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Next time someone asks you if you are pro-life or pro-choice, you can give them some educational reading that will demonstrate exactly why the usual dialectic that we take on when it comes to this issue is more than a little limiting. Instead of talking about the age old options surrounding choice, Stephanie J. Alvarado suggests instead that the discussion we should be having is about access.
Wow. I can’t believe it has been this long since I have blogged. A lot has happened; I changed my dissertation topic, submitted one draft of my diss. proposal, did some much-needed new research, and am finally writing what I hope will be close to the last draft. I returned to my first love, ESL, and spent the last year teaching writing and grammar to ESL learners, and to be honest it has reminded me of how much I love all aspects of language. I am hoping to get a tenure track position where I adjunct, and having discovered what the requirements for tenure are, have realized that what I really want is to teach. I love my research and writing, to be sure, but the question I am wrestling with now is “do I want to spend my life in the stacks, or in the classroom?” It’s easy to say and think that I can have both. The one thing I know for sure is that you can have pieces of both, but can you really enjoy both aspects of academia if you can only have partial moments in either? And can you be really exceptional in either endeavor if your attention is divided? I’m not sure that you can, but I suspect the journey itself will provide me with the answer to that question.
I have missed blogging and having an outlet for my thoughts and ideas. Hopefully, this time life won’t drag me away for so long!
This is the url for the latest call for paper to our conference. I hope that Malea’s call will continue to add to the diversity that this conference needs. This year, Gwen included many speakers that without her, we would not have had the opportunity to experience. I am looking forward to putting a panel together that will definitely contest the boundaries placed upon people of color.
Here is the latest on the Puerto Rican birth certificate debacle…
The entire issue of revoking Puerto Rican birth certificates is ridiculous, for so many reasons. First, you make us citizens to help you win wars, supplement your labor force, and ultimately give you plenary power over our land (because clearly the loss of Puerto Rican male lives falls under the category of “collateral” damage, all we are good for is factory work, and we don’t have enough intelligence to know what to do with our land anyway, right?). Then you build the largest Navy Base in the U.S. and rent out the island of Vieques for munitions experiments without the consent of the citizens, and without ensuring that they would receive any financial benefit as a result of these experiments (read: the $850 million dollars a year you were receiving from other countries as a rental fee). Even the dead Viequenses could not escape your diabolical plan of relocating their graves. Adding insult to injury, you then ran people off of the island of Vieques without any regard for their homeowners rights (because apparently, they had none according to the powers that be), but you were kind enough to pay some of them $50.00 to leave. How generous of you! You destroyed their fishing economy, and created a hazardous territory where many would (and are still) dying of all sorts of cancers; where child mortality rates have skyrocketed, and cadmium can still be found in the hair and skin of the residents. And with all of that, it still took the death of David Sanes to get something done about the Naval base, even though many powerful people form the U.S. protested ( like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to name a few), and even got arrested for trying to assist us. NOW you are going to revoke birth certificates in another blatant attempt to further disenfranchise native Puerto Ricans so that you can have the island for yourselves. Exactly how much harm do you have to inflict on other human lives? Oh yes, the ‘official’ certificates were stolen, but are you trying to get me to believe that you can’t distinguish the real birth certificates from the fake ones? What a joke. So let me get this straight-you can spot a fake driver’s license a mile away so you can prevent people under 21 from drinking, but there is no official seal or watermark on Puerto Rican birth certificates that can be used for authentication purposes-even though it is an arguably more important document? Wow. Is it not enough that you are in violation of your own U.N. charter against colonization? You know-the charter that states if you take over a territory you are obligated to make it a state of the union or grant said territory independence? Yeah, that one. Or perhaps you’re upset that islanders are now allowed to have their votes counted in U.S. elections? Are there too many of us to control now? Is that why you want to take back your citizenship? Oh yes, I know that you are operating under the thinly veiled excuse of immigration control, but we are not immigrants, and certainly there are less traumatic/invasive alternatives for us. How about simply issuing two birth certificates henceforth, and allowing only those that were issued prior to 2010 to be considered “official” documents? I’m sure those birth certificates are valid, since anyone/anything you claim to own comes with official papers, right? No-wait. Perhaps I am being a bit dramatic. Perhaps your reasons have more to do with the cultural genocide of a people. Is that it? Yes, it may appear that Puerto Rico is spearheading this campaign, but those of us that understand how the United States not only influences ( as the State Department does in this case), but exercises plenary power over the political ideas that seem to spring forth from the island know better. Oh, and I especially love the idea that they “tried to get the word out”. What? Nevermind that the information they get might be incorrect, because that’s not your responsibility. And thanks for making the assumption that all island born Boricuas have access to a computer (or even know how to use one, for that matter-especially the elders who are resistant to such processes) and can access more information about what they are expected to do. Did I mention that I think having to pay at all for a replacement certificate is a great way to make money? Well now I have. At $5.00 a shot, you are going to make a killing, to be sure. Making people pay for birth certificates that were stolen while under the protection of an institution that is charged with keeping these documents safe-brilliant. Then again, this did happen in Puerto Rico, and we all know those people can’t be expected to take the same precautions as the Bureau of Records do on the so-called mainland, right? WHATEVER.
Interestingly enough, I have never thought of myself as a conspiracy theorist, but your actions have given me pause.Whatever it is, I am waiting for the day when your real agenda will rear its ugly head, because history has taught me that nothing with you is ever as simple or as straightforward as it seems.
Smarter Than You Think
How’s this for a conversation starter? If you’re not caring about Mother Earth, you might reconsider after reading what happens to much of the plastic we use on a continuous basis.
News on the arrest of Henry Louis gates Jr. What does it mean when scholars of color become targets? Not that I think the police officers were educated enough to realize who the man was-I am hard pressed to give them that much credit-but why not give the alleged criminal your name and badge number? This is a perfect example of why the colorblind theories that whites want to espouse simply don’t work. Even Gorgias couldn’t get me to believe that if he were white, he would have been arrested just the same.