Category Archives: News/Politics

Why I’m taking a break from CNN for a while

I realized today I’m going to have to find something else to listen to in the background while I work.

Until now my distraction of choice for creating background noise had always been CNN. Not that I find their reporting super accurate or engaging, but it was something I could keep on and turn and watch every once in a while when I heard something that caught my attention. That no longer is the case.

With the amount of time the network is giving Trump and his surrogates about their “transition into power” my tolerance for watching has kind of dwindled into nothingness. Who knows, this may be temporary.

For now, though, I’m open to suggestions about other things to listen to that aren’t so depressing.

Why I'm taking a break from CNN for a while

Ana Navarro strikes again at NCLR

This weekend the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) held their annual conference in Orlando, Florida. As was to be expected, politics was a key topic for most of the event. One of the presenters that really stood out for me was Republican political commentator Ana Navarro. Her speech was both rousing and pretty powerful.

For some reason I can’t embed the actual video of her speech, but if you CLICK HERE you can watch it in its entirety. My dear friend Laurita Tellado streamed the entire speech from her Facebook page. I definitely think you should watch it, especially if you’re at all concerned about the future of Latinos in this country after the November election.

She’s definitely right. The choice is in our hands.

Here are just a few tweets about her presentation as well.

If you missed her first strike in defense of U.S. Latinos, here it is as well.

Thoughts on the Status of Mexicans in the U.S.A.

Thoughts on the Status of Mexicans in the U.S.A.
Chamizal National Memorial by Jasperdo

On purpose we have severely limited the amount of times we have written about the “D” word here on the blog. That’s mostly because in general we like to stay away from politics all together. Not because we are afraid to express our point of view or even because of what others might think about what we have to say. That has never been the concern in keeping our two cents to ourselves. Instead, our reason has been much more simple. We had not until now found the need to bring up the “D” word or to share any of our personal beliefs in this way. What’s changed now, however, is seemingly the sentiment about what it means to be Mexican in the United States.

For weeks, probably even months now, a lot has been said about our community in this country: Mexicans. And by Mexicans I mean both the mexicanos who just recently emigrated to this country and those who have been here for generations upon generations. In some instances, even those who are not of a Mexican ancestry at all, but who are just as easily identified as such by those who genuinely do not know or care to know the difference.

What’s been said about us has not been good. It’s varied from veiled insults to downright racism and hatred towards our community, and hence here is where the “D” word comes up every time. I won’t repeat any of the statements made by him or by any others for that matter. I truly believe doing so only perpetuates the hatred and ignorance with which these words were spewed, but more than likely you already know what things we’re talking about anyway. It has been almost impossible to evade the constant stream of news and social conversations taking place about these things. What really has started to weigh on me lately, however, is the notion that some of these “commonly held beliefs” about our community have to some degree begun to become normalized in our everyday society.

No longer are the words of hatred and unfavorable stereotypes met with offense or even surprise. It’s as if though for some reason saying these things, or hearing about these things being said, has become normal. Have we heard them so many times now that they are no longer a cause for concern? That’s my biggest concern.

I don’t want to live in a society where people who look and sound like me are denigrated and insulted every other day. I don’t want it to become the norm for people to say things about our community and for us not to challenge the things they say. I want us to voice our defense of our people. I want us to cascade the negativity with positive story after positive story about our community. I want us to unite as one and stand against the denigration of our cultural heritage and ancestry. I want us to meet ignorance with knowledge, and most importantly I want us to drive the narrative and change the dialogue about our community.

I also want us to show up and vote and knock down the threat of hatred becoming even more powerful.

I guess this is my personal plea to you to please make your voice heard.

Selena Gomez opens up about lupus

Selena Gomez has lupus.

“As a matter fact” statement, that phrase is hard to write and read. It doesn’t get any bolder than that and I don’t mean it to offend. Instead, I’m hoping that this strong statement grabs your attention. I’m honestly happy Selena Gomez is bringing  awareness to this physical health issue. An issue that affects countless individuals, including a few of my own family members.

It was something I had never heard of or given much thought to until my sister landed in the hospital unable to leave for almost 2 weeks.

When we found out my sister had lupus she was basically living at the hospital, unable to leave, for those 2 weeks. It was quite scary, to say the least.

It shook my family to its core.

We scrambled to donate blood. Just in case. It was uneasy watching doctors come in and out only to deliver the same prognosis of her condition, which didn’t seem to want to change. Her blood count was low and our fear was that she could go into cardiac arrest. To this day, anytime she is feeling unwell we all hold our breath.

She does take care of herself as much as her body allows. She understands lupus much more, as do we. Still, we can always continue educating ourselves since progressive medicine is always taking place. Selena Gomez may never read this, but I want to thank her for opening up about her condition and educating the public, creating awareness about something so personal.

So what is lupus, you ask?

It’s an autoimmune chronic disease that effects the blood, skin, joints, among other things. You can read more about lupus here: lupus.org

Selena Gomez opens up about lupus

What “Dump Trump” has meant for U.S. Latinos

What "Dump Trump" has meant for U.S. Latinos

In the days since Donald Trump’s insensitive and less than flattering words about immigrants of Mexican descent many things have happened. One major network very publicly fired the real estate mogul. Then another. And then another. Several brands have also severed ties with the presidential hopeful citing his inappropriate and offensive language as the primary reason for letting him go. Celebrities, politicians, online influencers, and everyday citizens have all expressed their disapproval of his offensive language.

It’s hard to understand if he could have ever imagined the backlash his words would inspire.

What is undeniable is that as Latinos, almost in unison, our community has raised its voice and made it clear to Trump and others who may share his beliefs that we will not tolerate this type of discrimination any longer. Unlike generations past such as those of our parents, in which staying quiet and protesting in silence was the norm, our generation is vocal and unwilling to bow our heads in shame or hopelessness. If anything, Trump’s little fiasco has made that perfectly clear, not only to the world, but most importantly to ourselves.

Where many have wondered just what it would take to unite community as large and diverse as ours – Hispanic or Latino, whichever you prefer. Turns out a few choice words by one individual have done what many have all but thought was impossible. In the last couple of days, we have stood united, not only as Latinos, but as human beings who understand from our own experiences or those of others near to us, that being an immigrant does not mean one should be helpless, or an easy target for anyone. No matter how successful, wealthy or famous.

I am proud beyond words. Not for the consequences brought upon Trump, but because of the many wonderful and brave words that were elevated in defense of a defenseless community. May no others make the mistake of underestimating our unity in culture and experience.

According to Nielsen, Hispanic home ownership has been on the decline since 2007

We received this news announcement under embargo from the folks at Nielsen. 

Between now and 2020, roughly four out of every 10 new households that form in the U.S. will be headed by someone of Hispanic descent – more than any other single racial or ethnic group. The Hispanic demographic will be a key driver of home rental and purchasing activity in the next several years, and this will have important implications for the housing sector. Hispanics aspire to home ownership, and the majority of Hispanic movers want to purchase when they move. But a new report from The Demand Institute finds that many Hispanic households will struggle to achieve the dream of home ownership in the next five years because they lack the down payment, income or credit to follow through on their plans.

Hispanics & Home Ownership: Closing the Gap is the latest publication from The Demand Institute, a non-advocacy, non-profit think tank jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The report finds that nearly four-million Hispanics would like to purchase a home when they move, but only 1.5 million are financially prepared to do so – a gap of 2.5 million households that will struggle to attain the goal of home ownership.

According to Nielsen, Hispanic home ownership is on the decline

“Hispanics were hit especially hard by the financial crisis and housing crash, and the outlook for home ownership is uncertain,” said Louise Keely, president of The Demand Institute. “The home ownership rate among Hispanic households now stands at 44 percent and continues to decline; stagnant incomes, tight lending standards and high housing costs are holding back Hispanic home ownership.”

In 2007, the Hispanic home ownership rate peaked at nearly 50 percent but has been in decline ever since. “Hispanics are one of the fastest-growing demographics, and their prospects for home ownership in a lot of ways reflect the prospects for the entire country,” continued Keely.

The report also finds that more Hispanics are moving to the suburbs, even though Hispanics are still more likely than non-Hispanics to live in urban areas. “Hispanic households are still most likely to be family households,” said Jeremy Burbank, who is a vice president at The Demand Institute and leads the American Communities Demand Shifts Program. “Hispanics are moving to the suburbs for more space, better schools and more affordable housing – they’re looking for places to raise their families,” said Burbank.

Hispanics & Home Ownership: Closing the Gap is the first report from The Demand Institute’s American Communities Demand Shifts Program, which provides insight on the future of American communities, including the ever-evolving housing sector. The program is an extension of more than four years of in-depth research conducted by The Demand Institute, and will help business leaders and policymakers better anticipate and address the needs of consumers and citizens.

A subscription program is available for an annual fee, and offers access to invaluable perspective on the drivers of consumer demand through research briefs, in-depth reports, online data visualization tools and engagement with the research team via webcasts, among other benefits. A collaborative effort, members also have an opportunity to help shape the research agenda. For more information about the program, please visit: http://demandinstitute.org/projects/american-communities/

About The Demand Institute
The Demand Institute illuminates how consumer demand is evolving around the world. We help government and business leaders align investments to where consumer demand is headed across industries, countries and markets. A non-advocacy, non-profit organization and a division of The Conference Board, The Demand Institute holds 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States and is jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. For more information, please visit demandinstitute.org.

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States. For more information, visit conference-board.org.

About Nielsen
Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Go Goya!

Congrats on donating 20,000 pounds of food to San Antonio’s Catholic Charities this week! That’s a lot of frijoles! Well, actually, I’m sure they donated more than just beans. Regardless, we thought it was something worth saying ¡Ajua! to in acknowledgement.

According to reports, the food was donated the Our Lady of Guadalupe Community Center and Food Pantry on Tuesday, December 23rd. Catholic Charities supports food pantries and emergency food programs throughout the San Antonio region. In fact, the faith based organization claims to serve more than 143,00 people each year.

Goya, in case you’re not familiar, manufactures more than 2,200 food products from the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, Central and South America. Frijoles, of course, are among their bestsellers!

Go Goya

HAHMP Border Crisis Event

The numbers are staggering. The headlines, sensational. The debate, uber-political. And for many of us who are either immigrants or children of immigrants, this “border crisis” hits extremely close to home. Parties on both sides  have raised their voices and made their opinions clear. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that according to some predictions nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors will enter the United States this year alone.

That’s 52,000 more children than the average 8,000 unaccompanied minors that entered the country annually prior to 2012, according to the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. These kids are coming from Latin American countries, for the most part, in search of a better future for themselves, or to try and reunite with their parents or other family members in the U.S. Los niños de nadie, some media outlets have labeled them.

Recently in Houston, the Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals held a panel to discuss the “border crisis” created by the debate around the influx of unaccompanied minors entering the country. Latino journalists from KPRC Local 2, La Voz de Houston, News 92 FM, MyFoxHouston, Univision, Telemundo. and various other media outlets shared their experiences in covering this story.

Below are a few images from the event. Anjelica and I were part of the audience during this panel.

HAHMP Border Crisis Event
HAHMP members with veteran News 92 FM journalist Mike Barajas.
HAHMP Border Crisis Event
Husband and wife power couple Jessica and Nelson Vanegas.
HAHMP Border Crisis Event
Macky Osorio, United Airlines; Aurora Losada, Assistant Managing Editor of Spanish Publications for the Houston Chronicle; and Anjelica.
HAHMP Border Crisis Event
The Houston blogger crew, Anjelica, me and our good friend, Sandra Fernandez of SandraSays.com.