Thursday, November 15, 2012



Comment: Warning: contains hate speech. Been debating whether to
send this one out. This stuff is affecting the security of the
border states and the U.S. as a whole. A sad sample of the hate,
lies and sickness. Provided to us by the az daily star It is all
about illegal immigration, not legal immigration. It would seem that
anyone opposed to illegal immigration is all of the below. Even
those from our family who immigrated here legally. Including two
"kid sisters", born and raised in Mexico, Mexican citizens. We have
to do it by the book, but not others? . Especially irritating for
your correspondents wife, also a legal immigrant. So those who
immigrate legally, learn English, become productive members of
society are really anti immigrant? Anti Latino? This stuff getting
very tiresome. People like neto ( little ernesto) are doing a lot
of harm to this country.

Neto's Tucson: Latinos must engage to counter AZ's sorry image

October 21, 2012 12:00 am • Ernesto Portillo Jr. Arizona Daily Star
(97) Comments
A few days ago, my fiancé and I were driving to Los Angeles when, in
San Diego, we heard a radio ad in Spanish that almost made me swerve
off the road.

It was a paid political advertisement by a union that supports the
Democratic candidate for mayor of San Diego. What caught my interest
was that the Republican candidate was tarred and feathered as an ally
of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The narrator did not mince words.

Think about it. If you want to defeat a politician and you're talking
to a Hispanic audience, just associate the adversary with our state
politicians, who have created controversies that have reached across
the country.

In other words, Brewer, who signed SB 1070, which has largely been
held unconstitutional, and Arpaio, who has led raids in Latino
neighborhoods in and around Phoenix, are the equivalent of political
chupacabras for many Latinos.

This is where we have arrived in Arizona. We are not known for
forward-thinking politicians and policies. Instead, we have media-
hungry characters and divisive initiatives. This is our state's
reputation, not only in California and the rest of the country, but

The world knows Arizona for its anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policy
fomented in recent years by not only by Brewer and Arpaio but by
former state Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa, who was recalled and lost
his bid to return to public office.

But how did we get to this point where the nation and the world look
at us as a bitter and angry state looking for ways to criticize
immigrants and Latinos?

Even before Brewer and SB 1070, Arizona voters in 2000 passed a law
that eliminated bilingual education in public schools. More recently,
the state banned the Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson
Unified School District, under the accusation that its ethnically
diverse students from Tucson, Cholla, Pueblo and Rincon high schools
were learning how to hate their country.

The cumulative effect of these laws has created an environment of
blame and rejection. Latinos, whether we are citizens, legal
residents or undocumented, are the source of the state's ills.

Unemployment? Crime? Drug trafficking? Even littering, Latinos are
mostly responsible for these and other problems in Arizona, so claim
the accusers.

More than absurd, it is insulting.

Even many Latinos have bought into this toxic myth created by
xenophobic leaders and anti-Latino activists. When voters approve
laws, such as banning bilingual education, with support from Latino
voters, politicians excuse themselves by saying, "Well, if Latinos
support it then I'm not racist."

There are many reasons why we have reached this point. There are a
number of analyses. But one good explanation lies at the feet of

Not enough Latinos are involved in the political process.

In two previous columns, I wrote about the low number of Latinos who
register to vote and who vote. I also wrote of the efforts of
organizations and activists that encourage more Latinos to get
involved in politics.

As residents of Tucson and Southern Arizona, as citizens of this
country, Latinos need to be politically engaged. And not only in
electoral politics, but in schools and in neighborhoods.

With more Latino political and civic participation comes more
effective political representation.

That might not solve all of our state's and local problems, but fewer
politicians would rush to blame Latinos.

Care to get involved?

The Latino Policy Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that
encourages Latinos to vote, needs volunteers for its phone bank.

Volunteers are needed for two- or three-hour blocks:

Monday - Thursday, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Sunday,
2-7 p.m.

Call 222-8683 to volunteer.

Ernesto "Neto" Portillo Jr. is editor of La Estrella de Tucsón. He
can be reached at (520) 573-4187 or at

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