11/04 LATISM party: Latinos & Discrimination

Latin America is undoubtedly the most racial and ethnically diverse continent in the world. Latinos, whether we come from Latin America or descend from immigrants, have no homogeneous culture: we come in every conceivable shade under the skin rainbow. Our differences, these multiple identities are a testament to the absence of boundaries between us… and our differences only give more color and flavor to the rich tapestry of our culture.

Yet, despite all this variety and heterogeneity, Latinos in the US are often homogenized into one overarching “Latino” or “Hispanic” identity, which more often than not, ends up in stereotyping, or worse, discrimination… as it happened once upon a time in a sleepy town in South Texas…

Though the story of the city of Three Rivers may seem outdated right now, the instances of discrimination happen every day all across America. A poll released last week by the Pew Hispanic Center [as reported in this NY Times article], more than 6 in 10 Latinos in the United States say discrimination is a “major problem” for them. The fact that Congress just changed hands doesn’t seem to be going to improve it.

So tomorrow, let’s talk about it!

• Has America officially ditched the “melting pot” idea?

• Is prejudice based on economics? How so?

• Now that the elections are over, how do you see discriminatory laws playing out?

• What does the United States needs to do to “unlearn” discrimination?

DETAILS:

As part of our party, we will be raffling 10 DVDs of the film “The Longoria Affair”, courtesy of ITVS and PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

ABOUT THE LONGORIA AFFAIR:

The movie relates the story of Private Felix Longoria, who was killed in battle fighting the Japanese during World War II. But when his body was sent home to Three Rivers, Texas, the town’s only funeral parlor refused to allow his family to use their chapel because “the whites wouldn’t like it.” The incident sparked national outrage and brought together two savvy political leaders, Senator Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Hector Garcia.  Their complex, sometimes contentious relationship would help Latinos become a national political force for the first time in American history. The Longoria Affair would also propel John Kennedy to the White House, and lead President Johnson to sign two of the most important civil rights legislation of the twentieth century: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For more information, visit www.thelongoriaaffair.com

PARTY POINTERS:

You’ll need a Twitter account (free) to join the party. If you don’t have one, you can sign up here.

  • Be sure to follow Elianne Ramos [@ergeekgoddess] before the party so you can follow the flow
  • Use the hashtag #latism in all of your party tweets
  • Have fun!

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