Culture

An Elderly Woman Is Going Viral After Her Heart Warming And Crushing Poem About Immigration Had Everyone Crying

A video of a woman in Los Angeles reciting her poem about her pride in being Mexican in the U.S. is quickly going viral with Latinx from every country showing their support for her words. The video was posted by Jerry Ulloa Zatarain on Facebook and at the start of it the woman insists that the man recording gets her name – Celia – so people know who she is as she stands on a street in Los Angeles to passionately present her words. 

The viral video shows the elderly woman as she recites a poem about the history of Mexican immigration.

An elderly Lady that was interviewed in the city of Los Angeles CA

Posted by Jerry Ulloa Zatarain on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

“Por que yo soy Mexicana dicen que yo soy illegal,” she begins. “pero si tu lees la historia esta es mi tierra natal.” This translates to “Because I am Mexican they say that I am illegal. But if you read the story this is my homeland.”

Her words ring true for Mexicans considering that before the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexico owned the land that later became California, Nevada, and Utah, and portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. The area was sold to the U.S. for $15 million and the treaty also officially recognized Texas as a U.S. state after it joined states in 1846. 

The treaty also states that Mexicans could retain their lands and become U.S. citizens but over time they were stripped of more than nearly 20 million acres of land by businesses, ranchers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture among others in power.  

The powerful poem honors the immigration experience of Mexicans of the past, present, and future.

Facebook

“Pero tu, gringo Americano, tu si eres ilegal, porque yo so Mexicana aqui me voy a quedar,” she adds. “Y aunque tu pongas la barda, yo me la voy a brincar por arriba, por abajo ni cuenta te vas a dar.”

These sentiments are shared by many young Mexicans and Mexican immigrants especially in light of the immigration crisis happening at the border. With the Trump administration going after undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, these words are needed now more than ever. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2017 there were 4.9 million undocumented immigrants from Mexico in the U.S. but of the estimated 33 million Mexicans living in the U.S., 22.3 million were born in the U.S

Long before Trump and his hateful rhetoric and border wall mongering there has been a wall (psychological and physical) separating the U.S. from Mexico. Border Patrol in the U.S. was established in 1924 and President Bill Clinton mandated the construction of a 13-mile wall between San Diego and Tijuana in 1993. By 2011, The Department of Homeland Security completed construction on 649 miles of barriers and for many, this is an affront to the beliefs that were part of the establishment of the United States. For Mexicans like Celia, it’s also a reminder of the land that once belonged to the indigenous communities that are now part of a country that is becoming more hostile to Mexican immigrants, undocumented or otherwise. 

Later Celia adds that “el Mexicano no raja, el viene aqui a trabajar” (the Mexican does not crack, he comes here to work) which is a sentiment evident in the large number of farmworkers that come from Mexico, 68 percent to be exact. The need for farm workers is so dire that even the Trump administration conceded to the demands of farmers and streamlined the H-2A visa process that allows them to work legally in the U.S. There are 27.4 million immigrant workers in the U.S., which makes up 17.1 percent of the total number of workers (undocumented or not), according to a 2018 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But negative stereotypes and portrayals of Mexicans and immigrants in general as violent, lazy, and overall criminals persist. Studies consistently find that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than those born in the U.S.  and the crime rate actually plummeted 45 percent between 1990 and 2010 even though the overall percentage of immigrants and the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. both increased sharply, reported the Anti-Defamation League. 

“Dime gringo Americano, dime tu que haces aquí, si tu veniste de lejos,” Celia said. “Tu vienes de otro país, si el Mexicano es mojado, también tu lo eres aquí.” 

The fact that the U.S. is a land founded by immigrants and that should continue to welcome immigrants stands in stark contrast to the current policies and the images of families in cages going without medical care or basic necessities on the border. About a month ago, a mural called “Chained Migration.” was revealed in Las Vegas showing the State of Liberty getting arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

For these reasons, Celia’s words have had a profound effect on those who have seen the nearly two-minute video on Facebook. 

Facebook

One commenter even translated the entire poem into English and many shared their own Mexican pride, thanking her for her words. 

She closes the poem by saying, “Y si la migra me agarra, yo me vuelvo a regresar,” she said. ” y aunque los gringos no quieran, aquí me van enterrar.” 

Celia’s words are filled with pride, passion, and defiance and in a time when the Latinx community seemingly spends more time than ever defending their rights it’s a good reminder to listen to the sage advice of our elders. 

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Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

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You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Culture

You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Tacovid: SaborViral / Facebook

Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.

Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.

”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.

Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.

Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.

“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.

“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.

Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.

The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.

“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.

In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.

When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.

“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.

To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.

Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”

“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.

Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”

Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.

Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.

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