Puga Nini Sha’de Butterfly Dance

She thinks, ‘I can do it,’ as a vibrant, deep and fluorescent butterfly floats over her head.
‘I shouldn’t have to hide who I am.
This is my reality- this is my truth.
Just my presence alone brings with it the entire weight of the mistakes of the Movement and the reason why true liberation has not yet been achieved.
So my truth now becomes your truth.’
This tragedy alone has morphed me into a new being.
Like the violent hacking of the wood, the splintering and breaking apart of its body- for all to watch in deep fascination-
when that metal blade slices into the once piece of forest.
Over and over again.
That piece of wood- birch wood- in its painful alteration from one being to another, thought the knife was deforming her as she’s
 
cut,
 
    and cut,
 
               and cut.
 
But when she opened her eyes after the agony was finally all over, she looked down upon herself and saw she was now a beautiful kachina doll.
A butterfly maiden.
And soon her Creator painted colors on her base; vibrant, deep and fluorescent.
She looked at the new world around her in amazement as she sat in the sun to let her colors dry.
Some of her hues were dark- to represent all the past pains done on her body that morphed her into this new figure.
And bright- to represent all the days in her future, for she has survived the hardship and is still here to see another sunrise.
After she dried the woodcarver breathed life into her.
And then she flew away.

malintZINE does the telling

By Anna NietoGomez, Coughing Woman

Custom was that violence against women was private and should not be talked about in public. The women’s rights movement changed all that, and violence against women became a public discussion. Women demanded that they have the right to be safe at home, at work and at play. Traditionalists ignored this challenge, blamed the woman for the violence done against her and took no action.

Then women told their stories.
 First they began the telling with friends and family, but nothing changed. The story was forgotten, and violence against women continued.
 Then the telling became public. The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation. 
The telling were stories of all kinds of violence against women, sex exploitation, sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse.

The telling raised awareness that women are not safe, 
and when women are not safe, the family is not safe. 
The telling organized a larger agreement that women have the right to be safe in the home, at work and at play.
 The telling became political when the nation heard the same stories told by so many different women all over the country.
 Once the telling became political, laws were passed to protect women from violence.
 But laws are not enough.
 
Courageous Mujeres created MalintZINE, 
a 21st century feminist magazine for mujeres of all kinds!

It told the story of violence against women in Tucson and of their efforts to stop it.
 Mujeres voiced to the community leaders that violence against women made community activism a hostile and unsafe place to be. Mujeres asked their leaders to condemn and help stop the violence against women.

But the leaders did nothing, they said the complaints were a nuisance. The leaders didn’t want to know what the women thought or said. They contended that the role of the Mujer was to be seen and not heard, to look pretty and to please the men at night. The leaders said stop complaining, there are more important things we have to do. They told the women to return to work. Lets work together so that Hombres are equal to Gavachos.

The leaders explained that the role of the Mujer was to make the men look good. 
It was disloyal to complain and air their dirty laundry in public.
The leaders said hush, act right! Stop telling these stories, or we may lose the gains that have been made.

The Mujeres said, “Remember Penn State”. 
Those leaders ignored complaints of violence against students.
The leaders perceived the complaint to be the problem, not the perpetrator.
 They knew the perpetrator and he was good for their program. 
The leaders agreed, the program was more important than any violence against students.

So the leaders lied to themselves and said they did not receive the complaints. 
Each time they heard the crowd cheer and basked in their glory, the leaders lied again, “We did the right thing”. 
So the perpetrator committed violence against students over and over again. 
And It was unsafe to play.

But the story was not forgotten because there were many more new stories to tell, 
and finally the telling became public, and the nation heard.
 Then there were consequences.
 But the crowd booed at the telling,
 “It’s a lie. Our leaders made us great,
 we owe them. Don’t take them away.
 Who cares what happened to the students.”

The program was not destroyed. Finally the perpetrator and the leaders who covered it up were removed.
 They longer enjoyed the glory.
 Again the Mujeres told their leaders, “Remember Penn State, this could happen to you.”

But the leaders refused to learn the lesson.
 They knew the perpetrators.  They were good for the business of civil rights which brought fame, money and jobs. The leaders agreed, the business of civil rights is more important than violence against women. They said nothing, and did nothing. The leaders denied that sexual harassment was bullying, and pretended it validated women’s self worth.
They expected women to provide sexual favors for the leaders and their male network.
 And women got something in return, they were envied for being pretty and desired and they got a free dinner to boot.
 Women who resisted or complained were discredited as disloyal and crazy.
 The Mujeres were ostracized, and shunned and feared losing their jobs.

The leaders told the Mujeres:
 The woman is to blame when she is raped. 
Change your behavior. 
If women do not want to be raped, stay home and do not go to play. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t wear short skirts or plunging neck lines.

The leaders did nothing to stop violence against women.
 They advised: 
”
Prove your loyalty to the movement, go home, forget about, and come back to work another day.” “It never happened if you don’t have a police report.” “No one will believe you, you’re promiscuous, we know your history.” “Have pity of the rapist, think of the violence against men.” “Don’t criminalize men of color”.

Without consequences, nothing changes, and violence against women remains normal.
 But Tucson is different
. The Mujeres told friends and family, nothing changed, but it was not forgotten. 
Mujeres created malintZINE to tell their stories.
 The telling became public. 
The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation.
 The telling raised awareness that it is not safe for women to be a community activist. 
Some threaten Mujeres with lawsuits if they do not stop the telling. 
But the Mujeres persist.
 With the telling comes support, and allies who will help them make the community safe for women.
 What do they want? 
Public support to stop violence against women.
 A public apology for failing to provide a safe environment for women.
 A public statement of men acknowledging that gender violence work is men’s work too! Men’s compliance with a code of behavior that respects women’s rights and allows women to live in a safe environment.
 Social, as well as legal consequences to those who act out violence against women.

Three Sonorans – blogger/publicist; deception by deflection, attempted polarization, sour grapes- all with underlying misogyny and prejudice

After being called on his misogynist oriented blogging and continued spread of misinformation, some weeks ago, DA Morales, also known as Three Sonorans (TS), proclaimed that his blog would be shut down. The TS absence lasted only a few days and many pockets were lined with quick cash from bets won against his promise. We are regretful to have won the bet! At a New Year’s party, Richard M. Martinez referred to Morales as his “publicist” which simply affirmed Morales’ role. Perhaps the bestowment of his role and title is what propelled Martinez’ promoter to begin TS and what prodded him to once again surface the blog and spew continued misogyny and mistruths.

A quick review of the traces of the misogyny in the TS blog, finds that this anointed publicist has consistently used his blog to attack/defame many women in leadership roles, including Adelita Grijalva, Regina Romero, Sylvia Campoy, Kristel Foster, Kim Dominguez and Mari Herreras. Clad in 1960s chauvinism – “Chingon politics”, Morales has referred to feminists as men-haters. His disdain for the Grijalvas seems to influence much of his blogging, as does his seemingly hero-worship for some of the men with whom he closely associates. His position on domestic violence is strong (anti) unless the alleged perpetrator happens to be one of his close associates. Then he goes into subterranean denial and full-blown deflective defense; a strategy of calling attention to anything and everything else except the real issue. The more fires that are lit away from their troubles, the less attention to their troubles!

(Does he- or the person he serves as publicist- think that we don’t decipher such exploits?) And… with audacity only an authentic misogynist can muster, DA Morales then writes a blog admitting his ignorance about domestic violence while claiming  his desire to learn about the topic. Of course, this serves only as self-hype and camouflage. (Disingenuous efforts are easily detected when they are so contradictory to one’s repeated actions.)

As if all of these sexist misdeeds are not enough, the topic of sexual assault is one which has been obviously barred from his blog since its very utterance may be counter to “the cause;”  the case; film; and potentially damage fund-raising. Ironically, when Morales became aware that this issue was being openly discussed by women, he suggested that the discourse be taken out of the blogosphere and into a more confidential setting; clearly another sexist miss-step. (News flash: Women do not need guidance on where they may speak on this or any issue and certainly will not be silenced through such artificial gestures.)

Bear with us. It does NOT end here, although we do wish it had, long before this point.

Last week the District Federal Court Order adopted all elements of the TUSD Desegregation Plan, which includes Mexican American culturally relevant courses. Curriculum that embraces Mexican American heritage in the form of history/social studies and literature will be developed, approved by the Board, and implemented in every high school by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.  Many of us have fought for this! In fact, many of us are anticipating a curriculum that is much more inclusive of Chicana authors, poets and a historical perspective which includes the important contributions of numerous Chicanas.  Cause for celebration?  Of course, but not according to the TS Blogs on this topic. Since late December Morales’ repeated chant, likely reflective of those for whom he speaks, has been ‘MAS is dead’. Would such declaration be made if it were possible for Sean Arce to vie for the directorship overseeing culturally relevant curriculum? Likely not, since the Morales position prior to Arce’s arrest was that he should be named the director. Within a short period after public knowledge of Arce’s arrest, the messaging from Morales drastically shifted; it was only then that he proclaimed that MAS was dead. His blog makes it appear as though he has poured over the Court Order in order to formulate his position when, in fact, his position was formulated in correlation to the Arce arrest and proceeding fallout.

The most recent blog of February 11th 2013 is condescending, patronizing and diminishes the contributions made by everyone involved in the process to develop the TUSD Desegregation Plan. Morales claims that the individuals who have been involved in the Plan development are all women. He minimizes the contributions of the women who represent the interests of TUSD’s Latino students and who are part of the Mendoza Party, which- from the eyes of a misogynist- is the way his world works. Morales is wrong on this and many other counts throughout the blog.  He buffers his presentation as perhaps being erroneous, since he was not privy to much information involving the plan development process due to the gag order imposed by the court. Nonetheless, Morales dives right in and presumes to know what happened during the confidential process, guessing which woman did what in the negotiations.  His subtle admission of ignorance of the process is not loud enough and certainly does not hold him back from casting- race and gender based blame and minimizing the contributions of those involved. As was witnessed during the public forums on the desegregation plan and as one can deduce in reading the court documents, several men were involved during the process; but this, like all other misinformation presented does not really seem to matter. The TS blog is filled with assumptions and misjudgments, particularly relative to MAS, and casts ultimate blame largely based on their gender and race. How can a blogger who constantly alleges racism simultaneously exercise misogyny and his own prejudice be viewed as having any level of knowledge on issues of equity and social justice.

But now back to the Desegregation Plan and Morales’ erroneous statement about MAS and its state of being. Morales does begrudgingly admit that the Desegregation Plan does have many valuable elements but perseverates on the death of MAS. What is in the Desegregation Plan relative to Mexican American culturally relevant courses provides the opportunity for improvement and expansion. The courses are to be offered in every high school beginning with the 2013-14 school year and expansion is also included for the middle school and elementary school level.  Since when is improvement and expansion deemed as a loss or a death of any sort?  Through the eyes of the TS blogger the glass is not half full or half empty; it is empty. No matter how good the Plan, inclusive of the Mexican American culturally relevant courses, it was anticipated by many that sour grapes would manifest from DA Morales and those for whom he seems to speak. If they could not be the ones to deliver a win, then how dare anyone else do so; especially women!

With stone throwers comfortably standing on the sidelines and taking continued actions to obstruct rather than contribute, it is difficult to assess how much harm they may actually impose by demoralizing supporters and convincing some that we have lost. Just two weeks ago, TS printed a piece written by Richard Martinez suggesting that the desegregation money be stripped away from TUSD; $61,000,000 per year. Were this to happen, it would cause irreparable harm to all students in TUSD, most of whom are students of color. Such damaging rhetoric is expected from the extreme far right Republican factions of our state; not from those who purport to support the rights of students of color. The floating of such a proposal on the brink of the Court’s decision on the Desegregation Plan is unmistakably an attempt to deflect, distract and destroy. Some have said that this is the ultimate sour-grapes nuclear attack strategy that has been reserved if certain conditions were not met by those on the sidelines hurling the stones, such as Morales and Martinez. Their conditions have self-imploded! Their strategies have been faulty and have not worked; their case has not yet had a win (and we genuinely hope it does); their fund raising has failed; their man will not head up the department that oversees the work on Mexican American culturally relevant courses; their overall support and credibility is dwindling and their support base has been fractured- much due to the constant display of sexism. None of these failures have been externally imposed; they have all been self-imposed. Yet, their attacks and continued polarization persist. Instead of celebrating a significant “win” for our community; they jointly chant ‘MAS is dead’ or shallowly propose to extricate desegregation dollars from our school district as a means to deflect and distract from our monumental win. Who exactly does this serve? Certainly, it does not serve the students or the community.

TS reflects misogyny, prejudice, anger, mistruths and polarization which is not a foundational voice for social justice. For any who continue to read TS, understand the deceptions you will encounter and search out the facts elsewhere.

We need to continue to celebrate our WIN and acknowledge our individual and unified role in obtaining it – the struggle and work that lies ahead. We must rebuke the propaganda that is being hurled around (‘MAS is dead,’ the idea to extract desegregation dollars from TUSD, etc.).  We must remain engaged in pressuring TUSD to implement the Desegregation Plan and we must not allow for any further polarization.

Mack Daddy Lopez, Tucson

(To those brothers all along the spectrum of time
who stood alongside us
and if even they fell got back up and joined to our sides,
who know the depth of a woman,
and who we find even in this age, beside us:
A Million Million Gratitudes…….
 
The next poem is not for you.)
 
I twice slept with a man named Macky Lopez
I think a lot of women did
He’s a mack daddy penis-driven cunning man,
Revolution somewhere hiding beneath the piles he left of shit
 
He’s a predatory feel-sorry-for-me type
A misogynist tries-to-break-women man
He should have a sign around his neck like “Beware. Beware. Beware.”
 
He once told me he had the power to “really mess with people’s minds.”
He meant Power in the Indigenous sense. (..You hear me?)
He messed with mine. For damn sure.
He once said “straight is boring”
and by this he meant: a woman here, a woman there, let the chaos rule the hour.
 
He said he wouldn’t be with a white woman –
his particular quota of pain and fuckedupshit
is saved for the brown wombynsisters.
He showed me glimpses of love, care, and depth,
but they vanished so quickly I found myself chasing mists.
He made me crazy, and I hate the rage I spent on him.
I hate too its erasure, its silence –
used and abused.
( ! …Oh hell na. Hell no.)
 
Some people say that womanizers don’t love women
trying to I’s/(mine) her whiles they eyes her,
faking love for lust.
Some people say that a man trying should be given a chance
but sometimes you can tell they just ain’t trying hard at all
and their chance won’t be written on my back,
or on other sisters’ backs.
If a man ain’t trying let him be alone, and not be messing with us women.
 
Sometimes a man uses his Leader-ship like a Throne from which to get Access
Leader-ship getting him into schools, youth and health centers
Throne keeping him from accountability
Access leaving things ever open for him
I saw how easily he hid me, saw how he tried to isolate me from another woman victim.
What at first felt like energy was unmasked to be crazy manipulation
And it leaves me with so many concerns…
He says he’s a community worker but I guess I wonder
in what sense he’s working the community.
 
Once upon a time I thought I was falling in love with this misogynist – Me! ?? !!!?
What was the reason for my blindness? What blinded me from my Spirit?
This ? is full like this women’s movement is full, and getting deeper
!Praise be though! – my Spirit be strong and It called me back from the Grave! !
And I walked away.
Gave Thanks.
 
What I want to say: is you didn’t have the right to pursue me.
You didn’t have the right with her either.
Or her (or her, or her, or her….)
You don’t have the right to lie to women, fuck with lives and deny deny deny.
 
I wish I wrote your name out that’s how much I wanna protect
my future sister from the shit you put us through
But it’s not just you…
It’s not just your name.
And I hope you heal – find the courage to transform
And I want Revolution.
 
Revolution doesn’t just mean guns and takeovers. It means you stopping your bullshit.
It means all of us stopping our bullshit. Fighting our own demons.
What a battle! And a way to honor this life and our place within it.
I want Revolution.
And I want my Sisters to be safe.
 
I want my Sisters to be safe
I want my Sisters to be loved
I want my Sisters to have authentic care, respect, honor, trust, and love.
 
Everyone needs love, Everybody deserves it.
It seems the thing we miss the most sometimes these days.
I lived for many years with a great man and we loved from an infinite place
to an infinite place.
I know love, a blessing, and I sat under its tree so many days.
Deeply grateful, I want this for us all
Want Revolution
 
I write this for the Young Men:
May you turn from this man’s example.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Be the Revolution in your Spirits
 
I write this for the Women:
May you Heal, Trust Yourselves, DeepStrongProud Sacred Spirits.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Revolution in your Spirits
 
…Anyway, I count myself unlucky in many more ways than one
for having sex with that man cause it wasn’t even fun. (not at all)
It was a bit unnerving
You know what I mean?
 
Mack Daddy Lopez on the make, on the scene.

Culture of Silence

Acts of violence are committed against women in the Mexican-American Studies community consistently, yet it seems they are only discussed publicly when people outside the movement get involved. As a young woman in this community I should have been made aware of men in the movement who are known perpetrators of violence. I need to know which spaces are safe spaces and I need to be able to make informed decisions about the people I am involving myself with or organizing with. I believe that part of the reason I had no previous knowledge of any man’s history of gendered violence was because of a carefully constructed culture of silence. This culture of silence is also a culture of protection and of zero accountability. It was created to
pardon perpetrators of gendered violence and shield them from public scrutiny in order to maintain an image of social unity against injustice. The fact that information about people’s history with violence is kept from young women and other community members suggests that there is a system within the MAS community to keep that information private. It suggests that the people in power choose to glorify certain people and hide their history of violence.

Crafting a dialogue or narrative on blogs, newspapers, or during interviews also creates this culture of silence. Every time someone gives an interview or writes an article that intentionally covers up violence and injustice within the community – in order to fake a united, justice oriented front for the rest of the country – they are
contributing to the culture of silence. This is part of a larger issue, one that is centered around Three Sonorans controlling the national dialogue surrounding ethnic studies and vilifying the women or queer identified people who choose to counter this narrative, making the choice every time he writes a post and decides who is the glorified savior and who is the demonized. Bloggers and interviewees make the choice to glorify or vilify whomever they want every time they speak or write a post. They have the power to pick and choose which parts of the present to write about, therefore creating a history – again based on the observations and opinions of men and leaving out certain narratives they believe are unimportant. The assumption is that the narrative of men is all-encompassing and that somehow certain people have the authority to be ‘the voice’ of the movement.

When Three Sonorans writes a post he decides which narrative he wants to perpetuate, one that suits him the best and one that supports his homies, regardless of the truth. People perpetuating narratives for their own personal gain need to take responsibility for their role in establishing the current Tucson narrative as a largely male voice. They also need to take responsibility for their writings glorifying certain men in the community as pillars of social justice around the country, while they knew these men were perpetrators of violence inside their homes and inside the community.

In contrast to this male-centric national ethnic studies narrative, I want to have a collective narrative; filled with stories from women, LGBTQ, and disabled identified peoples. I want the national spotlight to not only focus on the men in this community but to embrace and acknowledge the leadership and contributions of women to this
movement.  In order to create this new narrative there needs to be an end to the public flaming and silencing of women and queer people in the community and there needs to be a system of accountability for our bloggers and those people who try to represent us nationally.

Hopefully this blog can be a tool to shift our national narrative to one that includes voices of people of all genders, sexualities, ages, class status and abilities. We cannot be a movement to fight injustice elsewhere if we are still perpetuating the same patriarchal, colonial oppression within our community.

getting hit on in the movement

*Disclaimer:  This is for those men (youknowwhoyouare – even if you don’t have a clue)
 
Believe it or not
I didn’t come here to meet you holdingbackthemovement men.
The dreams of a woman 
run in rivers 
and that’s what brought me.
 
Some of these holdingbackthemovement men don’t understand when I say
“I’m not interested”
As in:
I got a path I’m on and you’re standing in my way.
Never never gonna sleep in your bed!
I refuse to suffocate in your blindness.
 
Some of these holdingbackthemovement men got some egos like
Gaping Holes
filled with fantasies and distortions
and they let the testosterone swell until they can’t distinguish how oppressive they are.
So they block our paths, distract us with endless propositions, and imagine that their self-proclaimed hero status is alluring.
They bog us down and flood us, leaving us always to watch our backs while continuing our work, despite them.
 
For those women who show interest in these holdingbackthemovement men – and who have that certain appeal
Well – how thesemen line up for you!  Ready to fulfill your every(sexual) wish.  Eager!
Still, most of us could not deign to be interested in thesemen who
Block the sun
Hold back the torrents of change
Spell out with smug lips how our daughters’ daughters should live in oppression
Shackle us while imagining they recognize freedom
Stain our very lives.
 
I want respect from my comrades, not harassment, not fantasy, not games, and not 
a notch
 
I want to elevate and work with elevators, souls on their way up, on their way in the path
 
One of my dreams is men in the movement, who the first time they saw me,
saw my dreams
not their own concerning me,
and became TheseGreatMen 
…Where did they go?  
They were so many
We still remember them and wait for their return.

Mother to Son: familial obligations & roles as wombyn

It is almost humorous how our rolls have changed.

malintZINE wasn’t the beginning of recognition on part of the injustices against Chicanas by their fellow Chicanos, but has been a catalyst to verbally combat the hetero-patriarchy that has thrived within the Ethnic Studies movement for too long.

Privilege is not an easy thing to give up, so it is not surprising to the wombyn of color that those who have been proud of their power status feel targeted, victimized, and wronged.  When the oppressed finally point out the oppressor, his first move is to be defensive and lash out.

We really thought you were better than that, because you preach the core of Tucson’s ethnic studies where ever you go. In Lak Ech (you are my other me), panche be (seeking the root of the truth), and most importantly, re-humanizing through a de-colonial anti-violent framework.

Wombyn have been accused of aiding the patriarchy that so demeans them. Articles published by allies are accused of irony as a deflection from the real problem. When other men step up and point out the macho bullshit that is frequently used by their brothers in every day dialogue, there is no comment from the perpetrator.

This type of hypocrisy is ill-informed and truly divisive.

The wisdom of wombyn allows the idea that generational oppression can take some of the blame for the indecencies that continue today. Boys are taught by men how to be men and how to be man is to not be woman. It is a vicious cycle that has been used as an excuse for the behavior of today, synonymous with the whites excuse for the treatment of peoples of color. The continued ignorance of the commonalities of these inequalities is astounding, considering white supremacy is a main topic of discussion of the good ol’ boys club. Tezcatlipoca is self-reflection. Practice what has been preached for so long, or learn to listen to others who’ve not had the privilege to continuously reflect and practice self and communal care.

We’re not asking much, besides our voice be respected, and we’re being polite. We should not have to ask for a place to speak when we were brought into this world to be the force that holds you in your place – our traditional role as caregivers, teachers, and mothers. We’re not asking for you to relinquish all that you’ve accomplished, we’re just asking that they stop using our backs as a platform to stand on while you rub our noses in what you won’t give us credit for.

We’re not your bitches.

We want the men in this movement to acknowledge all we have sacrificed to continue this struggle next to them, even though they have continued to walk in front of us. We want more than politically correct apologies. We want more than the discussion of May 3rd at a TUSD board meeting, the only macho documented injustice against wombyn that is supposed to serve as a deflection to a white man for what our brown brothers do to us every damn day. We want your unwarranted support, as we have given you ours. We loved you like sons, brothers, fathers and you have treated us like disposable objects. We are saying no more, and we mean it this time.

This is more than just a time-out.

This is us shoving a mirror in your fucking face and demanding you see who you really are.

Yes, we are being aggressive.

Yes, we are using force.

And yes, we are silencing you.

Please tell us, how does it feel?

“The way I see things, everyone is entitled to their opinion…”

You say “enlightened mujeres” as if that’s a bad thing? And as if that is new…You call out the medium we use to tell our stories yet it is the same medium you use…

You say don’t be outraged if you respond to our “attacks” so in that case don’t be outraged by our response to the vilification of our voices by you.

You are asking us to ignore experiences we’ve had because they involved “brown men” and our stories do not “support MAS”. You are asking us to do the same thing you claim to be against—the silencing of stories. The silencing of herstories/ histories (or are you just against silencing the latter?). Box that shit up because it might make people angry/hurt/ feel oppressed… it’s racist (because against brown men). Who the fuck does that sound like?!

Open your eyes and heart! You’re right about one thing. This is NOT ABOUT YOU or even Sean. This is not personal so please STOP MAKING THIS ABOUT YOU! You are not my savior, nor is Sean. Your stories do not encompass me, save me, or support me.

I realize that I can turn away, not read but the shit you are spouting is public and many around the country take it as truth and OUR story! Many, as I have, know you as someone who “fights for MAS” and wouldn’t do something to hurt our community so your voice must come correct…. But I’m telling you now, that shit is wrong and hurtful. Your shit is fucked up. And NO it is NOT just “las mujeres” (the women who are brave enough to tell their stories even under your heavy vilification…) saying this! There is a reason why not many folks are liking your shit spouting right now…The fact that folks like ‘El Machete Lopez’ can come on a thread of yours supporting your opinion and spout hate speech like ‘lesbians are man haters and can smell testosterone’ and get away w/ that shit w/you is sickening and shows how blind you are to other injustices. You can use us when needed… when it makes MAS look good ‘This is my white friend, my queer friend, my black friend, my woman friend…’ See I don’t hate so and so…I support all people—makes me sad.

I can go on and on but sadly I don’t think you will get it…but I hope you do. At one point at a meeting you apologized for being “divisive’ with the community. YOU ARE DOING IT NOW. PLEASE STOP! Please go read, discuss, examine with an open mind and heart. Go outside those you know who support this rhetoric you are spewing (especially if people who support you are like El Machete…). I write this not asking for a response but for you to take some time to actually examine why you feel the need to write. Is it really to support the community? The whole community? Or to protect your “brown brothers” and which ones? THINK and STOP please until you figure this out….Who really has lost focus? And how can we focus if we are not only being silenced by Pedicone, Horne, and Huppenthal, but by our own community?

I am the Malinche

I am the malinche
 
Bitch who took the ‘good fork’ with flowers etched on the ends
This selfish act justification for sharp points (plain… no flowers) thrown at my skull [bitch]
‘Mijita, give him the nice one’
Your fault
[bitch]
 
I am the malinche
 
Bitch hiding in my room because our hallway is too small for us both and he is above me
I need to move. Make room.
[bitch]
Plus I got shit to take care of in here
Skin red, slits of color, marks from rusted razors—get it out before you go out.
Make no noise
[bitch]
 
I am the malinche
 
Bitch behind closed doors
Give it up and don’t talk shit.
Pain will be mirrored and our scars match. You will hurt yourself and I will hurt myself.
[bitch]
‘You are to blame— crazy’
Raise your voice and there will be holes in walls—doors with splinters.
Because ‘I love you so much’
[bitch]
 
I am the malinche
 
Bitch, I will tower and look over your shoulder because you cannot be trusted.
[bitch]
‘I am oppressed so I cannot oppress you’
‘We are brown familia and I know you’—‘Know this is important work’
Keep quiet, small, stupid, passive…
[bitch]
That’s easy…
 
I am the malinche
 
We shout and are in ‘the lucha’. Together. Solid. United.—
But ‘don’t fucking wear that. You will fall’
[bitch]
‘Don’t be cute. Watch for men, They are dogs…’
‘You don’t know truth till we hear the mujer’
But mujer ‘shut the fuck up if the truth involves men [me]’
 
I am the malinche
 
    FUCK your kitchen table war zone
          FUCK your lines in my flesh
                FUCK your destruction of caress
                      FUCK your take down
                            FUCK your revolution built on bullshit
 
I AM THE MALINCHE
 
I
 
WE
 
Will continue moving out of your hills of ego and fucked up, silenced, picked at stories.
Tailored and poured atop our beautiful semillas.
Drowning, pushing, muscles sore… We continue…
Until we reach some sun
And that sun will be HOT
Can’t deny
 
ME
 
WE
 
MALINCHES [fuck you]

Community New Year’s Resolutions

I was recently reading a list of five New Year’s resolutions for the Latino community by Ernesto Sosa on Huffington Post. The founder and president of the Hispanic Social Media Institute and SOWEB and director at LATISM (Latinos in Innovation, Technology and Social Media), focused on challenges that hold back the Latino community that prevent us from doing what’s needed to “evolve, become a valuable power group and change the outdated, misrepresented Latino stereotypes.”

Sosa has some good points, and some speak volumes to the specific challenges facing Tucson’s own community and should be taken to heart. But it occurred to Ms. Malinche that we could use five additional resolutions to examine our own work that needs to be done in the coming year, particularly the next three months. But let’s throw some love malintZINE’s way – what’s started already knocks two of Sosa’s resolutions off the list – embracing a true culture of collaboration and the productive use of technology (more than 8,000 views since its start).

But there’s more to do, and there’s more for our local community to embrace. If they did, I guarantee the beginning of real change, a change that’s embraced by everyone, not just those in the Chicano community:

  1. Let’s steal the first line in Sosa’s first resolution, “Embrace a true culture of collaboration.” That means creating a movement that truly reaches all areas of the community. malintZINE has offered the community a great start – bringing those who’ve felt disenfranchised by self-described leaders in the fight for Mexican-American studies. malintZINE has provided a way for everyone to no longer be silenced and a path to move all of us forward. But they (we) shouldn’t be alone, more allies and those in the community are needed to understand that an approach that uses bullying and draws lines in the sand no longer works. There needs to be organizing that embraces true collaboration.
  2. In a community movement that embraces collaboration there is no need for the other tactics that have gotten us where we are – using chisme to cause division. When lies come from people seen as trustworthy leaders, it only makes it difficult for many to sift through the lies to get to the facts. Shit, it really makes it difficult for us to use the critical thinking skills we love and embrace. So, for example, if someone were to start whispering that John Pedicone is going to retire this summer and that Auggie Romero is going to be made superintendent, it would make them look only more ridiculous. Or here’s another example, there’s a position in the desegregation proposal that calls for a director of Culturally Relevant Curriculum. Some in the community would like to see Romero, this is true, and others are talking about Norma Gonzalez. The problem here is that nothing has been decided yet, so to act as if that is the case is again, only a tactic to cause division. If Gonzalez is really interested in this position and not feeling peer pressure from her fellow teachers to not apply or push for it, she needs to put herself out there. There’s no need for any whispering. Just get out there and begin an earnest discussion. Let’s begin something collaboratively.
  3. Having clear goals and a clear path to those goals can begin when you work collaboratively and when you don’t use chisme to divide the community (if you need an example of how to do this look to the DREAMers). So, here’s chisme that has yet to be addressed, but needs to be addressed: If former MAS teachers are telling the community that we need to fight for them because they are the MAS program, but they are also telling others they are planning not to return this fall and use Pedicone’s presence in TUSD as their excuse – please, step up and explain what exactly people are fighting for – especially at the desegregation forums in December. Let’s begin with a clear path and goals. UNIDOS’ message to the Tucson Unified School District at the last board meeting asked the board to work with the community and listen as the desegregation process continues. This was a beautiful start and one worth rallying around. In fact, at this point, the teachers could learn a lot from UNIDOS and malintZINE. Let’s leave the bullshit at home, and let’s work together without threats, lies or division.
  4. Yes, it’s true that there are some tactics that can be an important part of the Democratic process in order to make change – while some local politicians are known for using chisme to do just that, and it’s obvious that their example is being replicated, it may also be good to think of the old-fashion sit down – no, it’s not compromise, it’s a damn sit-down. You can even have several. If that doesn’t work, then yes, by all means, bring it on. But bring it on with truth and bring it on with trust – you do that, and the community will have your back. Your bring it on with lies and you bring it on with manipulation, we now see that the result is people will no longer care what you have to say. Instead, the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” will continue to be used an example discussed over and over again, as other parts of the community work to do what needs to be done – despite this failed tactic, despite the lies.
  5. Open your eyes to what is going on right now. Before malintZINE was even a reality on the Internet and Twitter-feed, it was no longer a secret that women in the community had enough. Tucson Freedom Summer was just one small experience in several years of feeling silenced and felt-up at the same time. There are those in the community who support MAS and want to create change – but they may be making one mistake. They are stuck on what some will call the “old ways.” Let’s not repeat something that we now know doesn’t work. Why not start something new, something that uses those community organizing tactics we learned from the past, but something that calls for collaboration and truth that also begins with clear goals? You can’t justify the work you want to do by saying your approach is to use the old ways. If there’s any lesson to learn from all of this and the creation of malintZINE, it is that new ways are needed, too. That’s what we owe the next seven generations – not putting out the same bullshit out over and over again. Looking back what will they say? Maybe, if we aren’t willing to do what is needed, the history told will be that we didn’t use our Precious Knowledge, instead we became bullshit artists and nothing changed … nothing changed at all.