January 9, 2013
I know most of my readers probably don’t speak or read Spanish. That’s fine. It’s a lovely language and has been used to write some sublimely beautiful prose and poetry in the last few hundred years. This sign, however, is not one of them.
It’s a sign outside a playground in Delware. Nothing too out of place, right? However, if you know Spanish, the bottom half becomes a bit worrisome. It reads:
“You need permission to play in this playground. Violators will be subject to police action.”
Now, I’ve done a little bit of translating in my time. Mary intends to make a career out of out. I’ve seen some lazy, often hilarious translations. This, though, is two totally different messages. It’s not a typo. It’s not a matter of someone pressing the wrong letter on the keyboard. As Addicting Info reported, the sign is in the most conservative section of the Delaware but has a 15.8% Hispanic population. Daily Kos also reported that the school board apparently didn’t know about the signs and they have since been taken down. There were apparently some signs that had the Spanish version and the English version match up and say police action would be taken.
Maybe the people who put them up really didn’t know Spanish and just assumed the translations were accurate. Whatever the case, they were up for a full year. Someone had to have said something. It seems as though the signs went down after the town started getting online flak.
Someone wanted the signs to be intimidating as evidenced by the fact that the white signs also had a proper translation from Spanish to English. This is the kind of crap I’m always talking about. Language has a purpose. It can comfort, scare, or just inform. Why weren’t non-Spanish-speaking children warned of police action if they violated the rules? You should already know where I’m going with this.
Racism is ugly. It’s hard to really understand it if you’ve never experienced it. It can burn a hole in you, make you as untrustworthy and cynical as the people who do this kind of crap. Part of me hopes the superintendant really didn’t know and his show of personally removing the signs was sincere.
But the cynic in me says it’s doubtful. It’d like to be wrong.
And now, for slightly more uplifting things, here are the people who wished they’d had a better December.
I’ve had it up to here with the Romneys and their condescending attitude towards Hispanics, Latinos, the working class, and anyone who wasn’t fortunate enough to be born with silver spoon up their nose.
And if I sound angry, it’s because I really am angry.
Let’s break this down, shall we? It really got going a few weeks ago when Ann Romney stuck her Prada in her mouth and tried to explain to Latinos why we weren’t voting for her husband. Then, Romney went ahead and dipped himself in Jersey Shore Juice before going on a Hispanic channel in an attempt to appear to be “one of us.” Then we have his now-infamous remarks from the 47% fundraiser where he jokingly claimed that being Mexican would be a huge advantage to him in this election.
During this week’s debate, however, they decided to load another bullet into the gun they’d just spent a month unloading into their own foot. Apparently, the reason they’re gaining a lead is because they’re convincing Latinos that Romney is more a tough, macho leader while Obama appears weak. This could also factor in to why Tagg Romney said he wanted to punch Obama after the president called Romney a liar.
As a Hispanic citizen and a first-generation immigrant, I would like to now address all members of the Romney family and campaign.
Ladies? Gentlemen? Dressage horses? Shut up. Just stop it. Right now. This instant.
There’s a reason Romney is polling thirty or forty points behind Obama among Latinos, and yes, the gap is closing, but that’s expected after a pair of weak performances on Univision and then the first debate. As was said wonderfully here, it’s not that we think Romney is white and rich and that’s why we don’t want to vote for him. We’re not voting for Romney because he talks down to us. Now, this latest set of comments from him and his son show just how he thinks he’ll win us over.
Not with proper immigration reform. Not by allowing the children of illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens. Not by addressing women’s issues. Not by supporting an economic plan that will help not just us but the whole country.
He’ll win by showing he’s more of a man and by posturing, by appealing to Hispanics’ love of “machismo.”
Look here, Mittens. Firstly, thanks for characterizing us as posturing machistas who need a fierce leader and shun signs of cowardice. In essence, we have the leadership requirements of Vikings. Or Klingons. Neither is too appealing.
Secondly, please don’t tell me you’re showing real bravado and strength as I’m sure you believe that we believe a man should act. A real man owns up to his mistakes. A real man values honesty. A real man accepts the consequences of his actions and learns from them. You are not a man. You’re a child who was cursed with wealth and a myriad of opportunities many of us will never know, but please, keep telling me how All Mighty-Whitey is going to solve my problems if I just shut up and vote against my own interests for a man who wouldn’t know “macho” if John Wayne himself stomped on his head.
Author’s Note: I realize some people prefer the terms “Hispanic” or “Chicano.” I personally refer to myself as “Mexican-American” since I’m a first-generation immigrant. I know we all have our preference, but for the purpose of this article, I’m sticking with Ann Romney’s terminology.
Ann Romney is not running for office, but her recent remarks about the Latino community show the Right’s mentality on minority votes and, on a personal level, showed her contempt for people like me.
At a recent luncheon, Mrs. Romney went on about how Latinos need to understand that the GOP, and her husband in particular, are working in the best interest of Latinos in this country. She gushed over how much damage another Obama presidency will do to us and how we’re just uninformed about current issues and policies.
It’s us, not them, she tells us.
I like to think my arguments are better than just flinging insults or calling names, but I would like to vent a little steam before starting by saying that Ann Romney sounds like any abusive husband on a Lifetime movie telling his battered wife that it’s her fault she’s on the ground doubled over.
Let me explain. Ann Romney said:
“I spoke to women last night and I wanted women to understand how important this election is for their children. But as I was sitting backstage listening, I thought, it’s also very important that the Latino community recognize how important this election is for them.”
I like how she talks about women and mothers and that need to protect the family but seems to think Latinos don’t have those concerns or are somehow different. It sounds like nitpicking her grammar, but it actually makes sense a little later.
“And [Latinos] are mistaken if they think they are going to be better off with Barack Obama as their president. There really is only one way for prosperity, for small business, and that is, this is the simplest way I can say this: If Mitt Romney wins, America wins.”
Mrs. Romney’s assertion that helping small businesses is the best way to help the country falls apart for two reasons. Firstly, she assumes that corporate profits equal social prosperity. They don’t. The top earners in this country have had incredible success in the last several years, but the middle class hasn’t seen significant improvement in THIRTY YEARS. Small businesses are another matter. Yes, they could be doing better, but the self-serving nature of the Romney/Ryan plan is another case. It will hurt not just Latinos, but everyone.
It’s when Mrs. Romney starts talking about why Latinos are specifically deaf to the GOP that I start to put the pieces together.
“You’d better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer… It really is a message that would resonate well if [Latinos] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community. And that is not true. We very much care about you and your families and the opportunities that are there for you and your families.”
If I may, I would like to address Ann Romney directly.
June 20, 2012
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Justice League episode, “Legends.”
Between the new story and the superhero campaign I’d like to run in a few weeks when we take another break, I’ve had superheroes in the brain. I grew up a Superman fan, then Spiderman, and have moved to Batman. The allegories in superhero stories, those that are well-written anyway, are applicable to a story about a soldier, especially when told partially through the point of view of his young daughter.
In doing a little digging into the old classics, both DC and Marvel, I came across an old episode of Justice League that… well, it’s not the flashiest (no pun intended) and it doesn’t feature the epic villains of the DC universe… but it’s possibly one of the greatest moments in the DC Animated Universe.
“Legends” revolves around Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl being transported into a parallel world ripped from the pages of 1950’s American nostalgia. It’s all there: the campy villains, the clean and idyllic city, and its protectors, the Justice Guild of America, composed of barely-disguised versions of Silver Age comic book heroes from the DC universe. Green Lantern recognizes the Guild as characters from comic books he read when he was younger, comic books that helped give him the moral compass he would later employ as a member of the Green Lantern Corp. In this reality, he figures, those characters were real…
The big problem, of course, is trying to get the League members back to their own reality, but as the trio gets caught in the Adam Westian crime-fighting of the JGA, hi-jinks so tame that Captain Boomerang looks like flippin’ Darkseid by comparison, they discovered a bigger problem.
It turns out the world was devastated in a nuclear war decades ago and the Guild was killed trying to stop it. The heroes the League members have been interacting with are the creation of an insane mutant psychic who’s recreated the “perfect” world of the past to cope with the devastated world around him. As he lashes out against the League and soundly beats them, the Justice Guild of America realizes that stopping their creator will save Flash, GL, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl… but it will mean their own death.
And then one of them utters a line that gives me chills every time I hear it.
“We died once to save this Earth… We can do it again.”
And they jump into the fight. It’s campy. It’s cheesy. It’s every clichéd move you can imagine.
But never have the phrases, “Crime doesn’t pay,” and “Let justice prevail,” as hokey and out-dated as they may seem in a world of Rorschach, Frank Castle, and John Constantine, sounded as awesome and inspiring during that final battle.
The idealism of the Pleasantville-style world was not perfect, though. The episode does have hints that the JGA has its fair share of sexism and even racism, but it’s nothing that would have been out of place in post-WW2 America. The Leaguers don’t shy away from condemning it, though.
But why is this episode one of the greatest?
Because as dark as DC animation can get, it’s expected. Think back to the 50’s or even the 60’s. You would NEVER have had a heroic sacrifice like this. Death in general was something avoided. Criminals got beaten to a pulp, then tossed in jail. The heroes prevailed, moved on to the next case, and wackiness ensued. This episode’s climax involves the realization that billions are dead, the world is a fantasy created by psychotic man-child, and the mutant psychic who created the illusion is something straight out of Tales from the Crypt.
It’s the intrusion of the Other, the concept that something is utterly shocking or disturbing when introduced into a non-standard setting. Imagine a war zone. Someone with a gun is to be expected. Now place that same character in the middle of a school and you get horror. The Guild could easily have doubled as extras in the Adam West Batman series, yet here they showed the kind of sacrifice and bravery usually reserved for heroes in a world where death is very real, and that’s saying something since death has a very buttery grasp on superheroes and supervillains. The final scene, though still tame since it IS a kid’s show, was akin to watching Mickey Mouse go on a suicide mission. It was like watching Archie take a bullet for Jughead from a gunman at Riverdale High.
I’ve been called everything from a jaded mess to a cynic. I’m a skeptic through a through.
I’m not afraid to say I choked up when the Guild made their sacrifice and showed, not simply said, they were heroes who stood for truth and justice.
I know it’s only a cartoon, but I grew up with stories like this. Later, I found out even death was cheap in comic books. But those comic books also helped me see right and wrong in a world of fantastic villains and heroes. As much as Sesame Street shaped my language, comic books shaped my idealism. It’s not that I think humanity is wretched and unworthy of this world. The reason I get so angry at the propaganda, the lies, and hatred I see, the reason I write and the reason I keep this site going, is because I think we’re better than that. I want to help others realize it.
We don’t have superheroes. It’s just us. I’m not going to wait for a red and blue flash to fly in and save the day.
And in case you still think I’m making too much of this, here’s the full episode.
March 23, 2012
Trayvon Martin’s death and the subsequent stall of justice and prosecution of his killer has made national news in the past few days. Florida’s gun laws and the ability to Florida citizens to seemingly kill with less oversight and consequences than police officers is under scrutiny. But we have to remember something. As much as people are arguing over the gun laws and as much as people are wondering why we haven’t done more towards Zimmerman, there is something more vicious going on.
Some are actually blaming Trayvon for his own murder.
Just when you thought the Right Wing noise machine couldn’t get more despicable, Gerardo Rivera, a man famous for being ordered to leave Iraq after divulging troop positions, went ahead and said one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.
Among other things, Geraldo thinks there’s nothing wrong with crossing the street when you see a black or Latino youth because we’ve all seen punks rob convenience stores wearing hoodies. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, so Zimmerman may have been partially justified in his reaction to shoot an unarmed teen in his own neighborhood.
This is the same kind of mentality as blaming rape victims.
“Oh, you went out with make-up and a skirt, and you had a drink at the bar? Well, you just looked like the type of woman men would assume wanted to get laid. You were probably asking for it.”
The rape justification is horrible. Blaming a teen for his own murder because he was wearing a hoodie, you know, an article of clothing for cool weather, is downright disgusting.
Then you have Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze. After Captain Blackboard got the boot from Fox and was dropped from several radio stations, this became his little haven. And boy, he may not have written it, but he’s not said anything about it, either.
Mytheos Holt, an associate editor at the Blaze, wrote an article claiming we didn’t have all the facts yet. For example, did you know that Trayvon was suspended from school? We don’t know why, but the list includes:
- Harassment (non-sexual or isolated)
- Petty theft (under $300.00)
- Assault/Threat against a non-staff member
- Breaking and Entering/Burglary
- Bullying (repeated harassment)*
- Sexual harassment**
- Grand theft (over $300.00)
- Sex offenses (other) (including possession and/or distribution of obscene or lewd materials)
- Armed robbery
Is The Blaze implying Trayvon was a promiscuous murderer who liked to set fires and steal? They just put the list out there as if to say, “You decide, America!”
Well, we have. It’s why Beck lost his show and why people like Holt and Rivera are horrible human beings. We have plenty of facts on the case. It’s become such a national story specifically because we know so much about the case and nothing’s been done about it. If it had been a murder and Zimmerman had been arrested on the spot, it would have still been a tragedy and would likely have garnered some national attention and started a conversation on Florida gun laws.
And even IF Trayvon had been a homicidal pyromaniac, when he was killed, he posed no threat to anyone, especially someone with a loaded gun. Unless, of course, The Blaze is advocating killing people on the basis that they MIGHT have done something wrong.
This just goes to show just how disconnected from reality some people can get. Here we have a case of an overzealous man who shot and murdered an unarmed teen and while most people are trying to figure out the legal implications of the state’s gun laws and how this Zimmerman has not yet been arrested, we have Geraldo and Beck’s cronies wondering how Trayvon himself caused his own murder by being black and wearing clothing.
If anyone asks me why I write these articles and why I keep making videos, I point to things like this. If we don’t actively go after these self-righteous bastards and their insane semblance of “logic,” others might follow suit. It’s why education is important. It’s why we need to learn proper critical thinking skills.
If you look at this case and wonder how Trayvon Martin went so long without getting shot, you should be sterilized for the good of humanity. And set on fire. Also for the good of humanity.
To help wash away the hate and usher in the weekend, here’s the full trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.
February 10, 2012
It seems the last video got a lot of attention and a fair amount of heat for a lot of Hispanics going after a single white woman. Except we didn’t do it because she was white. Let me explain the concept of “racism” and “bigotry” and why I will not st
This story blew up in less than 24 hours. Everyone here is talking about it. Please watch, share, and read some of the comments on Youtube. It’s really hilarious when people try to pass off racism as logic and science.
February 3, 2012
You know that stereotype that you have to be really dumb to be racist in a world as connected as ours? That it takes a really thick skull to not accept that we are all more alike than different? Even better, there’s my theory that you have to be purposefully ignorant to vote Republican when the entire party’s mission is to give more money to rich.
We now have proof that not only are conservatives dumb, but racists are also dumb. And we did science!
It seems a new study shows that low IQs are linked to racism and conservatism. Let’s make one thing clear, though: IQ tests are very controversial. They don’t account for cultural or socioeconomic background. That being the case, I should also point out that it’s almost impossible to completely account for every variable in a study dealing with people over such a long stretch of time.
However, it looks as though the researchers did a pretty good job, and they’re not claiming that all conservatives and racists have low IQs. I think this gentleman here put it best. Correlation is not causation. It’s too early to tell if a low IQ really does link to conservatism and racism, but for me, I’ll take it.
What? I’m ignoring the scientific method in order to broadcast my own beliefs about someone? Have I gone over to the dark side?!
No. I’ve lived. I’m basing this on my own first-hand experiences.
One of the early articles on this site explained that most liberals had a college degree. This, conservatives claimed (and still claim) meant that universities were indoctrinating students into a liberal mindset. Another likely explanation, though, is that an education and being forced to live and work with people of varied backgrounds help people to be more open-minded. Exposure to new ideas allows us to see that there are more than just simple answers to complex problems. From my experience, such an environment can change a conservative into a liberal, or at least make a conservative more centered.
The crux of the explanation is that a low IQ can translate into low critical thinking skills. Lacking such skills, someone tends to gravitate towards simple solutions and simple worldviews. Conservatism and racism both offer the easy view that things are the way they are or entire groups of people can be classified by a few simple stereotypes.
America is great (if we ignore the genocide thing).
All Mexicans are lazy (except they do the back-breaking labor Americans won’t do for the same price).
We need to defund Planned Parenthood because they do abortions (even though abortions are a tiny percentage of the health care Planned Parenthood provides to women who can’t afford that healthcare otherwise).
This is a Christian nation because “In God We Trust” (ignoring the fact that our founding principles are actually counter to key Judeo-Christian beliefs).
Lack of critical thinking is a terrible thing, but the Right’s actually turned it into a positive trait to have. Don’t go to college. Don’t read liberal websites. Don’t think about it too much. Be as the children. Also, don’t expose the children to any new information or else they’ll start question the beliefs we’ve forced on them.
Does a low IQ mean you’ll be conservative or racist? Not necessarily. But it helps.
See you all on Monday, and don’t forget to visit the Youtube channel, share those videos, and keep sharing links!
Let’s all now share some Jason Statham playing the same character he’s played in 95% of his movies.