Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Latino Body in Jail

Largely obscured by the rancorous debate surrounding U.S. immigration policy is the emergence of a trend that should be a cause of concern to all Latino communities: the explosion of the number of Latinos in prison.With one-in-six Latino males born today expected to spend some time in prison during their lives, the future portends devastating consequences for Latino communities.

Too many Latino men are living in prison


Racial Breakdown:
Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment

On December 31, 2005, there were 2,193,798 people in U.S. prisons and jails. The United States incarcerates a greater share of its population, 737 per 100,000 residents, than any other country on the planet. But when you break down the statistics you see that incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment.

U.S. incarceration rates by race, June 30, 2006:

* Whites: 409 per 100,000
* Latinos: 1,038 per 100,000
* Blacks: 2,468 per 100,000

Gender is an important "filter" on the who goes to prison or jail, June 30, 2006:

* Females: 134 per 100,000
* Males: 1,384 per 100,000

Look at just the males by race, and the incarceration rates become even more frightening, June 30, 2006:

* White males: 736 per 100,000
* Latino males: 1,862 per 100,000
* Black males: 4,789 per 100,000

If you look at males aged 25-29 and by race, you can see what is going on even clearer, June 30, 2006:

* For White males ages 25-29: 1,685 per 100,000.
* For Latino males ages 25-29: 3,912 per 100,000.
* For Black males ages 25-29: 11,695 per 100,000. (That's 11.7% of Black men in their late 20s.)

Or you can make some international comparisons:
South Africa under Apartheid was internationally condemned as a racist society.

* South Africa under apartheid (1993), Black males: 851 per 100,000
* U.S. under George Bush (2006), Black males: 4,789 per 100,000

What does it mean that the leader of the "free world" locks up its Black males at a rate 5.8 times higher than the most openly racist country in the world?

Statistics as of June 30, 2006 from Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006, Table 14. The "rates by race" statistics are calculated from the component parts of Table 14. South Africa figures from Marc Mauer, Americans Behind Bars: The International Use of Incarceration. All references to Blacks and Whites are for what the Bureau of Justice Statistics and U.S. Census refer to as "non-Hispanic Blacks" and "non-Hispanic Whites".)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

España, recuerdos y noticias

I can't think of anyone who's been more humane, more capable, more loving, more obstinate, more primal Eva, than Eva Lloréns. Daughter of Spanish painter Franciso Lloréns, disciple of Joaquin Sorolla, Eva loved two things: Galicia and the person who kept her in the States, in Stratford, Connecticut, for as long as she did. I miss her terribly and want to keep her memory alive. She hated the web, posting her paintings, anything that made it easier to connect without really connecting on a human level. The irony now is in this medium, the mnemonic register that gives texture to my memories of her and everything she did to keep me from being less than she imagined.

We read Garcilaso's Soneto XXIII in a survey course on Peninsular literature. That is my first memory of her and so I find it appropriate to begin this technology of memory in her name with Garcilaso's brilliant symmetry of form and topos: death as regenerative life, and writing, say, a sonnet, as mnemonic memory. Proof of life beyond the brittle seams of heart and its limited beats.

Garcilaso de la Vega (1501-1536)

Soneto XXIII

En tanto que de rosa y azucena
se muestra la color en vuestro gesto,
y que vuestro mirar ardiente, honesto,
enciende al corazón y lo refrena;

y en tanto que el cabello, que en la vena
del oro se escogió, con vuelo presto,
por el hermoso cuello blanco, enhiesto,
el viento mueve, esparce y desordena:

coged de vuestra alegre primavera
el dulce fruto, antes que el tiempo airado
cubra de nieve la hermosa cumbre;

marchitará la rosa el viento helado.
Todo lo mudará la edad ligera
por no hacer mudanza en su costumbre.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

(Im)migrant Bashing Reprieve

James M. Munley, Judge from the central Pennsylvania district of Hazeltown, struck down the local ordinances that have sought to punish undocumented (im)migrants for trying to live and work in the brain-drained town. Evidence: Mayor Louis J. Barletta (whose name evinces more border crossing than a snake's shed skin) made tax payers pay for their own ignorance while scapegoating (im)migrants. Brain drain has been rough for the rust belt.

Hazleton immigration law is rejected: A city cannot take such a national issue into its own hands, a judge rules in Pennsylvania

Hazeltown, Pa., immigration, Mexican American body

(Im)migrant Bashing Reprieve

One Master for Another?

Castro, the elder, says Cuban America is responsible for “irritating inequalities and privileges” in Cuba.

(Photo: Rodrigo Abd, NYT/Associated Press)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Latino Body Book Talk, Barcelona

I'm across the pond, in Europe the old seeing new and old friends. Internet access has not been as predictable as I thought (not as many internet cafes as a few years ago), so I'll post pictures and write with light instead.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Mexican Body as Fuel

Conservative CNN commentator and radio host Glenn Beck read a mock ad created by subscribers to his website that announced the profitable use of Mexican bodies as fuel. What other group could be as expendable in the national imaginary? Would anyone put up with such banter if it dealt with, say, African Americans?

See Text[t] Mex's post about this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

David Ritcheson

David Ritcheson, the Mexican American teenager who hated being known as "that kid," jumped off a ship to his death yesterday.

Ritcheson was beaten unconscious, burned with cigarettes, doused with bleach, carved with a knife, and sodomized with a plastic pole. One of his assailants shouted "White Power!" as he beat Ritcheson during the course of some five hours. The boy had tried to kiss one of the attacker's sister. My heart goes out to his family.


Court description: What Does Hate Look Like?

As the dailykos noted last year: Shades of 1955?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"Patent Pending" Poverty Travelers?

"Legal" Poverty Travelers?

From LLS International, that is, "Latin Labor Solutions." (No, I'm not kidding.):

"Our experience and knowledge – along with our exclusive Guest Worker Services system (patent pending) and solid relationships with the Mexican and U.S. consulates – allow us to smoothly and swiftly move workers into the country and get them to their employer. We represent literally thousands of workers who are waiting to assist you. Call us. Help is on the way."

H-2B Visa aspirants, Ojo.