Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Migrants Rights Movement - 2016

In 2016, we need to stop leaving people behind. It doesn’t serve our movement to use corrupt messaging that serves the needs of those in power. It divides our community into those who are deserving and those who are not and throws other oppressed communities under the bus.
It’s time for us to step up our words and our actions and drop these phrases from our own movements. Let’s end the divide-and-conquer tactics of the state and commit to liberation for all of our people.

1. We are a nation of immigrants.

The United States of America is a settler colonial nation that has been built upon the lands and the genocide of indigenous people.

2. This country was built by immigrants.

This country was built by the slavery of African people and the exploitation of oppressed people from across the world.

3. We are not criminals.

We become “criminals” the moment we set foot on U.S. territory. Our poverty, our nationality and our immigration status are profiled and criminalized and we are always “suspect” as we struggle to survive inside a racist nation that persecutes us. Many of us have made mistakes that have been highly criminalized: does that make us any less deserving to be with our loved ones? Even when we try to follow the rules set for us, we aren’t protected from the deportation machine. Millions of “law-abiding” immigrants have gotten deported. Respectability politics doesn’t keep our families together in the face of white supremacist systems and logics.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dreamer Speaking for Bernie Sanders



Begin at 7;19 

Malala on Trump's Comments

Malala Yousafzai offered up a reality check for Donald Trump and any other politician attacking the entire Muslim faith. 
"The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create," she said in an interview with Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
Yousafzai, who last year became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate when she won the Nobel Peace Prize, was asked about the "wild things being said about Islam and Muslims," such as the GOP presidential candidate's call to stop all Muslims from entering the United States. 
She said: 
"It's important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it. If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists."

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chicano History in California Textbooks- Community Comment Welcome



By Duane Campbell
The Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies have been working for over a year to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California.
For  example see here. http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2015/04/teachers-we-need-your-letters-on.html  and numerous posts on this site. 
 The Quality Instructional Materials Commission of the California State Board of Education have posted their proposed revised framework and it includes most of what we proposed. 
Comments from teachers and community members is welcome.
The IQC approved the draft History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools for its second review on November 20, 2015. The approved draft is posted on the History–Social Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page at


Going forward, any new public comments will be submitted as part of the second review process.
Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the draft History–Social Science Framework through February 29, 2016, via e-mail to HSSframework@cde.ca.gov. Comments may be submitted in any format, but if a commenter is seeking revisions to the draft it is recommended that the comment include the chapter, page, and line number(s), the text as it is currently written in the draft, and the exact language of the suggested change.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Republicans and the Latino Vote

Donald Trump   Ted Cruz 
You would think they would know better.  The NYTimes has peculiar article on its front page today,  2 Latino Candidates at Odds, Heritage and Ideology Aside,  by Lizette Alvarez and Manny Fernandez.  The writers examine differences between Cruz and Rubio in their campaign for President.  And, they examine their differences on immigration.  They report that the two are each hoping to break the Republican Party’s isolation from Latino voters.
But, they do not mention that both candidates, as Cuban Americans, do not come from a community divided by immigration.  Cubans have a unique status.  They are allowed to come to the US with little obstruction.
On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

 According to this census, 50.5 million people, or 16% of the population, are of Hispanic or Latino origin.  The 2010 Census listed 33 million Mexican-origin residents (64.9 % of all Latinos); Puerto Ricans within the U.S .numbered 4.7 million (9.2 %); Cuban Americans 1.9 million ( 3.7  %); Salvadorans 1.8 million (3.6 %); Dominicans 1.5 million (3 %); Guatemalans  1.1 million  (2.2 %); Colombians 972,000 (1.9 %); Hondurans 731,000 (1.4%); Ecuadorans 665,000 (1.3 %); and Peruvians 609,000 (1.2%).  Each of these groups has its own identity and historical experiences.
Mexicans, Mexican Americans and other Latinos (except Cuban Americans)  have good reason to be concerned about  current the mobilization of  racist movements by these  harsh and xenophobic  campaigns of Trump, the Republicans including both Cruz and Rubio.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

College Protests- Worthwhile Causes


by Jimmy  Franco, Sr

The deep-seated anger that caused the recent outbreak of student protests at colleges across the country has been building on campuses for a number of years due to ingrained racial issues that have been consistently glossed over and never thoroughly resolved. From Yale to Missouri and across the country to the University of Southern California, Occidental College, UCLA and Claremont College, angry minority students along with white student allies have stood up to raise their voices in opposition to random acts of intolerance at many of these schools. Such racially-related incidents against African-Americans and Latino students involve derogatory comments or outright insults, racially-themed fraternity parties, segregated social events and in many cases a hostile campus environment that makes many minority students feel unwelcome. The accumulated effect of this pattern of everyday racial slights has finally ignited the simmering anger of many of these students who have finally declared that they would no longer put up with such ignorant and abusive behavior at their schools. Many colleges and their bureaucratic administrators have ignored racially-biased policies and incidents of bigotry for years and allowed them to persist without taking any thoroughgoing preventive nor remedial measures to eliminate them. This is called by school administrators as “keeping the lid on problems”. In this day and age, it is astounding that minority students who are trying to receive an education at our universities still have to experience racial insults, name calling and intolerant behavior by a certain sector of students. This intolerance exhibited by a number of white students is a direct reflection of their background and upbringing within a bigoted sector of our society whose traits have unfortunately been brought onto college campuses by them. 
This increase in racially-related incidents has been labeled with a new social term called microaggression which could be described as a milder form of everyday racism or being racially insensitive in a more casual way. To those who are not on the receiving end, microaggresion is supposedly not as bad as macro or large-scale and blatant racial aggression. Many apologists for such unprincipled racial behavior believe that African-American and Latino students can easily avoid these micro-racial slights by simply ignoring them. However, racial harassment, stereotypes and insults whether large or small are still racism and no one in 2015 needs to endure such irritating incidents and harmful behavior whether it be at work or school.
A self-righteous and kneejerk reaction from the political right
There has been a vocal backlash against these student protests from many on the political right along with their media allies. These are people who as white students were most likely sheltered and never had to experience any type of racial slights or ethnic barriers. Many of these far-right critics have expressed condescending comments about the rash of racially-related incidents aimed at minority college students as well as against females  who have experienced sexual assaults on campuses. According to these critics these incidents are
Both the right-wing media and GOP candidates have attacked the students & defended the status quo.
Both the right-wing media and GOP candidates have attacked the students & defended the status quo.
simply a part of life and that most students tend to be “spoiled and need to be tougher and have a thicker skin”! These young people who are standing up and speaking out against racial intolerance, ethnic slurs or sexual assaults on campuses are being verbally attacked with a form of reverse psychology by right-wing propagandists in order to slander and undermine their principled efforts. These regressive media commentators along with the intolerant statements made by most Republican presidential candidates blame the victims and point a finger at the students as being the ones responsible for supposedly creating and exaggerating these problems at their schools.  These biased comments are aimed at covering over the real problem which is the backward culture and ideology that still spawns and condones this existing bigotry at many colleges. A number of conservative professors and alumni at certain schools have also led a coordinated attack to tarnish the protesters and their community supporters. They allege that the student’s grievances are artificially created due to an extreme form’ of political correctness and an opposition to freedom of speech that is being practiced by them. For these conservatives, their distorted version of freedom of speech means having the right to hurl bigoted insults and stereotypes at minority students and to hold racially-themed events. Other commentators on the political right have also joined in and lashed out at what they term “self-righteous and privileged” students who are unappreciative of their opportunity to attend college and who are merely whining. These ethically-warped arguments by the conservative establishment are intended to defend the structural racism that has been rooted for decades within the traditional university system. In addition, their hollow criticism that these young people are thin-skinned whining children of privilege is simply an underhanded attempt to blemish and undermine these justified student protests and defend the racially structured status quo and profitability of the university system.
The past struggles to integrate the colleges only dealt with the symptoms 
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the principal struggle of the college student movement was to break down the traditional barriers of legal segregation that had historically excluded minority students from many campuses. This was carried out at that time in conjunction with opposition to the Vietnam War. The intense struggle against legalized segregation was aimed at government-sanctioned policies that for
The demand for the right to an education now includes the right to be free from racism on campus.
The demand for the right to an education now includes the right to be free from racism on campus.
decades had restricted or made it difficult for students of color to gain entrance into schools of higher learning. Such institutional racism and its restrictive laws resulted in exclusionary de jure policies and processes that limited minority enrollment along with access to needed student services. In response, minority students during this period organized and formed student groups that struggled against the university systems in order to pressure them to open up admissions and create programs to recruit more students of color and implement campus programs to retain them. Many of these student organizations ranged from MEChAs, Black Student Unions, Puerto Rican student groups, Asian Student Unions and the assistance of white students from Students for a Democratic Society. Hard-fought battles were waged against the long-existing white supremacist structure at both public and private universities in order to make their resources available and relevant to minority students and the surrounding community. These student demands were in contrast to the traditional university role of servicing corporations and merely
Students at USC demand an end to racially-related incidents and increased diversity.
Students at USC demand an end to racially-related incidents and increased diversity.
creating different colored clones as future employees in exchange for huge financial donations. Other key issues that were struggled for were the establishment of ethnic studies programs and affirmative action policies in order to expand the university’s outreach to minority students, strengthen their retention and develop a certain amount of diversity on campuses. There is an interrelated external and internal aspect to these ongoing racial problems at colleges across the country. The first stage of campus protests during the civil rights period dealt with the external and more blatant government-sanctioned racial aspect. This meant dismantling the legality of segregated schools, any existing restrictions, antiquated policies and exclusionary practices that denied large numbers of minority youth the access and right to a higher education. This first stage was essentially victorious as most racially restrictive barriers fell and more equitable policies were put in place except for the lingering and contentious issue of affirmative action which is once again being taken up by the US Supreme Court. However, the internal aspect of this problem still persists within the organizational structure of many colleges and still needs to be dealt with. It is comprised of a culture of long-embedded racial attitudes and policies of neglect, exclusion and even hostility by many administrative bureaucrats and faculty.
The second stage of confronting and rooting out structional racism has arrived
This internal and persisting structural racism with its deeply-rooted  policies and strata of biased administrators was not systematically rooted out during the 1970’s and especially at many of the private universities which are primarily profit driven. Thus, these institutional biases and inequitable policies continue to create a harmful learning environment as they are still ingrained within the mentality of many staff members at a number of colleges. At these affected schools, a strata of entrenched and highly paid bureaucrats are used to
Clarmont College students protest against an official and for an end to racially-themed events.
Claremont College students protest against an official and for an end to racially-themed events.
implement and defend outdated policies that ignore the urgent need to expand minority outreach and recruitment, enhance diversity programs on campuses and implement pro-active policies to defuse racial problems by promoting intervention and student dialogue. Thus, a second stage of protest and pressure is now necessary to replace the discriminatory attitudes and biased policies that were not flushed out during the period of the 1970’s. These outdated policies remain as obstacles which hinder the prevention and resolution of racially-related incidents at campuses across the country. Many present-day college presidents and administrators who ignore this recurring pattern of bigotry on their campuses and simply look the other way are in fact encouraging the continuation of this noxious behavior and essentially promoting a breeding ground for racism. Amazingly, our institutions of higher learning which are supposed to encourage and motivate logical inquiry and a higher level of conceptual thinking and civilized behavior, are being attended by a number of misguided students who express racial insensitivity and shameless bigotry in both words and deeds. These traits could only have been instilled in them by their families, communities and former high schools who influenced their thinking. What is particularly unfortunate is that many of these same college students who espouse these backward views and behavior will eventually become the future leaders within
UCLA students demanded an end to racially-themed parties on campus and against further tuition hikes.
UCLA students demanded an end to racially-themed parties on campus and against further tuition hikes.
corporations, government and even schools where they will continue to perpetuate and spread their harmful biases. Those who oppose social change and a defense of basic rights and progress will wail in right-wing unison that these student protesters don’t appreciate America and are overly sensitive whiners who are motivated by political correctness. In reality, it is the protesting students who presently occupy the moral high ground in defense of diversity, civilized behavior and tolerance against a decaying, but still robust and entrenched racial bias that continues to exist within many of the university systems and among a segment of their students. It is the remnants of this traditional culture of intolerance along with its buffer of bureaucratic defenders that must be exposed and rooted out of these institutions once and for all through the implementation of thoroughgoing and concrete methods of pressure and change. Throughout all of these protests, the basic and underlying demand that most minority students have stood for and support is the right to be able to attend college in an equitable learning environment, receive a qualitative education and be treated in a decent and respectful manner.
Copyright, December 9, 2015: Jimmy Franco Sr.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trump Is a Fascist and Remains Dangerous

Trump Remains Dangerous.
Along with others we applaud the many statements of support for the Muslim community in response to Donald Trump’s outrageous and tactical statements. Even major media and the Sacramento Bee made clear repudiation a part of their statements.
It is interesting to note that in the media fury in response to Trump’s statements there are numerous references to the Japanese Incarceration and the more limited incarceration of Italian and German suspected war spies.
The media fury does not mention the deportation of millions of Mexicans and US citizens of Mexican descent.
These deportations were described in our Sept. 1 post, Trump is Dangerous and are well known in the Mexican and Spanish speaking communities.
And in our July post asking why the GOP is reluctant to denounce Trump.


We told you Trump was dangerous.   

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Stand Up to Hate

 The political statement below was passed by the DSA National Political Committee on December 1, 2015. Unfortunately, in just the one week since Donald Trump has gone even further in his inflammatory speech and there have been more instances of harassment and violence against targeted groups.

Fighting Back Against the Rising Tide of Nativist and Racist Reaction

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) call on all progressives across the United States to join together in a broad coalition against the rising tide of racist and nativist politics in the United States. The nativist fear-mongering by one Democratic and 27 Republican governors about the alleged threat posed to U.S. residents by Syrian refugees (themselves often fleeing ISIL violence) and undocumented immigrants obscures the true violent threat to our collective security: nativist, racist and misogynist terrorism.
Read the entire statement here.


Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Donald Trump: The Values of Strategic Racism in the Republican Party

Analysis: The Republican front-runner is capitalizing on political forces that will outlast his candidacy

The proposal was more or less consistent with Trump’s long-held substantive policy positions, but the rhetoric he used this time around was incendiary enough to prompt a GOP revolt. Republican heavyweights — including many of the party's other presidential hopefuls — rushed to denounce the proposed shutdown as dangerous, divisive and un-American. Signs of weakness in Trump’s poll numbers may have stiffened their resolve. Earlier Monday, the most recent Monmouth University survey found Texas Sen. Ted Cruz edging ahead of Trump in Iowa, site of the first presidential nominating contest of 2016.
Trump may weather both the intraparty pile-on and the bad news from Iowa. Either way, he is taking a risk with his most recent announcement, albeit a calculated one. The key to his campaign’s success has always been its peculiar blend of nativism and flamboyant showmanship, and his call for a ban on Muslim immigration is a logical extension of both.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Donald Trump is Dangerous to Democracy

Choosing Democracy: Donald Trump is Dangerous to Democracy: Sacramento Bee Editorial Board.  Dec. 6, 2015. It is supreme irony that Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make Americ...

Friday, December 04, 2015

Trump Effect to Produce Latino Voter Surge

The leader of a national public policy and research group predicts Texas will see record Latino voting in next year's presidential election, thanks in part to a "significant Trump effect."

"Villains often times are the best mobilizers we have," Gonzalez said. 

"Donald Trump may be our best friend. Donald Trump is enraging Latino voters," Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velásquez Institute, said at a briefing and panel discussion Thursday at the University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Campus. 

Gonzalez said he would "bet the farm" that Texas will have a record number of more than 3 million Latino voters registered by November, after a "hot Super Tuesday" primary next March 1 will "bring out Latinos of all stripes from both parties" and "catapult voter registration."

He also predicted record participation of more than 2 million Latino voters casting ballots in November. An average of 73 percent of registered Latino voters have gone to the polls in "open" presidential elections without an incumbent since 1992, he said. 

Gonzalez compared Trump's anti-immigration comments to other political leaders whose actions galvanized Latino voter participation, such as California Gov. Pete Wilson, who opposed access to public education and other services for undocumented immigrants in the early 1990s. Arizona has had the fastest-growing Latino voter base after that state was beset with controversy recently over immigration policies and enforcement sought by leaders there, he said. 

Solidarity With the Muslim Communities


A statement by the YDS Coordinating Committee, drafted by Kayla Pace.
History has shown us that fear-mongering and hatred towards certain minority groups is nothing new when it comes to political elections. Various societies over different periods of time have shown this to be true. A notable example is the hatred directed towards the Jewish community by the Nazis in Germany. Unfortunately, this year has proven that fear-mongering tactics are not for the history books but something we, as Democratic Socialists, need to fight in our current political climate. 
While many citizens across the nation are crying out for a Sanders presidency and the institution of more socialist policies, other more conservative Americans are crying out for Donald Trump. Young Democratic Socialists reprimands Trump’s strong anti-Muslim sentiments. In recent comments he has stated there needs to be surveillance of Muslim communities; this surveillance would potentially include a database to track them and specialized identification cards. These ideas are appalling to our ideology as socialists, and we must work tirelessly to dismiss his anti-Muslim rhetoric and show that the “values” he is spreading are not American. As a country, we should not support a candidate that is actively spreading hate among certain groups of American citizens.
Trump and his followers’ rhetoric has real implications for Muslims, immigrants, and people of color. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Latino Vote Surges in Texas



William C. Velásquez Institute
Press Advisory 

Dec. 3, 2015
Texas Latino Vote Will Set Record 2 million Votes Cast in 2016
Good Reason for Optimism as Latino Voting in Texas Upturned in 2014

(Dec 3, 2015 San Antonio, TX) "Latinos in Texas performed well in 2014 according to the 2014 Census CPS study after subpar performances in 1998, 2006, 2010. Indeed Latinos did what they hadn't done in more than a generation by increasing their electoral efficiency that is increasing their rate of voter turnout and number of votes cast even though their voter registration declined in 2014," said Antonio Gonzalez, President of the William C. Velasquez Institute.

"2014 was a bad year for Latino voting nationally, but not in Texas, as Latinos cast nearly 1.1 million votes their highest mid-term total ever and voted at over 48% -equal to their previous modern-era highs of 2002 and 1994 when Latino favorites Tony Sanchez and Gov. Ann Richards were running," Gonzalez continued.

In "open" Presidential Elections with competitive primaries Latinos in Texas have a well-known history of comparatively high participation. 2016 will be such a year.

"Given historic Presidential Election trends Texas Latinos may cast at least 2 million votes in Nov. 2016 for the first time ever and should breach the 3 million registered voter threshold also for the first time," analyzed Gonzalez. "The hot Super-Tuesday March 1, 2016 primary will bring out Latinos of all stripes from both parties, and this will catapult voter registration throughout the year in our community and high voting in Nov 2016," he said.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Who Are These Terrorists ?

Robert Dear 
“Fighting Back Against the Rising Tide of Nativist and Racist Reaction”
A statement by the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
Timothy McVeigh 

November 30, 2015

The Democratic Socialists of America call on all progressives across the United States to join together in a broad coalition against the rising tide of racist and nativist politics in the United States. The nativist fear-mongering by one Democratic and 27 Republican governors about the alleged threat posed to U.S. residents by Syrian refugees (themselves often fleeing ISIL violence) and undocumented immigrants obscures the true violent threat to our collective security: nativist, racist and misogynist terrorism. 
Recent tragedies have shown all too clearly the state of crisis in which we find ourselves. The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting illustrates how right-wing hostility to women’s rights makes those providing and seeking reproductive services targets for murder. The shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis by white supremacists demonstrates that anyone doing work around racial justice must now expect and prepare for a violent racist response. And in Chicago, recent revelations of a year-long cover-up by city officials of the blatant police murder of Laquan McDonald add yet another chapter to the shameful history of police terror against African Americans and other communities of color. Meanwhile, ongoing harassment of individuals and groups who appear to be Muslim or immigrants goes under-reported in the press, as do attacks on mosques and Black churches. 
Over the past decade, heavily armed and mostly white men have killed or injured close to 1,000 individuals in politically-motivated shootings and other mass killings. These are not isolated incidents. They are encouraged by a rhetorical climate produced by right-wing politicians and media personalities who blame immigrants, poor African Americans and foreign countries for the decline in white working-class standards of living. Donald Trump is a perfect example: for him, the barriers to America’s “greatness” are Mexican immigrants, Muslim terrorists, Black protesters, China’s economic and military power and American leaders too weak to oppose them. This nativist politics diverts attention from the 1% — the capitalist class —that long ago declared war on working-class and poor people of all races. This politics is not the fault only of the Republican leaders who espouse it, but also of Democrats like Barack Obama and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose “free trade” and austerity policies contribute to the declining standards of working-class communities. This utter failure to put forward convincing ways to explain and solve the crisis leaves a vacuum that racists easily fill.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Socialism or Barbarism ?

“Free trade” agreements put corporate profits over democratic governance and grind down our living standards in a global race to the bottom.
Climate change threatens our very existence, yet the capitalists want to squeeze out every little bit of profit they can with no regard for future generations.
Police and court systems around the country disproportionately criminalize whole communities of color and use modern-day debtor’s prisons as a revenue stream.
Help DSA organize against the slide towards barbarism.
But it’s getting worse. Hate, fear and bullying are being used to turn us against each other. Donald Trump started it with his comments about Mexicans being rapists, egging on his fans to beat up a Black Lives Matter protestor while they shouted “n—,” and blaming all Muslims for ISIS/Daesh’s horrific violence.
YearEnd2015_NJ1.jpgNow his comments have emboldened white supremacists and other extremists to come out of the darkness to begin openly terrorizing our communities.
To fight back, socialists bring an important voice. In the wake of the Paris attacks, the French Left began using the slogan “Your wars, our dead” to highlight the fact that people in power make decisions to bring nations into war, but ordinary people on both sides are the ones who end up dying.
DSAers are organizing from a perspective of love and solidarity. Some cases in point: our Central New Jersey group mobilized against Chris Christie’s rejection of Syrian refugees; our New York chapter took to the streets after yet another civilian was killed by an unaccountable police officer; and our Detroit local mobilized for $15 an hour and union rights.
We’re building the kind of unified movement that can win. That’s why I’m asking you to make a special contribution today.
 We're planning for the long game, just as GOP ideological institutions do. And unlike many Democratic politicians who refuse to address the real problems that we face, we point out the central issue—capitalism itself—and the creeping, inevitable barbarity it brings.
A15Detroitedit.jpg In 2015 our work focused on two priorities—action and education. It is because we are socialists that we bring the next generation of progressive movement leaders through an ideological transformation that they won’t get anywhere else.