An Imaginary Conversation Between Oscar López Rivera & Edward Snowden


If ever there were a conversation that was to be had, then this is it. Ed Morales does an exceptional job with an imaginary conversation between nationalism, patriotism and remaining true to one’s beliefs in the face of political might…

Ed Morales

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Today, Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist who has been in prison for 33 years after being convicted of seditious conspiracy, released a moving statement about his homeland’s continuing colonial status, the ways he finds to celebrate his life, and the continual struggle for independence. Last night, Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee who has been forced into exile in Russia because he decided to blow the whistle on American intelligence’s unlawful spying on innocent citizens, was interviewed by the father of one of the stars of the hit HBO series Girls.

In some ways it’s a little awkward comparing these two, and in some ways it’s easy. López Rivera is not particularly loyal to the United States, and has dedicated his life to separate his people from it to form a new nation. Snowden sees himself as a loyal American who wants to come home, but feels…

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Visiting “Love When You Say Love” (a review)


What’s in a name? In the case of Odilia Rivera Santos,  an infinite amount of words that capture the essence of life as seen through her eyes and experienced in her life.

I met Odilia online several years ago during my earlier venture into the blogosphere,  Efrain’s Corner. Soon after, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person and listening to her perform. And I say, simply amazing.

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Odilia is a writer that transcends the norm. Her passion for writing is evident in her everyday social media postings and throughout the several blogs that she hosts.  So, it was to no surprise, when I read her new poetry e-book entitled, “Love When You Say Love,” that it continued on with that very same flare and passion. It’s what I call, a poetic journey through a lovescapade and a solid rock and cushion enmeshed into oneness. At times you’re in love and at others you’re out of love. This collection of poetry leaves no stone unturned. Indeed, a great read!

You may visit this Afro-Puerto Rican writer via her online writing…

www.latinaauthor.blogspot.com
www.nycpoorbutcool.blogspot.com
www.fashionloveandneuroscience.blogspot.com

A Dream, Syria and Resolve


50 years.

It’s been 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. bestowed on us his now famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” The changes that have occurred since then seem like baby steps when you take a good look at the American racial landscape today. Yes, we have an African-American president, the political makeup on the hill is diversified and changes in local, state and federal policies have been made. But, as you walk through many of America’s neighborhoods, it’s obvious that there is still much that needs to change for America’s neighborhoods are either Black, Latino, Jewish, Asian and so on. Still separated by that which divided to begin with. The so-called progress in closing racial disparities is not so clear given the high unemployment rates among blacks and Latinos, lgbt issues, meager living wages and the “stop and frisk” policies that seem to target mostly minorities. The inequalities of yesterday have gone from one extreme to the next, brushed off to the side of complacency, and continue to deprive many of their dreams.

“…We’ve been quelled by the lullaby of false prosperity and the mirage of economic equality. We fell into a slumber…” ~Marc Morial, National Urban League President.

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We have moved from a generation that saw American troops in Vietnam to another that has seen the same in Iraq and Afghanistan. As I looked at a photo of President Obama and former presidents Clinton and Carter, I thought of former president Bush and how he rode swiftly on the coat tails of American sympathy just after 9/11, his reasoning for sending troops into Iraq (weapons of mass destruction) and his often saying, “we will win the war on terrorism.” To believe him was to believe that donkeys could actually fly.

Now with images of dying children spread all over the news and on the internet and talk of the Syrian governments use of chemical weapons,  we are once again driven to a moment of sympathy and outrage. On that, we have President Obama calling for military action against Syria (with Congressional approval). Hence, we are left at the steps that lead to Syria’s front door. A country in turmoil, where children dream and parents struggle to support families, no differently than those in America. Yet, I wonder now just as I did when America sent troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, what would Americas role be in Syria. Can it solve Syria’s problems? No, it would solve nothing but serve as another vessel for terrorist growth, create more anti-American sentiment and add to the loss of innocent lives (the latter will occur with or without U.S. involvement but at a greater number with involvement).

In the end, in good conscious, we have to ask ourselves, do we sit idly by and just watch or do we show some manner of resolve? And if we do, is it really for moral reasons?

Ignorance is Ignorance


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” -Marcus Garvey

And so, here we are in these United States of America and I find myself thinking of that quote. That is, after reading about the outcry after Marc Anthony’s singing of “God Bless America” by mostly disgruntled and ignorant baseball fans. None of this amazes me, especially when it’s on the heels of the Zimmerman trial. Point is, if a recent white immigrant were on the same stage singing “God Bless America,” I’m sure there wouldn’t be an outcry.

Yes, I take any and all comments as an affront. I, like Marc Anthony, was born and raised in New York to Puerto Rican parents. I served 22 years in the U.S military. Need I say more? No, there’s nothing to prove. The ignorant have done well at proving that they are ignorant.

 

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Let’s face it. We continue to live in a bubble and continue to ignore the obvious, that racism, bigotry and discrimination are alive, well and thriving. It’s not that we have come full circle, but rather that these very things have been brushed aside and have become more like the norm.

America’s fabric is torn and bursting at the seams. Whether it’s the Zimmerman trial, immigration debate or Marc Anthony’s singing of “God Bless America,” the education system has failed in teaching the real history of these United States of America in relation to its Latino population.

In the end, we are simply left with ignorance.
And ignorance, is just that..ignorance!

A Post Racial America is a Delusion


1373408206929_travonmartin2Trayvon Martin, on that one fateful night in February of 2012, met the judge, jury and executioner all in one, George Zimmerman. The bag of Skittles that he carried never withstood a chance against the gun that Zimmerman carried. Zimmerman, however, stood in front of a jury of his peers and a judge and was found not guilty of killing Martin.

History is always one-sided. Such is the case in Trayvon’s death. What happened on that fateful night is Zimmerman’s story, his-story. Martin’s story ended with a bullet to his chest at close range.

This leaves us in a void, a society void of belief in a post racial America. Some fifty years after Martin Luther King’s ” I Have a Dream” speech we find ourselves under the command of a two term black President. Yet, we still have to question whether we really live in a post racial America or not.

How do we explain, not only this case, but the many other cases that recieve far less attention, to the young Trayvon Martins of this American society. It seems that a post racial America is merely one that has relegated to sweeping the obvoius under the rug. The obvious being that on the surface not much has changed after all. Keep believing but a post racial America is a delusion.

The struggle continues. We’re a far cry from being judged by the content of our character.