to his latest offensive gestures and comments regarding a physically challenged reporter. Moreover, a WTFF moment so accurately captures the sick feeling you get when you think about the fact that in our society someone like Trump can be an actual contender in something so important as a Presidential race. That fact alone is so problematic and disturbing on so many levels that it outweighs any of the absurdities that spill out the gaping hole he calls mouth.

Example 2. The thought that crosses your mind when you see and hear the raza succumbing to internal colonizer behaviors in vivo and especially on social media – e.g., when churris papas raza belittle the accomplishments of others, laugh at folks during serious meetings/events, and especially when razita choose to hate on others in the same community fighting similar battles. Apparently it makes them feel better when they trample all over folks with their continuous verbal abuse. Yeah you know who I’m talking about, they’re always talking smack about all of us, including your mama, no one is exempt.

Example 3. How you felt when you found out that you didn’t get a specific job when you and the rest of the folks full well know that not only did you deserve the position, but had more qualifications than the mofo they hired. [I swear I’m not talking about myself!]

Example 4. The expression that goes through your mind when you see white folks and commercialized raza continue to coopt and commodify cultures and traditions not theirs. Take for example the current hot yoga trends that have taken off exponentially across the country. At $15-$20 charged per class to breathe in the toxic body fumes of mostly white/middle class bodies and someone else’s nalgas in your face, we definitely know who the business is targeting and especially who it is not.

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Example 5. The thought that went through my mind several times when I saw the masses of whites and High-spanics make their way over the bridge to the Valle de Atrisco for the Marigold Parade. Many of us have been happy for the success of the event over the years but not so happy with what can become a complete commercialization of such a sacred and important tradition. And seriously, aren’t these the same people who continue to perpetuate the myths/lies about our community? Just recently a student told me that they were explicitly instructed at a university program not to go to the South Valley because it’s too dangerous. WTFF?!

So again, it’s not that I’m trying to be grosera, it’s that WTFF moments accurately describe so many behaviors we continue to witness on the daily.

#lablogadora #WTFFmoment #TrumpElTonto #yogatrend #Xicana

Los Borregos and Acts of Inequitable Compassion

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Most of the Mexican@s and Chican@s reading this will most likely know what “borrego” refers to and for the rest, no I’m not talking about some fluffy sheep roaming about the pasture.

“No seas como los borregos,” or, “No seas una borrega.”

Loudly hearing those phrases my dad has continuously said to me since I can remember. “Mija, don’t be a sheep.” Baaaaa.

So why am I remembering this today and sharing it on the blog? The events of these past days have worked to shove me in that space. Some of you who actually know me, I mean really know me, may have heard me say that I’m a slightly unidirectional FB user. Meaning that I’ll post but don’t spend much time gazing into the lives of my FB friends. No se, looking at your pics makes me feel a bit like a peeper. Here and there I tend to look at the newsfeed but not much more than that. Anyway… so this weekend I couldn’t help but notice the raza exhibiting borrego behaviors. Here I will refrain from specific examples because my point is not to incite conflict, I’m just trying to reflect a bit, use more of a critical lens when I interpret worldly events, news, etc.

I just couldn’t help but notice how so many of the raza were borregiando you know. Media says, “Jump!” and we say, “how high?” Well f$%# that. Serious. If we are about compassion, if we are about empathy, if we are about being critical, if we are more than all of this B.S., then where was/is the equity? [No not equality because we all know that’s a crock of crap.]

Seeing my gente follow along like a flock of sheep made my brown skin cringe. My Xicana eyes witnessing the stark reminders that Brown, Black, and Red bodies are STILL not equitably regarded with the same amount of compassion and dignity.

Hundreds, if not thousands, de nuestras mujeres still missing.

43 students forever gone.

Beirut bombings.

147 dead in Kenya.

Lifeless Brown and Black bodies torn to shreds – images for the whole world to see.

But none of that seems to have the same effect on hearts, eyes, and minds across the globe. Don’t tell me that it does. Puras mentiras.

As I sit here, gazing upon the FB feed and seeing one after the other, faces painted blue, white, and red, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of grief and shame.

Amazon propaganda shouting – “Solidarité!”

O si? Apparently solidarity is demanded only when valued bodies bleed.

#lablogadora #nosoyborrega #Chicana

Dia de los Muertos 2015

DDLM 2015

What more is there to say? Most of those cabrones don’t even have a remote idea of what Dia de los Muertos is about.  In their shallow minds the day has become equated to painting your face and of course partying.  Ignorance at its best represented by the current commercialization and co-opting of a Mexicano tradition by mainstream America, but what’s new? Anyways… just had to make this short statement.

Gracias a mis maestr@s for showing us better, sus enseñanzas están en nuestros corazones hoy y siempre.

#lablogadora #dayofthedead #diadelosmuertos