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Poor Cassandra Hernandez

Max Powers - Mon, 08/26/2019 - 7:48am
I almost feel for your former, or soon-to-be former, City Representative Cassandra Hernandez. When she first arrived on the scene she was married, and had the backing the El Paso's most influential political cabal...only whatever Veronica Escobar said was the limit. Fast forward to now...she is divorced and about to... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

I'm back

Refuse the Juice - Mon, 08/26/2019 - 7:35am
Took a little hiatus and was going to shut everything down because work, kids, life, wife etc. takes a lot of time and I was not managing it well. I think I have figured out how to be able to... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Cheap politics

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 08/26/2019 - 5:00am

According to a recent article in the Times our city council is now telling the public that part of the reason they want to raise our city property taxes by 6.4% is to build a memorial to the people who died in the recent Walmart shooting.

Let the public do it

If a memorial is to be built is should be funded by donations from the public and from Walmart.

The city ought to tell Walmart that if they don’t contribute we will build the memorial as close to the front door of that Walmart as we can.

Contribute and we will put the memorial somewhere else.

Lower the increase

According to the article up to four million dollars of the tax increase would be put into a fund that could help fund the memorial.

Let the public build the memorial.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Trump Needs a Fake Economy for 2020

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 08/25/2019 - 10:00pm
Some may wonder why Donald Trump is so fixated on the Fed and interest rates. The simple answer […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Being liberal and conservative

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 08/25/2019 - 5:42am

Jerry Kurtyka recently used this quote from President Eisenhower in a comment:

“In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”

Thank you Mr. Kurtyka.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 147

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 10:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 147!
Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 5:00am

Its Saturday, tell us what’s on your mind.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

So Why Run Against Vincent?

Max Powers - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 8:50am
Why would Iliana Holguin run against Vincent Perez? Because you make $100,000 plus benefits for showing up to work once-a-week. Hell, if you are Carl Robinson, you are making that much and showing up even less. "But she's an attorney!" She's an immigration attorney. And those are a dime a... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD enrollment

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 7:02am

We should be seeing initial figures about school enrollment very soon.

EPISD has been losing about 1,000 students a year and that is causing significant problems with their financing.

Stay tuned.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

The Chosen One

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 10:00pm
Donald Trump believes he is the “chosen one”. Clearly and without a doubt Donald Trump is about one […]
Categories: Local Blogs

News media complicit in perpetuating micro aggressions that devalue Latinos, researchers say

Borderzine - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 7:54am

Under this President, there has been a predictable rise in white nationalism, hate crimes, and the soul-crushing violence against Spanish-speaking immigrants and anyone who might sound or look like one.

The August 3 attack on the people of our binational community of El Paso woke us up to the realization that legality or illegality was never the real issue; language and skin color was, as the black population in the U.S. has long known.  Many far more articulate and thick-skinned than I have dissected, addressed, and contextualized these sentiments and behaviors.

I hope to use this space, instead, to address smaller, more hidden behaviors, invisible to most except to those who are targeted; behaviors that the media are not addressing, because they are either complacent or complicit.  These behaviors have been termed “microaggressions,” an expression first used in the 1970s by a psychiatrist, Dr. Chester Pierce, and defined by Columbia professor Deral Sue as:

“brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” 

Some examples of racial microaggressions include such phrases as “but where are you really from?” or “funny, you don’t sound like a _______.”  More examples can be found at the following website. https://sph.umn.edu/site/docs/hewg/microaggressions.pdf.  Even better, read Claudia Rankine’s prose/poetry book, Citizen.

Linguistic anthropologist Jane Hill coined another term similar to microaggression as she turned her attention to the racialized use of Spanish by Anglos in Latinx communities in the Southwest: mock Spanish.  Web sites that examine mock Spanish and its influence include the following: https://www.kibin.com/essay-examples/the-prevalence-of-mock-spanish-in-the-american-media-zbbf20N7; https://www.latinorebels.com/2016/10/20/trump-relies-on-mock-spanish-to-talk-about-immigration-opinion/; https://languagesinconflict.wordpress.com/tag/mock-spanish/

My understanding of the term is that privileged white speakers can say and do small things that indicate superiority to or derision of minorities without being held accountable.  This behavior can be disguised as humor or ignorance or deemed to be irrelevant by the speaker.

Because each of these events seem insignificant and responsibility for them is easily dismissed, they are often overlooked, except by the people of color who are the target.  And even as most of the news media outlets have been quick to decry the overt assaults on our pluralistic society, they have been silently complicit in it.

Now is the time to come to grips with this phenomenon.  For example, how many persons of color (or women, who coincidentally [or not]have not been perpetrators of violent behavior) host prime-time television news programs?  When they are on camera, I’ve noticed we more often find token representatives in the early morning, late at night, or on weekends. How many persons of color are on the editorial boards of the Washington Post and the New York Times?  Why?  And if persons of color were more valued in the media, would it not be more difficult for them to be devalued in everyday life?

Related: Changing the complexion of news media calls for revolución 

When horrific events such as the Walmart shooting in El Paso happen, do national newsrooms send ace reporters who speak only English and parachute in to communities of color to interview only people who speak English or use local interpreters, or do they send a bilingual journalist who can communicate in English and Spanish?  How many Spanish speaking reporters, I wonder, currently work in mainstream newsrooms of legacy media, or for national broadcast and cable news networks, other than Spanish-language Telemundo and Univision?

Is a Spanish-speaking journalist more or less qualified than an English-speaking reporter to cover major events in a Latino majority community? Is an Anglo reporter with deep ties in a minority community as qualified to cover local news as one who speaks Spanish?  Who decides?

One of the maxims drilled into journalism students is to make sure they get the spelling of someone’s right, to double check it, to make sure to get right the source’s affiliation and title.

Apparently, no such rule applies to the mispronunciation on newscasts of the names of persons of Latino or other ethnic or racial backgrounds.   Some stumbling over unfamiliar words may be understandable, but not something so intimate as a person’s name. Every instance of mispronunciation of people’s names is a hostile act.

I have even heard journalists mispronounce a Latino co-worker’s name, crossing the line between covert and overt aggression. I’ve noticed that some people with non-Anglo, foreign-sounding names either mispronounce their own names or shorten or anglicize their names to better fit into the dominant society. Their reasoning, perhaps, is to make it easier for monolingual English speakers to pronounce their names. I applaud those who don’t.

Ironically, French names seem so much easier for the media to pronounce. I contend that it is not linguistically more difficult, but that it is socially more grievous to mispronounce French words.  This is why British accents appear cultured while Spanish accents often strike Anglo Americans as uneducated.

 I am appalled every time a new, slightly difficult name hits the newsroom. Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died not only of the deadly cuts administered by his Saudi murderers, but by the thousands of small cuts to his memory in the way newscasters mispronounced his name.

In Texas, German was once more prevalent than English. Could this be a reason why the name Schwarzenegger rolls off the tongue, or alternatively and partly in jest, why Jane Hill (mentioned above) titled one of her scholarly articles “Hasta La Vista Baby?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZosMKUC3zk

How did we, a nation of immigrants, come to a place of not caring enough about our neighbors to learn to say their names properly?  How did some Americans come to believe that someone who speaks another language doesn’t belong in this country? How did we get to a place where bilingual speakers are hesitant to use a language other than English in public spaces? Whatever happened to our country’s traditional motto, the Latin phrase on the Great Seal of the United States: e pluribus unum (from many, one)?

This country has a long history of disrespecting people’s names, changing or inventing them to suit themselves or the government’s need for paperwork.  Names were changed at Ellis Island by inspectors, by immigrants themselves or by the shipping companies who brought the immigrants there.

In the plantation-era south, slaves were the given names of their owners or the plantations they were sold to.  Native Americans were given names that suited officialdom. This is our legacy of conquest and domination, despite the fact that our country abounds with place names that originated in Native American and Spanish and French words.  About half of state names are derivations of Native words– even Kentucky (derived from the Iroquoian word kentahten meaning “land of tomorrow.”)

As we reflect on the current horrific mass violence that plagues this country, and the fear it has engendered, we all need to examine the ways in which all of us have intentionally or unwittingly allowed this climate of hate to fester. Those with stronger megaphones and larger audiences such as the news media especially need to reflect on how they may be amplifying messages that contribute to violence and hate speech against people of color.

After they acknowledge the problem and express a sincere desire to correct shortcomings, there must be greater representation in news media of all segments of our society; diversity has been and always will be our strength, not our undoing.

Second, newsrooms across the country need to do some soul searching.  To reiterate a previous statement:  if persons of color were more valued in the media, would it not be more difficult for them to be devalued in everyday life?

Third, I suggest a course, even a short one, in phonetics for journalists to train their ears to hear the subtleties of spoken language.  There is even a website where you can hear names pronounced, and perhaps practice (www.pronouncenames.com).  I cannot, however, vouch for perfection from the site for all names.

Finally, we need to keep an eye (and an ear) out for our own bias, and whenever and wherever microaggressions occur, call them out for what they are–BS. 

Click hear to read News media complicit in perpetuating micro aggressions that devalue Latinos, researchers say

Categories: Local Blogs

Vincent Perez and Stuff

Max Powers - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 6:59am
Not exactly news that your Democratic Party Chair, Iliana Holguin, is running against County Commissioner Vincent Perez. And it is not exactly news that your former County Judge, Veronica Escobar, did not necessarily leave on good terms with Perez. That all being said, I did not think Veronica would want... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Hypocritical

ElPasoSpeak - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 6:48am

This item is on the Tuesday, August 20, 2019 city council agenda:

Resolution authorizing the City of El Paso to approve a resolution to Condemn the Weaponization of Political Rhetoric that promotes the demonization and dehumanization of people of Hispanic origin and other minorities and cultivates an environment of hatred and violence.

They might go a little further and condemn demonizing and dehumanizing anyone regardless of origin.

Then again that would require putting some thought into what they do.

Please note that in spite of their stand on what others might say council has imposed the highest tax rate of the fifty largest cities in the United States on us.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Why Tying Gun Control To The Murders In El Paso Was A Mistake

EPN - Border Analysis - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 10:00pm
It was a mistake to make the murders of 22 Latinos in El Paso about gun control. The […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Construction Site Attire

Max Powers - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 8:31am
When visiting a construction site, always make sure your toes are covered. Besides the fact nobody really wants to see your Barney Rubble-feet, you can get injured. Also, your already ashy feet will get even ashier from all the drywall dust. Open-toed shoes are a no-no Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD lowering its property tax rate

ElPasoSpeak - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 5:18am

Take a look at this:

The chart shows EPISD’s property tax rates for last year along with the rate they are considering for next year.

The end result is that they are considering lowering the combined tax rate from $1.31 per hundred dollars of property valuation to $1.2684 per hundred.

They are lowering the operations and maintenance rate while increasing the interest and sinking fund rate.  Remember that we allowed them to take ten cents away from the interest and sinking fund rate and add it to the operations and maintenance rate.  The effect of the change was to increase the amount that the state gives the district.

That is the other part of the news.  You can see that last year the state gave the district $5,554 per student while next year they are projecting $6,686 from the state.

This is better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Observations from the Gun Show

EPN - Border Analysis - Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:00pm
On Saturday I went to the Orlando Gun Show. I was in search of a few items that […]
Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD’s reaction is “ho hum”

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 08/20/2019 - 9:13am

According to an article in the Times the Texas Education Agency released ratings last week that showed three EPISD schools to have failing grades.  (Schuster, Alta Vista, and Moye)

This is bad.

The EPISD board of trustees is having its next meeting Tuesday, August 20, 2019.

The agenda does not include an item to discuss or take action relative to the failures.

No special meeting of the board has been called.

The Texas Education Agency grades should not be a surprise.  We would think that someone in the legion of administrators would have seen this and set the ships right.

Actions need to be taken immediately.

We deserve better,

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Dee Margo Insulted by Trump

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:00pm
There are some that argue that Donald Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants is simply a call to protect the […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Speak up

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 5:00am

Evidently city council will vote tomorrow (Tuesday, August 20, 2019)  on the issue of overriding the mayor’s veto of the city budget that council passed.

Some of the council members cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Those members will probably vote for overriding the veto since they don’t have to think about keeping their jobs.

Other members will be given a chance to pretend that they support lower taxes.

Now is the time to contact your city council member and tell them what you think.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs
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by Dr. Radut