Another Side of the Brown Thing
Just one L.A. Chicano's opinion
Once again, an issue and its ensuing controversy regarding the people Brown in the Land of 1000 Dances and all Aztlan has arisen, and the world holds its breath while watching.
Published on LatinoLA: April 28, 2006
Once again, I am being approached by many on both sides of the issue, asking what stance LatinoLA and its many talented contributing writers have on this issue, being that we are recognized nationally and around the World as a voice of the Gente Brown.
Once again, while I am honored that myself, this fine web magazine & editorial staff, in addition to all the talented and creative writers and artists involved are being looked to for advice, guidance, or even provocation, I must reiterate that I can only speak for myself, and my opinion does not reflect the opinions of the many fine contributing writers & artists.
Nor is it to be miscontrued as the official stance of LatinoLA. Just Frankie Firme's, and it nothing to do with music...excuse me.
That being said, I will start by saying that this is a political issue for sure, and I abhor politics, especially those surrounding racial equality...as I feel the scales historically unbalanced and unfair, and some things can never be made right. (Sorry, my Indian heritage side, tu sabes!)
I also feel that those in support or against the upcoming legislation would do well to hold forums in an appropriate and intelligent way, respecting all sides, all people....and ultimately all decisions made.
May 1st will be a pivitol time for all Latinos, especially in major U.S. cities.
A national movement calling for Latinos and other immigrants to "fall off the map" for a day on Monday, May 1st, has been talked about across the Country. The concept & message is intended for those who wrongly believe they are the "true" Americans to see how weak, alone, broke, and helpless they would be without a Brown thing in their midst.
Strong message....if delivered right!
Whatever your stance on this, whatever your opinion, whatever the extent of your involvement, if you've given it rational thought, I respect your position and wish you the same courtesy upon me and all others.
After May 1st, our significance as Latinos in the U.S. will be re-evaluated without a doubt. We DO keep the U.S. economy afloat for sure, and now, ignorance accuses us of threatening it. How stupid an idea this is can be slapped back into the faces of people who think like that, by our response and actions.
Not since Cesar Chavez has such a call for non-violent protest across our nation been made. The media is poised to catch any and all examples of ignorance and poor behavior...let's not give it to them!
With utter respect and consideration to you all, I make the following statements:
Violence, social disturbance, public unrest, violation of law, and allowing our children to walk out of school is not in our best interests if we are to be taken seriously and rationally. We must represent with class!
Here's some intelligent sugggestions, and I invite all others:
1) First and foremost, I am well aware that flying another country's flag (Mexico's for example -- my ancestors) is not intended as a show of support for another Country to overthrow ours, nor an indication that that Country's better. (Why would you be here if it was, right? Duh!) Rather, it is more of a grassroots show of ethnic identity & pride. OK, that being said, OK. Got it. Get a bumper sticker or window decal if you must.
But now, it would behoove us all to start flying the Red, White, and Blue on May 1st, the flag of the Country YOU want to live in! The other Country who's flag you're flying really doesn't give a damn if you make it in this Country or not, just keep sending those U.S. dollars their way, though, right?
If it's so great, go back...otherwise, break out the Stars & Stripes, baby! (This shuts a lot of detractors up too, believe me.)
2) Don't encourage your children to walk out of school. That is one of the stupider things they could do, considering all the headway in education our people have made since the walkouts of '68. One of the rights and freedoms other countries don't give is FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL CHILDREN.
Why walk out on this?
It's like peeing in your own corn flakes and complaining you're hungry before lunch. Instead, avoid all the after school businesses that cater to them. Avoid after school at McDonald's, the malls, the arcades, amusement parks, movie houses, etc. MONEY WILL BE LOST, BUT NOT BY US!! That's how the kids can involve themselves! (and even save their parents a few bucks).
3) Don't buy gas on Monday, May 1st. Fill up this weekend. Try to avoid extra driving until Tuesday. With the unfair and absurd profits the oil companies are enjoying, it's time THEY feel a pinch! No sales on Monday means lost bucks, interest, and dividends that day for some Oil Company fat cat.(Hope he chokes on his cigar & caviar , too!) together, the Latino population could cost President Bush & his oil company cronies MILLIONS that day! Don't ya just love it????
4) Don't go shopping or go out on Monday. Hit the markets & malls this weekend. In support of our brothers & sisters that will take it upon themselves to stay off the job in the retail & service business, let's make the shortage of workers be noticed even more by a shortage of customers. Restaurants, shopping centers, theaters, public sports events
(major ones, of course! Don't mess with little league or cheerleaders!) could all seriously feel the pinch of the absence of Latinos.
MAKE THEM NOTICE US!!Better yet, MAKE THEM MI$$ US!!
5) Stay home for a change. This would be a great time and reason to get some family time in. There are at least 20 things in your house right now you've been putting off. Handle your business, Mi Gente.
Lastly, I know adherance to old ways are traditional, and even respected.
Do me a favor and pass this one on, and interpret it to some Gente who don't speak English...yet!
...and break out the Stars & Stripes, baby! it our turn!
Frankie Firme's e~mail: Firmemusica@hotmail.com