News / Racism

  • Our Culture is Our Resistance

     

     

    Dear fellow Latinx Peoples,


    In the media and in this country we are raised to be believe that all we are good for is to labor for white capitalists like Donald Trump. That we are "at risk communities" needing white intervention. That in order to be successful we have to strip away our heritage and consent to whiteness.


    But fuck that. We have fought the colonization of our lands and minds for over 500 years defending ourselves against every colonial empire thrust onto us by Europe. Our tradition and heritage is one of resistance and militant action. Our societies have produced complex languages and methods of expression that don't rely on the written word but instead on how we relate to one another in community, story and song.


    The work of our ante pasados produced the most radical constitution on the planet: the 1917 Mexican constitution, which guaranteed, ejido, collective land rights. (These rights were significantly weakened as the Mexican government prepared for the implementation of NAFTA)


    In the face of dictatorships we have produced song to express the beauty and the belief in our shared resistance.


    We are the children of fighters and our legacy asks us to endure in the belly of the beast, here in what is now so obviously, the most racist society on the planet. In this, let there be no doubt that the American dream rests on a vision built off the stolen  land of native peoples and the enslaved labor of black folks


    Our generation has made its own mark as we fight the oppressive religious structures of our parents to embrace our queer and trans community. We have the ability to be intersectional, to feed the promise of a worldview and application of our heritage with our own voice and spirit


    We have learned that words move mountains and our moments of solidarity can take on any empire and any delusional "leader." 


    To my non Latinx POC community ... sup... I love you very much and I love the fight we have formed together. There is beauty in our struggle but pain with every step and breath we take.


    Know that the one truth I hold is that our future is tied to an intersectional understanding of how we relate to one another and that white supremacy needs to be dismantled


    And know that the only warmth I find comfort in is the space we hold together in our tears and our hopes. Our shared love will carry me as we get beaten, arrested, targeted, and deported. In short made disposable by the state and its white supremacists


    I will rise and love with you or I will die trying.

     

    Filiberto Nolasco Gomez

    El Huateque

    #dumptrump2017

  • Police Violently Evict the #4thPrecinctShutDown

     Update: By 9:20am Police had set up barricades around the Precinct. Via Ashley Fairbanks

     

     

     

    At 3:45am this morning, Minneapolis Police violently evicted the #4thPrecintShutDown. after 18 days of a 24/7 peaceful demonstration. What began as a response to the execution of Jamar Clark would become 18 days of a 24/7 peaceful demonstration. 

     

     


    Organizers called for a rally on Thursday November 3rd at 4pm at City Hall in response to what they cal, "the Mayor and City Council's continued brutality against peaceful protesters who have endured a white supremacist terrorist attack, police violence, and freezing temperatures to demand justice for Jamar Clark."


    Protestors continue to demand: Release the tapes, appoint a special prosecutor with no grand jury for Jamar Clark's case, and institute a safety plan to protect Minneapolis residents from continued police violence.

    During the course of the Shut Down of the #4th Precinct , Protestors where attacked by white supremacists, confronted the Mayor over what they are argue to be her inadequate response to the attacks and threw an elaborate "Blacksgiving" celebration.   

     

    After getting shot at by white supremacists, seeing two people next to me get hit, helping them into their friends SUV...

    Posted by Jie Wronski-Riley on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

     


    In describing the attack by white supremacists  Andy Parson wrote:

    "I was at the precinct when this happened; saw the protest security folks peacefully moving the masked white supremacist terrorists away fromthe site; heard the shots and saw people running both away from the shooting and towards it. Despite the heavy police presence in the immediate area, the cops seemed in no hurry to do anything. It was the protesters who worked to maintain order and safety.

    A few minutes before the shootings, one of the cops inside the precinct had popped up over the wall wearing a black face mask like the ones the white supremacists were wearing. You'd think, being so close and aware of the situation, they could have acted at something other than a snail's pace.

    Nobody was taken into custody, and one of the cops told protesters 'This is what you wanted.' Police then maced the peaceful demonstrators and ignored witnesses, including a friend of mine who had the name and address of a potential suspect.

    I wasn't alive in the 1960s and so don't know what that time in our history felt like. I know that what happened last night is wrong, profoundly wrong, and makes me think on how much work there still is to do. When white terrorists can hang out at a police precinct, shoot a bunch of black people, and walk away into the night, we have a deep and systemic problem.

    I'll be joining hundreds of others at the precinct today at 2pm for a march and I invite you all to join me, even if you haven't been out to any of the protests yet. Although it's a cliche, if you've ever wondered what you'd do if you were alive during the civil rights era, now's the time to find out. Hope to see you out there."

    -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez

  • Protestors Took over Freeway in response to the Execution of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis Police

     
    In response to the execution of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis Police protestors took over the 94 Freeway in Minneapolis, haulting traffic.

    After several hours of diverting traffic officers took over the freeway deploying over 60 squad cars. 

    42 protestors where booked in Hennepin County Jail. They began to be released in the early hours of the morning. 

     

    On November 17th BLM activists revealed that the coroner's office determined that Jamar Clark was indeed shot in the head by police. 

     

     

    Organizers offered a healing space for those that have been engaged in the fight for #justice4jamar. After 3 days of pain and confusion community came together to reflect and consider the impact of the last several days. Individuals came up to the stage to share there thoughts and feelings.

    A North Minneapolis resident and single mother Stephanie Gasca revealed that her 12 year old son had been kicked in the rear by his teacher.  Her son attends middle school in the Robbinsdale school district. The District is made up of at least 30% students of color and the teachers are largely white. 

    Stephanie further explained that, 

    Today I will have to explain to my son that the criminal "justice" system doesn't work for us. Explain to him that him being assaulted by his teacher is ok in the systems eyes and that there will be no charges brought against her because the white city attorney doesn't believe her actions were criminal or warrant any charges. I'm not surprised but I'm hurt that I have to explain this to my 12 year old son.

    For her the shooting is a reminder that her young boys are not safe and that the school to prison pipeline starts early. Her son, upon hearing that the District Attorney would not charge the teacher with assault he commented that: 

    How is that not assault? If I would of kicked a teacher I would of been in jail.

    Many others expressed there solidarity and sense of despair over the execution of the young man. It was eventually announced that Black Lives Matter Activists and members of Clark's family met with Mayor Hodges. The meetings seem to have been preliminary. 

     

    -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez 

     

     

  • The Brujas You Couldn't Kill - The New Parish

    Our old friend Chhoti Maa has but together an amazing show. In her own words: 

    Bruja literally means witch, but this word is often used as an insult, suggesting evil or bitchy behavior…this comes from colonization and machismo. For many years, the word Bruja was used to belittle, vilify and delegitimize traditional womyn healers / doctors /wise womyn.

     Today, we use the word Bruja to challenge that colonial covering, to unearth and revitalize our connection to our Grandma healer ancestors who guide us and pass down sacred knowledge.

    Listen to our podcast with Chhoti here!

     

    Local rappers and educators
    MADlines and CHHOTI MAA aka BRUJALYFE are hosting:
    THE BRUJAS YOU COULDN’T KILL
    The New Parish, Nov. 15th, 2015
    Doors at 6:00pm
    Show starts at 7:00pm
    $8 Advance Tickets
    $12 At the Door
    18 and Over (Bar with ID)
    Purchase Tickets Here
    Facebook Event Page Here
    Get down with DJs, Vendors, Music and Brujeria.
    The Brujas You Couldn’t Kill:
    Featuring:
    SUZI ANALOGUE (Never Normal Brooklyn)
    WORLD HOOD (Sacramento Solcolective)
    BRUJALYFE (MADlines & CHHOTI MAA)
    HADEEL RAMADAN aka Coca Blu
    DJ NAMASTE SHAWTY & DJ MUJIE playing the JAMS

     

  • Don Beto and this New Tattoo: Reflections for a Father's Day without my Father.

    So much of my youth was shaped by my father Don Beto’s, stories of crossing the border from northern Mexico into South Texas. I would sit with him on countless occasions listening intently as he described: why he left Mexico, the many failed attempts, getting shot at by border patrol agents and his own dreaming. His and crossing was motivated by  wondering what life would be like for him and us as he dug deep to motivate himself to continue his journey.

     

    I also remember that my fathers motivation to cross, to struggle, to fight for his life and that of his family often, I believe, made it really hard for him to appreciate who I was becoming. He had a very distinct vision for who my siblings and I would eventually become. Near as I could tell it was some sort of bible wielding doctor or lawyer with several children and paying for all of my dad’s bills by the time I would be 28.

    Needless to say that never happened. In moments of frustration and to an extent cruelty he often remarked about how I disappointed him. Thankfully, I learned to define myself not by his affirmation but my own vision for who I want to be. That said it’s important that my dad taught me how to dream and fight and despite the anger I sometimes felt towards I embraced the lesson. With my father I learned how to tell stories. Where my father focused on his voice I stretched it further learning to make tell stories through filmmaking, this website, podcasts and tattoos. This most recent tattoo tells the story of my relationship to Latin America by focusing on 3 moments that have been at the center of my reflections for quite some time. The three images are: 

    • A photo immediately following the assassination of Monsignor Óscar Romero, now being considered for sainthood.
    • A portion of a Diego Rivera mural depicting the CIA sponsored overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala
    • A portion of a lithograph by acclaimed Chicano painter Luis Jiménez depicting migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the United States

     

    Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero

    Assassinated on March 24, 1980 Monsignor Óscar Romero stands as one of the most deeply felt assassinations in a period of intense upheaval. His presence in El Salvador is constant and loved.

    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB339/ 

     

    A lot of who I am as a progressive and activist was germinated and flourished as I was challenged by the readings of the man above and the others that fought for emancipation in the Americas. Monsignor Óscar Romero transformed alongside the weighty period of the 70s and 80s when a spark of outrage was becoming the flame of liberation for our peoples.

     I wrestled with his words and elements of his vision in my time in the indigenous base communities of Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala in 2003-04 and remain unbearably restless for something better for myself and those that I love. Following the 2004 Massacre at Nueva Linda, that I covered and made a film about, I was lost, overwhelmed and pained with the agony of what had happened. I sought peace and comfort at a time where I couldn’t return to my family. I boarded a bus for El Salvador to find solace in the land Romero had walked. I went to his tomb and the Universities remnants of his life.

    The image and life of Monsignor Romero has left an indelible mark on me. I think about Romero every day but I wanted to most remember as a political actor who was to threatening to be allowed to stay alive. A martyr for our cause, Romero’s assassination was the apex of his authority. The tattoo also includes  my favorite Romero quote, "La justicia es como las serpientes: sólo muerde a los descalzos.” You will be remembered and loved. 

     

    Luis Jimenez- Tan Lejos De Dios

    This painting was actually at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I used to know one of the workers and before a meeting she took me to the closest size Chicano section (more on that another day). I was immediately captivated by the depth of the representation and how it immediately brought me to my father’s stories.

     “Accomplished artist and professor Luis Jiménez (1940–2006) drew inspiration from his personal experience as a person of Mexican descent who was born in the United States. Through his art, he illuminated recent social struggles for Mexicans living in the United States and political conflicts that still arise along the border. [http://www.artnet.com/ artwork/426092860/727/luis-jimenez-cruzando-el- rio-bravo---border-crossing.html] Jiménez lived in New York in the mid 1960s and early 1970s, when many artists were focused on minimalism and conceptual art, styles that explored abstract ideas and non-representational forms. Instead, Jiménez began producing figural art with emotional intensity. His heritage can be seen in his art, influenced by social realism and Mexican colors. Jiménez is best known for his controversial sculptures made of fiberglass, a material commonly used by the working poor to build or repair cars. These dramatic political sculptures displayed in public places recall the work by the muralists. [

    Instead of telling stories about Mexican history, however, Jiménez’s narrative is about his Mexican American upbringing in the poverty-stricken city of El Paso, Texas. He intended to give a voice to those who are marginalized, e.g., immigrant laborers, steelworkers, and cowboys. Prints by Jiménez also show the human experience of contemporary Mexican American life. His images incorporate

    Native myths and legends into illustrated stories about the disadvantaged, suffering from poverty, unemployment, and unjust working conditions.
    He depicted many of his subjects in crisis, distress, anger, or conflict, and addressed the emotional plight of Mexicans living in the United States by exploring complicated subjects such as immigration. His commentary on the suffering of Mexican immigrants evokes Posada’s illustrations of the deprived populace. ….

    In Tan Lejos de Dios, the viewer confronts a chaotic scene reminiscent of the montage style of Mexican murals. Mexican men, women, and children are shown trying to enter the United States illegally.

     To the left of the group, a woman’s body is sprawled on the ground, perhaps having been hit by the automobile nearby; only the frantic woman in front of her appears to notice. The others move onward in pursuit of what appears to be a hopeless goal of leaving Mexico. “

    http://new.artsmia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MexicanPrints-single-English.pdf 

    Diego Rivera-Gloriosa Victoria

    Disappeared for almost 50 years the mural Glorious Victory depicts a 1954 CIA backed coup of democratically elected president of Guatemala Jacobo Arbenz ending the “10 Years of Spring” the followed the overthrow of the Dictator Jorge Ubico. The dynamics of this coup led to the beginnings of the 36 Armed Conflict between Marxist guerrillas and the state that would end only after the Guatemalan security forces had committed genocide by systematically killing the indigenous Maya. Over 200,000 had been victims along with over 1 Million fleeing to Guatemala City and the border with Mexico in the Lacandon Jungle out of a population of 6 million.

    For radicals of the era the coup in Guatemala served as a stark listen of what the United States would do to protects there interests in Latin America. Iconic figures such as legendary Argentine guerrilla leader Che Guevara had been in Guatemala during the coup before meeting with Fidel Castro in Mexico city and became radicalized. Rivera painted the mural shortly after the overthrow.

    https://informacionlibre2000.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/gloriosa-victoria-el-polemico-mural-de-diego-rivera-para-guatemala/

     

     

    The New Tattoo

    This images and there presence on my left arm serve as a reminder, something to hold me accountable to our histories and where this work is moving me towards. It also represents something beautifully out of something horrible. Through our pain can emerge life  and vision. 

     

    If you seem me be gentle though. Sometimes folks grab my arm to take a look and rotate while forgetting that its attached to my shoulder. And yes it HUUUUURT! 

     -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez

     

     

     

     

     

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