First in line !!!!!

Maria Gonzalez(From left) , Garcia Enedina and Pablo Torres arrived at 10 a.m. Friday morning to be the first in line for the 27th Annual Miricle on 1st Street Toy give away. Sponcered by the Hollenbeck Youth Center, the give away helps out local residents in Boyle Heights by giving away gifts donated from various corparate sponcers. Gonzalez said that her family have been coming to the toy give away since they were kids and this year marks their 20th year coming. Even as La Crisis keeps getting worse, more families are expected to come and wait in line to compensate for their gifts. Gonzalez her family and other people waiting in line are going to be camping out over night in the freezing cold to keep their space. Of course their efforts are going to pay of in the morning when they’re one of the few families who will recieve a Nintendo Wii said Gonzalez. The gift giving starts at 10 a.m. and of course the line will be TONS of families there creating a mob scence.

12 thoughts on “First in line !!!!!

  1. a lot of people and not a sight of a tamalera/o, hot dog vendor or taquero. I’m getting ideas.

  2. In those 20 years someone in the family couldn’t have figured out to begin a modest “Xmas Club” account at a credit union? I don’t see this as a family tradition to be proud of … dang.

  3. Im sorry to be the “cultura’ spoilsport here, but the pic/story just further proves that only immigrants are truly poor, even in Eastlos. 20 pinche years getting free toys? That is absurd unless you are a low wage earning paisano or ex con with limited options; anyone else who is able bodied, a legal citizen, or otherwise does not lack the physical means to better themselves should not be waiting in a line for free stuff so consistently. This pic is THE justification racist neoconservatives use to slash funding to our communities and stereotype minorities/working class folks.

    As someone who genuinely (and logically) supports charity (and is actually running a toy drive myself right now), egalitarian wealth distribution, and overall good will to the community I am from; this kind of stuff implores me to frown and make negative comments on the subject. It reminds me of folks who say “thats racist’ when it is not, they are ruining it for everyone else and undermining genuine causes and positive acts. And I am so f’n sick of ignorant aristocrats using the “welfare queen/whiny race carder” defense when genuine concerns are brought up or acts done.

    I can breakdown why the people in the pic arent poor, or at least poor enough to warrant 20 years of free toys annually but i’d rather not. Lets just say it is a shame that some OTHER kid who is actually dirt poor and more deserving is now assed out of a toy. I know because I was a project kid who waited in these lines and many times got some shitty “we ran out of toys” gift bag, while my richer friends went home with another box to put next to he-man castle.

    I say this as a kid who grew up on welfare, stood in free toy lines (until my mom got a better job and then WE began giving toys to needier kids, despite still being “section” 8 poor), and totally supports these kind of events and the giving of toys out in barrios. In times of need and especially in working class communities we need to concentrate our resources as best as possible to those who need them, and people need to have some dignity and not take advantage of charity at the expense of othrs more needy. Im teaching that to my 6 year old right now and he grasps it.

    And no, this is not a “if I can do it so can you/ pull yourself up from the bootstraps” complaint, I aint expecting them to do nothing beyond not hog up toys that other kids deserve more. If I am wrong about that family (but their clothes tell me otherwise, as well as 20 anos) then spensa, although my point is based in reality that I have been in. I have trashy cholo cousins who do the same thing yearly, have known DOZENS of people who do this (or cheat other forms of charity), and run an organization that has fallen victim to this kind of “taking advantage of charity” BS myself. It generally seems that americanized chicanos do this, something about the states makes many forget about integrity (maybe the states themslef).

  4. Art, I could not agree with you more. I myself keep those thoughts to myself because I know if I told someone what I really thought they would shun me and deem me a sell out because I’m talking shit about la raza. I guess after living with it for so long I’ve just accepted things like that as the norm. I’m not one to talk trash about other’s but speaking in the general sense, I completely agree with everything you wrote.

  5. El Random,
    When I saw there was another response to this topic I held my breath for someone to attack me. I ascribe to the “dont talk masa” doctrine as well, but felt implored to say something before some lacurbed huero does it in a much more ignorant and racist way. As well as to assuage the formation of any racist stereotypes many ignorant outsiders may gather.

    I said what I did in a “it is what it is” context, rather than one of judgement. My main beef is that other kids arent getting free toys, kids who have never been in line before and are possibly poorer. I remember being one of those kids, and going to the house of more wealthier friends/family and seeing them gloat about the free toys they got in a kind of “I cheated the system” kind of way (which I usually support, unless it affects other pobres). My family is deeply involved in a local eastside church I wont name, and every year my undignified tio brings a stolen turkey or ham they he “was given” from the food drive. Every year I have bought my own turkey, stolen the church turkey and given it out to homeless in skid row where it deserves to go. My sister sends her kids to a private school and had gotten the single mom reduction, despite the dad being there for 3 years now, so i had to call the school because she didnt heed my “some other kid who really cant afford tuition is losing out because of you” discussion with her (while she had that “I dont give a F” smirk that we all know and love).

    When communities undergo centuries of stress and derision from mainstream society, many react to this context by abandoning morals and not maintaining self respect (hang out with cholos and you will see this glorification of being a scumbag jerk). I mean, what’s the point of behaving within social acceptability when society in general hates you off the bat. This kind of “no shame” behavior becomes a shield to anglo society, who hates them anyways, an F-U to a system that does not accept us and chastizes us as lesser for whatever random nonsensical reason is hip at the moment. It is also prevalent amongst the black community (actually even moreso), as well as poor whites and southeast asians.

    I have no idea if those folks in the pic fall into this category, but I would guess there is only one pic of people in the line because everyone else didnt want theirs taken. Anyone who has been in these lines and seen a classmate and gotten embarassed knows what I mean, I was greatful when they would do the whole school toy drive at Utah elementary.

    As I run my own organization that deals with charitable endevours (, I firmly belive in the concentration of resources in our barrios to maximize benefit.

  6. 20 years its excessive, maybe its time for them to give. I know la crisis esta cabrona, but leave the free stuff for the ones that really need it.

  7. Thanks for going there Art, because I was really at a lost and not knowing what to say and not come off like a complete asshole.

    Twenty years of free toys, not free food or tutoring, but free toys? I was very fortunate to end up living with my dad as when I was 11 years old, but before that I was living with my mom who wasn’t going to win any awards I’ll just say that.

    The true poor never get anything.

  8. I want to add though that everyone plays the taking advantage game it’s just that people of color and working class people get the most shit for it…

    AIG, the automakers…Madoff, lets not forget those people this is not a people of color phenomenon of course we on the blog many of us being people of color often see it from our perspective with our people, but we have to remember this is what people do here (in the US) and it needs to stop.

    People need to have some integrity and not take advantage just because they can, but at least people taking toys they don’t really need aren’t destroying the economy.


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