Social Issues

EL POETA CALLEJERO: UN TIGRE DECENTE PREOCUPADO POR LAS INJUSTICIAS SOCIALES

poeta-callejereo

 

Gerardo Gabriel Santana, mejor conocido por sus millones de fans como El Poeta Callejero es un joven al que podríamos definir como tímido y comedido. Mucho más allá de la súper estrella de música urbana nos encontramos conversando con un joven agradable, quien piensa detenidamente sus respuestas y quien lleva como bandera y mensaje, la justicia social.

Este deseo de igualdad y justicia social incentivado en gran parte por sus orígenes humildes y la pobreza que vivió en la niñez se ve claramente reflejado en las letras de sus canciones.

A pesar de los rumores sobre su fanatismo religioso, incoherencias o largos silencios en recientes entrevistas, el poeta callejero se define como “un tigre decente”, decidido a hacer lo correcto y a luchar por ser una mejor persona con el único arma que conoce, su arte, sus letras, su poesía que nace y se alimenta en el lugar que lo vio nacer y crecer: La Calle.

poeta2

HABLAMOS DE TU NUEVO ÁLBUM?

El título del álbum es “Tigre Decente” y en eso es lo que me es convertido, en una persona hábil para desenvolverse en el lugar donde me tocó vivir y decente porque soy correcto.

Dentro del álbum hay una canción que le dedico a mi hija y se titula mi bendición. Se ha hecho una serie especial y diferente que se usó con los temas del CD., un video de 40 minutos donde se desarrolla una historia con la música del álbum y que cuenta lo que es un tigre decente y porque.

ES DIFÍCIL SER UN TIGRE DECENTE EN REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA?

Es realmente difícil.

QUÉ HAY DETRÁS DE TU NOMBRE ARTISTICO: EL POETA CALLEJERO?

Yo crecí en la calle, nací en la calle en la entrada de una iglesia. Así fueron mis inicios y toda mi vida involucrado en la calle y poeta porque yo amo la poesía y la gente me empezó a llamar poeta pero qué tipo de poeta , bueno uno callejero.

PORQUE TUS LÍRICAS Y EL CONTENIDO DE TUS CANCIONES ES DIFERENTE AL RESTO DE LOS ARTISTAS URBANOS?

Me importa mucho lo que sucede a mí alrededor, soy una conciencia viviente que analiza lo que me rodea. Mi objetivo principal es ser un mensajero de lo que me rodea y exponerlo en mi arte.

QUE INJUSTICIA SOCIAL TE PREOCUPA?

La desigualdad, la pobreza y que los que están en posición de ayudar por sus conocimientos o influencia no lo hacen. Porque beneficiarse solo unos pocos no entendiendo que todos somos iguales.

SE HA HABLADO ÚLTIMAMENTE QUE LUCES INCOHERENTE, QUE TIENES PROBLEMAS DE ADICCIÓN O DESÓRDENES DE PERSONALIDAD. QUE PASA REALMENTE CONTIGO?

Yo solamente evito las conversaciones banales y triviales.

ES ESTA NUEVA PERSONALIDAD UNA ESTRATEGIA PUBLICITARIA?

A los hijos de Dios, los planes del enemigo, les terminan favoreciendo. La gente puede llegar a pensar que es una estrategia, entonces yo lo tomo con una actitud positiva y agradezco a Dios.

ESTAS PASANDO POR UNA DEPRESIÓN?

Mira yo vengo de una casa que tenía una lona como techo, que el piso era de tierra, que las camas tenían chinches  y  quemabamos los colchones con trementina en las noches para matarlas y aun así yo era feliz. Imagínate ahora estoy en mi casa con aire acondicionado, con gente apoyándome, siempre con más deseos de superarme y motivado a dar lo mejor al público.

UN MENSAJE PARA EL PÚBLICO EN ESTADOS UNIDOS?

Estamos coordinando una gira próximamente, espero verlos pronto y síganme en instagram a @elpoetacallejero

 

 

 

DONDE ESTARAN TUS FOTOS DE FACEBOOK EN EL 2076?

LA MAGIA DE LA FOTOGRAFIA

rrosario

Richard Rosario www.richardrosario.com

En aquella visita a casa de mi tía y caminando a través del pasillo que llevaba a una de las habitaciones, de repente se agolpo frente a mi toda mi historia y se llenaron mis ojos de lágrimas al ver en un pequeño cuadro colgado en la pared, el rostro de mi padre con apenas 18 años.

Mi padre, el hombre fuerte, seguro y decidido, me miraba desde esta foto con los ojos inseguros de un tímido adolescente. Décadas de historias e imagenes llegaron a mi cabeza y a mi corazón. Papi en esta imagen lucia como un muchacho pobre, mal vestido y desorientado.

Lo imagine recorriendo incasablemente las calles de la capital dominicana en busca de trabajo, lo imagine en su primera cita de amor o quizás viviendo atemorizado y asustado en medio de la dictadura de Trujillo en Rep. Dom. La Foto fue tomada en 1953, hace más de 60 años.

E inevitablemente tuve que pensar donde estarán mis fotos digitales en 60 años. No tengo un solo álbum tradicional; todas mis memorias importantes están dispersadas en Facebook, Instagram y en un hardrive que ni siquiera recuerdo donde  guarde.

Y en ese momento se apodero de mí una especie de pánico, que pasara con las memorias importantes  de los billones de personas que al igual que yo no imprimen fotos. Existirán aun todos los álbumes que tengo en Facebook en el 2076, dentro de 60 años.

 

rr11

Por fortuna, yo no soy la única a quien le preocupa la desaparición de la fotografía tradicional, existen organizaciones como The Print Movement , que agrupa a más de 30,000 fotógrafos en Estados Unidos. Este es un movimiento que promueva el valor y la importancia de las fotos impresas.

Hoy se toman más fotos que nunca en la historia, pero muy pocas de estas fotos llegan a imprimarse o se colocan en un lugar preferencial de nuestro hogar. 42% de las personas entre 30 y 45 años dentro de un tiempo se preguntaran que paso con las memorias de las fiestas de navidad, reuniones familiares y lamentaran no haber apreciado el increíble valor de preservar las memorias importantes.

 

“En medio de un desastre natural como un incendio o un huracán, las personas no tratan de salvar dinero o cosas materiales sino documentos y fotografías”,

nos dice el fotógrafo Richard Rosario, miembro del Print Movement y quien motiva a los clientes que visitan su estudio del Bronx a imprimar las fotografías.

 “las memorias se esfuman muy rápido, y yo lo pude comprobar de la manera más dura, cuando perdí a uno de mis hermanos en un accidente hace muchos años y me di cuenta que tenía muy pocas fotos de él. En el 2011 mi hermano mayor fue diagnosticado con cáncer, cuando perdimos a mi segundo hermano y pude comprobar las pocos fotos que conservaba de él, fue que nació mi amor por la fotografía y convertí en mi propósito de vida capturar imágenes de las personas en sus mejores momentos”,

nos dice Rosario

Los hermanos de el fotografo Richard Rosario cuando eran ninos

Los hermanos de el fotografo Richard Rosario cuando eran ninos

Por eso la próxima vez  que tengas esa foto que te encanta y a la cual tus amigos virtuales les dieron ciento de “likes”, asegúrate de imprimirla, porque solo el futuro podrá predecir cuál de tus nietos tratara de descubrir tu historia a través de esa imagen.

 

 

Victor Martinez en 1953

Victor Martinez (padre de la autora) en 1953

 

 

*La fotografía más antigua es una toma realizada en 1827 con una cámara oscura por el inventor francés, Joseph Niepce.

 

 

 

 

Sanders & Clinton battle it out for Latino votes in California!

1351822_1280x720
Bernie Sanders & Hillary Clinton are about to battle it out once again when it comes to snatching the next set of Latino votes as the Californian primary is right around the corner.

But which democratic hopeful could win big with Latinos on the West Coast come June 7?

According to some political analysts, when it comes to winning over Latinos in California, Sanders could be clawing at the win considering Clinton is still favored amongst the community and is already described as to having a “near-lock” win in the state.

Amongst Latinos, according to an independent field poll taken last month, it revealed that while Clinton had a 7 point edge with Latinos over Sanders, Sanders could still be a challenge since he is closing in with a 3-to-1 margin attracting young Latinos.

According to Ben Tulchin, a Sanders campaign pollster, Sanders could have “a real potential to win Latinos,” in California because when it comes to acquiring votes from the state he “needs an influx of young Latinos and he’s getting it, it’s happening.”

In California alone, it is estimated that as many as 2 in 10 voters are Latino. And of those voters, many of them are first time voters who are eligible to—and want to participate—in the upcoming election that decides who will be a fitting leader.

And this is where the early predications for Clinton’s ultimate win may be too quick a draw. With Sanders favoring well amongst young Latinos, he also happens to favor well with first time Latinos of any age.

I don’t ever feel like I believe politicians, but I believe him,” says Mercedes Hart, 35, who lived for years in Mexico. Hart, like many of Sanders’ voters who have been showing support for him, has backed the Senator finding his stance on defending every day, workaday Americans within an economy divided by haves and have-nots to be appealing.

If Sanders is able to win California, snatching the state from Clinton, it is believe it would be a huge dent in Clinton’s campaign and will back Sanders argument amongst fellow Democratic party members that he can stand and win when in a race against the already identified Republican candidate Trump come this November.

However, while there are estimations of who within the Latino community could be voting for Sanders when it comes to Clinton there is a large probability who will likely back her to become the Democratic nominee.

The most likely Latino voter is still an older voter in California,” said Jamie Regalado, former executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, “And those voters, almost to a person, will stay with Clinton.”

With a sense of familiarity with older Latinos, Clinton also has a significant backing from California’s prominent Latino politicians. With endorsements from the likes of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to Secretary of State Alex Padilla and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra as well as many more, Clinton’s endorsements could further sway Latinos in California into voting for her.

With both presidential hopefuls hitting the campaign trail and publicly addressing key issues Latinos want addressed like: education, immigration and wages. While there is no definite knowing who Latinos in California will vote for, one interesting fact is that there is a pulling factor that has made Latinos, of various ages really, become registered to vote so that their votes counts.

And this is in thanks to the unsavory commentary of one Donald Trump who’s hateful comments have resulted in a somewhat positive outcome.

June 7 is steadily approaching, and soon we will have a clearer picture of who—either Sanders or Clinton—will be going head-to-head with Trump come this November to become our 45th President of the United States of America.

Bernie Sanders visits Puerto Rico!

RTSEK2D-1024x677

Bernie Sanders may not know Spanish, but that prevent the President hopeful from visiting Puerto Rico on Monday and speaking before crowds of his supporters.

If elected president of the United States, you will have an ally in the Oval Office” promised Sanders, who began a day of campaigning in the island prior to the Democratic primary which is to take place three weeks from now.

Throughout his campaign trail, Sanders mostly talked about the “greed” seen on Wall Street which may have been a strategy by the Sanders campaign considering the debt crisis currently plaguing Puerto Rico.

When it comes to making its debt payments, the country of Puerto Rico has defaulted on millions in debt payments over the last year and will likely continue to default if Congress does not act soon.

I’m not going to lower the standard of living of the people in Puerto Rico, so that billionaires can have more profits,” Sanders said at a rally held Monday evening, “It is unacceptable that venture capitalists are buying Puerto Rican bonds at a fraction what they cost and they expect 100 cents on the dollar. Together we will not allow that to happen.”

According to Sanders, for the country to bounce back from its debt crisis it should not be met by strict measures that will further harm the lives of the people living in the county economically when it comes to facing the country’s budget issues.

Austerity will not solve this crisis. We must vigorously oppose all efforts at austerity,” he said. “In the midst of this massive human crisis, it is morally unacceptable that billionaire hedge fund managers have been calling for even more austerity in Puerto Rico.”

Rather than simply impose measures on the country’s budget issue, Sanders called for an independent audit of the island’s debt and addressed the U.S. Federal Reserve System to aid the country by using its emergency authority to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt through bankruptcy court.

In-addition to the country’s economic crisis, Sanders also addressed the country’s relationship with the United States of America.

The people of the United States cannot continue a colonial-type relationship with the people of Puerto Rico,” said Sanders during a morning event.

In-regards to the country’s relationship with the U.S., Sanders vowed that as President he would increase the island’s political autonomy. Sanders also promised to bring a “binding” vote during his first year in office; this binding vote would allow the people of Puerto Rico to decide their own political status.

Some people I know want statehood, some people want independence, some people want something else. But that is a decision to be made by the decision of Puerto Rico,” Sanders stated, during a town hall event held at an elementary school.

Sanders also laid out his plans regarding healthcare, education, and the environment.

Before his supporters on the island, Sanders proposed a “Medicare-for-all health care system,” and free public college tuition that would expand to the island country and benefit Puerto Ricans as well. As for the environment, Sanders talked about cutting Puerto Rico’s dependency on fossil fuels and bringing a renewable energy sector to the island.

His environmental platform is so much more eco-friendly than that of Republicans and also his opponent, Hillary Clinton,”said Wilson Santiago, a 31-year-old a Ph.D. student and a supporter of Sanders who attended one of his rallies.

While campaigning in Puerto Rico, Sanders rarely mentioned his democratic opponent Hillary Clinton who tends to have a higher approval rate among the Latino community, specifically Puerto Ricans hailing from New York City. However, Sanders has drawn an impressive crowd of supporters in the mainland.

During an evening rally at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras it was estimated that an additional 3,000 supporters had to wait outside the rally in the dark after the large theater in-which it was held in reached capacity.

To see how much Puerto Ricans on the mainland are behind Sanders we will have to wait until the primary results in three weeks.

Donald Trump’s continued offense of Latinos

Donald Trump

It’s no surprise that there is no love between Donald Trump & the Latino community, especially since last June when Trump verbally assaulted the Mexican community—which also impacted the Latino community at large—during his announcement speech which entailed his intention to become our 45th President of the United States.

In the speech, Trump associated Mexicans, Mexican Immigrants, and Latinos really to “killers” & “rapists” when he stated how in his presidency he would build a border wall between the United States & Mexico in order to keep out such people from entering the country.

Since then, Trump’s continued anti-Immigration/anti-Latino rhetoric has found some acceptance by Americans who believe his rhetoric. However, while this notion is disturbing Trump has been a benefit of sorts for the Latino community since more Latinos have become more politically active to prevent the possibility of Trump becoming president.

Last month, a Gallup poll revealed that 77% of the Latino community have an unfavorable opinion regarding Trump. So, could a recent blunder by Trump be just another typical bigot and lack of common sense posting to social media to mock Latinos or a bigot and lack of common sense attempt to sway Latinos to find him more favorable as a potential Republican candidate in the 2016 elections.

Last week for Cinco de Mayo, Trump took to his Twitter and posted a photo of him before a Taco bowl that was captioned: “ Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

As expected, whatever his intention was, when the photo instantly went viral, Trump did receive the usual laugh and positive comments from like-minded racists but he also attracted a great deal of criticism from Latino groups who found the photo offensive as well as pandering.

Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza—the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization—expressed what many Latinos felt in a respond tweet to the photo.

Eating a taco or wearing a sombrero doesn’t cut it w/our community in 2016.”

Trump is not exactly suffering in the election. With no real challengers to take the nomination from him and with a great deal of support from some Americas, whatever challengers that Trump may face from in-party challenges won’t hinder him.

What could prove to be an issue is the Latino vote, which as of now probably doesn’t even exist for him; even with 12% of Latinos finding him favorable, so say the Gallup poll. Whatever his intention was, whatever he may plan to do in order to win over Latinos remains to be seen, but there is still a long time for something to arise in-between now and November.

Sidenote, the Taco bowl meal is not an authentic Mexican dish. It was one created in America.

Ted Cruz drops out of Presidential Race!

image

There was no real winner last night for the Republican party, or America come November if something terrible & frightening happens if a certain billionaire is elected, but there is no sense of winning for the United States Senator of Texas Ted Cruz who has officially dropped out of the elections.

After his lost in Indiana’s primary, Cruz announced—before giving an accidental elbow jab/poke to the face of his wife Heidi Cruz—that he is no longer seeking to become our 45th President of the United States of America.

Despite his efforts to remain in the race from partnering up with Ohio Governor John Kasich in a “Never Trump” movement & choosing former- CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential nominee, Cruz could not topple Donald Trump who is now all but certain to obtain the Republican nomination to run against either Democratic nominee hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders & Senator Hillary Clinton.

While Trump has been continual forecast as being the victor for the nomination, last night’s victory and ousting of Cruz comes as quite the surprise since Indiana was supposed to be a “more favorable terrain” for Cruz. Cruz was predicted to do well in Indiana primarily because the state is known for being known a conservative, evangelical state.

We left it all on field in Indiana. We gave it everything we got, but the voters chose another path,” said Cruz, before a crowd of his supporters in Indiana.

With Cruz dropping out of the race, there’s no real threat that Trump will encounter obtaining the nomination. Even Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has declared Trump the “presumptive GOP nominee.”

So come November 2016, we could be making history if we make one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to electing our next President.

The Day After Super Tuesday…The Sequel.

CNN-500x500_c

It appears that the predictions made after the first Super Tuesday is being backed and supported by the results of last night’s second Super Tuesday…

Senator Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump are one step closer to obtaining their party’s nomination in order to face-off against each other in the general election match-up for the 45th Presidency of the United States of America come November 2016.

Last night, Trump dominated the Republican primaries earning significant wins among five East Coast states. Meanwhile, Clinton proved strong as the Democratic lead winning in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware but lost Rhode Island to Senator Bernie Sanders who is still in the race and could prove to be a problem for Clinton, despite what some political analyst may say.

Over at Trump Tower last night, Trump declared that the GOP primary was basically over due to his continued winning streak throughout the primaries.

I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” said Trump, whose ego continues to inflate over pulling in voters with his racist & sexist rhetoric who has aided in the billionaire’s sweeping win. “Governor (John) Kasich and Senator (Ted) Cruz have really, really hurt themselves with a faulty deal that was defaulted on before it was even started.”

Trump’s major win on Tuesday doesn’t come as much of a shock, even after Republican nominee hopefuls Governor John Kasich & Senator Ted Cruz announced a type of alliance that aims to divide some of the upcoming races in hopes of pulling voters away from Trump in order to stall his ceaseless momentum.

Cruz & Kaisch are being seen as the face of the so-called “Never Trump” movement which has appeared within the GOP and represents a faction within who wants to stop the New York businessman from ultimately taking the party’s nominee.

Even if the media yearns to declare this race over, the path to 1,237 delegates remains narrow for Trump, and he just left the most favorable part of the map for him in the northeast,” said the movement in a released statement.

Meanwhile, there is division of its own amongst the Democratic party but that is mostly felt within the voters as opposed to the party itself.

In the race to obtain their party’s nomination, the intense and very different rhetoric between Clinton & Sanders has created a dividing among voters. Seen as someone who can bring forth actual change and shake up the current climate of our government, Sanders has been labeled as the “politician of the people,” whereas Clinton has been viewed as the candidate who would protect the dubbed “1%” (i.e. banks) who have heavily thrown their support for her.

Although Clinton’s campaign has received a second wind—of sorts—after losing key states like Vermont to Sanders, Clinton still has to sway a great deal of voters who are distrustful of the presidential hopeful due to increasing reports of voting and campaigning foulplay pointing blame at Clinton’s campaign.

Despite their difference in platforms and the allegations made against her campaign, Clinton hopes to close this gap between democratic voters.

At a campaign rally in Philadelphia, Clinton seemed to address this gap of voters she has been unable to tap into stating that will work to win over Sanders’ supporters in order to unite the Democratic base.

Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” said Clinton.

Although the second Super Tuesday provided an interesting insight on what’s to come in the days leading up to the November elections, none of the nominees secured enough delegates to win their party’s the nomination outright.

Who will Latinos vote for in the upcoming 2016 New York Primary?

Candidate-Collage

As April 19th steadily approaches and New York prepares to cast their vote in who amongst the Democratic & Republican nominees will be one more step closer to becoming our 45th President of the United States of America, a recent poll has revealed whom among the Latino community along the east coast could support.

According to a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)—an American nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education at the intersection of religion, values and public life—in unison with The Atlantic, found that Latinos are quite split between one set of nominees while obviously discontent with the other.

Can you guess which is which?

Well if not, I can break it down for you.

According to the poll, when it comes to the Democratic nominees former- United States Secretary of State & Senator of New York Hillary Clinton & Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders, 47% of Latinos are pulling for Clinton to become our next president with 48% wanting Sanders to take up the future leadership.

Currently, Clinton has been able to score big amongst Latinos earning victories in key Latino states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas meanwhile Sanders has found support from Latinos in Colorado and Illinois. However, when it comes to another highly populated state like Nevada Latinos are seesawing between the two Democratic candidates.

Latino voters are more likely to be younger than white votes and that’s been part of his appeal,” said Robert Jones, CEO of PRRI, explaining the sudden shift of Latinos backing Sanders pointing the spotlight on this country’s young population or millennials as they’ve been called, “He’s been able to be very strong among younger voters.”

In-regards to millennials, analysts of the upcoming electorate for the 2016 Presidential Elections find that of the voters to go to the polls Latinos account an estimated for 44%. It’s this high number that both Clinton & Sanders have been keen on attracting.

When looking outside of the Latino community, Clinton’s next strongest support comes from Black Americans who favor her an estimated 63% to Sanders who stands at an estimated 30%, so says the poll’s findings.

Now, what of the Republican Candidates?

While it is truly appalling that he is still in the race, Donald Trump is still finding a strong ground amongst Republican voters to his GOP hopeful & somewhat challenging opponent Senator of Texas Ted Cruz. Despite the support in their party, both candidates are finding it difficult to gain support amongst Latinos.

According to the poll, 83% of Latino voters have an unfavorable opinion to Trump meanwhile 51% also find Cruz to be unlikable as well. While Trump has been more antagonistic in-regards to his racist rhetoric regarding immigrants & Latinos, both Trump and Cruz have been confronted on their immigration stances which have a huge importance to the Latino community.

Voto Latino launches voter app directed at Latinos

Voto-Latino-Get-Out-the-Vote-2012

In an effort to prevent a bigot from obtaining this country’s 45th presidency, a Latino organization devoted to educating and encouraging Latinos to become agents of change in the country have created an innovated app to hopefully aid in that endeavor.

Recently, at SXSW a Latino organization announced an innovative way of mobilizing millennial Latino voters to participate in the currently election season.

An annual event during mid-March and held in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest—also known as SXSW—is a gathering of like-minded individuals who are changing the scope of film, interactive media, and music that’s all tech-oriented. The conference, of sorts, is a place for young and influential leaders who can shape the future to present their innovative ideas.

So, it makes perfect sense for Voto Latino/strong> to present its downloadable app VotoPal which will be an innovative way for young Latino Americans to vote.

Once downloaded onto your phone, VoterPal will allow users to scan their ID and register to vote. With the online fields automatically populated and a confirmation email sent within a matter of seconds, Non-registered voters will become instantly registered cutting down the time of the usual paper registration process.

So when we’re trying to figure on how to franchise the next group of Americans, we have to figure out where they are, how they talk, and more importantly, we have to use the technology that they crave,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO & President of Voto Latino at the opening of the launch panel of the app.

According to Kumar, the purpose of developing VoterPal was a means to mobilize voter turnout at the upcoming election by ensuring more Latinos become aware of how they can voice themselves within the political world through voting; especially since the current political climate has become quite hostile in-regards to Latinos and immigrant living within the country.

Another purpose for the app’s creation is due to the recent changes to the Voting Rights Act made by the Supreme Court which greatly affected states like Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas which happens to be the five states that have the lowest Latino population.

As we see these sweeping demographic changes, what we find in the Latino community, is that they often don’t know how to navigate the political process. We have to figure out how to modernize our election systems,” said Kumar.

During the panel, Kumar was joined onstage by actress America Ferrera, who happens to be the Chair for Voto Latino’s Artist Coalition. Ferrerra came onto the panel as a source of someone who understands the mind of young Latino voters.

And which is not surprising for Ferrerra, the former Ugly Betty star knew exactly what she was talking about.

Upon entering the panel’s discussion, Ferrerra pointed out the lack of audience members participating in the panel which she noted as being the “the elephant in the room.”

That’s why I feel this work is so empowering to me. There is an answer. We just need to resource and give people the proper tools and educate them, and ask them to be a part of the conversation,” said Ferrera, describing the importance of involving more American Latinos in the voting process by providing a better outreach to the community.

As a way of providing voter outreach, Voto Latino will continue to pursue their effort in getting more Latinos registered to vote by promoting the VoterPal app throughout the election season by present at conferences and college campuses across important electoral states like Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California, with plans to expand to New Mexico and Florida.

Latino U.S. Citizen & Trump Protester Arrested & then Detained by ICE Agents

Screen-Shot-2016-03-21-at-12.23.37-PM

Donald Trump continues to be the face of what it looks like to be a racist in this country. Since beginning his campaign, Trump has shined a light on the rising racial issues that have gone ignored in this country. It’s not surprising how the today is eerily becoming more and more like the America of yesteryear when it comes to not only Black civilians but Latino civilians as well.

For the last two years or so the country’s recent racial tension between law enforcement and the non-White civilians who they are sworn to protect has continued to rise unchecked, and now thanks to one billionaire entrepreneur we are currently facing the point of no return.

This past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, Donald Trump led a rally for his supporters and as usual the rally prompted protestors to take action by shutting down a major highway which block Trump supporters from attending the event for several hours.

This protest occurred on Saturday, and resulted in the arrest of several individuals who could no longer continue to sit idly by and allow the hateful anti-immigrant or anti-Latino rhetoric of Trump continue in a state which already has a known history of being systemically racist towards its Latino community.

But amongst all the arrests, Jacinta Gonzalez, an activist who works for an immigrant rights organization called Mijente, experienced firsthand what the people she is fighting for deal with almost every day and what it is like being Latino within a state where that can lead to troubling experience.

After being removed of the U-lock she had placed around her neck to lock herself to a truck that blocked the highway, Gonzalez and several other protestors were taken into police custody by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s department. While all of the other protestors were processed and released merely a few hours later, Gonzalez was not.

Instead, Gonzalez was held overnight and transferred to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement—also so known as ICE—detention center and was questioned for hours about her immigration status.

Gonzalez is in fact a U.S. citizen, but being Latino with a Latino surname was racially profiled.

As a Latina with a Latina surname, I was the only person interviewed by ICE, and they placed an immigration detainer against me,” said Gonzalez, describing her arrest in an interview.

Despite being continually questioned by law enforcement, Gonzalez refused to answer any questions about her citizenship and would simply respond: “I’m invoking my constitutional right to remain silent and I want an attorney present.”

Gonzalez goes on to describe that while her white colleagues were released the day of their arrest, she remained in jail for being both Latino and as a repercussion for invoking her basic civil rights for a Class 3 misdemeanor which is a non-violent offense.

Because I asserted by civil rights, I was retaliated against. I’m a fierce believer in the Constitution, and I don’t believe they have the right to interview people without a lawyer present. It’s extremely alarming, and it even violates ICE’s own policy. They are not supposed to put an immigration hold on people convicted of non-violent offenses.”

The situation for Gonzalez ended on Sunday morning. Gonzalez was finally released on Sunday morning, but only after she was handcuffed, shackled, placed into a van and transported to an ICE field office where while there her citizenship was proven. At the field office, it was during Gonzalez’s fingerprinting process where enforcement agents realized she was a U.S. citizen.

Gonzalez believes her fingerprints matched her U.S. passport which contained that information which could have been done the moment she was brought into the sheriff’s department.

Detective Doug Matteson of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to news sources that Gonzalez was in-fact charged with for blocking the highway and refusing to disperse, however he denies the allegation that Gonzales was targeted by immigration agents.

Everyone that enters Maricopa County Jail, whether it’s for spitting on the sidewalk or for murder, you are seen by ICE,” said the Detective, “They interview everyone—male, female, black, white—and for some reason they put a hold on her. They always operate in our jail facility. It’s not like she was singled out.”

The detective’s excuse regarding Gonzalez’s detainment is quite questionable. Recent court documents have found that the Maricopa County Sheriff department along with its sheriff Joe Arpaio have been engaging in systemic racial profiling when it comes to Latino civilians; a finding that isn’t all that surprising. Arpaio and the department has started to make reforms only after residents of the county filed class action lawsuit due to the racist encounters with the department.

Since making his announcement that he was running to become our 45th President, Trump has been attaining a surmounting support from Americans who have accepted his largely ignorant, chauvinistic, and racist ideology. Trump has taken this country’s ongoing problem with racial issues and used them in a negative way which has created a disastrous preview of what awaits us if he does somehow manage to become elected as our next president.

Gonzalez says it best, “The profiling I experienced shows what Trump is trying to promote. We are really alarmed not only by Trump’s campaign but the space he’s opened up for other people to spew hatred and implement racist policies.”