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March 2018 | Vol. 31 Issue 2

San Antonio, Tejas

In this issue! Articles by

Ruth Lofgren, Greg Harman, Nadine Saliba, Rogelio Saenz, Claudia D. HernĂĄndez and Gary Houston Poems by

Jamal Al Mahamel II – aka Camel of Burdens by Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour

Kamala Platt, Marilyn Wallner, Tom Noonan, Yon Hui Bell

Letter to the Editor

La Voz de Esperanza March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

Editor: Gloria A. Ramírez Design: Elizandro Carrington


Yon Hui Bell, Greg Harman, Claudia D. Hernández, Gary W. Houston, Tom Noonan, Kamala Platt, Rogelio Sáenz, Nadine Saliba, Marilyn Wallner

La Voz Mail Collective

Alicia Arredondo, Patricia De La Garza, Juan Díaz, Sonia Zepeda Díaz, Sylvia Garza, Valentina González, Ray McDonald, Angie Merla, Angela Pardo, Lucy & Ray Pérez, Maria Reed, Blanca Rivera, Mary A. Rodríguez, Yolanda Salazar, Jina Sambrano, Roger Singlar, D. L. Stokes, Helen Suárez, Rosa Vega, Helen Villarreal

Esperanza Director Graciela I. Sánchez

Esperanza Staff

Elizandro Carrington, Paty de la Garza, Eliza Pérez, Paul Plouff, Natalie Rodríguez, René Saenz, Susana Segura, Amelia Valdez

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2•

Conjunto de Nepantleras —Esperanza Board of Directors—


Rachel Jennings, Amy Kastely, Jan Olsen, Ana Lucía Ramírez, Gloria A. Ramírez, Rudy Rosales, Tiffany Ross, Lilliana Saldaña, Nadine Saliba, Graciela I. Sánchez, Lillian Stevens • We advocate for a wide variety of social, economic & environmental justice issues. • Opinions expressed in La Voz are not necessarily those of the Esperanza Center.

La Voz de Esperanza is a publication of

Esperanza Peace & Justice Center 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78212 210.228.0201 Inquiries/Articles can be sent to:

Articles due by the 8th of each month

Policy Statements

* We ask that articles be visionary, progressive, instructive & thoughtful. Submissions must be literate & critical; not sexist, racist, homophobic, violent, or oppressive & may be edited for length. * All letters in response to Esperanza activities or articles in La Voz will be considered for publication. Letters with intent to slander individuals or groups will not be published.will be considered for publication. Letters with intent to slander individuals or groups will not be published.

Dear Gloria, Another powerful issue of La Voz. Sorry to read that Jane Tuck is no longer with us to fight the good fight. Hope she can help from the other side. We need all the help we can get! When I think what a great country USA was in 7th grade Civics, I’m saddened by the truth. Our government and big business have had their fingers in most of the country’s business and the people suffered— migrants and the promise of the statue of liberty. Now, millions suffer. I’m glad the fight continues for the dreamers. I don’t understand our politicians. I can’t imagine candidates for citizenship. So, instead of being helpful, they are shutting down the government, again.

I think we need new founding fathers (and a few mothers) and start over! I’m hopeful because I can remember the support Bernie Sanders had—great kids. And, lots of us are waiting for humane change. I’m enjoying watching the Olympic games—there are amazing people in all countries! God bless all who work with vision for a world of peace and justice.

Love to you all… Keep up the good work! —Ruth

Note: Ruth Lofgren, 101 years young, put

pen to paper and wrote this letter about the February Voz. She was elected San Antonio’s first Peace Laureate in 2008 by the PeaceCENTER and has been a source of inspiration for us since Esperanza opened its doors at 1305 N. Flores in 1987.

********************* Dear Readers of La Voz

This March, 2018 issue of La Voz will mark the beginning of two regular contributors. Environmental writer, Greg Harman who will keep readers informed on climate justice issues. In this issue he writes La Luche Sigue, Why Climate Justice Matters to San Antonio. Nadine Saliba, who previously wrote a column for La Voz, “Bint Scheherazade” that covered political analysis of topics related to the Middle East returns to write articles on a bi-monthly basis beginning in this issue with Jerusalem, Trump and the San Antonio Connection. We also have reprinted articles by UTSA professor, Rogelio Saenz who wrote on the plight of Salvadorans in the February issue and on African immigrants in North Texas in this issue. He has countered and exposed the lies being put forth by this administration and

we, at La Voz, aim to follow suit. Our focus for this year is to be as informed as possible in order to be able to speak out against the many injustices and falsehoods being perpetrated by the present administration. The image on this front page Jamal Al Mahamel II by Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour is one that is often found in many Palestinian homes as a daily reminder of the burden they bear in seeking to find a homeland. That burden has recently been made even more difficult by our current administration. Read Nadine’s article to learn more. Letters to the editor, articles, creative escritos and poems from our readers are a priority for La Voz! Send your contributions to: and, remember, the April issue will celebrate Poetry Month! — Gloria A. Rámirez, editor of La Voz

ATTENTION VOZ READERS: If you have a mailing address correction please send it to lavoz@ If you want to be removed from the La Voz mailing list, for whatever reason, please let us know. La Voz is provided as a courtesy to people on the mailing list of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. The subscription rate is $35 per year ($100 for institutions). The cost of producing and mailing La Voz has substantially increased and we need your help to keep it afloat. To help, send in your subscriptions, sign up as a monthly donor, or send in a donation to the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Thank you. -GAR VOZ VISION STATEMENT: La Voz de Esperanza speaks for many individual, progressive voices who are gente-based, multi-visioned and milagro-bound. We are diverse survivors of materialism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, classism, violence, earth-damage, speciesism and cultural and political oppression. We are recapturing the powers of alliance, activism and healthy conflict in order to achieve interdependent economic/ spiritual healing and fuerza. La Voz is a resource for peace, justice, and human rights, providing a forum for criticism, information, education, humor and other creative works. La Voz provokes bold actions in response to local and global problems, with the knowledge that the many risks we take for the earth, our body, and the dignity of all people will result in profound change for the seven generations to come.

La Lucha Sigue Why Climate Justice Matters to San Antonio Greg Harman racism, and gender—and identity-based exclusion—as well as the gathering risks from extreme weather. We want recognition that those who have the least ability to respond to sweltering heat waves, punishing storms, and other growing natural disasters be prioritized in a plan now being prepared by the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, and University of Texas at San Antonio to reduce our contribution to the greenhouse pollution and prepare communities to better survive climate shocks. And where it comes to plan development, communities should be treated as equal partners in the process. In other words, the climate justice movement is one that pairs the historic struggles of civil rights with a call for environmental justice and restoration of right relationships, both between one another and between ourselves and the rest of the planet. As Robert Bullard, considered the father of environmental justice, says: “Climate change is more than parts per million and carbon; it’s also about justice. Climate change is a human rights issue.”

Just like the Paris agreement itself, now joined by every nation on earth except the United States, our new coalition, Climate Action SA, is about much more than just the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution; it is more than simply a call for a technological switch to clean energy.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

Last year, San Antonio joined hundreds of cities around the country determined to improve the health and security of their families by supporting the values given expression in the Paris climate agreement. But why should the people of San Antonio care about an international agreement hammered out a world away? What brought more than 40 organizations together to press our demand for climate solidarity? Was this a blip? Just one more display of anti-Trumpism? The formation of a continuing coalition–dedicated to realizing climate justice in San Antonio– suggests not. Just like the Paris agreement itself, now joined by every nation on earth except the United States, our new coalition, Climate Action SA, is about much more than just the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution; it is more than simply a call for a technological switch to clean energy. This is a movement that recognizes the crisis we are in globally and also the historical violence we are exposed to here in our neighborhoods right now—the brutal legacies of colonialism,


“Climate change is more than parts per million and carbon; it’s also about justice. Climate change is a human rights issue.” —Robert Bullard

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Just as we are moved as human beings to respond to the extinction crisis now eradicating plants and animals species at a pace the earth has not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. Just as we are moved by the destruction of the forests and coral reefs, the lungs of our mother earth, la tierra madre. We also recognize and seek to address the patterns of social and political discrimination that place the burden of climate chaos on those least able to withstand it. When it comes to extreme heat waves, for instance, we know that a one degree of additional heat experienced in leafier areas of the city, such as the Northwest and North sides, could result in five or six degrees added heat in highly paved and denuded areas of the near Westside. In addition, we also stand with the First Nations, the original caretakers of this land who have not stopped advocating for their rights while generously offering a vision of right relationship with the earth. We reject the suffering of those millions who are forced from their homes by extreme weather and withered crops and economic injustice, only to be criminalized and jailed when they seek refuge across borders.


But our anger over these deep and longstanding abuses is also grounded in love. Last summer, in the midst of a mayoral runoff election, our coalition joined together to reject Donald Trump’s misguided decision to walk away from the historic Paris Agreement and committed ourselves to working together to bring to a collective stop to these practices and slow the now-rapid warming of the earth. We demanded: 1. Our mayor join their colleagues in Houston, Dallas, and Austin—and hundreds of their colleagues from around the country— in committing to adopt, honor, and uphold the the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. 2. Our mayor and city council commit to funding and helping develop a community-led Climate Action Plan that works w/ our residents, ad-

vancing their interests—particularly those most at threat from rising temperatures and extreme weather—and to put our city on a path to 100-percent renewable power. We won on both points. San Antonio also won as a result. The same day Mayor Ron Nirenberg signed a resolution to

stand for the principles of the Paris Agreement, CPS Energy announced it was giving University of Texas at San Antonio $500,000 to develop a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). The scope of this work will move far beyond navigating a transition from coal, gas, and nuclear power to solar, wind, geothermal and battery storage. Just like the earlier Sustainability Plan, the work is expected to treat housing, mass transportation, parks and recreation, downtown development, and much more. It is on these points that we bring—as city leaders themselves promise to promote—a demand for equity each step of the way. We are not calling on our city leaders to merely meet the emissions reductions President Obama committed to. They are not enough to prevent catastrophic levels of climate disruption this century anyway. What we want is justice in this transition. The Paris Agreement is at its core also a justice document. It interprets climate action as a matter of “human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.” That is the Paris agreement we support. That is the heart of a San Antonio climate action and adaptation plan we demand. Bio: Greg Harman, an independent award-winning journalist based in San Antonio, was formerly an editor and staff writer at the San Antonio Current. His writings on the environment have appeared in major publications throughout Texas and beyond.

The Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP) being led by UTSA, the City of San

Antonio, and CPS Energy has been slow to get rolling. Funded in June, 2017, and announced to a packed auditorium in December, 2017, it was only in February, 2018, that the plans for community engagement were shared in a public forum. Of course, Climate Action SA members, including the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, have been working behind the scenes, to make sure justice and inclusion remain the bedrock of this process and not just a talking point. Specific to the process of informing our communities about the challenges posed by climate disruption and tapping into grassroots leadership to craft solutions within the CAAP, we must: • Treat community organizations working for climate justice as equal partners. • Reach the public through existing local social justice organizations and experienced and trusted organizers. • Draw on multiple sources of funding to fuel this engagement, including CPS Energy, COSA mid-year budget adjustments, local foundations, among others. • Increase the budgets of both the sustainability and health departments for ongoing community work. • Not stop with the completion of this plan—or even its ultimate adoption. The pressures of a rapidly warming planet are expected to accelerate. So must our labors together.

Climate Action SA Working members:

Join Us!

Esperanza Peace & Justice Center; Public Citizen, Texas; Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance; Texas Victory Project; Our Revolution San Antonio; William C. Velasquez Institute; Sierra Club, Alamo Group; SouthCentral Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER); Vecinos de Mission Trails; Bexar County Green Party; San Antonio Progressive Alliance; Environmental Defense Fund; Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club; Imagine San Antonio; Ignition Green; Moms Clean Air Force;; Politiqueers;

Supporting organizations:

Citizen’s Climate Lobby-SA; San Antonio Interfaith Environmental Network (SAIEN); Native Plant Society of Texas, SA Chapter; American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions; Martinez Street Women’s Center;; Texas Drought Project; Society of Native Nations; Build San Antonio Green; Bexar County Young Democrats; Bexar County Democratic Party; Southwest Workers Union; Stone in the Stream/Roca en el Rio; Greater Faith Institutional Church


Literary San Antonio

San Antonio is often described as the “mother” of Texas cities—the oldest and, for two and a half centuries, the largest city in Texas. To many it is, as novelist Larry McMurtry once famously proclaimed, “the one truly lovely city in the state.” Here the Mexican Revolution was called into being, and here were the political and literary origins of the Chicano Movement. Literary San Antonio provides dozens of examples of the interplay and cross-pollination of Anglo and Latino literary forms, ideas, and traditions that led to the creation of a unique borderlands or fronteraliterature. As San Antonio celebrates its tricentennial, this is a must-have book! —La Voz Published by TCU Press. Available for advance purchase at

Literary San Antonio documents the complex and reciprocal interaction of Tejano and Anglo writers. It records how they have maintained and renovated their particular literary traditions while sustaining a diverse bi-cultural heritage. This compelling and powerful anthology provides a historic and social context for understanding the enduring and enchanting allure of San Antonio. A break-through, foundational and necessary book. — Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Ph.D. Independent Scholar of Latino Arts and Culture Bryce Milligan offers us a guiding thread for a profound journey celebrating this place. We are led from sacred pre-Columbian song to the Missions, the Mexican Revolution, the Chicano Movement, and our own time, each voice a note in the literary music of a great transcultural city. This book is who we have been in the place we love. It also points the way to who we may yet become. ¡Adelante! — Rosemary Catacalos, 2013 Texas Poet Laureate Author of Again for the First Time and Begin Here

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

is a collection of writing about San Antonio, by San Antonio poets, fiction writers, playwrights, journalists, historians, political writers, and 18th and 19th century travelers. It covers three centuries of writing done in this place from Zebulon Pike, Madam Candelaria and Emma Tenayuca to Naomi Shihab Nye, Sterling Houston, Sandra Cisneros and many, many more including an historical introduction by Bryce Milligan.


Resistance Plantings at Hay’s Street Bridge People’s Park poem published in Voices de La Luna, August 2017

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The People’s Park beneath Hays Street Bridge was an unoccupied wasteland lot, when I went out to scatter seed of hairy vetch. I dropped black, bullet-sized seeds into crusty dirt mounds amongst tufts of straw-hued grass blades while thinking how the chains of lacy-leafed legume ending in purple petals would feed and fortify the city soil.


One time, my neighbor helped me forecast seed, and when we finished off the repurposed baggie and returned to my pick-up after looking in vain for evidence of earlier plantings, the truck refused to start. (I should have known not to drive my pick-up there where the city backs men who want to take away the dreamed-of park— for my pick-up stalls at places where mean spirits are at play. I know this from frequent stalls at border patrol checkpoints.)

I never saw that any of our vetch took root— there was mud for a short while after days of deluge, then the top crust was bull-dozed away making an impervious surface. I expect though, there is still some seed in that dirt waiting for the People’s Park to take root. p.s. One of my “resistance plantings” did take root as a vine at the base of the border wall being built at Brownsville’s Hope Park… I imagined border-crossers taking heed of the green twining up the steel wall might smile, for a moment. —Kamala Platt Note: Articles related to the Hays Street Bridge appeared in the February 2018 issue of La Voz.

The rogue rosebush grows between two homes in my neighborhood. Neither family claims it nor tends it. I doubt they know it is there, but I do. I pass it every time I walk Wee Jack and we stop and ponder it. Pay it respect, each in our own way.

I carry a small scissors for the perfect miniature rosebud it might produce, worth fighting the spiny thorns that challenge me, as does the ditch in front of it. Some would say it thrives on neglect. I do not buy that canard. Nothing thrives on neglect. I take that lesson home with me.

—Marilyn Wallner

Jerusalem, Trump and the San Antonio Connection

Nadine Saliba

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On December 6, 2017, US president Donald Trump announced East Jerusalem fell under Jordanian control. During the 1967 that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital war, Israel occupied East Jerusalem and later annexed it. This of Israel and move the US embassy there. Like several Demoannexation however was deemed null and void by the United cratic and Republican presidential candidates before him, Nations because it was in violation of international law. Trump had made this a major campaign promise. After all, a Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is pro-Israel US foreign policy has always enjoyed bipartisan sup- considered a break from what is seen as a more balanced, longport. For example, the democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck held US position that the status of Jerusalem should be deterSchumer, endorsed the move. Even liberal comedian, Trump mined through negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. critic and known Islamophobe, Bill Maher announced his supBut it’s important to remember that it was under this decadesport for the Jerusalem decision premising his position with the old US policy that Israel continued to occupy and colonize disclaimer: “I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but...”. East Jerusalem with impunity. It was under this so-called more The US congress had already passed, with strong bipartibalanced US position that Israel worked diligently to change san support, a law in 1995 called the Jerusalem Embassy Act, the city’s demographic character, creating a Jewish majority which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and required the through policies that constitute a clear violation of internaUS to move its embassy there by 1999. Since then, however, tional law such as home evictions, home demolitions, residency every six months, revocations, land the president in ofconfiscation, building fice signs a waiver Jewish-only settleto keep the emments and the list bassy in Tel Aviv, goes on. citing national Trump’s decision security concerns. on Jerusalem allows The Arabhim to show his supIsraeli war of 1948 porters that, unlike and the establishpast presidents, he is ment of the state delivering on an issue of Israel led to the that is popular among division of JerusaRepublicans in genlem. West Jerueral, but especially salem fell under among the party’s Trump’s decision caused world wide protests. Nearly every former U.S. ambassador to Israel disagrees with Israeli control and Trump’s Jerusalem decision. Its implementation remains to be seen. Evangelical Christian


base. Many within this base adhere to Christian Zionism, a belief that the return of Jews to Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel comes in fulfillment of God’s will and biblical prophecy. Zionism is a modern Jewish nationalist movement that emerged in Europe in the late 19th Century calling for the immigration of European Jews to Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish homeland. While Zionism developed in response to European anti-Semitism, it followed the model of other exclusionary nationalist movements that were ascendant in Europe at the time and that played no small part in feeding anti-Semitism. It is important to note that the Zionist movement was opposed

controlled Palestine, was getting increasingly weaker, British politicians saw in the creation of a Zionist state in Palestine under British sponsorship potential for extending the reach of the British empire and securing passage through the Suez Canal. Informed by racism and anti-Semitism, the idea of Jewish immigration to Palestine was meant to divert the immigration of Eastern European Jews, fleeing poverty and deadly pogroms in Russia, away from Western Europe. Arthur Balfour is best known as the British foreign secretary who signed in 1917 the infamous colonial document the Balfour Declaration, pledging Palestine to the Zionist project. The declaration stated: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in

In an infamous sermon, Hagee called

secute European Jews and thus force

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“so few” of them heeded the Z


by most Jews of all stripes—secular and religious, socialist and liberal—because they realized that it meant the expulsion of Jews from Europe, a goal that coincided with the desires of the anti-Semites. Three hundred years prior to that history, proto-Zionist ideas had already existed among certain Protestant sects that emerged after the Protestant Reformation of 16th-century Europe. These sects believed in two parallel ideas, the return of the Jewish people to Palestine as a precursor to the second coming of Jesus Christ and the conversion of Jews to Christianity as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. These views came to America with European settlers and eventually spread with the growth of Evangelical Protestantism in the US. In the current administration, Vice President Mike Pence, a zealous believer in this ideology associated with political conservatives and the Christian Right, has served as the Christian Zionists’ main channel to the White House. But religious beliefs were not the sole motivation behind these ideas. Advocates for the return of Jews to Palestine in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, especially among Western European elites and government circles were motivated by imperial and colonial interests. As the Ottoman Empire, which

Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object...” However, the same Balfour presided, as British prime minister in 1905, over the passage of the Aliens Act, whose main purpose was to impose immigration controls specifically targeting Eastern European Jews. Some might see this as a paradox. Was the man a supporter of the Jews or was he an anti-Semite? Certainly, Balfour and the government he represented supported colonialism and Zionism but that does not necessarily mean they supported the Jewish people. In its contemporary manifestation, Christian Zionism has an especially odious connection in San Antonio through the figure of John Hagee, a millionaire televangelist and pastor of Cornerstone megachurch. Hagee founded the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in 2006, which claims to be the largest pro-Israel group in the US and whose goal is to provide political and financial support for Israel. The organization lobbies US politicians and raises millions of dollars to bankroll illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in addition to disseminating propaganda about the political situation in Palestine and Israel. Hagee and his organization spread anti-Arab and anti-

Muslim rhetoric and incitement and engage in the vilification, dehumanization and erasure of Palestinians. He claims that the US is in a religious war against Islam. In his book, Jerusalem Countdown - A Warning to the World, Hagee writes: “This is a religious war that Islam cannot and must not win,” adding: “The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching... Rejoice and be exceedingly glad the best is yet to be.” Believing that the creation of Israel is a prerequisite for the battle of Armageddon, the pastor opposes any measures that could end the conflict such as an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank. This follower of Jesus advocates for war with Iran just as he was an ardent advocate for the US war in

said enough, Hagee goes on to accuse Jews of not being spiritually alive, preaching “Today Israel is back in the land and... they [the Jews] are physically alive but they’re not spiritually alive.” A video of this sermon that surfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign is credited with prompting then Republican presidential candidate John McCain to renounce Hagee’s political endorsement. According to this ideology, therefore, everything that happens, every political event, every historical development, including the suffering and persecution of Jews, is part of a divine plan to drive the Jewish people to Palestine. As for the Palestinians, the indigenous people who were slaughtered and

d Hitler a hunter sent by God to per-

e them to go to the holy land because

Zionist call to live in Palestine.

ethnically cleansed to make room for an ethno/religious pure settler state, their suffering does not even register on his radar screen. In this scenario, Jews are valued not as human beings but as characters needed for the development of a plot. That, too, is a form of dehumanization. And yet this man is embraced by Israeli leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish American organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a leading pro-Israel lobby. Indigenous Palestinian Christians, members of the oldest Christian community in the world, who, like all Palestinians, are directly harmed by the ideology and actions carried out by Christian Zionists in the name of their faith, have not stood idly by. They have taken several initiatives to challenge the false and dangerous teachings of Christian Zionism. In a statement called the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, Palestinian clergy representing several churches, lament Christian Zionists’ narrow and dangerous worldview that associates Christian teachings with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism and focuses on apocalyptic events in the future rather than living the message of love and justice that Christ taught today. They declare their opposition to the

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Iraq. In a 2003 video of a “prayer” broadcast that aired before the US invasion of Iraq, Hagee pleaded with God for war: “Father, in the name of the lord Jesus, I pray for our president tonight, I pray that you would give him the wisdom of Solomon to lead this nation into war...” Guided by a literalist interpretation of the bible, Hagee, like many Evangelical Christians, believes that the end-time prophecies hastened by the ingathering of the Jews in the holy land include the rapture (true believers of Christ will be removed from earth), the Great Tribulation (a time of wars, famine and disease), the conversion of Jews to Christianity and the battle of Armageddon whereby unconverted Jews die. The end game for this apocalyptic theology is the destruction of Judaism and it comes from a group always eager to express affection and friendship towards the Jewish people. In an infamous sermon, Hagee called Hitler a hunter sent by God to persecute European Jews and thus force them to go to the holy land because “so few” of them heeded the Zionist call to live in Palestine. He said God allowed the holocaust to happen because God’s “top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.” As though he hadn’t


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2•


false teachings of Christian Zionist doctrines that advance then open the Bible.” racial exclusivity and war and endanger the lives of the people Many Palestinians have been killed and injured as Israel living in the region. The statement emphasizes that security is has cracked down on the protests that have come out against not possible without a foundation of justice. Trump’s decision. I’m not sure the US recognition of Jerusalem There is also a strong curas Israel’s capital makes the rent of Palestinian liberation already perilous conditions theology, the doctrine origiof Palestinians living under nating from Latin America Israeli occupation any worse? that offers an interpretation It does however provide Israel of Christianity focused on the with diplomatic support for its liberation of the oppressed. exclusivist claims and de facto Its principal organization in control over both West and Palestine is the Sabeel EcuEast Jerusalem. menical Liberation Theology Analysts have warned of Center. the consequences of the JeruHistorically, the Palestinsalem decision on the peace ian Christian community is process and the two-state made up of the Orthodox solution. But the peace process A Palestinian woman sits next to the remains of her home after it was demolished by Church, the Catholic Church has not been a serious thing Israeli bulldozers, not an uncommon experience for Palestinians. and smaller mainline Protesfor a very long time, if it ever tant churches. But a Palestinian Evangelical community, that was. Israel’s refusal to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian has tried to challenge the Christian Zionist influence within the lands is proof that it never approached peace negotiations with Evangelical movement, has recently emerged. The Bethlehem good faith and is not interested in resolving this conflict. The Bible College, which serves as the intellectual and spiritual two-state solution, for its part, has been preempted by Israel’s center for this community, organizes conferences called “Christ building of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East at the Checkpoint.” They invite evangelical leaders from Jerusalem. Israel’s plan is to maintain its occupation and rule around the world including the United States to meet with the over Palestinians while refusing to give them human, political local Palestinian church and provide guided tours in the ocand civil rights. Trump’s decision adds yet another US brick to cupied territories. Their mission is to “reclaim the prophetic this edifice of injustice. role in bringing peace, justice, and reconciliation in Palestine Bio: Nadine Saliba, born in Lebanon, immigrated with her and Israel.” Alex Awad, pastor of the East Jerusalem Baptist family to San Antonio. She has an MA in Political Theory and Church and a professor at the Bethlehem Bible College told International Relations. She will be a contributing writer to La the Electronic Intifada in 2012: “We want people to come, see Voz de Esperanza on a bi-monthly basis. the wall, see the checkpoints, see the reality on the ground, and

Kiss 1986

Bipolar disorder Rare unknown blood disorder Broken inside his head Unable to leave the hospital bed She comes to him unafraid Nothing said AIDS decimating loving men Her romantic love for women Just the sight of fresh fruit in her hand Injecting life in a dying man Showing no fear She comes near Faith, hope, love, and peace Softer than the brush of a fuzzy peach On the cheek she plants a gentle kiss

To live becomes his wish 2018 Happy to be seen Life is better than great Praying gratitude is not too late Dedicated to Deborah Myers and Nickie Valdez —Tom Noonan, Minot, ND The Esperanza staff, board & buena gente congratulate Nickie and Deb on thirty-two years of partnership. Wishing you the best in the coming years. You continue to lead and inspire our community of activists.

African migrants to North Texas defy Trump’s disparaging depiction Rogelio Sáenz Previously published in the Dallas Morning News

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

President Donald Trump is as English is Nigeria’s ofwrong about migrants from ficial language. Africa, and he is putting at Nearly 90 percent of risk an important source of African, including Nigerian, educated labor for the U.S. migrants arriving in the last and especially for North decade are employed. Texas. U.S. born NigerianTrump recently grumbled origin children excel in the his bias against allowing United States. Sixty percent people from countries that of native-born blacks 25 he famously described with and older who identify a vulgar phrase to migrate their ancestry as Nigerian to the U.S. He specifihave at least a bachelor’s cally made reference to El degree. In fact, 26 percent Salvador, Haiti and African of members of this group countries. Not surprisingly, who are in the labor force he is particularly keen on have a college degree with Ogechi Nwadinobi, left, and Jameson Onyebuchi, take a selfie at, A Taste of Nigeria, migrants from Norway. a major in a highly coveted Saturday October 3, 2015, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Texas. (Rick Many pundits have STEM (science, technology, Moon/Special Contributor) strongly pointed out that engineering and mathematmany whites whose ancestors migrated here centuries ago came ics) field. Only 7 percent of U.S.-born whites in the labor force from what were then backward countries. Still, they helped can make that claim. build a great country here. Nigerian and more generally African migrants defy Trump’s Demographers often remind us that migrants who come to depiction—they are not losers. the U.S., even from Trump’s least favorite countries, are not a Why should any of this matter in Texas? random lot. Instead, they are highly selective along attributes Texas leads the nation in the number of black immigrants such as motivation, age and socioeconomic status. originating from Africa with 144,000 and Nigeria with 54,000. African migrants, particularly those originating from NigeAmong the nation’s metropolitan areas, the Dallas-Fort Worthria, have always possessed favorable human capital characterisArlington Metropolitan Area has the fifth largest African tics, most notably education. (64,000) and Nigerian (18,000) migrant populations. While Trump implies that hordes of Africans are arriving on Once again, Trump is clearly wrong on his perception of miU.S. shores, nothing is further from the truth. According to the grants. Migrants from Nigeria and from throughout Africa make 2016 American Community Survey’s five-year estimates, apimportant contributions to our country. These people come here proximately 344,000 Africans—black ones, to be more precise with dreams, hunger and a passion for improving their own —25 years of age and older migrated to the U.S. between 2005 lives and that of their children and families, and in the process and 2015, compared to nearly 450,000 Europeans. they keep the American conception alive. Among these African migrants, Nigerians represent the largIronically, while Trump wants to shut the door for Africans est group, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all migrants from to enter our nation, he has no problem with his cronies going this continent during the last decade. to do business there. Four months ago in September, he boastApproximately one-third of black Africans 25 and older ed to a group of African leaders that so many of his friends go migrating between 2005 and 2015 as well as U.S.-born whites to Africa to get rich. For Trump, migration is a one-way street: have at least a bachelor’s degree. But 54 percent of Nigerian we can go to African countries to pillage resources and exploit migrants have at least that level of education. their labor, but their people cannot come here to better their Slightly more than one-fifth of black African migrants arriv- lives and enrich our nation. ing in the last decade are now U.S. naturalized citizens comBio: Rogelio Sáenz is dean of the College of Public Policy at pared to only 12 percent of European migrants. the University of Texas at San Antonio. He wrote this column More than four-fifths of African migrants speak English for The Dallas Morning News. Email: well or very well as do 95 percent of Nigerian migrants,


Women, Mujeres, Ixoq: Revolutionary Visions

Claudia D. Hernández

Published with permission of Conocimientos Press, LLC.*

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

La lucha revolucionaria una puerta abierta a la inteligencia ... Revolutionary struggle ... is an open door to intelligence. —Frida Kahlo


This book illustrates the notion that pain inspires the greatest art, the best poems, and the most creative paintings and photographs. In conception of the book, Odilia Galván Rodríguez facilitated an understanding of the ways in which cultural expressions emerge as songs or testaments of suffering from deep within, as she urged me to write a book, and read initial submissions. In the process, I learned that sometimes our art is inspired by pain that could finds us on the floor, crying, when we believe we have reached rock bottom. I could see that as we hit the ground, the hurt travels like a roaring river far into our core, converting it into a fire—a torch that once lit cannot be easily extinguished. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. I aim to display our view of the world in English, Spanish, and Poqomchi’. To illustrate our significance and our life-giving force, as we make visible infinitesimal possibilities that emerge when we gather as women. To display our brilliance when we sing, dance, or simply become who we are, or when we speak what we want to voice, feel what we want to feel. Our authentic selves. When women experience life challenges from discrimination, inequality, misogyny, abuse, abandonment, postpartum depression, or other life difficulties, we forge sisterhood. Inside the trauma of our lives we seek each other out for comfort inspiring and encouraging one another along the way. At my lowest point, when I was scraping my knees off the floor, women came to my side—my mother, my sisters, mis compañeras—and lifted my soul. It was then that I committed to document women’s lives. At the age of thirty-four I found myself in nepantla once again, navigating the roughest phase of my life. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Exhausted and feeling sorry for myself, and drenched in tears, I took a detour that changed my life for the better. I launched Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color, the project upon which this book is organized. Revolutionary women artists whose writing, paintings, and careers carry a theme of social justice rooted in their work quickly responded to my call. Surely, these women would understand what the project meant to me. Those I reached

loved the idea, and after participating, recommended other women. The first month I interviewed and photographed twenty women, and have amassed many photo-memories. All of us have a story of resilience to tell and every woman is a revolutionary in her own right. Our lives become whole because of women who change us for the better. We have chosen certain paths to create change and this project is my own revolution—my desire to make visible the lives that inspire us, as I shed light unto our accomplishments, to encourage more women to also create their own path. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. With their words, their art, and their photographs, my aim is to display for the world Women, Mujeres, Ixoq—women whose visions may transform communities and inspire young women to lead us into the future. Regardless of gender and positionality, we want to educate and inspire young minds to become the role models we need. Also, as revolutionary women, we must necessarily nurture young boys to become respectful men who love and treat women as equal human beings. The imperative is to teach our children about these revolutionary women. Rather than memorialize them when they are no longer here with us, we must necessarily place them at the center to display their stories and extol our diversity before they are lost to the ages. In that spirit, this book is a call to women and men to join a peaceful revolution, inspiring change with words, art, and our inner fire to make the world a better place for all. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. Women. Mujeres. Ixoq. In revolutionary spirit, Claudia Bio: Claudia D. Hernández, a native of Guatemala, is a mother, poet, photographer, translator and bilingual educator living in Los Angeles. She writes short stories, children’s stories and poetry in Spanish, English, and Poqomchiʼ, a language of her Mayan heritage. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing for Young People and has published in online literary journals and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Mexico. She is founder of Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color: * Conocimientos Press of San Antonio, Texas is published by Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete. It publishes accounts that voice the heart

of a people, as they document narratives of struggle and resistance. Contact:

Not an Angry Woman

i have been asked by all of creation all the trippers and preachers and wedding ring keepers why i erupt so why i curse and belch so why such edges and thorns

Doug Steadman 1926-2018

Community to recognize the significance of the Hays St. Bridge, long before it was closed to automobile traffic in 1982. He was President of W. E. Simpson Associates, one of the oldest and most Mr. Steadman inspired and led the Hays St. distinguished engineering firms in Restoration Group from its earliest days. No Texas. It is not an exaggeration to say one worked longer, harder or more effecthat he was considered the dean and senior tively on behalf of the Bridge. He spent more statesman of the local professional engineerso unbecoming of any real than half his professional life in a relentless ing community. sense of womanhood effort to encourage the larger San Antonio the silent rose sitting His modesty and understatement on a bed of innocence and virginity concealed a fierce devotion to his faith, to Jurene and his family and to Let me like Moses correcting injustice in his own way clarify the confused: where he found it. We can honor Mr. Steadman by We have never been virgins, working twice as hard to determine our innocence that the restored Bridge is not again crimson stained from birth. diminished by the poor decisions of some our City’s leaders. We are not passive, —Gary W. Houston do not mistaken strangulation for consent. We are not sweetness, but rather the blood of a much bitten tongue.

the bubbling over whether of tears or ire is a force like the earth’s core bringing forth life


9th Paseo Por El Westside


Traditional music, games, food and fun for the whole family. Preserving Westside culture while remembering our past. Making Tortillitas

a wave crashing wetly into rock is not asked why a lightening bolt hurled hotly from the sky is not asked why but i am always asked why

Chiles Workshop

Plants for Healing

Música, food, teatro, games, films, plantitas, and more!

Música tradicional

Not an Angry Women by Yon Hui Bell Bio: Yon Hui Bell is an educator, writer, and mother of three.

5 X 22 letterpressed posters of the poem by local artist Leo Lee are available for $10. Proceeds benefit Mujeres Marcharan and the International Women’s Day March. Contact:

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

The anger merely the wish that the blood sometimes be yours.

Editor’s note: The Esperanza expresses condolenses upon hearing of Doug Steadman’s passing on February 12th at the age of 91. Services will take place in early March. Call 210.228.0201.


Amnesty International #127 Call Arthur @ 210.213.5919 for info. Bexar Co. Green Party: Call 210. 471.1791 |

PFLAG, meets 1st Thurs. @ 7pm, University Presbyterian Church 300 Bushnell Ave. | 210.848.7407.

Celebration Circle meets Sun., 11am @ Say Sí, 1518 S. Alamo. Meditation: Weds @7:30pm, Friends Meeting House, 7052 Vandiver. 210.533.6767.

Parents of Murdered Children, meets 2nd Mondays @ Balcones Heights Com. Ctr, 107 Glenarm |

DIGNITY SA Mass, 5:30pm, Sun. @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1018 E. Grayson St. | 210.340.2230

Rape Crisis Center, 4606 Centerview Suite 200, Hotline: 210.349.7273 | 210.521.7273 Email:sschwab@

* community meetings * LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2•


oasanantonio.worg | 210.492.5400.

Adult Wellness Support Group of PRIDE Center meets 4th Mon., The Religious Society of Friends 7-9pm @ Lions Field, 2809 Broadway. meets Sunday @10am @ The Friends Call 210.213.5919. Meeting House, 7052 N. Vandiver. | 210.945.8456. Energía Mía: Call 512.838-3351 for information. S.A. Gender Association meets 1st & 3rd Thursday, 6-9pm @ 611 E. Myrtle, Fuerza Unida, 710 New Laredo Hwy. Metropolitan Community Church. | 210.927.2294 SA AIDS Fdn 818 E. Grayson St. Habitat for Humanity meets 1st offers free Syphilis & HIV testing | Tues. for volunteers, 6pm, HFHSA 210.225.4715 | Office @ 311 Probandt. SA Women Will March: www. LGBTQ LULAC Council #22198 | (830) 488meets 3rd Thursdays @ 6:45pm 7493 @ Luby’s on Main. E-mail: info@ SGI-USA LGBT Buddhists meet 2nd Sat. at 10am @ 7142 San Pedro Ave., rd NOW SA meets 3 Wed See FB | Ste 117 | 210.653.7755. for info | 210. 802. 9068 | Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Tues. 7pm & Sun. 9:30am 257 E. Pax Christi, SA meets monthly on Hildebrand Ave. | 210.222.9303. Saturdays. Call 210.460.8448 S.N.A.P. (Survivors Network of Proyecto Hospitalidad Liturgy meets those Abused by Priests). Contact Thurs. 7pm, 325 Courtland. Barbara at 210.725.8329. Metropolitan Community Church Voice for Animals: 210.737.3138 or services & Sunday school 10:30am, 611 East Myrtle. Call 210.472.3597 SA’s LGBTQA Youth meets Tues., Overeaters Anonymous meets 6:30pm at Univ. Presby. Church, 300 MWF in Sp & daily in Eng. www. Bushnell Ave. |

Donate to the Esperanza!

Big Give San Antonio!

Thursday, March 22, 2018 To donate now, visit or visit on March 22! Check live updates on Facebook! To donate in person, we will have a Big Give photo booth & computers set up at 922 San Pedro. Info on our programs and community spaces will be onsite. We will also have a piñata on standby to break when we reach our goal of 16K! Donate online! #BigGive2018

Start your 2018 tax-deductible donations to Esperanza today! I would like to donate $________ each month by automatic bank withdrawal. Contact me to sign up.

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Notas Y Más March 2018

Trinity University’s Alvarez Seminar 2018 organized by the MAS (Mexico, the Americas, and Spain) program will feature Latina Poetry Across the Americas with Amalia Ortiz, Tejana poet and playwright on Thursday, March 1st, presenting an excerpt from The Canción Cannibal Cabaret at Northrup Hall, Room 040, 6-8pm. This punk rock musical, set in a not-so-distant dystopian future, experiments with poetry at the intersection of performance inspired by current issues of social injustice. On April 19th, MAS features Analicia Sotelo at the Holt Center at 6pm. Refreshments will be served at each event at 5:30pm. Check the MAS Alvarez Seminar on Facebook. The 29th Annual Earthwise Living Day will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 9:30am to 1:30pm, rain or shine! This year’s theme is “Hints for a Healthy Home & Habitat” featuring exhibits and vendors for everyday

Brief news items on upcoming community events. Send items for Notas y Más to: or mail to: 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78212. The deadline is the 8th of each month.

healthy and eco-friendly living. There will be children’s recycled art activities and musical presentations. It takes place at the Leon Valley Community and Conference Centers located at 6427 Evers Road. Recycling for wine bottle corks and expired medications will be available. Plus, hourly door prizes! Call: 210.681.1232.

The 22nd March for Justice in San Antonio honoring the life of Cesar E. Chávez on March 24th starts at 10am from S. Brazos & Guadalupe St. proceeding to Hemisfair. Contact “Indio” Pruneda at 210.724.8908 or see: www.CECLEF.ORG

The Texas A&M University @ San Antonio College of Arts & Gemini Ink, San Antonio’s Literary Sciences Faculty Talk Series Arts Center will feature Margaret features their Writer-in-ResiAtwood for their Autograph Series on dence, Laurie Anne Guerrero, former Thursday, March 8th with a Luncheon ($100) at the Witte Museum at 11:30am Poet Laureate of San Antonio (2) and the and a Free Public Reading in partnership State of Texas, in a talk, Descent: Writing as Women’s Work on Thursday, March with Trinity University Press at Trin29th, 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the Vista Room ity’s Laurie Auditorium at 7pm. See at the Central Academic Building, Main Campus. The event is in honor of WomOn March 23rd, Gemini Ink at Viva en’s History Month. Free and open to all. Tacoland, 103 W. Grayson St., will feature poets: Jesse Cardona, FerThe SoL Center has posted classes for nando Esteban Flores, Pablo Miguel 2018 Winter/Spring that take place at the Martínez and Mobi Warren from University Presbyterian Church. Check: 6:30-8:30pm. An open mic follows. See

Spring Series JUAN GABRIEL Saturday Mar 17, 8 pm One of the most prolific composers and singers of Mexico who broke barriers worldwide.

MARIA FELIX Sunday Apr 15, 4 pm

• • • Musicians accompanying Azul Aaron Prado George Prado Nina Rodríguez • • •

‘‘. . . a singular beauty (with) a lofty bearing that stood in complete contrast to the traditionally submissive Mexican actress.’’- Paco Ignacio Taibó

LEYENDAS ANTIGUAS Saturday May 19, 8 pm Music from Yucatán, MX with pre-hispanic legends.

Admission: $7 más o menos

Doors open a 1/2 hr. before each show. Tickets sold at the door 1 hr. before Phone: 210.228.0201 |

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

Noche Azul de Esperanza


LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • March 2018 Vol. 31 Issue 2

2018 International Women’s Day March

A plática with

Las Tesoros de San Antonio

See Pg. 15 for details

With Antonia I. Castañeda as moderator


Sunday, March 11, 3pm-5pm, Esperanza, 922 San Pedro

The plática will include excerpts from the film documentary, Las Tesoros de San Antonio, A Westside Story and a conversation with a deeper exploration of the lives of these women — from the sexist music industry of the 40s-60s to their struggles against racism and poverty.

See Pg. 14 for details

3.22.2018 Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID San Antonio, TX Permit #332

Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

922 San Pedro San Antonio TX 78212 210.228.0201 •

Haven’t opened La Voz in a while? Prefer to read it online? Wrong address? TO CANCEL A SUBSCRIPTION EMAIL CALL: 210.228.0201

Blanca “Blanquita Rosa” Rodríguez

Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte”

Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri

• A We e ke n d o f F i l m i n C e l e b r at i o n o f Wo m e n ’s H i s t o r y M o n t h •

A STRIKE AND AN UPRISING ! (in Texas) by Anne Lewis

Esperanza Hosts KLRN’s Indie Lens Pop-Up film screening of

With unprecedented

6 pm @ Esperanza

Friday, March 23 A plática follows with filmmaker, Anne Lewis, Laura Varela and community activists.

access, Peter Bratt’s film tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important yet leastknown activists in U.S. history.

An experimental documentary of the San Antonio pecan shellers’ strike of 1938 and the 1987 Jobs with Justice March led by Nacogdoches cafeteria workers, groundskeepers and housekeepers.

Saturday, March 24, 6 PM

A plática facilitated by Antonio I. Castañeda with guests follows learn more about the series at

Donations accepted • 922 San Pedro, SA T X, 78201 • Call 210.228.0201

La Voz - March 2018  

La Lucha Sigue: Why Climate Justice Matters to San Antonio by Greg Harman • Jerusalem, Trump and the San Antonio Connection by Nadine Saliba...

La Voz - March 2018  

La Lucha Sigue: Why Climate Justice Matters to San Antonio by Greg Harman • Jerusalem, Trump and the San Antonio Connection by Nadine Saliba...