Univision Snubs Bloggers; Active Weekend for No Border Wall Protests; Sunday is D Day for Guatemalan Voters

LatinaLista — With so much happening this weekend, we thought we would combine three days of posts into one.
We begin with the headliner, if you will, of the mainstream press:

Countdown for Spanish Democratic Presidential Forum

Sunday’s Univision “forum” among the Democratic presidential hopefuls is being termed a historic event since this is the first time Univision has been able to play alongside the “big guys” a.k.a. traditional mainstream networks when it comes to hosting a political event of this magnitude.

At their web site dedicated to the event called Destino 2008, Univision is taking their cue from the CNN-YouTube forum held earlier, and asking people to send in their questions for the candidates.
The head honchos at Univision should be extremely excited that they were able to achieve this coup – especially in light of the fact that they announced today that they are postponing their scheduled forum for Republican candidates since only Sen. John McCain agreed to come.
Maybe McCain should join Sunday’s debate as one of the questioners since he’s the only Republican presidential candidate who thinks Latinos are worth giving up a few hours of his time for — just a thought.
At any rate, the whole Latino community, English-speakers along with Spanish-speakers, should be excited about Sunday’s 7 p.m. debate.
I would be but it seems that Univision hadn’t thought to include bloggers as part of the media pool covering the event. A few of my fellow Latino bloggers and friends of the Latino blogosphere who tried to get Univision to include bloggers, especially us Latino bloggers, at the event were rebuffed today by the network.
According to the network, they really hadn’t thought about bloggers and it’s too late anyway — they have reached their audience capacity as laid down by the Fire Marshall.
Ouch.
It’s one thing to be excluded by the “other guys” but by your own gente!


Binational Protests Against Border Wall Staged for Weekend
We’ve been monitoring the No Border Wall protests happening along the Texas-Mexico border and this weekend will be a busy one for la raza in the Valley.

Starting tonight, protest rallies were being staged all along the border. It was even reported by the Rio Grande Guardian that Texas Rep. Kino Flores planned to bring his 24-foot ladder to tonight’s rally at the McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge to underscore the absurdity of the border wall. Flores was to meet on the bridge with Mexican Congresswoman Maria de Dolores Gonzalez Sanchez.
The weekend’s schedule is as follows:

Friday, September 7, McAllen / Hidalgo / Reynosa, 6 pm
Saturday, September 8, Brownsville / Matamoras, 1 pm
Sunday, September 9, Boca Chica / Bagdad, 3 pm
Saturday, Sept. 8th Juan Torres and the Weslaco League for Human Rights will be sponsoring a Hands Across El Rio event from 9am – 12 noon at the Progresso bridge.
Saturday, September 29, No Border Wall Pachanga in the Park – family-friendly event meant to show the broad range of community opposition to the wall and show the nation that the image of the border as a war zone is false.

If you don’t think you can make it to the Valley this weekend, they’re still collecting signatures for their petition to present to officials.
Moment of Truth for Guatemala
Sunday, while U.S. Latinos are busy watching some of our presidential hopefuls try to win voters, in Guatemala, our hermanos will be counting the votes in their election that will be held that day.
What is notable about this election, aside from the violence that has been targeted at party candidates and has claimed 50 lives already, is that among these presidential contenders is the first woman to ever run for President of Guatemala.
She is Rigoberta Menchu, a 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner. In fact, its candidates from Rigoberta’s own party that have been targeted by the violence.

Rigoberta Menchu consoles a relative of Esmeralda Uyun, a member of Menchu’s party who was killed by assailants last Wednesday, in San Raymundo, Sept 7, 2007.
(Source: Voice of America)

Analysts don’t see Rigoberta winning and polls show that she trails in sixth place but running on a platform of social justice for the poor, she has already made a strong statement on behalf of women, the poor and the future of politics in the Americas.

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23 Comments

  1. Daniel Maldonado said:

    Univision doesn’t want to be out shined by bloggers on their dime – no way.
    They like the “good old boy” orgs. that play along well.
    I guess the might be worried about being embarrassed if a radical like me should sneak in – and I’m not really a blogger (per se).
    Our people don’t have a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton (partly because of our history or dictators) but we do have a never ending supply of alphabet soup orgs.
    I’m 47 years old and I just learned that Univision is Mainstream. It figures. Now that Tv. leads the outernet we get a mainstream network.
    Lets hope that for the next election it’s bloggers who forget to send television the invite.
    Think about it, “Latino” (whatever that is) bloggers need to form an association that would make your hard work and efforts too important to ignore.
    Make your own loop and leave Uniramos or whatever that channel is called out of it.
    -Daniel

  2. Frank said:

    I have to wonder why a U.S. presidential debate would be held in Spanish. To become an American citizen and therefore being able to vote, one has to be able to speak English.

  3. Antonio Gonzalez said:

    Univision try go inside the
    show, looking for the big
    money bussines, Everyone know
    what will happen, before and
    after the election . Then
    what ? only money.

  4. adriana said:

    Univision is owned by Haim Saban, and he plays both sides of the system here in the US, donating to the Dems and Republicans. He also has business affiliations with Rupert Murdoch. Given the leadership, it should come as no surprise that Univision is not including blogger questions or participation.

  5. elenamary said:

    Frank, to become a US citizen…however, there are many parts of the United States where English has never existed as the dominant language.
    Tal vez no nos incluyeron por que la verda es que por mayor parte nosotroso que tenemos blogs, en los eeuu escribimos en ingles…
    Al mismo tiempo se que aun que tal vez muchos escribimos en ingles no significa que no estamos viendo Univision…

  6. Frank said:

    Maybe so in the distant past but English is our national language and always has been. Doesn’t matter what one thinks or wants, it is part of the rules of becoming a citizen in this country that you must be able to communicate in English to become a citizen. So I ask again, since only citizens can vote, why would there be a need for a debate in Spanish?

  7. yave begnet said:

    I have to wonder why a U.S. presidential debate would be held in Spanish.
    Frank, you give too much credit to the Democratic candidates. For Univision to conduct a debate in Spanish, more than one candidate (Richardson) would have to speak it. I don’t think any others do.

  8. Horace said:

    Name those places elenamary. I challenge you to name one that wasn’t a ghetto for the 1986 amnesty, when people were given citizeship without having a clue as to what it is to be an American. Those people never got Civics 101, and here we go again, about to add to the Engish illiterate ghettos that formed from the last amnesty group. The only places where English isn’t a primary language is LA, and other sanctuary cities on the southern border or west coast. The fact is that except for the last 20 years, when we’ve given amnesty to rude invaders from Latin America, the country has always taught English as the first language in our schools. If what I’ve said isn’t true elenamary, just how did those English illiterates escape assimilation? Even the Amish, a closed society learns English along with their German.

  9. elenamary said:

    Horace, are you asking me to name a place in the United States where you can be born and grow up never needing to learn English for your day to day life? As do many in our society? Sure, here is a few, the State of Alaska, Pilsen-Chicago, Los Angeles, The Valley, West side Columbus Ohio.
    Frank, English has not always been our national language. Again, you may have to learn english for the citizenship test, but you don’t if you by the luck of God are born in this country. And again it is easy to be born in this country and never need to learn English.
    Horace & Frank, just last week I interpreted (I am a medical interpreter) for a man born and raised in the United States who did not speak English.

  10. Daniel said:

    why would there be a need for a debate in Spanish?
    Well because there is a demand. Some people prefer SPANISH. Unitubo is meeting a LEGAL DEMAND.
    Holy smokes, Franco.

  11. daniel said:

    I’ve followed the non-citizen voting rights movement for many a year now. Here is a quick link on the subject:
    fhch.org
    It looks somewhat juvenile but it gets the job done.
    google key words:
    non citizen voting rights
    There are also a few top notch listserves that can keep you up to date on the suject.
    -Daniel

  12. adriana said:

    You can add Rosemead, CA, Monterey Park, CA, and Alhambra, CA to those cities where you can live without speaking English. Those cities are primarily Chinese dominated. You could also say the same for Garden Grove, CA, which has a large Vietnamese population. To my knowledge, none of these cities are sanctuary cities.
    yavebegnet, I believe that Senator Dodd speaks Spanish. If I am not mistaken, he was in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

  13. Frank said:

    It is still a requirement to be able to speak English to become a citizen. Only citizens can vote, so again the question that I have asked and is not being answered, is based on that why would there be a need for a presidential debate in Spanish?

  14. Frank said:

    Daniel, some people prefer Spanish? Tough, are they special or something? What about the Vietnamese, the Chinese, etc. who are citizens of this country? They may prefer it in their native language too. We shouldn’t be pandering to ethnic groups preferences. Our language is English. Learn it, speak it or get out!
    Here is an exerpt from your voting rights test.
    Non-citizen voting ended in 1804 in New York State. In some parts of the United States, non-citizen voting lasted until the 1920′s. Because of anti-immigrant feelings, politicians took voting rights away from non-citizens.
    So as you see, non-citizens haven’t been able to vote especially in federal elections, since 1920.

  15. daniel said:

    Francisco, can I call you Cisco?
    Anyway, immigrants can vote in local elections in many states. I’m not certain if are any states left that allow immigrants to vote in national elections.
    Hopefully, other communities, such as the Asians, will get Debates in their native languages as well.
    You’re splitting hairs here anyway, Cisco. English / Spanish… same thing. But if I were you I’d learn Spanish.
    The bottom line here is that Univision is a private company and they can sponsor a debate in Klingon if they so choose.
    -Daniel

  16. yave begnet said:

    Frank, you were right about the debate being conducted in Spanish, although none of the candidates were actually permitted to speak it during the debate.
    As far as this complaint:
    We shouldn’t be pandering to ethnic groups preferences. Our language is English. Learn it, speak it or get out!
    “We” in this case–those who decided to “pander” to Hispanic voters by specifically addressing their concerns in a separate forum–were the Democratic candidates for president. You don’t strike me as a Democrat or a Hispanic, therefore you were not the one being “pandered” to. I can see how that would hurt your feelings; luckily you’ve got umpteen other debates to watch, all in English. If you had watched the debate, however, you would have noticed that, unlike the candidates, who had to wait for the translations to be completed before responding to questions, the audience began applauding immediately after each candidate’s response, indicating that they understood English perfectly. So when you say “our language is English”, you are partly correct, but for some, “our language” is also Spanish.

  17. Horace said:

    Who are you kidding yave, this was just the intelligencia of the Hispanic community exercising its power, a kind of test so to speak. The vast majority of attendees were business people or community activists who’ve been here for years, and didn’t need a translator. They’re saying that if you’re a Democrat, you’d better show up, or else. How naive you are.

  18. Horace said:

    “The bottom line here is that Univision is a private company and they can sponsor a debate in Klingon if they so choose.”
    I bet that elanamary could find a community in the U.S. that can speak Klingon.

  19. Frank said:

    Why in world should I learn Spanish? Our language is English and supposedly Hispanic legal/citizens are bi-lingual, right? So there shouldn’t be a communication problem with them.
    It wasn’t a matter of me getting my feelings hurt about over the debate. I asked a question and I will ask it again, “since one has to know English to gain citizenship in our country and only citizens can vote why would there be a presidential debate translated into Spanish or any other langauge for that matter”? No one will give me a straight answer in here. You can bet your bottom dollar that the only ethnic group that will get that special priviledge will be Spanish speakers.
    So what if some people’s language is also Spanish? If they know English too and that is our national language, again why the need for a debate in Spanish?
    I don’t think any group should be pandered to by our politicians and that would include me a white person. I hate ethnic politics, it is divisive. We are supposed to be a country united and I can’t imagine that any group has a special problem to be addressed. All issues affect all of us.

  20. elenamary said:

    I really dislike repeating myself, but evidently I have not spoken in a format that is basic enough so here goes:
    You can be a US Citizen and NOT speak English. You can be born in the United States and never need or learn to speak English. Please note, the cities listed above and add the commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well.
    And Frank you don’t need to learn Spanish, nor do you really need to learn Algebra, but I betcha bottom dollar, you’ll be more successful if you learn both.

  21. Horace said:

    Unless one is in the retail business, and in some of the lowest paid jobs in this country, one need not learn Spanish to be successful. The highest paid jobs, sciences, engineering, teaching (except for certain communities), legal professions, corporate level management, etc., require no Spanish language proficiency, but do require a high level of English proficiency. If one desires to work at the counter at MacDonalds, Burger King, or be a store clerk or other task that works directly with the public, Spanish may be useful. On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to be in the most lucritive professions and not know English. What does that say to Spanish only speakers who wish to excell in this country?

  22. Frank said:

    I can’t imagine anyone being born in this country and not learning English. They would have to learn English in our schools.
    Puerto Ricans do not vote in our federal elections to my knowledge so that eliminates them from needing a presidential debate in Spanish. I believe that most Puerto Ricans are bi-lingual too.

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