When it comes to Latinos and April Fool Headlines — not a funny combination

LatinaLista — Keeping in the spirit of the day, I decided to comb through some recent headlines where the initial reaction is — “They’ve got to be kidding” — but after fully reading the article, it’s easy to see they are not.

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Tens of Thousands of Colonia Residents Will Not Be Receiving Census Forms

After all the money and media blitz by U.S. Census officials for people to expect their census forms in the mail, residents deep in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas won’t be receiving their’s after all.

In reading further, we learn that because not all colonia residents have mailboxes, census workers will be going door-to-door to bring the questionnaires to the people. Unfortunately, some residents of the area question even that strategy since, according to one local organizer, the colonia is also home to thousands of dogs used as security for homes. In turn, the dogs may make it even more difficult to get near the homes safely.

Teenager Testifies About Attacking Latinos for Sport

Nicholas Hausch, 18, testifying on Monday in State Supreme Court in New York, described what that meant. “It’s when you go out and you look for a Hispanic to beat up,” Mr. Hausch told the packed courtroom.

Later that evening, Mr. Hausch and six other young men saw two Hispanic men walking in a parking lot of the train station in Patchogue. “We were calling them names like ‘beaner,’ ‘Mexican,’ ” Mr. Hausch testified. “They started screaming back.”

One of the Hispanic men took off his jacket and belt after one of the teenagers punched him in the face, and the man started swinging the belt, Mr. Hausch said. “He came after me with the belt, and I walked away,” he said. As Mr. Hausch did so, he testified, one of the seven teenagers, Jeffrey Conroy, walked past him, and told him that they had to leave.

“That’s when he told me that he stabbed him,” Mr. Hausch said referring to Mr. Conroy.

The man who was stabbed, a 37-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant named Marcelo Lucero, would die, and Mr. Conroy would be charged with killing him. Mr. Hausch’s testimony on Monday in Mr. Conroy’s trial was one of the first times that any of the seven young men charged in the attack had spoken publicly at length about the episode.

If there is a silver lining about this sad incident, it’s that people can’t deny that racism still exists in this country.

Colorado’s H1N1 Tracking Omits Race Data

 

Sixty-nine people in Colorado have died of H1N1, the “swine flu” virus, but health department officials don’t know how many of the victims were black or Latino.

That’s because epidemiologists at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment don’t track H1N1 deaths by race or ethnicity.

In this day and age, where research has proven that specific demographic groups react differently to viruses, medication and treatment, the notion that a public health department would not keep track of the breakdown of which demographic groups succumb to such an important virus as H1N1 is an April Fool’s joke of its own.

This kind of omission can no longer be tolerated and does a bigger detriment to keeping communities safe and healthy.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement tactics contradict Obama’s promise of immigration reform

Last weekend, just a few days after an estimated 200,000 people marched in Washington for immigration reform, The Washington Post newspaper published internal ICE memos – issued late last year and early this year – that advocate immigration detention quotas.

The memos make clear that “ICE’s top priority is still meeting deportation quotas, not dealing with the worst of the worst offenders,” America’s Voice said in a written statement. “Agents are told to go after easy targets – non-criminal, undocumented workers – to boost their numbers and earn good performance ratings.”

This is the continuation of odious tactics implemented under George W. Bush. “The agency went from focusing on criminals to focusing on quotas,” Sharry said.

Despite Obama’s promises to do away with those tactics, little has changed in the way ICE operates.

ACLU report: Latinos increasingly sentenced to death in Calif.

California sent 29 people to death row last year — up from an average of 18 during each of the previous seven years. Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties accounted for 83 percent of the death sentences.

“The thing that is most surprising is that Los Angeles charges more people with the death penalty that the state of Texas does,” ACLU Southern California Executive Director Ramona Ripston said.

…The ACLU report also indicated that nearly one-third of the people sentenced to death last year in California were Latinos – up from 16 percent a decade ago.

The report said it couldn’t account for the increase, but that the number “raises questions about district attorneys’ choices in charging death penalty cases and the composition of juries in these cases.”

Study: Homeowner Program Favoring White Borrowers

A new survey from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found white homeowners are almost 50 percent more likely to receive a loan modification under the mortgage program than African Americans or Latinos. Meanwhile, loan servicers foreclose on delinquent African American borrowers more quickly than white or Latino borrowers.

While this is only a small sampling, it underscores the fact that communities of color are still victimized in scenarios that everyone thought laws passed in the last century didn’t just take care of — but eradicated.

I guess, the joke is on all of us.

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