I'm sending two flying chanclasos to Sherriff Joe Arpaio and to those that continue to elect him into office. Sheriff Joe is back in the news because the Department of Justice - gracias a dios - filed a lawsuit on May 10 against him and his racist Maricopa County Sheriff Office for improper conduct. The department allegedly violated 1st amendment rights by unlawfully detaining peaceful protestors who decried their policies, which included repeatedly slamming a pregnant Latina woman belly first on the hood of her car for supposedly not having car insurance (which she did, in fact, have), and operating one of the most hostile, racist police departments in the nation, despite repeated warnings to curtail their inexcusable behavior.
But I'm really giving this chanclaso to the countless unspoken supporters of bigotry and injustice in this country. The fight against Sherriff Joe is bigger than the fight against one man and a bunch of racists (and they are racists - the lawsuit alleges MSCO employees refer to Latinos as "wetbacks," "Mexican bitches," and "stupid Mexicans"), it's a fight for el corazon del pais! What does it say about la gente of the country when Sheriff Joe states, "I already have a concentration camp ... it's called tent city," in reference to his deplorable prison that has received international criticism and has recorded internal temperatures of 145 °F, and the people in the audience laugh! What happened to loving thy neighbor, to the city upon the hill, to representing the utmost ideals of the enlightenment? What about liberty and justice for all? America has a good deal of soul searching to do if it wishes to reclaim its moral standing in the free world. Until then, the Sheriff Joes of America will continue to reign over la tierra, while incarceration rates soar, migrant workers suffer, and racism becomes even more socially acceptable.
Un aplauso to L. Rafael Reif for being selected as the first Latino president of the Massachusetts Information of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. Reif was born in Venezuela where he received his undergraduate degree from la Universidad de Carabobo in 1973 followed by a graduate degree at Stanford University. Reif learned English while studying at Stanford University. Hard work and incredible determination have definitely paid off for Mr. Reif. Adelante mi gente!