Brainy Quote of the Day

Friday, May 5, 2017

Now, We Are Here...

Battle of Puebla - Wikipedia
Topics: Diversity, Diversity in Science, Hispanic Americans, Latino Americans, Politics, Women in Science

If you do a search on the words "Cinco de Mayo" on the blog, this post as well as many others come up celebrating Hispanic/Latino Heritage and diversity. I re-post last year's entry as it was during the divisive campaign that as I say in this rendering, now "has us here" with the same xenophobia that is sweeping across Europe with Russian assistance, ushering in (as Chris Hedges writes) a Reign of Idiots.

Now...they have repealed the Affordable Care Act in the House (originally a republican idea), mostly as a reaction to their own pejorative "Obamacare," not caring that if it had a snowball's chance of passing the Senate, their own constituents will bear the brunt of losing healthcare coverage. As with the former president, it is image of brown people dancing in their heads as they take a "victory lap." Apparently being a woman, rape or domestic violence is a "preexisting condition." The definitions for dystopia and sadomasochism are more descriptive and accurate for what happened yesterday. Other nations have universal healthcare, some of them not exactly our friends. This is essentially a tax break poorly disguised as healthcare reform. 

Today is Cinco de Mayo. Dreamers told to "rest easy" are being deported. Hispanic/Latino culture is appropriated and commercialized in the USA from foods, fashion and Mariachi Bands. Like other contributions from people of color: Jazz, Rock and Roll, Hip Hop; the BANJO - America is willing to appropriate their traditions, claiming them as their own, and disrespect the people that originated them.

November 6, 2018 is the date of US midterms. Silence or apathy is compliance.

Important link: Indivisible Guide. Last year's post past the asterisks.

Note: Blog vacation. Back in a week.


The presumptive nominee of one of our major political parties used a xenophobic attack against Hispanics/Latinos - he called them drug dealers and rapists; he'll build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it; Muslims are barred at the border; African Americans have been injured and denigrated at his rallies; Women and LGBT have been insulted; Native Americans were burned by him in a bad casino deal. He's stirred the melting pot and bigots have bubbled out of the cauldron, the 2012 autopsy all but ignored. Someone commented to me that their father "didn't leave the Democratic Party in 1967; it left him." I bit my own tongue at the political dodge: the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act may have had something to do with his father's exodus, as it did many others. The hashtag movement to oppose the rise of the presumptive nominee has fallen to dust.

It is befitting today I repost this reminder of our diversity. I make no predictions and take nothing for granted. 538 and a lot of pundits predicted demises that didn't materialize. All the models were based on typical political science rules in elective politics. He is not following the rules: he's wrestling, WWE style.

I was 18 in 1980. I could at that time, drink as well as vote; the drinking age was raised to 21 when I turned 21 three years later, so it didn't impact me as much as generations afterwards. I voted along the party lines of my parents, affected by a party that championed the '64 and '65 acts my sister put her life on the line in demonstration lines for. The "Gipper" posed at his first rally in Philadelphia, Mississippi near the site of three murdered Civil Rights workers. It was an understood "wink and nod" at a group of disgruntled, disappointed and bigoted voters soon known as "Reagan Democrats." Using the dark machinations of the "Southern Strategy," so clearly elucidated by Lee Atwater, you will eventually get what you want: take from "them" because "they" didn't earn anything, despite a holocaust born of a mass continental kidnapping, rape, hangings, cross burning, domestic terrorism in the form of poll taxes and other voter suppression, castrations and reparations deferred forever. You did it with subtle, verbal Jujitsu; not openly as now: Moochers...Welfare Queens...Takers...Thugs...Rapists...all with a distinct hue in the gradient of Melanin. This has been one long backlash to the "established order" since January 20, 2009, when things got so terrible for many that bought into the myth of their inherit superiority. The president's main sin is the destruction of a narrative as long as the republic.

I make no predictions, but I give a sharp warning: Reagan was joked about in "Back To The Future" (Doc Brown: Who's president in 1985? Marty: Ronald Reagan. Doc Brown: The actor?), because as a B-Movie star, his only notable film was "Bedtime for Bonzo." Biff Tannen, the antagonist to Marty McFly's father - is based off the same real estate mogul, the Birther-in-Chief and reality TV star that is his party's presumptive nominee.

B-Movie actor...reality TV star... "What's past is prologue." William Shakespeare.

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16. (Wikipedia)

The National Society of Hispanic Physicists has a recognition page of Hispanic Americans in Physics - Past, Present and Future. Similar to what I posted during the month of February, my intention is to give the same attention to Hispanic Scientists and Engineers during the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Teaching for Change: Book link here
Almost 10 years before "Brown vs. Board of Education," Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Praise for "Separate is Never Equal" by Duncan Tonatiuh

"Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history."
--"Kirkus Reviews," starred review
"Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later."
--"School Library Journal," starred review
"Tonatiuh ("Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote") offers an illuminating account of a family's hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before "Brown" v. "Board of Education.""
--"Publishers Weekly"
"Pura Belpre Award-winning Tonatiuh makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation."

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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