The Future Issue

Page 1

Special Issue: Celebrating Our 40th Anniversary!

The Future Issue

Livin' CicLAvĂ­a Loca: Bike event helps LA get cyclist-friendly

Spring 2011 | Vol. 41 Issue 3

Se Habla Espanglish: The rise of the linguistic mix-and-match

Noticieros on Notice: Meaningful Spanishlanguage news declines

We Asked a Mexican: Gustavo Arellano and his profe gig at UCLA

contents notibreve


5 | In Case You Missed It: Castro officially steps down, Mother Earth gets political rights and World Cup displaces Brazilian residents

4 | Voices from Editors Past... and Future Gentistas reflect on the newsmagazine 12 | The Origins of La Gente The newsmagazine celebrates its 40th year! 22 | The Future Ain't What it Used to be Our picks for the future

tarado del mes 6 | March: The Donald 6 | April: Orange County Politicians 7 | May: The United States of America

a look inside...

¡topen esto!


11 | The R-Word Cultural sensitivity and dialogue are absent from UC 8 | Writing Books and Mowing campuses Lawns OC Weekly columnist Gustavo 16 | From Spanish to Spanglish Arellano shares thoughts on journalism, Chicano struggles and his upcoming book, The language of the future 17 | When Will the Sleeping “Taco USA” Giant Awaken? Latino strength in 9 | Interning for a Future UCLA numbers should be translated into politiCommunity School students gain career cal muscle experience on campus 21 | UCLA Cuts Program at Expense of Student Learning Covel comunidad Peer Learning Labs to close as of June 10 | Media Prostitution How 2011 ratings-driven networks are ruining Spanish-language TV 14 | CicLAvía A car-free streets event expresiones in Los Angeles sends a message about who 18 | Bobby, Never Really Gone and what the streets are for Remembering Bobby Salcedo 18 | From Our Readers Poetry sigan luchando submissions 19 | From Within Contributions from our incarcerated readers

arte y cultura ABOUT THE COVER

20 | Con Todo, Menos Carne Defining vegetarianism with a Latino vocabulary

10 |


Bikers at CicLAvía’s April 10 event enjoy a ride down New Hampshire Avenue in a car-free downtown Los Angeles.



Peter Lammé, a supervisor at the Covel Peer Learning Labs, facilitates a math/science session.


nuestra joteria 20 | You May Be Homosexual, But Are You Homotextual? Digital communication provides another avenue out of the closet

By Long Beach artist Jose Loza. Inspired by depression era artwork, he created this issue’s cover using an art deco/futuristic design with a geometric styled cityscape of Los Angeles and a current UCLA student as a model. To view more of Loza’s work or to contact him, visit 2 LA GENTE Spring 2011

La Gente Newsmagazine is for the UCLA student interested in Latino issues. We want to represent the diversity of our culture and cultivate pride in our community. We’re a forum for conversation hoping to inspire readers to get involved and make their voices heard.

La Gente Lingo

Start a conversation!


arte y cultura need we say more? comunidad local insights expresiones all things creative notibreve information, rápido nuestra joteria LGBTQ sigan luchando for those inside tarado del mes the not-so-hot tamale ¡topen esto! all things opinionated universidad exclusively osito

La Gente accepts outside submissions of all sorts for review and possible publication. Email with “Submission” in the subject line.

In our February Tarado from Winter 2011 (Vol. 41, Issue 2), we criticized city attorney Carmen Trutanich's persecution of individuals protesting Arizona's anti-immigrat legislation. But we referred to this legislation as AB 1070, instead of it's actual title: SB 1070.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the La Gente editorial board. All others columns, cartoons, and letters represent the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial board. The UCLA communications board has a media grievance procedure for resolving grievances against any of its media. For a copy of the complete procedure contact student media at 310.825.2787. Copyright 2011 ASUCLA Communications Board

la Gente VOL. 41 ISSUE 3 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Samantha Lim MANAGING EDITOR Helga Salinas MANAGING ASSISTANT Lucia Prieto COPY EDITORS Paulina Aguilar Lucia Prieto STAFF WRITERS Helen Alonzo Maribel Camargo Emilio Hernandez Lucia Prieto Marcos Osorio Haidee Pacheco Carina Padilla Maria Esmeralda Renteria Jonathan Sanabria Armando Solis Jessica Torres DESIGN Helen Alonzo Samantha Lim Haidee Pacheco Lucia Prieto GRAPHICS & ILLUSTRATIONS Helen Alonzo Samantha Lim Maria Esmeralda Renteria CONTRIBUTORS Adriana Almanza Ariana Castellanos Elida Ledesma Priscilla González-Sainz Tom Quach STUDENT MEDIA DIRECTOR Arvli Ward

From the Editor 2011 marks La Gente’s 40th anniversary, and to celebrate this milestone with our readers, we’ve asked past Gentistas to reflect on their experiences. We also explored some of our most memorable and influential moments captured in our newly-digitized archives. Though we began representing the Chicano population during the height of their movement, La Gente has expanded its mission over the years to increasingly represent the diverse Latino community. Our culture, as well as our community, is growing and transforming. Mexican author Jose Vasconcelos envisioned a world where humanity transcends race, territory and ideology with a new race that blends all others: “la raza cosmica.” As a Salvi-Chinese Latina, I find myself meeting more people who, like me, embody the mixing of races and cultures usually thought of as far removed from each other—a confirmation of this evolving reality. In this issue, we look to the future. We’ve covered developments in high school and college education, commentary on the future of race relations, expansion of Latinos in the media, and the evolution of our language, to name just a few. We’ve advanced far from our beginnings, but a considerable distance still awaits us. Even with the increasing presence of Latinos in higher education, we’re still often behind our peer graduation rates; the biggest factor affecting us is whether or not our institutions offer systematic support. Undocumented students on our campus have found peer support, but they still wait for institutional aid and immigration reform. Race and politics remain inseparable. To realize the goal of a unified cosmic race we must actively continue advancements towards equality and maintain our optimism. Let us celebrate our accomplishments by using history to inspire and appreciate what past generations of Latinos have achieved for us. Like the past, we must remember that our actions today, whether monumental or seemingly innocuous, will affect the future. Yours,

How do you see the future shaping up for Latinos in 40 more years? Write us!

Samantha Lim

STUDENT MEDIA ADVISER Amy Emmert Community profiles, arts, culture and politics for the Latino college student CONTACT INFO: 118 Kerckhoff Hall 308 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024 310.825.9836 Facebook: La Gente Newsmagazine This magazine was made possible with the support of Campus Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress, online at

Campus Progress works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Learn more at

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 3

special 4oth anniversary feature

Voices of Editors from the Past...

Samuel Paz 1st Editor-in-Chief 1971 “With the passage of 40 years, I am proud of those who have shared in the vision and passed on the La Gente baton to following generations...But true equality is generations away. I am not convinced that La Gente's mission should change radically to keep up with the times... Those who guide La Gente into the future should consider the ACLU’s motto, 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.'”

“My involvement with La Gente was an important way to stay connected to real issues in our community…[As] the first female Editor-in- Chief I was proud to hold the postion, knowing it would inspire young women to do the same. So many individuals came before me who were an inspiration to me with their committment to our community. La Gente has had many individuals who are continuing the work they did as staff members. I hope it inspires future generations to keep reporting important issues, not only for students, but also for the community.”

Brenda Yancor Writer 2005-2006 Co-Editor-in-Chief 2006-2008

Maria Renteria Designer 2007-2008 Co-Editor-in-Chief 2008-09 Web Editor 2009-2010 Designer/Writer 2010-11

4 LA GENTE Spring 2011

Barbara Carrasco Artist 1975-76 City Editor 1976-77 Editor-in-Chief 1977-78

“[La Gente] served as a forum to discuss issues affecting the Chicano and Latino community in the US. [Our] main focus was to bring it in to conformance with responsible journalism and keep opinions in the Opinion Section. We made a major effort to embrace the growing nonChicano Latino students and community... As long as we still have issues that affect our community and are neglected by the mainstream media, we need to continue being a voice for them.”

Jesse Ixtlilxochitl Coronado Associate Editor 1978-79 Editor-in-Chief 1979-81

“As a former writer and Co-Editor-in-Chief for La Gente, I feel privileged to have discovered my passion for journalism [here]. I hope that with effort, Gentistas will not only be inspired to write insightful and original stories, but will be constantly reminded of the people, communities, and struggles that make their work so necessary. La Gente provided a home to me when I didn't always feel welcome as a brown woman from the hood. It also gave me the strength of those who came before me and the love of those who worked alongside me. I hope La Gente nurtures this love in empowering our communities, breaking down boundaries, and unleashing the passion that will make us unstoppable instruments for change and progress.”

“Our goal during my co-editorship was to use print and, for the first time, web to inform people in our communites, high schools, and university that mainstream media neglects us. Many times, mainstream media coverage overlooks issues that impact Hispanic Angelenos. La Gente chooses to cover both minor and major issues here in the US and in Latin America. For the future, La Gente's mission statement should remain true to the Latino population and really utilize the internet to get the name out there. We have to engage readers to participate in the informational process. La Gente has encourged me to advocate for underrepresented people in my future field.”

...and Future

Helga Salinas

Writer 2008-09 Managing Assistant 2009-10 Managing Editor 2010-11 Future Editor-in-Chief 2011-12

“La Gente has the responsibility to reflect the nuances of the Latino community at UCLA. UCLA is fortunate to boast a strong university publication where Latinos can and should tell their stories and share their opinions. As the Latino population in the US increases, the newsmagazine will need to explore how we are covered in media, how our history is represented, and how our cultural presence has integrated itself in the society at large. I hope La Gente will become a forum for discussion.”

notibreve 1 Peruvian Women, Victims of Forced Sterilization

4 Bolivia Set to Pass the Law of Mother Earth




During the late 1990s about 300,000 Peruvian women underwent sterilization procedures without their fully-informed consent announced Servindi Intercultural Communications on Apr. 21. The Peruvian Ministry of Public Health and President Alberto Fujimori backed these practices as part of a government program to promote voluntary sterilization to reduce the national birthrate. They are currently under investigation by the Interamerican Human Rights court. Many of the areas that were targeted with this voluntary program were poor rural areas. Investigations have found that under this sterilization program, many women and men were sterilized involuntarily. The victims of this program have taken their claims to Peruvian courts and several human rights organizations have joined them in their campaign. These cases remain unresolved and 5 unrecognized by the Peruvian government. The upcoming June 5 Peruvian presidential election adds 2 uncertainty about the fate of these investigations. Keiko Fujimori, President Fujimori’s daughter, is in the running. Victims feel that if she wins, their demands for justice will remain unheard.

In Bolivia, Mother Nature will soon have the same rights as humans thanks to the approval of La Ley de los Derechos de la Madre Tierra (The Law of Mother Earth), reported the Guardian on April 10. Nature's importance is frimly rooted in indigenous belief systems and this environmental law draws political support from the country's first indigenous President, Evo Morales. To implement the law, Bolivia will establish the Ministry of Mother Earth whose responsibility will be to protect and promote the rights of Mother Earth. Activists hope that this will create a ripple effect in other South American countries.

HELEN ALONZO After being in power for nearly 50 years, Fidel Castro, 84, officially stepped down from his position as the first secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party on Apr. 19. according to the Los Angeles Times. His brother Raúl Castro, 79, has now assumed leadership of the party. Raúl has kept a majority of old faces in leadership positions, but three new members have been appointed to the leadership council. Congress recently approved 300 economic proposals that could aid Cuba’s struggling economy. Reforms include allowing more smallbusiness licenses, cutting the state’s inflated payroll and allowing the buying 3 and selling of private property. These reforms present significant changes for Cuba but Raúl said that these reforms will occur over time.


EMILIO HERNANDEZ On May 15, 27 farmers were slain on a remote coconut farm by a small army in the Northern province of Péten, Guatemala, the Los Angeles Times reported. Witnesses stated that 200 gunmen arrived on buses and attacked workers decapitating 23 men and two women, according to Jaime Leonel Otzin, director of Guatemala’s National Police. The police have not yet determined a motive for the attack, but the presence of Mexican drug-trafficking groups has made the area increasingly dangerous.


3 World Cup Plans Displace Brazilians




A c ro s SAM s the A A

mer ic

as: Rev ivin gA


HELGA SALINAS The slum neighborhood of José Santos de Oliveira faces demolition to accomodate new bus routes as a part of Brazil’s makeover for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. According to Oliveira, residents were not invited to city planning meetings to speak out against the proposed changes, Reuters reported on May 10. However, State Secretary of Housing Jorge Bittar claims that the number of people facing upheaval is small in comparison to the number of low-income citizens who will benefit from this investment in public transportation. These changes bring mixed feelings for Brazilians. “We are all for progress and the culture of sports, but in this case they came and destroyed our lives,” slum resident Sueli Afonso da Costa said to MSNBC.

On Apr. 7, the Global Crop Diversity Trust announced that 19 Latin American genebanks are working to protect diversity among ancient crops native to Mayan and Aztec regions. Crop experts are working to replenish and conserve thousands of strains of staple crops such as corn, tomatoes, cassava and beans. Maintaning varied genetic material is a top priority worldwide, as increasing destruction of local environments and climate change threatens biodiversity. A total of 88 countries around the world have already begun to work with the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Spring 2011 LA GENTE 5

Food Staples

2 Twenty-Seven Killed in Guatemalan Massacre

5 As Fidel Exits, Changes May Come in

April: Orange County Politicians


oncerns over President Barak Obama’s citizenship have been stirring since 2008, but the issue recently gained publicity through the Birther movement. Its proponents claim Obama is ineligible for office because of alleged ambiguity over his birthplace. According to them, the US is in constitutional crisis because there is no legal president. These arguments dominated American political discourse during March and April, due in large part to Donald Trump’s media parade. On“The Today Show,” he describes Obama as “one of the greatest scams in the history of politics.” Trump tried selflessly to resolve this great American mystery by sending his own private investigators to Hawaii to reveal the secret of Obama’s birthplace. “They cannot believe what they’re finding down there,” he said. Umm yeah, maybe they couldn’t believe what they were finding because they didn’t find anything to believe in. Obama released his birth certificate on Apr. 27. It’s currently posted on the White House blog. Now, The Donald wouldn’t be the alleged billionaire that he is if he really was all about justice and public service. Trump was vying for a position in the 2012 presidential campaign. What are his qualifications for presidency you ask? “I happen to be smart, I happen to have a lot of common sense,” he claimed. Although he's announced he won’t be running, he was momentarily the second favorite GOP candidate, according to a poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal. If Trump actually made it onto the presidential ballot, that would be “the greatest scam in the history of politics.” After the president released his birth certificate, Trump said that he was grateful the issue had been addressed so that he could move onto more important issues—which is why he spent the past months helping create an unfounded xenophobic frenzy about our president’s citizenship. Maybe we should just let it go, Trump. We’ll just comb over these past few months and let you get back to selecting the cast for the next “Celebrity Apprentice.” On second thought…nope. You’re a Tarado.

6 LA GENTE Spring 2011

ILLUSTRATIONS: Ricardo Mata/Samantha Lim, Helen Alonzo/Adriana Almanza

March: The Donald a.k.a. “The Birther”

tarado del mes


hat do you know, another politician trying to talk their way out of something they said. Not so fast Villa Park assemblywoman Deborah Pauly! Your mistake was recorded for everyone to watch repeatedly. I suggest you and Alexandra Wallace form a support group immediately. On Feb. 13, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a Muslim organization that provides services for underserved populations, organized a fundraiser for a battered women’s shelter. At a rally protesting this event, Pauly made insensitive anti-Muslim comments. She tried using the good ol’ “taken out of context” excuse, but context doesn’t matter much when you say “What’s going on over there right now… is pure, unadulterated evil…I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” Maybe we did take it out of context, I guess she meant to say“Everyone beware of good people trying to help battered women!” Horrifying, right? Pauly is an educated official elected to represent the interests of the public. But what's really scary is that during the rest of the video, people echo her statements yelling “Mohammed was a pervert!” and “Go back home!” That sounds oddly familiar, where have we heard it? Oh yeah, that’s right! It’s the anti-anyone-who-is-an-immigrant anthem! We have all heard people say these things to Latinos and other immigrant groups, but even President Barack Obama has been the target of these racist anti-immigrant attacks. In mid-April, news broke that Marilyn Davenport, a Republican Central Committee member, circulated a picture of Obama as a chimp. In her defense, Davenport said it was not intended to be racist, she just found the photo amusing due to speculation over Obama’s birth certificate. Unfortunately for Davenport, even her own party had trouble believing that because on May 4, the Orange County Republican Party gave her an official reprimand. Although we can't say how or even if these repercussions will change Pauly's or Davenport’s ideology, hopefully these politicians will learn to exercise their First Ammendment right a little more intelligently. Maybe it’s something in the water, but beautiful Orange County has borne fruit to two big Taradas.

tarado del mes

The United States of America


Armando Solis


appy Cinco de Mayo! Wait – what are we celebrating? Mexico’s Independence Day? No…that can’t be right. Cinco de Mayo has become one of those holidays that many acknowledge but do not quite understand. The biggest misconception, of course, is that it is Mexico’s Independence Day. Some take this day as an opportunity to learn about and appreciate Mexican culture. As a Chicano I appreciate the gesture, but I take offense when "appreciation" reduces Mexican culture to food and fiesta (i.e., fajitas, margaritas and Coronas). As students, we should take the initiative to educate ourselves about why May 5 – and any other cultural holiday – is even recognized. Cinco de Mayo should be observed as a day in 1862 when an army of indigenous soldiers under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza fought and protected their country from French imperialsm during la Batalla de Puebla. It has nothing to with Mexican Independence Day, which, by the way, is Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo is more widely recognized here in the US than in Mexico. For most Mexicans, Cinco de Mayo is just the same as cuatro de Mayo, just another day in May. So then why are we celebrating it? While I’m just as guilty as many of you – I ate corned beef and cabbage and drank green beer for St. Patrick’s Day – I’m designating all of us as the Tarados de mayo for using frivolous holidays as a reason to get drunk.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Where: USA What: cerveza, tacos, cerveza, margaritas, cerveza, chips&salsa Please bring: cerveza Don’t forget to wear your favorite sombrero!

From the Archive: Our May 1998 issue featured a comic strip poking fun at the misconception of Cinco de Mayo as a major Mexican holiday. Doesn't seem like too much has changed since.

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 7


Writing Books and Mowing Lawns OC Weekly columnist Gustavo Arellano shares thoughts on journalism, Chicano struggles and his upcoming book, “Taco USA” Jessica Torres


UCLA Community Scholar Gustavo Arellano edits drafts of his student stories for his course on historical storytelling.


ustavo Arellano was born in 1979 in Anaheim, California to a tomato canner and an illegal immigrant. Today he is a UCLA graduate, writes a column for the OC Weekly, is a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on talk shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “Nightline.” “I also mow lawns for $15 - $10 if I get a water break,” said Arellano. It is this kind of tongue-in-cheek humor readers look forward to reading in Arellano’s ¡Ask a Mexican! column featured in the OC Weekly. What makes this column successful is its willingness to talk about topics that even the most open conversationalists tend to hold back from.

¡Ask a Mexican! answers any and all questions about Latinos, no matter how silly or analytical. But to those who ask prank questions, Arellano said, “I’m going to go after you.”

“I also mow lawns for $15 - $10 if I get a water break.” Beyond his column, Arellano’s greater objective is inspiring others to seek the truth because often times people don’t want the truth to exist. So when the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicano and Chicana studies offered the former UCLA graduate student an opportunity

to lecture a course this spring, he jumped at the opportunity. Arellano teaches a historical storytelling course at UCLA, where he shows students how to conduct research and write magazine-style stories about Chicano history in Southern California. The class is open for anyone interested in uncovering the truth. “They don’t need to have a background in journalism, they just need to have a passion for finding great stories,” said Arellano. Stephanie Fletes, a second-year Chicano studies student at UCLA, is taking Arellano’s course this spring quarter. What she likes most about the class are the readings Arellano assigns. “The readings are stories

that haven’t been told to the public. They are histories about the Chicano culture,” Fletes said. She feels it is encouraging as well as important to have Arellano as a professor because he portrays how a Chicano or Chicana can make his or her dreams come true. Coming from a working class background, Arellano feels he can relate to his Chicano students because, for the most part, their story is the same as his. As the first in his family to go to college, he said, “Things aren’t explained to us, yet we do it on our own.” Arellano appreciates the hardships that Chicano students must struggle with on a daily basis. As an advocate of the DREAM Act, Arellano wants DREAMers in particular to know that they have his support. He sees undocumented residents as a major issue in the Latino community. “When are these people going to be citizens, when? We still don’t have enough Latino students going to college and getting degrees,” said Arellano. Uncovering the truth does not limited Arellano to his column. He has published two books and is currently working on his third, “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.” The book, which will be available around Cinco de Mayo of next year, explores the history of Mexican food in the United States, from Taco Bell to lunch trucks. Arellano’s accomplishments, though many, are not limited to his books or articles. His real success is measured by continually inspiring others to seek the truth and pursue their dreams. He said, “I know what we have accomplished and I know we’re just going to continue on that same path.”

Beginning in 1969 as a research center, the department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA was officially established in 2005. It will be the second UC campus to offer a Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies, with a joint M.A./Ph.D. program beginning Fall 2012. 8 LA GENTE Spring 2011


Interning for a Future UCLA Community School students gain career experience on campus Maribel Camargo A police officer has a 17-year-old student under arrest, legs apart and hands behind his back. The officer slowly reaches to his belt for his handcuffs and locks them onto his wrists. Do not be alarmed. Daniel Oh, an 11th-grade student at the UCLA Community School, is interning at the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Officer James Echols is using Oh to model the appropriate arrest protocol and procedures. This is made possible through UCLA Community School internship program, which partners with different departments at UCLA to provide students with hands-on experience from people already established in a career field. “I actually like that I have the chance to be in an internship at UCLA,” Oh said. “I get a real-world experience while I’m in high school. I think that’ll be helpful.” The goal of the internship is for the students to gain insight into careers that match their interests, while implementing classroom knowledge in real-life situations. “It is a unique program because it’s based at UCLA,” said Program Coordinator Jaime del Razo, a fifth-year Ph.D. student at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He added that the relationship between the internship program and this university helps them ensure that their stu-

dents are college ready upon graduation from the school. While only in its first year, this program consists of four different sites at UCLA: UCPD, the Broadcasting Department, the Daily Bruin, and UC All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (UC/ ACCORD), which is a research unit dedicated to examining educational inequalities in public education. Eleventh-grade student Janeth Nuñez is interning at the Broadcasting Department and is making a documentary about the interns’ experiences in the program because she believes their role in pioneering this program is important. “When I heard it was an internship at UCLA I thought, wow, you don’t get an opportunity like this all the time – I have to take it if it’s going to teach me something,” said Nuñez. Students also build confidence and gain social skills. “It has taught me how to interact with people when you first meet them. At the beginning I was quiet, but once I got comfortable I was able to talk to them,” said Juan Carlos Mejia, an eleventh-grade student. Mejia is an intern with UC/ACCORD and is currently helping organize data for the California Educational Opportunity Report. In collaboration with UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA), UC/ACCORD publishes this yearly report to examine Califor-

nia students’ educational resources. Mejia will develop his own similar project by asking fellow students questions about how they are being affected by the budgets cuts and how they feel school administration is helping them receive an education. Having gained much from this program, he is happy to utilize his experiences to help others. “I like it a lot. I’m starting to like talking with others about helping them,” said Mejia. The students in this program are developing a sense of agency in their education by working on their own

“I would have never imagined going to a site and working with professional people.” projects. The experience also encourages them to develop long-term career goals. “It’s a new experience and I would have never imagined going to a site and working with professional people…I can’t wait till I’m up there too,” said Nuñez.

Advertise with us! Rates as low as $65 For more information email


UCPD officer James Echols simulates arrest procedures on Daniel Oh, 17, a UCLA Community School student.

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 9


Media Prostitution How ratings-driven networks are ruining Spanish-language TV Helen Alonzo


hen bold journalism is a radical break from the mainstream, we know we have got a problem with what we call noticias. So when we tune in to someone like Ruben Luengas, host of Telemundo network’s news program “En Contexto,” who is not only willing to discuss the current media’s shortcomings but do something about it, we know we have someone worth watching. At an event on April 6 in Bunche Hall at UCLA, organized by the UCLA Undergraduate Spanish and Portuguese Association (USPA), Luengas discussed the declining integrity of Spanish language news. “When noticieros get into ratings, the prostitution of the media begins,” Luengas said. Luengas takes an alternate route by pushing the boundaries of investigative journalism with “En Contexto.” His Emmy-award-winning news piece, “Los Olvidados,” gives an account of the harrowing journey undocumented immigrants endure and the often deadly end they encounter on their way to the other side. During a recent piece, “Espaldas Dobladas,” Luengas made a journey to the Salinas Valley, where a vast majority of the nation’s produce

Noticieros to Know:


comes from, to expose hardships Latino immigrant farm workers face in the fields and in political discourse. His departure from the mainstream news show format is a risk Luengas knowingly takes, even at the cost of being unpopular among audiences. José Ortiz, a UCLA second-year history student, respects his bold work ethic. “I tend not to agree with Ruben Luengas’ viewpoint, but I respect the work he does because he is not afraid to push the boundaries,” Ortiz said. Luengas’ coverage of Latino issues is a personal mission. “I do stories like these because I want to show what is inside me, my family and the Latino community,” he said during the lecture. But as powerful as these stories are, the show is not guaranteed airtime. During the event, Ruben mentioned that his show may be cancelled because of lack of viewership. However, a report by the Nielsen Company, a media research and information corporation, indicated that Telemundo’s viewership among adults ages 18 to 49 grew 37 percent in the second quarter of this year. This increase may be due to popular shows such as “La Reina del Sur,” a telenovela which outperformed shows on ABC and CBS. Telenovela programming is responsible for drawing a vast



proportion of viewership in Spanishlanguage networks. According to the Nielsen Company, during the week of May 2, the top 10 most popular TV shows among Latinos in the US were all broadcast by Univision and nine of those shows were telenovelas. Between news and telenovelas, Univision and Telemundo’s programming schedules leave much to be desired. Both stations broadcast an average of about two to three hours of news each day. In comparison, telenovelas dominate the programming schedule with five to eight hours broadcast on Telemundo and Univision, respectively. In an effort to remain prominent, Spanishlanguage networks organize their


programming around the shows that will garner the most viewership. Catering primarily to telenovela sensibilities among viewers is good for business, but otherwise leaves very little options for meaningful and engaging news programming. This is where Luengas’ style of journalism comes in and fills this information and entertainment gap for audiences. “I enjoy watching Ruben Luengas because he is Latino, he gives the truth and he speaks his ideas,” UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services employee Cecilia González said, “Ruben’s news is always current and I know he is showing us the truth.”


Ruben Luengas

Raúl Peimbert

Jorge Ramos

Maria Celeste Arrarás

Luengas started his career in Mexico D.F. He has worked for Telemundo since 1993 and covered historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. He has garnered an Emmy award for his news piece "Los Olvidados."

Peimbert has worked on news stations all around the US and Mexico. He has 24 years of experience newscasting and has won seven regional Emmy awards. He currently works for Univision's Los Angeles station.

Ramos started at age 28 as the youngest newscaster in broadcast history and has interviewed world figures such as President Obama and Fidel Castro. He has worked for both Univision and Telemundo and has won eight Emmys.

Celeste Arrarás is one of the most prominent women journalists in Latino media. She has worked for Telemundo since 1986, interviewing reclusive guests like Ricky Martin. She also focuses on news about Latin American countries.

10 LA GENTE Spring 2011

¡topen esto!

The R-Word Cultural sensitivity and dialogue are absent from UC campuses Jonathan Sanabria


fter suffering what she considered a great social injustice, Alexandra Wallace posted a video rant on YouTube about how Asians were too loud in the library. Within hours the video went viral and was immortalized on the internet. Should anyone be surprised, considering the persistent trend of racialized incidents in UC schools? Numerous racist attacks such as the “Compton Cookout” thrown by a fraternity at UCSD or the noose found hanging in a UCSD library or the swastikas carved into dorm room doors at UC Davis indicate that UC campuses have a long way to go in fostering environments of tolerance and cultural sensitivity. Instances of racial and ethnic intolerance have initiated responses from many student groups, but their impact on campuses still resonate deeply. Here at UCLA, Wallace’s comments sparked numerous emotional responses. At first glance, third-year UCLA Asian American studies student Julie Pham thought that the Wallace video might be a joke but realizing it was not, she became enraged. “I think that Wallace’s comments [proved] her to be very ignorant,” Pham said. “Asians are not the only ones that are loud. These are stereotypes that perpetuate hateful thinking [and] that do nothing for social change and understanding.” Victor Chan, a fourth-year biology student at UCLA, is of Asian descent and identifies as Latino. His grandfather emigrated from China to Columbia, Chan’s birthplace. When Chan first saw the video, he was in disbelief. “The first thing I did after watching the video was make sure that Wallace in fact was a UCLA student. When I found out she was, it really upset me,” said Chan. “Being an individual that has dealt with being part of more than one culture, I have always hoped that people

would be more understanding [of] one another, and learn about one another’s cultures.” Recently, Chan and members of his Latino fraternity, Nu Alpha Kappa, held a taco sale fundraiser on Cinco de Mayo. They overheard students nearby demean the holiday by calling it “Drink-o de Mayo” as well as saying, “Oh, I love Cinco de Mayo, that’s when all the tacos come out." Disappointed by their attitude, Chan said, “They don’t respect the day, nor do they even try to learn about it.” All of the different people and organizations on our campus share a responsibility to begin addressing these issues, especially among our diverse student groups. While this incident was only lived by a few members of the UCLA population, it is still a strong example of interpersonal aggressions that that promote ethnocentrism. Changing what we know about diverse groups is essential to changing how we talk about them. Students expressed support for a more ethnically-inclusive learning experience in the recent USAC elections. Sixty-three percent of voters approved the Communicating Unity through Education initiative, which seeks to reform general education curriculum to include a diversity requirement. Although this change to the curriculum has yet to go into effect, UCLA is making institutional moves toward creating a critical ethnic discourse. “If we were to start to have open dialogue about the many different cultures that exist at UCLA, then we would be able to avoid such intolerance on our campus,” said Pham. Whether it be from swastikas carved into doors, indecent party themes, or an ethnically demeaining video, we need an open dialogue to help heal the social rift of these racial transgressions. Do you find the UC culturally sensitive? Write to Jonathan or email

La Gente asked you: What can the UCLA community do to prevent individuals from stereotyping racial groups? "I think there should be more diverse clubs. Obviously there are clubs that are open to all different races but I feel like there should be clubs that are truly open to diversity. Instead of being more geared to one type of ethnicity it should focus on multiple ethnicities." Jessica Jun First-year Linguistics student

"It all goes back to education and teaching people about contemporary issues like racism. The GE idea [General Education Diversity Requirement] where students would have to learn about these issues is a really good idea because then we won't have repeats of Alexandra Wallace." Sarah Wenner First-year Biology student

"Understanding each other, [and]

not judging people

based on what you see. If you meet someone and don't like them, don't judge them because you may not know what type of life they have lived. Keep your comments to yourself unless they are good." Reynaldo "Rey" Orozco First-year Biochemistry student Photos/Reporting: Helen Alonzo and Jessica Torres

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 11


special 4oth anniversary feature

From our Beginnings

"La Gente is a word for 'The People' and the staff of La Gente dedicate this periodical and their efforts to the people." -The Dedication from Vol. 1 Issue 1

Feb. 16, 1971 La Gente was founded at the height of the Chicano movement in order to give voice to the Latino community, who was ignored in the mainstream media.

40 year

Oct. 1971


La Gente covered Cesar Chavez’s visit to UCLA where he condemned a proposition that would have taken away farm workers' rights to strike and he also encouraged the boycott of lettuce.


We're offi the hill! L look back of our pu highlights

Oct. 1983 A special issue on Central America featured an interview with Miguel Angel Parada, the president of National University of El Salvador. The military occupied the university for three years during which they burned and stole books and assasinated and kidnapped professors and students. “Being an academic in El Salvador is a crime,” said Parada.

May 1988 La Gente covered a protest of the cenralization of UCLA Law School's admissions, which eliminated the previous student panel interview procedure and threatened student diversity. La Gente also documented protests that exposed discrimination, sexual harassment and racism in UCLA graduate departments of Sociology, Arts and Architecture, and Urban Planning. 12 LA GENTE Spring 2011

Oct. 1994 La Gente wrote about “La Marcha,” a march against Prop 187, a ballot initiative designed to prohibit undocumented immigrants from using social services. The event was described as “one of the largest demonstrations in the history of California.”

special 40th anniversary feature Nov. 2010 The Society of Professional Journalists awarded La Gente the first place Mark of Excellence Award in our region for our Fall 2010 Immigration Issue. Our feature commented on the military component of DREAM Act legislation which encouraged undocumented students to enlist in the military to obtain legalization. The DREAM Act still has not passed.

0rs of

In the House: Latinos in the Greek system

Raising the Roof: Org builds more than houses

Illegal: The damage of a single word

Birthday Bash: Mexico’s bicentennial

. The Immigration Issue

Fall 2010 | Vol. 41 Issue 1

Enrollment or Enlistment? Current DREAM act legislation proposes two options

Oct. 2008 La Gente entered the realm of new media, beginning to publish online and establishing Last fall, we re-launched our website with an all new interface.

Spring 2005

agazine est. 1971

ficially over Let's take a k on some ublication's s.

In this issue, La Gente exposed the plight of the UCLA service workers, documenting how students and workers united to strike against the university to change unfair wages. After negotiations, service workers gained rights to yearly wage increases, worker support, and to strike if the university failed to meet its obligations.

Winter 1999 A comic strip recounted the 30-year history of ethnic studies at UCLA. It was published in parts as a collaboration between three of the student newsmgazines. La Gente featured Part III, which depicted El Plan de Santa Barbara and the hunger strike that helped establish the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.

Dec. 1996 An editorial calls for students to organize against Prop 209, which sought to prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex or ethnicity in admissions. This was seen as an attack against affirmative action and minority communities. As a result, African-American enrollment rates dropped. Prop 209 remains in effect today.

May 1998 Rumors circled that the Chicano Studies Library would be turned into a reading room. Already suffering from a lack of funds, the library was also threatened to be dismantled through a proposal to unite all ethnic studies under one school entity. La Gente called readers to action: “We cannot stand idle and watch as our heritage, which our elders fought to preserve, is taken away.” Spring 2011 LA GENTE 13



A car-free streets event in Los Angeles sends a message about who and what the streets are for

Lucia Prieto

14 LA GENTE Spring 2011

Spanish word for bike path. “It really changed the culture of the city and made it a more humane place to live,” said Gadda. Gadda received immediate support and collaboration from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and, soon after, from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Last October, LA celebrated the first CicLAvía with 7.5 miles of car-free streets from Boyle Heights to East Hollywood. Following the same route exactly six months later, CicLAvía’s second event was even bigger, with an estimated 130,000 participants,

according to KCET. Still, each participant was able to personalize their experience. Ross Bernet, a UCLA fourth-year environmental science student, and Michelle Oyewole, a UCLA fourth-year communications student, along with 15 other UCLA students, rode their bikes to CicLAvía from UCLA, a 10-mile ride. Oyewole appreciates the sense of community. “It’s a chance to see LA how you wouldn’t normally, the streets free of cars [and] everyone biking together,” she said.

For Bernet, CicLAvía is invaluable because it provides a safe space. “Most of the time you’re biking in LA, you’re by yourself. There’s so many cars and it’s dangerous,” said Bernet. Martin Puerta, a 42-year-old resident of Boyle Heights, is a father of four. He took his family to CicLAvía so his children could see and learn about LA safely. “Here they have the care of the police, they close the streets, and there won’t be a possibility of getting hurt,” said Puerta. “We all have the right to use the street for



n a Monday afternoon in late March of this year, Christine Ramirez, 55, was hit by a car while riding her bike near her home in Pasadena. She fractured two ribs and bruised the right side of her abdomen. “I was wearing my helmet, I waited for the light to turn green, and I looked both ways before crossing into the intersection,” Ramirez said. Despite all her safety precautions, she didn’t have time to react to the car that was rolling through a right turn. The accident forced her into bed rest for two weeks. Fortunately, for at least one day, Ramirez and all other Angelenos did not have to worry about the dangers of cars. On Sunday, April 10, 2011, Los Angeles celebrated its second CicLAvía, a car-free streets event that gives people an opportunity to enjoy their city from the ground instead of from their cars. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the streets of downtown LA were closed to all motorized vehicles and open for bicycles, tricycles, wheelchairs or simply walking. Cycling advocate Bobby Gadda first brought the concept of CicLAvía to LA in 2008 after a visit to Bogotá, Colombia, where over 70 miles of streets are carfree every Sunday. He noticed how unpleasant LA streets are for pedestrians and became inspired by Bogota’s 35-year-old ciclovía, the


Around 130,000 cyclists and pedestrians enjoy the skyline view of downtown Los Angeles as they bike down Seventh Street past MacArthur Park.

any event. We shouldn’t continue to think that only the car has the right to the street.” The real purpose of CicLAvía, though, is to have fun. Participants could engage in numerous activities along the route in April, including visiting places like the Japanese American National Museum and eating at food trucks like The Surfer Taco. Chivas USA had a goal-kicking booth where the co-captain, Major League Soccer All-Star and UCLA alumnus, Jimmy Conrad was signing autographs and talking with fans. There were also dance performances, squirt gun fights, and historic bike tours. A major highlight at both the CicLAvía events this year was the on-going pickup dodgeball game, hosted by the World Dodgeball Society. In addition, Lance Armstrong attended CicLAvía last April and spoke about cycling’s health and environmental benefits, noting how it promotes exercise and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. These events are relatively new to our city, but LA is about to get more CicLAvía. There is already one more event scheduled in 2011 and others will come in 2012. And it may not stop there. Many, in-

cluding Gadda, hope that CicLAvía becomes a lifestyle. CicLAvía organizers hope to create a permanent network of car-free streets throughout greater LA area, physically connecting its many dense and diverse areas. Organizers are well on their way to seeing their wish become a reality. Mayor Villaraigosa, who has promised to get Los Angeles 1,680 miles of bike paths, is behind the effort 100 percent. “CicLAvía is an opportunity... in a city addicted to the single-passenger automobile. We ought to get on a bike ... and reclaim our neighborhoods. That’s what CicLAvía is all about.” said Villaraigosa. For more information, or to get involved with CicLAvía, visit Para una versión traducida de este artículo, visíte

Save the Date! CicLAvía has one more Sunday event this year:

October 9




10 Million Population of Los Angeles County. 51,000 Cyclists injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2009. 630 Fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in 2009. 1 Hour Time it takes to bike the 10 miles from UCLA to CicLAvía – the same amount of time it takes to drive there. $350,000 Cost of each Ciclavía event, split 40-60 between private and city funding, respspectivley. SOURCES: US Census Bureau, US Department of Transportation, CicLAvía

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 15

¡topen esto!

From Spanish to Spanglish The language of the future Haidee Pacheco


onde parkeaste el carro? Is this something you are likely to say? If it is, then you are already familiar with Spanglish, a blend of Spanish and English originating from the Latino communities in the US. While the US doesn’t have an official language, it is English dominant. In a cultural and linguistic rendezvous, Spanish-speaking immigrants have amalgamated their native language with that of the US. Spanish colonization introduced the Spanish language into the Americas. But Spanish became a prominent language in the US after the victory of the Mexican-American War when Mexico lost almost half of its territory, including most of the HAIDEE PACHECO A mural in an area with high Latino population uses the Spanglish word yonkes, which means junkyard. Southwestern US. The US gained new territory, new people, and most importantly a new language. With the help of the ongoing cultural entirely new ones by taking an English word and giving it a Spanish proexchanges, this language evolved into a new dialect: Spanglish. nunciation. Words such as fensa (fence), troca (truck), breik (break), and Bilingual Latinos frequently engage in code-switching, alternating lonche (lunch) are great examples. between English and Spanish in the same conversation. Zindy Valdovinos, Use of Spanglish has become widespread. “Even older people who don’t a UCLA second-year history student of Mexican descent, grew up speaking even speak English have adopted [the language],” said UCLA Spanish proboth English and Spanish. She was raised speaking Spanish in her home, but fessor Luz Maria de la Torre. English dominates her interactions outside the home. To test this out, I printed several pages with images of the objects men“A veces hablo en inglés y español a la misma vez…cambio las palabras tioned above. I asked Spanish speakers to identify the images and many of y luego, like, se me confunde el inglés con el español,” said Valdovinos. my respondents proved Professor de la Torre right. (“Sometimes I speak English and Spanish at the same time…I change the Ramón Rodríguez, a UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services employee words and then, like, I confuse English with Spanish.”) who speaks mostly Spanish, identified an image of a parking lot as a“lote de There it is. A seemingly natural insertion of the word “like” and, inparking.” However, the formal Spanish term would be lote de estacionamiento. stantly, a Spanish conversation becomes a Spanglish conversation. It is incredible to hear languages evolve. But why exactly are we convertPia Urtubia, a UCLA second-year psychobiology student of Chilean ing our Spanish language to this Spanglish dialect? descent, also grew up speaking Spanish and English. “[Spanglish is] a strategic mechanism to enable the survival of that lan“Algunas veces no puedo traducir [la frase] porque como estoy traduciguage,” said Professor De La Torre. endo de inglés a español me cuesta. Así que me…¿Cómo se dice? Stuck,”said So the questions now are: Can Spanish survive in the US or will SpangUrtubia. (“Sometimes I can’t translate [the phrase] since it's a bit hard for lish become the language of the future? Should we keep our native languages me to translate from English to Spanish. So I usually get…How do you say or completely adapt to a new culture? it? Stuck.”) I personally think it is a good idea to know Spanish, English and SpangSometimes, introducing English into Spanish discussions serves a lish in order to preserve our cultural background. Cuál es yours? functional purpose. Urtubia could not remember how to say “stuck” in Spanish, so she simply said it in English. What do you think will be the language of the future? Email Haidee or write to Other times, rather than mixing words here and there, people create

Adding it up: Carpet Yard Truck Lunch Push 16 LA GENTE Spring 2011


Alfombra Patio/Jardín Camioneta Almuerzo Empujar


Carpeta Yarda Troca Lonche Puchar

¡topen esto!

When Will the Sleeping Giant Awaken? Latino strength in numbers should be translated into political muscle Carina Padilla


ith last year’s census results revealing that the Latino community is the largest minority group in the United States, many suggest that the future lies in our hands. Latino organizations in defense for migratory reform have suggested that Latinos will have a considerable impact in the 2012 presidential elections. But at the moment, our growing numbers have not translated to significant political or economic reforms to improve our community. Instead, we have experienced an increase in hostile policies targeting Latino immigrants. During the 2008 elections, President Barack Obama’s exuberant campaign sought Latino support, cleverly appealing to our sensibilities. In July 2008 Obama spoke to the Latino community of San Diego saying, “The system isn’t working when Hispanics are losing their jobs faster than almost anybody else… when communities are terrorized by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] immigration rates … and we need to change it.” These promises for immigration reform remain unfulfilled. Obama has stated that Republican support is necessary to make significant changes in immigration policies. While this is true, the president still has the executive power to push immigration reform more effectively. Representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have stated that the president could actually use his power in office to halt deportations. They also stated that Obama can take “administrative action which can immediately address the most grievous shortcomings of our broken immigration system.” But the “system” remains broken. Arizona criminalized undocumented individuals with the SB 1070 law, the Senate blocked the DREAM Act, and over one million immigrants have been deported, an unprecedented amount. We continue to see political action motivated by both ends of the politi-

cal spectrum. Recently, Obama appeared at El Paso, Texas to speak once more for immigration reform. His speech was followed by the reintroduction of the DREAM Act by Democrats. On the other hand, Republicans in Arizona are attempting to preserve the SB 1070 law after the Supreme Court blocked major portions of the bill. Chicano studies Professor Robert Chao Romero suggests that both political parties are making calculated moves and compromises. “This is a tricky situation…and hope remains to be seen,” said Romero. Amidst all this, what role is the Latino community playing in this story? According to census estimates, Latino voter numbers increased, from roughly 7.5 million in 2004 elections to 9.7 million in 2008. Numbers alone are not enough. In the march for immigration reform on May 1, only a few thousand people showed up to support. A huge decline in comparison to the 60,000 supporters who came out just last year. Are we losing hope, or are we just plain lazy? “The problem with May 1 is that there was no unified voice or vision,” said Romero. “There is potential for political empowerment but it needs organization.” Our growing Latino community has fallen short of making a significant contribution for change. Yes, we have faced aggressive legislative action but politics are not the only factor; we need to strengthen our voice. Otherwise, how hopeful can our community be for the future, whether for the 2012 elections or for a long term outlook? How do you feel about Latino political involvement? What can we do to improve our influence? Send your thoughts to Carina or email us at

Latino Population Growth Helen Alonzo

The 2010 census shows that the US Latino population has steadily increased, with the Latino population growing 43 percent over the last decade. There are currently around 50 million Latinos living in the US. Latino communities have doubled in states where they were traditionally not significant, including Maryland, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and others.





Percent of Latino Increase over the last 10 years

SOURCE: Pew Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 17


Bobby, Never Really Gone



Bobby and I sport our UCLA gear at a family gathering.

idenrers have not been de ur m ’s by ob B passed a As of today, , Rep. Judy Chu 0 1 0 2 ch ar M for more tified. In lcedo and calling Sa by ob B ng ri ug cartels. resolution hono s war against dr o’ ic ex M in ce er are an US assist ng across the bord ki fic af tr d te la re Drug and guncase. surrounding the among the issues y is ing, but my famil at st va de as w r ission. To Bobby’s murde obby’s life and m B ng ri no ho to powerd committe education and em to t en m it m m co l Founsustain Bobby’s Salcedo Memoria by ob B e th n ga larships to ment, we be es educational scho id ov pr ch hi w ecently, , dation te High School. R on M l E h ut So istration students from ol District admin ho Sc y it C te on ed in the El M 60 were also nam te ou R e at st e th building and Bobby’s honor.

Remembering my cousin and fellow Bruin, Bobby Salcedo Priscilla González Sainz, Contributor


eople come into your life for different reasons. I met Claudia last quarter in a Chicana/o studies literature class and we briefly got to know each other, though we didn't form a personal connection. In another class together this quarter, I realized we have a strong connection involving my cousin Bobby. La Gente reported on the murder of the beloved El Monte educator, Agustin Roberto Salcedo, 16 months ago. He was a community activist, president of South El Monte Sister Cities Association, and assistant principal of El Monte High School. But he was also my cousin Bobby: “ocurrente,” hilarious and compassionate. The big cousin who always gave me advice about school and listened to me complain about people who told me I wasn’t Mexican enough. Bobby was also a mentor to many students, including Claudia. He was her teacher at her high school, South El Monte High, where he helped her get involved in her community and, ultimately, with her successful application to UCLA. On the day Claudia and I had our first in-depth conversation, she told

me she had known about me for years. Bobby told her about my involvement at UCLA and had suggested she meet me. Now we are friends. People have told me that Bobby often spoke to them about my accomplishments and how proud he was of me, but I never took it to heart. Claudia proved to me that it was true. She told me that Bobby would talk to her about my admittance to UCLA, my involvement with La Gente, and my scholarship. My heart swelled as bittersweet tears rolled down my face. I feel that I have been stuck in a dream this past year and a half, trying to rediscover meaning and goals for my life, but Claudia helped me breathe again. She reminded me of the person I was a year and a half ago and of the ambitious goals I lost sight of – the young woman Bobby believed in. I know that I can still pursue social change for my community. I think that Bobby brought Claudia into my life for many reasons only time will reveal, but I wish he were here to see that. With graduation quickly approaching, I have agonized over where I will go next, and I wish I could turn to Bobby. But I know he is always with me: his memory, his words, and his spirit continue to guide me and surprise me in my everyday life.

A Mountain of a Dream José Hernandez Díaz Norwalk, CA UC Berkeley Los Angeles is visible Beyond the rising towers And the holy Hollywood Sign: 18 LA GENTE Spring 2011

Her innate warmth resides In the gleaming smiles of children Salivating for a moist ice cream From the wobbly cart of An immigrant— Fresh from the countryside of Her ornate beauty shines In the glittering taco trucks El Salvador— Adorned with packed choice Pushed by sweaty palms And sheer American will. of tastes;

Los Angeles can be seen, Clearly, My dear, Tonight, As we cling to caffeine And contemplate la luna y las estrellas Of future years:

An island of a thought; A mountain of a dream.

sigan luchando

I Am Fragments of Borges Ivan Smason For the mirrors and the rivers For the sunsets and the generations For Shakespeare and Schopenhauer and the universe For everything and nothing God has created nights well-populated with dreams Maybe God needs them as a warning to carry out His plan of infinite creation I think of the mirror I think of the universe I have dreamed of Jorge Luis Borges Jew, gentile or simply a man In this world, beauty is all of us It is also like the river with no end The rabbi would explain: “There they are, the gardens There they are, the rivers and the mirrors Scattered in scattered labyrinths Seek for pleasure of seeking, not of finding God moves the player, and this player, the piece” Perhaps God has condemned me to time in this world I am and I am not Perhaps I am the river with no end Perhaps I am the mirror with no end Borges and I, I don’t know which of us two wrote this page And I know the answer all too well

Soy Fragmentos de Borges Ivan Smason Por los espejos y los ríos Por los panientes y la generaciones Por Shakespeare y Schopenhauer y el universazo Por muchos y nadie Dios ha creado las noches que se arman de sueños Quiza Dios las necesita para la ejecución de Su infinita obra Pienso en el espejo Pienso en el universazo He soñado a Jorge Luis Borges Judio o gentil o simplemente un hombre En este mundo, la belleza es común También es como el río interminable

untitled | Richard "Easie" Garcia Pelican Bay State Prison

From the Archive: La Gente Newsmagazine began correspondence with prisoners with our first issue in 1971. However, it was not until the April/ May 1993 issue that we created a section for their contributions. It featured the submission below.

El rabi le explicaba— “Ahí estain los jardines Ahí estain los rios y los espejos Disperos en disperas laberintos Busca por el agrado de buscar, no por el de econtrar Dios mueve al jugador, y éste jugador, la pieza” Acaso Dios me ha condenado el tiempo en este mundo Soy y no soy Acaso soy el rio interminable Acaso soy el espejo interminable Borges y yo, no sé cuál de los dos escribe esta página Y sé demasiado bien la repuesta

Spring 2011 LA GENTE 19

arte y cultura

Con Todo, Menos Carne Defining vegetarianism with a Latino vocabulary Maria Renteria


“Mija,” my mother said, “do you want to eat?” “Yes, mother. But just to remind you, I’m vegetarian.” “Let’s go to McDonalds! They have chicken nuggets and you can eat it because it’s not red meat,” my sister said.


hile my sister’s idea may seem like a reasonable Latino perspective, the reality is that a vegetarian avoids eating all kinds of meat. I surveyed 83 Latinos to see what they thought of vegetarianism and what a vegetarian diet consists of. Over a quarter of respondents identified seafood as an acceptable part of a vegetarian diet. Others thought vegetarians could eat red meat and chicken. I became a vegetarian during the 40 days of Lent, meaning that my diet had no meat and no seafood. But I found that, despite the Lenten tradition of giving up meat on Fridays, this radical lifestyle is still foreign to many Latinos. When deciding what we should have for the family dinner, my tío Ramón suggested ceviche, because it is a meal he thought everyone could share. Case in point. One reason my uncle may have suggested seafood is that the meatless Lenten diet may include fish and seafood on Fridays. For many Latinos, the 40 days of Lent are the closest they have ever come to being vegetarian. Perhaps this is why my family cannot fully grasp the concept of vegetarianism. Being vegetarian, is not part of the Latino cultural logic. Nearly 60 percent of Latinos I surveyed indicated that vegetarianism was not part of Latino culture. I recently visited Carnitas Michoacan, a 24-hour Mexican restaurant

in East Los Angeles, the heart of the Latino population in LA. I ordered a cheese quesadilla, mentioning to the cashier that I was vegetarian. She asked whether I wanted carne asada, carnitas, pollo, or chorizo. I repeated that I am a vegetarian. She looked surprised. After I placed my order, I heard her yell to the cook. He responded, “¿Con qué tipo de carne?” (What type of meat?) She responded, “Sin nada.” (None.) The cook said, “¿De verdad? ¿Sin nada? ¿Cómo puede ser esto?” (Really? None? How can this be?) My family members are clearly not the only ones who do not understand what it means to be vegetarian. My experience with vegetarianism shows me how little Latinos know about the vegetarian lifestyle. It has now been over a month since I broke my Lenten vow of vegetarianism. But I found that I did not miss meat that much. Despite my family's initial shock, they have come to a different understanding of vegetarianism. If you were to give a title to the Latino diet what would it be? Email Maria or visit her blog "La Bosquisabrosa" at, or email

nuestra joteria

You May Be Homosexual, But Are You Homotextual? Digital communication provides another avenue to come out of the closet Ariana Castellanos, Contributor

C (8:02p) Me: Mom, I'm gay. Ttyl! (8:03p) Mom: Qué?!



20 LA GENTE Spring 2011

oming out could be easier today than it was a decade ago! Think about it, all you’ve got to do is text your dad and tell him you’re a homo. Or, email your mom and let her know she doesn’t have to worry about you getting knocked up before you finish college! Ooooor just put that shit on Facebook and let people figure it out. I think I’d rather get a beating or verbal lashing than forever live out my sexuality as an unspoken truth. It would seriously consume me and I’d end up growing tired of the burden and burst out, “I’m gay!” at some inappropriate time. Like maybe during my distant cousin’s neighbor’s daughter’s quinceañera. Uh-uh, no es bueno. Anyway, I figure using technology to come out of the closet can be interpreted in one of two ways: it’s either a bitch move or it’s a sign of an individual who is tired of bullshit and boldly decides to put his or her true rainbow colors out there. Some feel that putting it all on the table is reckless and insensitive towards family and close

friends. But even sitting a person down and giving them “the talk” doesn’t make the process any easier. I had to come out to my mom seven or eight times in different ways! There was a talk that turned into a lecture, then a letter, then, an email, a talk, a phone call, another talk, another lecture and yet another talk – all over the course of five years. Bottom line, you have to figure out what works for you. If you’re a talker, talk it out. If you get emotional or have difficulty communicating face to face, maybe a well thought out e-mail would be a better approach. Maybe even after writing out the precursory e-mail, you’ll be able to just sit down and talk. There’s no perfect way to handle the situation. If your family is ready to, they will accept you – regardless your tactic. Is coming out via technology cowardice or empowerment? Tell us! Visit Ariana's blog,, email or visit Kerckhoff 149E in person!

¡topen esto!

UCLA Cuts Program at Expense of Student Learning Covel Peer Learning Labs to close as of June 2011 Elida Ledesma, Contributor


n March 7, several Peer Learning Facilitators (PLFs) and I received an email from Penny Hein-Unruh, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Support, announcing the closure of Covel Peer Learning Labs effective June 10. In a post on Chancellor Gene Block’s Facebook fan page, Dean and Vice Provost Judith Smith wrote, “State funds for the division have been cut substantially over the past few years,” and as a result a vital service for students has been eliminated. Despite the cut to funding, it is imperative that the university recognize that the closure of the Math/Science and Composition/ESL Labs at Covel will be detrimental to students. Once the news became public, PLFs launched a campaign to save Covel Peer Learning Labs. Their work has resulted in the collection of student testimonies, over 1,000 signatures on a petition to save the Learning Labs, and support from various student groups such as Mortar Board and the Biomedical Engineering Society, as well as the Regents Scholar society and Professor James Rosenzweig, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In a testimonial to the effectiveness of the program, UCLA third-year, physiological sciences and pre-dental student Stephanie Kroll wrote: “Covel Peer Learning Labs saved my life as a pre-health major…Covel’s collaborative style…is unrivaled anywhere else on UCLA’s campus.” After continuous posts to Chancellor Block’s Facebook fan page in opposition to the closure of the Learning Labs, Vice Provost Smith said that the decision allowed her to sustain other student programs. She indicated that she set three priorities with her leadership cabinet which include: saving academic programs (e.g. General Education Clusters and Honors Collegium courses), academic counseling, and the Academic Advancement Program (AAP). Although such programs are important, there is immense value in offering a free tutoring service for the approximately 20,000 undergraduates who aren't eligible for assistance at AAP or who aren't student athletes.

“Covel Peer Learning Labs saved my life as a prehealth major.” UCLA prides itself for its academic excellence; however, this success does not come easily for every incoming freshman who may struggle transitioning from high school to college. Math and science lower-division courses are especially daunting because of the enormity of the class sizes and lack of personalized attention. Chemistry 14B, for example, a common requirement for many pre-med students, has an enrollment capacity of 235 students this quarter. Also, the Composition/ESL Lab offers writing assistance for a variety of courses and all stages of the writing process. These are beneficial for students who struggle with college-level writing requirements or international students who are having difficulty with the language. Students who come to the Composition/ESL Lab meet with a facilitator one-on-one; this individualized attention is not offered at AAP. Covel Peer Learning Labs allow students to receive assistance from fellow students who have endured similar experiences and know how to help their peers succeed academically. PLFs do not “teach” the material. Rather, they work collaboratively with students, guiding them through problems and group-based activities. PLFs, who are fellow Bruins, also obtain a better understanding of their teaching material, self-confidence, and develop effective communication skills. These are skills that will transcend long after graduation.


Harry Li, a math/science facilitator at Covel Peer Learning Labs, assists a student.

Some might doubt the effectiveness of our program, but as a facilitator for the past two years and as one of the current athletic supervisors, I know we do more than just “tutor” at Covel. We build meaningful connections with students, which is evident in the number of testimonials from current and past students that discuss the help they received at Covel. Granted, PLFs are not professors, but they are highly-qualified students who have a passion for helping others succeed. It is regrettable that a program that has so much to offer is being “restructured” without any concrete plans for the future. Vice Provost Smith has alluded to creating a new math, science and composition program by next fall. But why take away a program that has been working and serving thousands of students to create something completely new? If the goal of the university is to be cost-effective, this is not the solution. The university needs to recognize that while cutting programs might be inevitable, it should not occur at the expense of students. To help the campaign to save Covel Peer Learning Labs and support student services, please visit Spring 2011 LA GENTE 21

special 4oth anniversary feature 3 Future Predictions

The Future Ain't What it Used to be

Marcos Osorio 1. Robots complain that their jobs are being taken by “Theeeeese – dang – Mexicans. Must abort – abort.”

What'll our generation be remembered by 40 years from now?

2. To cater to the overwhelming Latino viewership, CBS announces the creation of a 24-hour telenovela channel.

We put our choices in a time capsule.

3. The first Latina president is in office. A Gallup poll reveals that Americans support her stance on immigration, but hate her hoop earrings and bangs.


George Lopez: More than a stand-up comedian, he's the first Latino to have his own self-titled sitcom (starring a Latino family) and late-night show with "Lopez Tonight." ¡Orale!

Mexican Pointy Boots: These boots were not made for walking and we can't imagine the trend lasting too long. How are you supposed to play soccer? We'll probably have to reshape the time capsule to fit these in, but we want to make sure these last forever.

Kogi Food Truck: It brought the concept of traveling fusion eats to the streets of LA, and has since spawned mucho-a-copycat. But this culinary mix of Korean BBQ and Mexican food on wheels has got the cred of being the OG-N: the Original Gastronomical Nomad. 22 LA GENTE Spring 2011

The End-of-theParty Mixtape: After the celebration's over and all the tequila's used up, it's time to bust out Vicente Fernandez, Ramón Ayala, Roberto Carlos, Los Tigres del Norte and all their friends until all of yours leave.

Tapatío Fritos: A must in every college student's spice rack, Tapatío provides instant seasoning for everything. What the street vendors have been doing for ages now comes prepackaged and is sold at your nearest convenience store. All you need now is to find a limón.

J.Lo.: This ain't her first time around the block and won't be her last. She's looking better than ever with a new album, a judging gig on American Idol, and a solid multi-million dollar empire. As a Latina, her staying power in the business makes her something worth preserving.

Fidel Castro: He's been in power almost as long as Cuba has been Communist. He finally stepped down from his position as head of the Communist Party last April. Putting him in the time capsule almost seems unnecessary as he's survived over 600 assassination attempts, constant criticism, and Cuban cigars.

IMAGES: TBS, trendUnderground, Andrew Evans, Frito Lay, Ajay Karat at, Museo de la Revolución

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The César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies Congratulates the 2011 Graduating Class ¡Sí se puede! ¡Felicidades! For those of you wanting more of our department, please consider taking another class with us during the summer! CS M102 Mexican-American & the Schools (Same as Education M102) Session A (June 20-Jul 29) | TR 12:00-2:05 pm | 144-440-110 CS M106 Health in Chicano/Latino Population (Same as Public Health M106) Session A (June 20-Jul 29) | TR 9:00-11:05 am | 144-453-110 CS M125 US-Mexico Relations (Same as Labor and Workplace Studies M125) Session A (June 20-Jul 29) | MW 9:00-11:05 pm | 144-495-110 CS 199 Ethnic Los Angeles Session A (June 20-Jul 29) | MW 12:00-2:05 pm | 144-846-110 CS 10B Intro to Chicana/o Studies: Social Structure & Contemporary Conditions Session C (Aug 01-Sep 09) | TR 10:00-12:05 pm | 144-032-130 For more information and student advising, please contact Eleuteria (Ellie) Hernández at or 310.206.7696 or visit 7351 Bunche Hall. Spring 2011 LA GENTE 23

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