12/04/2011 04:55 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2012

El Chanclaso: What Year Is It?


Some stories make me check my calendar to find out if I've been hurdled back in time. This week it was news that a church in eastern Kentucky voted to ban interracial marriages and bar interracial couples from attending the church.

The idea of the ban came up after Stella Harville, a white woman who has attended the church her entire life, brought her fiancé, a black man from Zimbabwe, to church. The pastor of the church at the time, Melvin Thompson, decided he wasn't comfortable worshipping next to interracial couples and led efforts to drive them out. ¡Que retrasado! Of course, he claimed he was not motivated by racism but was merely interested in "promoting unity and serving the community." Ni el se la cree. The members who apparently forgot it is 2011 approved his idea by a 9-6 vote.

I'm giving a chanclaso to Mr. Thompson and the other eight people who were nostalgic for 1960s America. Also, let's give props to separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson, we owe you big time!


Go Straight to Jail.... And Never Come Out

The Senate is set to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision that would allow the military to imprison Americans and non-Americans indefinitely without access to a trial and without charging them. Sen. Mark Udall from Colorado introduced an amendment to remove this provision but it was defeated 61-37, even though the secretary of defense and the directors of National Intelligence, FBI and CIA said the provision was harmful and counterproductive to their work.

I'm giving a chanclaso to the 61 senators desgraciados who think it's ok to indefinitely jail Americans and non-Americans for just being suspected of terrorism. Hopefully, the White House will follow through with its veto threat. ¡Viva la libertad!



Widely considered to be one of the smartest men on the Hill, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012. Rep. Frank has been in Congress since 1980, and he's been of the feistiest members, having gone toe to toe with numerous of his colleagues and with the media. Please check out this video of the great Barney Frank. I'm sending Rep. Frank un gran aplauso for his 31 years of service. ¡Bien hecho!


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.

Know of someone who deserves a chanclaso or an aplauso? Send in your suggestions to