The President & El Presidente

Pres. Barack Obama is on a three-day trip to Latin America, having first visited Mexico on Thursday to meet with the newly inaugurated Enrique Peña Nieto.

The two major issues, of course, are the looming debate over immigration reform and efforts to stem drug-war violence south of the border, or at least keep it from spilling over.

I’m sure Pres. Obama was excited when he first learned he’d be in Mexico during the first week of May, but unfortunately the president won’t be in Mexico for Cinco de Mayo, since he’ll be meeting with Central American leaders on Friday and Saturday.

That means the beer summit he’d planned for Sunday will have to be postponed — unless Air Force One has to make an emergency stop on the way back to the States.

(Read Mexico specialist Shannon K O’Neil’s recent article, “Five Myths About Mexico”)

A major Mexican newspaper reported this week that more than 7,000 police, soldiers and Secret Service agents from the United States would accompany Pres. Obama on his trip to Mexico.

Leave it to America’s first black president to roll with a posse.


Chicago & Its Discontents

Wednesday marked 122nd May Day, an international socialist holiday that commemorates Chicago’s infamous Haymarket massacre in 1886.

Nowadays, people from all over the left with various of gripes and grievances come together in solidarity to demand change  by screaming, marching and chanting.

But I gotta tell you, the left in this country needs to get better organized. It’s like they don’t even know who they’re with or what they stand for anymore.

I even saw one sign that read, “Keep your Commie hands off May Day!”

In fact, there was only group present at the march that showed any type of organization. They marched onto the field in orderly fashion, all wearing coordinated red-and-black outfits with the same black bandanas covering much of their faces. It turns out they were anarchist.

Speaking of commies, I saw a member of one of the many socialist groups there passing out issues of the group’s newspaper, and I asked her if they were printed on recycled paper. She said she had no clue because she didn’t control the means of production.


A Day Without a Mexican Immigrant

On Monday the Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s appeal to reinstate parts of Arizona-style immigration law. A federal court initially threw out the parts of the law that were written in crayon.

Then, on Wednesday, the LA Times became the most recent medium to drop its use of the term “illegal immigrant.”

The paper goes a step further, however, by also banning the use of “undocumented immigrant” when describing, well, um, the people from another country who either crossed the border illegally or overstayed their visas and are now living in the United States without proper authorization.

Now I hear The Washington Post plans on banning the terms “Mexican” and “Muslims,” because it says both words have gained a negative connotation during the past few years and many Americans take offense to being called either Mexican or Muslim.

Whatever you do, don’t call someone an illegal Muslim Mexican, because then you’re just asking for trouble.


1) Open Mouth 2) Insert Foot

Speaking of name-calling, Think Progress posted a video of the term “anchor baby” being uttered repeatedly by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — you know, one of the House of Representatives’s own “Gang of Eight” working on a comprehensive immigration bill.

In a related story, it seems Sen. Ted Cruz might be forced to postpone his presidential bid indefinitely.

Interestingly enough, the fire-breathing freshman senator from Texas was actually born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban — which would make Cruzy Boy half American, half anti-American, and 100 percent “dirty syrup guzzler,” as Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night’s episode.


The Buena Vista Terrorist Club

The U.S. State Department announced that, after earlier indications it might ease its stance on Cuba (and after Havana condemned the Boston bombings), the island nation will remain on its list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”

Although Cuba gives sanctuary to Basque and Colombian militant groups, it should be pointed out that this is the same list from which North Korea and Libya were removed a few years back.

But I guess all that Cuban music and food can really terrorize a white guy’s ears and stomach.

Never mind Kim Jong-un polishing his missiles in the corner.

Meanwhile, Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban Pres. Raúl Castro, was given permission to attend an LGBT rights conference in Philadelphia, after her request for entry was initially denied by the United States — yes, the country that brought you “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (unless you’re a Spanish-speaking pinko, otherwise, you can starve to death in a crumbling apartment complex).


A Gay Day for the NBA

Sports Illustrated published an article this week by Washington Wizards center Jason Collins in which the 34-year-old NBA player announced he’s gay, becoming the first athlete in a major American sport to do so.

Some of the reactions were heartwarming:

Pres. Barack Obama

Charles Barkley


Then, there was this:

It seems religious people only preach tolerance whenever they want you to tolerate their intolerance.

But for those of us whose parents hugged us when we were little, Collins’s announcement comes as just another magnificent milestone along America’s road toward progress.

It was great to see the wide acceptance and praise for Collins’ coming out by athletes from different sports, but especially in the NBA, where Commissioner David Stern just announced “power bottom” as a new starting position. And on the NBA’s Gay Nights, free wieners will be given out every time a player commits a reacharound foul.


I know, I know. Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody!


[Photo: Hector Luis Alamo, Jr. for]

Published by Hector Luis Alamo

Hector received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where his concentration was on ethnic relations in the United States. Since then, he has written for various publications, including the RedEye, where he is an opinion columnist. He is a regular contributor for Latino Rebels and a staff writer at La Respuesta, a nationwide publication focused on the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Hector is formerly the managing editor at Gozamos, as well as an associate editor at Being Latino. He also writes fiction and poetry.