The Latino media needs a more sobering look into the paralysis in the reform movement and its divisions.
By Javier Rodriguez from Boyle Heights 19 Jan 2015
Predictably, the far right republicans, including Speaker Boehner, launched another mega cannon shot against immigrant empowerment. This time, as promised, attacking President Obama’s preventive Executive Action Order against deportation for 5 million of our people. It was done through the vehicle of threatening the security budget. It’s obvious, as we Mexicans of all levels of intellect and power like to say “a los Republicanos les vale madre.” In other words the right is willing to risk it all and proof of the pudding is in the eating. On its 7th year of right wing “backward progress ,” with their present political and organizational plan, last November they took not only the Senate majority, they also expanded their power in the House of Representatives.
Since the historical election of November 2008, their objective has been to take back the White House in 2016 and to get there, the Republican strategy has been presidential obstruction and this includes the venue of obstructing the course of immigration. And this, regardless of the predictions and treatening growth of the Latino, Asian and immigrant demographic shift, set to increase to unstoppable levels for the November 2016 presidential elections and unequivocally, the scope of these electorate bases is pointed at the racist Republican Party.
If we are clear on this, the real point I want to once again make is, “where is the massive response or at least the Pre-Ops moves of the immigration reform street movement and its leadership against the republicans?”
Let’s look it historically. Though it took years of debate -since 2008- for the influential Latino Media and a significant sector of the immigration reform movement to clearly understand, point the blame and condemn the republican plan for what it was, the grass roots leaders are once again dragging their feet the same way. It is not clear if this atomized sector is once again in absolute confusión brought on by their divisions, or if they are only concentrating and looking forward to the massive and lucrative immigration application process for the estimated 5 million immigrants who will qualify and benefit from Obama’s Executive Action.
From the beginning of 2010 when the reform movement reached, what I saw as the highest political altitude and organizing success, through my articles and the organizing meetings in LA, I began to point to the republicans, not the democrats, as the leading cause of the failure of reform. Then in the year of DACA, the signed Executive Action, the presidential debates and the Democratic National Convention which opened its program to undocumented luminaries for the nation to see, the republicans were completely disrobed.
It was around that time that La Opinion’s editor Henrik Rehbinder and Univision’s anchor Jorge Ramos, both Latino immigrants, took the baton and began to change the lukewarm Latino national reporting and analysis against the far right. In doing so, by 2014, they had both entered the national conversation confronting the number one political enemy of Latinos, Asians and immigrants. In restrospect, the process revealed it was not only the affected American communities who yearned a more courageous and committed jounalistm in their defense from their own sons and daughters, it was also a majority of the mainstream media and public opinión.
The conditons today have sufficiently matured for our growing Latino journalists to critically examine in depth the history of divisions and paralysis of the immigration reform movement and its leadership. I am confident that the public airing of its positions through all the Latino venues and national figures will enrich our national debate and possibly send a portion of those holding back the process to early retirement. ZAZ
Javier Rodriguez *Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013 organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;
Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; a victim of hacking his old email email@example.com has been recovered.
Fort the good, this week I will have my second major operation done in 10 weeks and about the end of March I should be back in full form in the City of the Angels.