Archive for July, 2014

Undocumented Dissonance

Posted: July 9, 2014 by conca1 in Uncategorized

Undocumented Dissonance

By Gabriel H. Sanchez

I shared a link on my wall on Facebook a couple of days ago. My caption read: “Armed anti-government groups vs. unarmed, undocumented, unprotected people out in the middle of nowhere. Recepie for tragedy? I think so.” This was one of the responses to my caption by another Facebook user:

“Unarmed? Not true some are known gang or cartel members even some potential terrorists. Undocumented? Is that the political correct word now a days. And if they are are unprotected and in the middle of nowhere well they put themselves in that situation. Before you bring up the poor kids please realize that a lot of these kids are being stolen or rented so these people can stay in the U.S. I see a whole bunch of people blabbering about the poor illegals but no one does anything for them. I dont see them oppenin their doors or feeding these people. They’re just hopping to get their way and let everyone else foot the bill. Lets be realists. Now president dumbshit asks for 3.6 billion to help in the “humanitarian crisis” after raising the national debt to more that 6 trillion. We need help here. Americans need help first. I have veteran friends that need to wait almost four months for the damn VA but its ok becouse we can help everyone else first…”

I decided to respond to this comment, not because it says anything new, (it is pretty standard anti-immigrant rhetoric you hear on certain cable channels and radio talk shows). I decided to respond because I think it may be a reflection of a widespread misunderstanding of the current humanitarian crisis that is occurring right here in our border communities. That, and also that it was a comment made by someone who has directly benefitted from immigration because some in his immediate family came from Mexico.

“Gang and cartel members”:

No one is arguing for us to let criminals into the country. You wrongly conflate the vast majority of immigrants who just seek an opportunity for a better life with those whose intent is criminally driven.

“Potential Terrorists”

Where is your evidence that some are even potential terrorists? Who determines when someone crosses the line between “potential terrorist” to simply terrorist? Of course, we need to employ all means to protect ourselves from criminals and evil-doers. But to point to terrorism as an argument to seal the border and alarm people about the current wave of immigrants arriving at our border with Mexico is misguided. 9/11 was used as an excuse to build a wall along our border, but in fact, the 9/11 terrorists didn’t come illegally. They had visas.

Political correct

To call someone undocumented serves to segregate the two ideas that you erroneously combined. Again, one set of people are refugees/immigrants seeking asylum or an opportunity to improve their lot in life. The other set (a tiny fraction of the number of undocumented people) are the gang/cartel members. Undocumented immigrants have the right to be treated as people, with the dignity they deserve, even if some have to be turned back to their respective countries. We have the means, hands and technology to seek out and deport any and all immigrants who have a criminal background or engage in criminal activity. For those there should be no chances to remain.

They put themselves in that situation

That they put themselves in such dangerous situations simply for the chance at possibly reaching the U.S. speaks volumes of the level of danger, staggering poverty, and limited options or opportunities that exist in their homelands. Therefore, they should be helped out. At the very least we should help them survive even if in the end they will be sent back. It is inhumane to see people suffering and idly stand by without offering assistance. Beyond that, it is just evil to see people suffering and contribute or increase their pain by talking about them, or treating them as criminals or sub-humans.

The poor kids

The fact that human trafficking occurs should make you realize that this crisis should be addressed quickly and in a humane fashion, not convince you that you should turn a blind eye and simply not “bring up the poor kids”. You contribute nothing in that way. You said you see a lot of people “blabbering” about the kids, yet they do nothing for them, but what do you propose? To ignore them? Then didn’t you just blabber about the kids without helping them, as well?

I don’t advocate for the people of our country to become the ones who have to foot “the bill”. You need to realize that one of the reasons that you and I are able to have the luxury of carnes asadas (grilling meat) on the weekends and cheap fruit, vegetables and fast food is because there are immigrants out in the fields working for little pay and almost no benefits that you or I receive from a worker-employer relationship. Maybe you should check out some stats which point to a positive, not negative, contribution by immigrants before listening to hate-filled, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

President dumbshit

Do you really think that insulting a person contributes positively toward solutions when there are problems being addressed by differing views? It doesn’t. It serves only to aggravate. In other words, it makes the problem bigger. (Not to mention that it is a terrible sign of disrespect for the office of the president and for the man’s place in our history.)

The deficit is in such a shape because we have been through two different wars in just one decade, coupled with a debilitating recession. The fact that the VA is inefficient is because it is a broken agency and very few if any politicians even want to sit down and fix it. Instead they engage in partisan speech to rile their bases on easy topics like anti-immigration. Immigration, like the VA, is also a matter that needs to be addressed and fixed, but so far some in congress would rather ignore the problem instead of actually sitting down and passing immigration reform.

Americans should always come first. But what you need to realize is that this situation that we are witnessing is about a multitude of children refugees who are seeking help because some nations in Central America have the highest rates of violence and murder, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc. I think deep down you can understand that this is different than just a matter of simple illegal crossings. Let’s give these kids and their families at the very least the dignity of telling their story.  And if the case is that they are fleeing a warzone, then let us help them escape. Because simply opting to close the door and send them back is in some cases tantamount to issuing their death sentence.

You and I, like every citizen of the United States have benefited from the opportunity to come to this place and call it home. America was built by immigrants. You, our parents, and I have much in common with our first Commander-in-Chief (whom I would never refer to as a dumbshit), President George Washington: he, as well as you and I, are the product of immigration. To cut off the chance for people to come into our country is to shut off the potential for growth and improvement from the contributions of labor and ideas that new immigrants bring.

2nd Ultimate Poetry Boxing Championship

Posted: July 8, 2014 by conca1 in Uncategorized

2nd Ultimate Poetry Boxing Championship.

2nd Ultimate Poetry Boxing Championship

Posted: July 8, 2014 by conca1 in Uncategorized

UPBC Belt

To All Poets!

The 2nd Ultimate Poetry Boxing Championship

Register to compete against other poets in a series of poetry “bouts” to determine the pound for pound best poet in the land. The Champion will take the prize and get a chapbook made of their poetry free of charge.
Contest Rules:

• No Foul Language
• One Poem per Round
• No Gloating
• Duration: 3 Minutes per round, 3 Rounds = best 2 of 3 Wins

• Judges Decide Win: TKO/KO based on Points Scoring
• Referee Decides “No Contest”
• Must use different poem per bout (Must Submit minimum of 4 Poems to compete

• In the event of tie, contest goes into “Sudden Death” round:
Free-verse until the last woman/man is left standing!

Submit your poems for consideration to concavoices@gmail.com. Include name, phone number, and one-sentence bio for promotion of event scheduled for August 16, 2014.
Deadline for submission: July 31, 2014
This event is brought to you by CONCA (Coalition of New Chicano Artists)