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El Chanclaso: Top 5 Chanclasos of 2011

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It's been a great 2011 for "El Chanclaso" and unfortunately, I had to use my chancla more than I wanted to, but someone had to do it.  While there were many fools and payasos who went out of their way to be the biggest jerks this year, 4 individuals and 1 state were especially badly behaved. I included two religious leaders, a governor, a rogue sheriff, and a southern state that beat Arizona to be the most anti-Latino state in the country.

Ladies and gentleman, here are your top 5 chanclasos of 2011!

5.) The earth shook in DC on Tuesday. I nearly fell out of my chair but held firmly to my chanclas!

Now, we all know earthquakes are created when faults in the earth shift, so I'm handing out a number of chanclasosto over the top religious zealots who see natural occurrences as punishment from a higher power over what ever behavior they object to.

I'm going to start with religious leaders who blame gays every time there's a natural disaster or it rains or snows or there's a drought. La verdad es que you sound insane in the membrane. This blame game is worn out. Not to be left out, the king of religious nuttery, Pat Robertson, had to weigh in saying that the crack on the Washington Monument caused by the 5.8 earthquake might be a sign from God.  Patty, go take a science class, and then, go take another one. Inutil! 8/26/2011

4.) Proud homophobe and policy advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Daniel Avila, wrote a column for The Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, arguing that Satan causes homosexuality.  Avila attributes homosexuality to the devil because he, a lawyer, can't find a biological reason for it and it would be "awkward" to attribute it to God. Avila's faulty logic is so extreme that even other Catholics have come out against him.

Fortunately, our views have evolved, and most of us no longer cling to the antiquated views of the 1600s. Due to the outrage generated by the column, The Pilot offered an apology to its readers, and Daniel Avila offered his resignation, which the USCCB accepted.

I'm sending Daniel Avila a chanclaso, and I hear that he lives in DC, so I might be able to give it to him in person.  11/18/2011

3.) My first chanclasos go to none other than the guvnah from Texas - Rick Perry.  There are many reasons to handout chanclasos to Pretty Ricky, but I'm not writing a biography here. What's the best way to address the state budget deficit, high dropout rate, high teenage pregnancy rate or funding public education?  The same way you deal with huge fires, by praying. In Perry's case, you invite the 49 other governors, fill a stadium with people and hold a prayer service. Now, we're not frowning on prayer, we just don't subscribe to governing by prayer. How about governing, by I don't know, making executive decisions and legislating? Hijole! Pobre Tejanos! 7/15/2011

2.) The Department of Justice (DOJ) finally released the findings on its 3-year investigation of Joe Arpaio. And to no one's surprise, the DOJ found Arpaio's office treated "Latinos as if they are all undocumented," among numerous other unconstitutional acts.

Arpaio, btw, is the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona who touts himself as the toughest sheriff, and has made a career of harassing Latinos and letting sex crimes go uninvestigated. The DOJ found that the sheriff and his deputies targeted Latino drivers, violated their 4th Amendment rights with unreasonable seizures and mistreated inmates who did not speak English.

This is exactly what every Latino and informed citizen in Arizona knew of Arpaio. He is a failure and a stain on law enforcement. He serves not to protect, pero para molestar Latinos. His flagrant disregard for human dignity makes him unfit for office.  If Arpaio had any shame he would resign immediately. But this man is such a sinvergüenza, he will not do the decent thing, so I'm throwing him a flying chancla. 

1.) Remember the time your mom gave you a chanclaso for being a travieso but she didn't know the full details of your maldades until a week later so she gave you another chanclaso, a harder one, when she discovered the full scope of your shenanigans?  Well, that's what I'm doing today. I'm giving Alabama a much harderchanclaso for its anti-immigrant law.  Last week, a federal judge upheld Alabama's anti-immigrant law, and immediately, hard-workingfamilias sold their belongings and fled the state.  Several schools in Alabama reported that many Latino children didn't show up to school after the ruling was announced.  You would think that Alabama, a state dogged by its racist past would try harder to improve its rep. Pero no, they're content in winning the race to the bottom. 10/7/2011

Who should have made the list?  Who should I keep an eye out for in 2012?

El Chanclaso

For many Latinos, a chancla is more than summer footwear. The flip flops on our mothers' feet were also impromptu and easily accessed weapons. Back talk, ignoring orders or fighting with your siblings could, without warning, result in a chancla on the rear end or, if distance was a factor, flying at you.

Now we're all grown up. But some people still deserve chanclasos. And we're going to let them have it here in our weekly column, El Chanclaso. Every Friday, Sergio, our resident chancludo, will turn a critical eye on political shenanigans, and current issues and events with his chancla firmly in hand. Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, being on the wrong end of the chancla could get you one or two chanclasos. Sergio will also give aplausos to those who make us proud.You've been warned. Now, behave!

Read more Chanclasos here.

Sergio Lopez hails from the great city of San Antonio and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He thanks his mother for judiciously using her chancla to set him straight.