Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pew Foundation Statistical Portrait of Latinos

The picture of Latina/o educational attainment released by the Pew Hispanic Center points to a demographic turn with profound social and economic implications (scroll to last table below). A student recently suggested that Latina/os need a public intellectual voice to speak truth to the powers that delimit Latina/o civic participation. Another argued for a Gramscian block of organic-public intellectuals. Can the possibility for such a project even emerge under the current conditions?

Source: A Statistical Portrait of Hispanics at Mid-Decade

This statistical profile of the Latino population is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey public use microdata file, which was released August 29, 2006. The topics covered are virtually the same as those in the long form of the decennial census. Fully implemented nationwide for the first time in 2005, the ACS became the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. It provides statistical resources not previously available except with data from a decennial census.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Latino TV

"Latino American TV," a redundantly named initiative from AIM TV Group, seeks to convince Nielsen Media Research to change their ratings method to reflect U.S. born Latinos and to help get more Latinos on English language TV. That non-native born Latinos don't factor into the equation as as telling as much as it's missing the point.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Death and Latino Ontology

Lázaro Trista, a Guatemalan immigrant, was beaten to death by three men in Plainfield, N.J., this past week for simply being a Latino immigrant, and the mainstream media doesn't seem interested in reporting this case. The local Latino press reports that Tista had purchased a plane ticket and planned to return to Guatemala for good this month. He missed his family and wanted to see his youngest son, whom he had never met.

Under what conditions does a body, any body, cease to signify its own humanity by virtue of its historical and political identity in a country that grants "minutemen" the impunity associated with justice through the category of "law"? How can a nation construe the very being of any of its inhabitants as an expendable and disposable commodity? My heart goes out to his family.

Guatemala's Prensa Libre covered it this afternoon.

Article selections below are from Courier News:

Police Chief Edward Santiago said the killing happened within a half-hour before police arrived at the scene Nov. 4. He said the three men singled out Tista to rob him.

"Based on the statements we received, the bias identifiers were established from their statements that they were targeting Hispanics," said Police Chief Edward Santiago.

Tista was a Guatemalan immigrant who worked as a landscaper. He was preparing to fly Nov. 29 to Guatemala, where his wife, mother and six of his children live. Tista has a 20-year-old son who lives in New Jersey.

Local activist Flor Gonzales, of the Latin American Coalition, and Elaine O'Neal, the victims and witness advocate at the Union County Prosecutor's Office, worked with Tista's family and were able to raise enough money so that Tista's remains can be flown home to Guatemala on Monday, Santiago said.

Tista has been given a wake at the Salvation Army in Plainfield, and he will have a funeral in Guatemala, Santiago said.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Capital Cannibals in Philadelphia: Frida Kahlo and the Consumption of Mexicanidad (as Viewed from the Global North)

Philadelphia Frida

The various representational afterlives of Frida Kahlo will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from February 20, 2008 - May 18, 2008. The show represents the first major exhibition in the United States of Kahlomania in nearly fifteen years. At a recent gathering of visual artists, the arts cognoscenti du jour tried to convince me that Kahlo would bring in the area's Latina/o community (the most under-served community in the area). I suggested that Oswald de Andrade's Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibalist Manifesto), from the founding issue of the brilliant Revista de Antropofagia, might teach us a thing or two about capital accumulation and how the new tech barbarians are as clueless about context as Frida was cognizant of it. "Tupi, or not Tupi that is the question.... I am only interested in what is not mine. Law of Man. Law of the Cannibal." The arts cognoscenti du jour are cannibals.

Philadelphia Museum of Art