Sunday, October 19, 2008

List of El Reflejo's Past Issues

So here is the current list of all the past publications from El Reflejo. I was not able to find all the past issues in pdf format. But they are in the process in being converted into pdf and to be posted as well. Thanks for the help Espie.

Volume 1 Issue 1 March 7, 2006
• Volume 1 Issue 2 April 22, 2006
Volume 2 Issue 2 May 7, 2007
• Volume 2 Issue 2 May 21, 2007
Volume 3 Issue 1 March 17, 2008
• Volume 3 Issue 2 April 7, 2008
• Volume 3 Issue 3 May 25, 2008
Volume 4 Issue 1 September 2, 2008
• Volume 4 Issue 2 Monday October 6, 2008


Monday, October 6, 2008

Fake Ass Chicanos

Juan Pablo Gómez de Anda

Chicano. The word just ain’t what it used to be. Seems like nowadays anybody could call themselves Chicano and nobody would argue, especially if you’re walking around rocking Aztec tattoos. The term has lost its meaning, its vision, its drive, its purpose, and its very intellectual root.

See, being Chicano doesn’t mean that your parents are Mexican and you were here - it is so much deeper and more important than that. Leaving it as a racial term makes the word generic and mediocre, like calling yourself an American. What is that supposed to mean nowadays? If any “Mexican-American” could call themselves Chicano, we only group ourselves with the lower and lesser parts of “our race”.

My brother gave me a good example that I happen to agree with:

I’ve tried to see us all as one blood, raza, and one family. But then you get that guy dressed in his ostrich-skin suit, gold medals of the Virgen de Guadalupe and an even bigger one of an AK-47, and a huge, sparkly weed plant on the back of his jacket - that’s when I say “Nah, it can’t be”.

So now what? Do you include that person as part of your own, well knowing that he stands for everything you fight against? What about gang bangers? What about wife beaters? What about drug dealers, users and drunkards? Do we let them be a part of us and what we aim for in life?

Of course not! They are not Chicanos. They are fuck ups that shouldn’t have a chance at this precious gift we call life. They only add to the pressure, stress, violence, frustrations, and strife. For me to define you by the same identity I define myself and others like myself would only be me shitting on my own being.

Because being Chicano means you are knowledgeable enough to do good for yourself, your family, and your community. Being Chicano means you help those in need; not in “giving a man a fish”, but in “teaching him how to fish”. We are pushers, movers, and shakers, not those that move with whatever is pushing and shaking us.

We are innovators in whatever we do. Our music, our art, our dances, our very culture should be distinctively and crucially one of our own. We should not be sucked in to make our culture one that we must forcibly assimilate into (Americanism). On the other hand, our culture should not be one in which we keep our eyes locked on our past (in my case, a history based on Mexica/Indigenous culture). Neither does us any good: in the first, we are stuck with the present day bullshit in which we live in. In the latter, we only keep bitching about our20past. We keep yelling “We gotta take back Aztlán!” and come out as nothing but a whining, bitchy population that gets nowhere in action. They are both backward steps and they are both mental and intellectual traps.

The key is to make our own, brand-new culture, leaving our own dent in history. We are a people who don’t take shit from anybody. We are a people who will never compromise or sellout our vision. We are a people who fight for what we know is right, rather than what others believe is right.

This being said, Chicano is no longer a racial term, but a mental, spiritual, and intellectual identity. So now when they come and ask “what are you?”, stand tall and proud and still say Chicano, knowing that it has nothing to do with race. What does it matter, right? What does it matter if you are a good person who fights for what is right and is intelligent enough to know what right is?

So now I’m glad the term Chicano isn’t what it used to be as it has grown and matured into a more powerful and intellectual concept. We Chicanos come together as20brown, black, white, and yellow people seeking to destroy the slave mentality taking over our human race. We do not think of ourselves as “free-thinkers” because there is no such thing - all ideas are in one way or another installed into your mind by different ideas and mediums and could never be free-minded in this society of dishonesty, self-loathing and media dominance. But we are intelligent thinkers, we are spiritual warriors, and we are organic intellectuals.

This being said,beginning this day and for all eternities to come -

Forget Chicano as a racial term -

It is an automatic rifle mindset.

Cool Brown Dudes

Most of the guys that belong to Raza remind me of the guys I grew up with in high school. Cool brown dudes who have a passion for sports and a fascination with the female anatomy.

I’ve seen them at the parties. Checking out the girls from Hermanas Unidas and exchanging phone numbers and Myspace Latino addresses. Well, not really. We’re too Americanized to actually use Myspace Latino.
Despite the fact that I am not a Chicano and Latino Studies major, I’ve gotten to know a few of these guys.

But I don’t know if they really know me.
See, I’m gay.
I wouldn’t say right-in-your-face-gay, but definitely gay. I’m the type of gay who is down to chill with the guys and endlessly talk about J-Lo’s butt.
I don’t think I’m that feminine, so I don’t know how many of them know that I’m actually gay. Notice this is the fifth time I type the word gay, which is making me reconsider how much of a gay I really am. But I digress.

The fact that my fellow brown brothers are here for the same reason I am, to get educated and give back to the community, just makes me so proud to share the same room as them, no matter how stained the carpets are or how wiggly the stairs leading up to Raza get.

We brown men, the men who are constantly being portrayed as the gang-banger or the wife beater, are trying to better ourselves by getting an education.
But being a gay Latino can be a bit hard. To try and find acceptance from the same guys who throw the word "fag" here and there and use maricon with a negative connotation towards my people can be quite challenging.

Now, I’m not going to get all gay pride on your brown asses. I just won’t do that. I don’t think I’m all that proud yet. I’m in a stage of my life where I’m still trying to figure out what the future holds for me and wonder when the fuck I am going to graduate already. Managing a job, school and a boyfriend can be tough. But I’m hanging in there.

Like most of you.

I’m hanging in there because I want something better for me and I can’t wait until I am a Latino man with a professional life and leave my parents’ house (yup, still live at home) with a degree that will hopefully make this transition easier.So you see my hermanos, I am not that different from you. We all share the same vision and the same goals. In the eyes of some, we are bound to fail. But we won’t let that happen.

The only difference is that I like to kiss boys. And you guys like to kiss girls. Just like the Catholic Church drilled into our heads. Which probably explains why we are so fucked up in the head when it comes to opening our minds to other people’s sexual preferences. I don’t even think I’m that open. No pun intended, cabrones.


La Malinche

It was a Friday and my big brother Lalo and I were going to Lopez’s birthday party at our local jazz and fondue bar, the Hip Kitty. We were driving down Foothill Blvd. when we saw a crop of blindingly bright lights. Several cars were pulled over and there was a long table set up in front of a portable trailer. The place was infested with cops. Lalo looked over at me and I scanned his face, wondering what we were going to do. He calmly pulled into the checkpoint and the white male police officer leaned in to talk to us.

“This is a DUI and license checkpoint. Can I see your driver’s license?” the police officer asked.

Lalo looked him in his blue eyes and told him steadily, “Actually officer, this is only a DUI checkpoint, and drivers don’t have to show their licenses unless it is publicized to be a license checkpoint.”

The officer looked stunned. He repeated again, “This is a DUI and license checkpoint. Let me see your license.”

Lalo then informed him that officers at DUI checkpoints are only supposed to check if drivers appear impaired. The officer looked irritated.

“Do you want to speak with the sheriff?” he asked Lalo.

“I’d be happy to.” Lalo replied. The officer didn’t appear to believe what he was hearing.

“You want to speak with the sheriff?” he repeated.

“Yes, I’d be happy to.” Lalo said again.

The officer sighed and said “Okay. Pull over there by the other cars.” So, we pulled over and waited for the sheriff.

Something I haven’t mentioned is that we knew that there would be a checkpoint in that place and at that time. See, my brother and I are activists, and lately in our community (the Ontario-Pomona-Claremont-Upland area) we have noticed that there have been a lot of checkpoints. DUI checkpoints, or sobriety checkpoints as they are often called, are meant to deter drunk driving and catch drivers who are under the influence. However, checkpoints that are located in areas with high populations of people of color and/or are conducted in the morning, afternoon, and early evening are not looking for people leaving bars drunk; they are looking for undocumented people.

Lalo had been reading up on the legal aspect of this issue for awhile and in the course of his research he had found that there are two different kinds of checkpoints: DUI checkpoints and DUI and license checkpoints. Whatever kind of checkpoint it is, it must be announced through the press and there must be signs telling you what it is. This checkpoint we were sitting at was not supposed to be for licenses and none of the signs indicated that it was.

Lalo and I talked about the checkpoints a lot:

“What about the fourth amendment?” I had asked him previously.

“Michigan v. Sitz.” he had replied.

The Fourth Amendment is the one that safeguards people against unreasonable search and seizure. Considering the fact that DUI checkpoints garner about 100 cars each which are towed away for various reasons (only about 3% of which are DUI related), the Fourth Amendment appears to be meaningless as of late. That’s where Sitz came in. In 1990 a group of Michigan residents got pissed and sued Michigan police for violation of their civil liberties according to the Fourth Amendment and the Michigan Court decided that they were right. However, the police took it to the Supreme Court who decided that in this case, the public benefit of getting drunk driver’s off the road surpassed what they considered to be the smaller issue of the violation of the civil liberties of the people and actually ruled DUI checkpoints constitutional, as long as they stick to strict guidelines.

Another officer came over to the car and asked Lalo to step out of the vehicle. He grabbed his copy of the bill of rights with the Fourth Amendment highlighted and walked over to the long table. The police were swarming around him and one of them searched him. I watched him speak to an officer on the other side of the table and at one point he lifted the paper he had grabbed and began to read it. The next thing I knew, he was being handcuffed and taken away.

See, the law is funny. So much of what happens is really up to the officer’s discretion, and no officer wants some civilian telling him how he is supposed to do his job. Lalo was put in a holding cell with a $10,000 bail for delaying a police procedure. When the white male officer who originally stopped us came back to the car to tell me they had arrested Lalo, he just kept saying that he should have just shown his license. I told him that my brother was aware of his rights, as we all should be, and asked if I could leave. He looked nervous when he asked me, “Can I see your license?” His face was priceless.

Some of the guidelines that police are supposed to follow are that they have to announce the checkpoints, they have to either stop every car or every nth car (ex: 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.), they have to also educate the public about drunk driving, they can’t pull someone over just for avoiding a checkpoint, and, if the checkpoint is solely for DUIs, they are only supposed to stop you long enough to determine sobriety. Also, according to the Attorney General if it is a combination DUI and License checkpoint there must be advanced notice in the press and signs at the location.

I ended up showing that cop my license and going to the Hip Kitty. After a few hours, they let Lalo go without bail and I picked him up, but he still has a court date to go to in October. Our hope is to get the criminal charges dropped and sue the police, but we don’t really know what is going to happen. See, Lalo is lucky enough to have a license. But many people do not have licenses and when the police do these checkpoints and ask for licenses, they are really targeting the people unable to receive them, the undocumented.

I probably don’t have to explain the exploitation and oppression that undocumented people have to endure: the lack of financial aid for college, the ICE raids, deportations, detentions, imprisonment, racism and terrorizing by White America. These checkpoints are just one more tactic for the police to find and scare them. If the true reason that the checkpoints are done is to find drunk drivers, then why is the immigrant community so disproportionately affected? And why are only 5 or less out of 100 cars taken for DUI related reasons? Why are the police asking for licenses at non-license checkpoints? And why are not all cars stopped?

I think we know the answers to these questions. So, let’s do something!

Here is a list of things we can do:

1. Check the Crime and Public Safety section of your local paper for checkpoints, set up a Google alert, or sign up for text message alerts on Then, when you find out where the next checkpoint will be, let people know! Make a listserv, post a bulletin, send text messages, make announcements at church, organization meetings or any other groups. My friend’s dad even keeps a sign in his trunk to place around checkpoints so people know where they are. Be creative!

2. Avoid the checkpoints. Technically they are not supposed to pull you over just for avoiding them. That doesn’t mean that they won’t or that they can’t make up an excuse.

Remember, driving without a license is not necessarily an arrestable offense.

1. California Vehicle Code Section 14602.6 says that if a police officer determines a person is driving without a license, or the license was revoked or suspended, the person’s vehicle “shall be impounded for 30 days.”

2. However, there is an appeals court ruling that says they are supposed to give you 30 minutes time to call a licensed driver.

3. Keep in mind, a lot is up to an officer’s discretion, and the police do not like when you tell them about the law.

Also, know your rights:

1. If you end up getting stopped at a checkpoint, be sober and have a driver’s license.

2. If you do not have a license, ask the officer(s) if you can call a licensed driver to come drive your car home.

3. Take pictures or otherwise document the conditions of the checkpoint. Your attorney may be able to use this in your defense. ¶

Mojad@s Anónim@s

Anonymous ♀

The Matricula Consular: a commonly used ID issued by the Mexican Consulate for Mexican born citizens who reside in California. I got mine when I was almost 17.

I was anxious to go out and use it because I thought, “Hey, I’m finally of “legal” age!” With my Matricula, however, came other dilemmas. What places take Matriculas Consulares and what places do not? You might have recently turned 18, 21, or perhaps you’re past those days and turning a quarter of a century. Whatever your age, the point is that you still like to go out and have fun with your friends. You also want to hit up new and exciting places just like the rest of us. But, we all have experienced the dread of having to show the Matricula, waiting for a possible rejection.

It’s a Saturday night. A friend might say, “Hey, I know of this great new place. I think you’ll love it!” You will definitely be excited, but in the back of your head you will be thinking, “God, I hope they take my Matricula.”

This is why we have compiled a list of Matricula-Friendly Hot Spots, and even some haters in an attempt to inform our community and avoid embarrassing moments of rejection. All research was done by Matricula-holding students.

The Lovers:

Rock Bottom
The 49er
The Bull Bar
Reno Room
Executive Suite
Debra’s (Club Ripples)
Vault 360
Alex’s Bar *depends on their mood

The Catwalk
The Mayan
The Echo
Echo Plex
The Grand
La Cita
Coco Bongo
Sabor Lounge
La Sausa
The Heist

The Mirage
Hully Gully
The Stardust Club
Anarchy Library
Sage (Whittier)
Flux (Lakewood)

Tia Juana’s (Irvine)
Rumors (Santa Ana)
New Oz (Anaheim)
Bravo (Anaheim)

The Troubadour
Rage (West)
Arena (West)
Circus (West)
The Akbar (Silverlake)
Zen Sushi (Los Felix)

Margarita Jones
La Boom
El Potrero (Cudahy)
El Pescador (S. Gate)
El Parral (S. Gate)
El Rodeo (Pico Rivera)

The Haters:

Clockwork Orange
Beat It
The Saddle Ranch
Elephant Bar
Que Sera (Long Beach)
The Sandwich
The [fucking!] Nugget

Feedback time! Know any other locales that accept/do not accept Matriculas? Send them in to get loved/burned: el.reflejo.mojados@gmail.

Para mi "peor-es-nada"


Yeah, it’s me again. ¿Quién mas esperabas? ¿La sancha, o qué? Haha, foo’, calm down; no te voy a reclamar nada.

Solo queria decirte que that other night, when you dropped me off, cuando ni siquiera te volteaste a ver si entre bien a mi apartment ‘cause you just drove off? Pues it got me thinking see, it stung in here once more; made me realize que en tus ojos, maybe I’m just some stupid whore. Que en los ultimos meses you lied to and cunningly deceived, pero que dices que me quieres, ay papí lo prometes, que soy la unica pa’ ti.Yet, you don’t kiss me right. Siempre usas mucha lengua. Y cuando te la muerdo en broma, well, let’s not even go there – me dejas en vergüenza.

I always thought I liked you. I guess I really just might. Pero papí, why can’t you just tell me if you’re in a bad mood? You don’t even have to explain it, or talk about it si no quieres.

I just wish you didn’t scream at me and curse that I’m pathetic. Que soy mensa y aburrida, ni tan flaca y mal hablada. Que I won’t put out fast enough por mis tonterias de no quedar embarazada. Que soy confusa e incrédula, yeah, but I believe everything you say. That’s ‘cause I love you baby. I’m true to you, always & forever. You know, like the song says.

People are always talking shit, diciendo que you’re a good-for-nothing porque dejastes el estudio and you don’t support me in MY studies. Dices que I’m just wasting time, what’s the point, si I’m gonna marry you? "Girl, drop that schoolbag," you like to tell me. Like yeah, who am I trying to fool, right?

Anywho, I just had to get this off my chest.

Mis ojos are rojos and my lips are swollen y mi hair’s a mess. I’ll understand if this letter nunca la lees. I know you’re busy and occupied, but when you lose your temper and I’m not here to answer, don’t say I didn’t try.

It’s kind of hard having to live on edge and pretend nobody is listening. Nobody notices when your senses are twisted and your breath is caught short ‘cause you can’t form the words.
In the struggle to be sensible, shy, tu novia querida grapples the trifled language, the painfully extracted sappy phrase:
"I’m fine."

The Latin American Film Series at The Beach

Fernando Romero

The Latin American Film Series began on Thursday, Sept. 25 with the screening of Los Andes no creen en Dios and will continue through Oct. 16 on successive Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the University Theatre at Cal State Long Beach.

The annual film series exhibits four movies made by Latin American filmmakers or produced specifically for Latin American audiences. This year’s theme, “Love Stories: Diverse Visions,” focuses on a compilation of films that present narratives of the intricate idiosyncrasies of love coupled with the socio/political backdrop and settings of Latin America.

Series opener, Los Andes no creen en Dios by Bolivian filmmaker Antonio Eguino was released in 2007 and subsequently screened throughout Latin America. It has the recognition of being the most expensive Bolivian film ever produced. It has received acclaim for its cinematography and was also Bolivia’s submission to the 80th Annual Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, but failed to make the final cut.

It took more than 23 years for Eguino to premier his latest film after 1984’s Amargo mar. A veteran filmmaker, Eguino makes a comeback with Los Andes no creen en Dios and adds to his repertoire of films including Pueblo chico (1974) and Chuquiago (1977). His films concern the everyday lives of Bolivians threaded with the cultural and socio/political circumstances within that country.

“Los Andes no creen en Dios is an homage to the miners of Bolivia,” Eguino said. “It is an homage to the men and women who dedicated their lives and passions to the mining industry.”

The movie is set in the 1920s and 1940s, when mineral mining peaked in Bolivia.

“I wanted to reconstruct a forgotten age of the Bolivian mining industry,” Eguino said.

With ample artistic license, Eguino recreated and restructured three novels by Bolivian writer Adolfo Costa Du Rels forming the basis for the movie plot.: La plata del diablo, La Misk’i simi (Labios Dulces) and Los Andes no creen en Dios, which later became the title of the film, and gave life to the narrator of this novel turning him into the film’s protagonist.

The film follows writer Alfonso Claros (Diego Bertie) who travels to the small, Bolivian mining town of Uyuni wherein he befriends Joaquín (Milton Cortez). Both friends fall in love with Claudina (Carla Ortiz), the misk’i simi, and get tangled with mining prospector Genaro (Jorge Ortiz) and house madam Clota (Schlomit Baytelman).

Eguino said that his filmmaking is one which reflects about social realities in a region marked by contrasts. He cited that The Andes and most of Latin America is plagued with social inequalities which beg the question of whether or not God exists.
Eguino’s film is one of two dramas to be screened during the film series, the other being Madrigal by Cuban director Fernando Pérez.

Organizer and film and electronic arts professor at CSULB Jose H. Sanchez said the selection for the films is based on diverse criteria.

“The entries are selected through attending film festivals, such as the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival,” Sanchez said. “We also take into account recommendations from film and electronic art students attending film festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival.”

This year’s selections included two dramas and two comedies. Asegure a su Mujer, was screened on Thursday, Oct.2. This film is a 1934 comedy made by Fox Studios and directed by Lewis Seiler. The movie was produced for the Latin American market in the 1930s. Sanchez said that prior to its exhibition at the University Theatre, the film had only been publicly screened once before within the United States.

Cuban film Madrigal by Pérez is scheduled for screening on Oct. 9. This dramatic love story is set in two time periods, the years 2005 and 2020; blending fantasy and reality.

The Latino Film Series will conclude with the screening of Maldeamores on Oct. 16. Directed by Puerto Ricans Carlos Ruiz and Maria Pérez Rivera, this comedic film follows many characters who are searching for romance.
The Latin American Film Series is free and open to students, faculty and the general public. All the films are subtitled in English.

“The Latin American Film Series is an excellent way for us to reach both students and the community. Our goal is to provide an experience that will facilitate openness to and understanding of Latin American cinema and culture,” Sanchez said. ¶

Governor Vetoes DREAM Act For Third Straight Year

Fernando Romero

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the California DREAM Act on Tuesday, Sept. 30, a bill which would have allowed undocumented AB 540 college students to apply for need-based financial aid at public colleges and universities.

SB 1301, the California DREAM Act, proposed by Sen. Gil Cedillo (D - Los Angeles) had been brought to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk twice before, in 2006 and 2007. The governor vetoed both previous bills on the basis that such legislative measures would take financial aid resources and other programs away from U.S. citizens.

In his veto message on Sept. 30, Gov. Schwarzenegger cited the state’s faltering economy as the focal reason for vetoing it.

“I share the author’s goal of making affordable education available to all California students, but given the precarious fiscal condition the state faces at this time, it would not be prudent to place additional demands on our limited financial aid resources as specified in this bill,” he stated.

The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would have made undocumented AB 540 students eligible for grants, scholarships, work-study and loan programs administered only through the campuses. Under AB 540, undocumented students are exempt from out-of-state tuition or international tuition.

Assembly Bill 540 students are those who have met specific requirements to be eligible for in-state tuition. AB 540 students are those who have attended a California high school for three or more years, graduated from a California high school or received a GED and agreed to apply for lawful immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.

The amended and filtered bill, SB 1301, did not include the Cal Grant program, which is the largest source of California state aid to college students.

The bill focused on the monies and financial aid allocated to by the state and administered by individual institutions. Each college and university is allocated a certain amount of aid and monies from the state and is free to implement it freely; including university grants, loans and work study programs.

The bill was also exclusive of any federal financial aid administered by the state and would not have put a strain of the state‘s budget as it used monies already being allocated to individual institutions. SB 1301 was written to not use additional state funds or create a new state program to fund it.

Because of the governor’s veto, the three systems of higher education in California, the UC, CSU and CCC will continue to regard undocumented students as ineligible for need-based financial aid.

The veto follows a recent state appellate court ruling that AB 540 was in violation of federal law. There are several AB 540 students at Cal State University Long Beach, and hundreds more throughout the CSU, UC and CCC systems. The veto of the bill is a blow to the estimated hundreds of students who continue to struggle to pay the high cost of rising tuition and stay in school. ¶