June 3, 1943

Sixty eight years ago today, the Sailor Riots began. Another race based riot started by whites fueled by the LA Times, the police and ignorance. The US had locked up the Japanese in concentration camps, but not people of German lineage, so they needed someone else to hate on and as usual Mexicans were targeted. None of the sailors or members of the white mobs that joined were arrested. Mexicans and blacks were beaten, striped in the streets, arrested and women were raped.

(at 2:30 a scene about the riots begins)

This is a very clear example of how the white population would often attack communities of color based on misinformation from media, fear, lies and racism. All race riots up until the 1965 Watts riots were led by white people and targeted barrios, ghettos and other areas where people of color lived. In some cases entire towns were burned to the ground.
For more information go here.

Elephant Hill – Visited

I recall not too long ago there was a victory in the true struggle to keep Elephant Hill, in El Sereno, an open and green space; but it was not until a few days ago that I ventured into those very hills. Having been a resident of El Sereno off-and-on since ’94 it was about time. As a city-dweller I have often pontificated on the necessity of such spaces but like a city-dweller I did not necessarily visit them. Here is a photo diary of my hike through Elephant Hill (warning: this post is PHOTO-HEAVY).

The entrance to Elephant Hill is not but a few blocks from where I live. A GoogleMaps search actually calls the trails on the hill streets, though you’ll soon see that there are not more than sun-baked mud trails. Here is the street leading up, on a bright Spring day:

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Jaime Escalante school proposal

Ron Unz announced that he was planning on opening an elementary school in the MacArthur park area to be named after his good friend and fellow Republican Jaime Escalante.

An Unz spokesman Will Garglio, stated that this will be called Jaime Escalante Westside Elementary School (JEWES). Unz plans to open a similar school on the Eastside.

JEWES curriculum will be total English immersion with a focus on media manipulation. Plans include having a student run television station just like professional Latino TV stations. They plan to staff the station with the lightest and blondest of the community, even if they have to import them all the way from Miami to do so. Will Garglio said, “We want these youth to feel like they are in the real world and that world doesn’t look or speak like them, so they need to get used to it now.”

Textbook orders have already been filed and include texts that exclude Sal Castro, Che Guevarra, Rudy Acu~a and other Chicano/Latino heroes that might instill pride in the students, something that must be avoided, according to textbook publisher: Bendover for Texas Press.

A march on March 4th


The following is what I felt; what I saw. I lay no claim to objectivity: this is going to be heavy-handed. I am a student at CSULA. Been so for almost a decade. I have seen first hand the corrosion of the quality of resources, services, and education. I took no part in the organization of anything for March 4th. I was merely a participant at the march, as well as doing some acts of solidarity with the NO-CUTS COALITION at CSULA previous to the march. My lack of engagement was probably due to my tendency to not want to be an activist and also my perpetual business. As a student/worker, one is in a place that is extremely vulnerable: when one is not working, one is studying; and when one is not doing either of those, one is busy trying to get-by. This is a perfect place for the State and Global Capitalism to have us in: a place in limbo. The report continues after the jump…
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The Two Gold Lines. Yeah this totally looks fair…

South Pasadena Gold Line Mission Station 03
In South Pasadena even the sidewalks are protected with barriers.
I won’t let this go until the side of town I live on is treated with the same concern that people in South Pasadena are treated with. I am willing to burn these videos onto CDs and give them to people who want them for free, if they would like to use these to explain to Metro what they want at the upcoming February 11 meeting on the safety issues for the Gold Line. Cheap reflectors, paint and tours aren’t enough!!! Cheap reflectors, paint and tours will not make us shut-up about this.
-Browne Molyneux

L.A. Gang Tour ~ Empowerment through story

“We started these problems and it’s going to take us to fix them.” Alfred Lomas of L.A. Gang Tours

Due to some technical difficulties with technology, I’m writing this post through my iPhone, so be patient of minor flaws. More than usual anyway. Thanks to Wendy Carrillo, I was able to attend the L.A. Gang Tour media presentation today to get a better feel for it, which is starting next week. For most of the day I’ve been chewing on the fat of the tour over all and what I want to write and say about it and what is being questioned back and forth. Is this ok? Is it poor people watching? Does the tour suck? Etc.

Before I get into any of that, I wanna share where I’m coming from. I’m an adoptive son of Boyle Heights, but like a promiscuous lover, I’ve been around. A lot of the spots that are in the tour, I spent time there as a kid. Looking out the window crossing Alameda into South Central and Compton took me back to days of future past when I saw those same sights in the back seat of my parents car. I was back in the hood after being gone for so long.

All those memories came back in a rush and I was all smiles. I know what’s up here. I know the tour guide knows his stuff and he’s not selling any bullshit to sensationalize it. This allowed me the opportunity to really listen to what he’s saying. What he wants to accomplish with the tour, what the future may bring and how this is the first step in more monumental actions. Everyone is hung up with the safari/fish bowl aspect of the tour and not listening to his hopes, ideals, vision and most importantly his motivation, which he does through Jesus and the Dream Center. If you want details about how this happened, read DJ’s post or the Times article.

“It’s never about strategies or building funds. It’s always about the people. It’s always about the lives that are being touched. It’s about the individuals who are willing to stand up in these communities.” Lomas

The way I see it, this tour is no different than this very blog that is a tool, a device that allows us to tell our own stories the way we see fit from our individual perspectives. To empower ourselves through our stories, using them and sharing them with others. Fostering ideas and dialogue amongst ourselves, rather than letting others tell our stories in ways that don’t even come close to how it really is. This is what I see this tour doing. They’re former bangers and they know how fucked up the system is, but not only that, they decided to take action.

They want to create sustainability within their own city, not relying on outside help. Creating jobs for kids and most importantly a path to end the cycles that keep snatching others into the La Vida Loca. This is the conclusion I made half way through the tour when we stopped at a church to hear a pastor describe the challenges presented to our communities. The changes in people and him personally learning Spanish and adapting his parish to help folks from the Latino/a community. To bring them in rather than exclude them.

If you wanna know what the tour is about, go and find out for yourself. Because I was part of the media preview, some of the things I saw and heard were catered for media. The tour will be unique to itself. You can call it fucked up and a safari all you want, but that’s not what this tour is about. And if you’re nesio, then fuck off. This tour is about people sharing their stories, history and personal narrative to create positive change in their communities because it takes our own to fix our own.

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

If I remember correctly, my very first post on this here blog was about a police sobriety check in the heart of Boyle Heights in June of last year. Hmm more than a year later, the economy in Califas is tanking, the city is looking left and right and underneath every couch cushion to save money and bring in more revenue, like raising sales taxes to 9.75 percent and other various  measures. It’s getting tight in this city, real tight. The kind of tight that when I was growing up, frijoles, huevos and tortillas were what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with maybe some queso de piez sprinkled on the beans to add a little variety.

Needless to say, it’s not hard to connect the dots on the current situation out on the streets of L.A. right now, with all these holiday sobriety check points to keep drunk drivers off the streets. This is an invaluable service by the police, however we all know that’s not the case right ? I mean come on !! This is way over the line, even for the L.A.P.D We all expect and know these holiday sobriety checkpoints are around, but as of late, the amount of cars getting pulled over and of these check points is bordering on abuse. Nah, you know what, it is abuse.  “Ohh but you’re just exaggerating because you blah, blah, blah” hell no I’m not exaggerating. Sunday of last week me and VD were kicking old school on our way to the barrio when we see a car pulled over on Sheridan. Then we see another car pulled over two blocks further down and then another car pulled over on Chavez and Soto. Not to mention that I average out one text per day informing me of where there are check points taking place. This isn’t the police checking for drunk drivers and keeping the streets safe, this is the police being abused by the shot callers who need to come up with more feria to cover the cost of their business expenses and trips to Mexico to represent L.A. in a book fair. Really !? A book fair !?

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LA Gang Tours

gangtagsPhoto via Flickr

I’ve been on many tours in the Los Angeles area most of them have been usually run by the Los Angeles Conservancy. I usually expect people my age to think it is lame or cheesy to go on a tour, but I figure I get to learn new facts and history regarding my own city. The majority of the things I’ve learned on these tours most people who grew up in Los Angeles don’t even know or bother to know. I take it as an educational experience in our own backyard.

More after the jump

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“Cholo Writing: Latino Gang Graffiti in Los Angeles”

from "Cholo Writing"

photo from "Cholo Writing"

Cholo Writing: Latino Gang Graffiti in Los Angeles”

by Francois Chastanet with forward by Chaz Bojorquez.

This book gives Mexican-American ‘cholo’ writing its proper recognition and respect as “the oldest form of name graffiti of the 20th century.” Focusing on L.A. ‘cholo” writing styles from an aesthetic point of view, evident long before the explosion of tags and pieces of the early 1970’s.

Cover of "Cholo Writing"

Cover of "Cholo Writing"

Cholo writing is the oldest form of graffiti in the 20th century, evident in Los Angeles long before the appearance of tags and pieces in the early 1970s New York.  It is a Mexican American phenomenom with a unique aesthetic based on blackletter typography, used for street bombing by the latino gangs. In the 1970s, Californian citizen Howard Gribble photographed examples of Latino gang graffiti over a wide geographic area in order to encompass a larger variety of styles, with the simultaneous idea of portraying Los Angeles. More than 30 years later, French typographer Francois Chastanet travelled to the same neighborhoods to photograph the inscriptions of today. (English text in this edition, also available in Swedish)

go to www.dokument.org for more info and to order

Poverty Porn or Of Course You’re Concerned


This is funny to you?

This is funny to you?

As I have relented and signed on to Facebook I realized something, porn is very acceptable and never blocked on work servers. The kind I am referring to is of the poverty porn variety.

There are various genres:

Traditional: where a homeless person wanders around shouting, picking their nose or just sleeping. Yes homeless people are hilarious and great social commentary.

Rural: poor white people shopping at WalMart with funny clothes or hanging out with mullets.

Urban: poor black people are filmed with their funny hair, funny clothes, arguing, dancing or eating.

Interracial: poor people of different races participate in a fight to the finish in regards to space or dominance, with the money shot being the police coming or one of the participants being thrown out the store or the bus or the subway.

Children: poor people’s children eat cheetos, smoke cigarettes, say foul language or/and have funny hairstyles.

Snuff: poor people die through some beating act. Continue reading

Sexism in Living Electric Color

I don't know my place!!

I don't know my place!!

I’m not one for the personal anecdote story, but I can’t think of another woman blogger who uses their name and picture and makes critical comments. If I could I would definitely not use myself, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to have to.

The blogosphere are filled with many personalities.

I have a strong personality, but so does my partner Ran BusTard, but in general when it comes to getting reprimanded and banned I get it much quicker than him. No, I get it and no one says anything to him. He’s threatened to bodily harm people on blogs and no one has ever said anything to him. Not only that, they apologize for offending him. Politically we’re almost identical.

A guy on the blogosphere is allowed a blank check to be as obnoxious as he wants to be. It’s viewed as an asset, but women online have to be very, “lets get along,” especially in the nonpolitical blogosphere.

As a woman blogger you are limited to three areas of blogging:

1. Event Promotion
2. Product Promotion
3. Posting adorable pictures of yourself and talking about how you went to an event or used a product Continue reading