Election 2016: Where Do We Go From Here?


I usually don’t get too political here, because I consider Latinaish to be a “niche” blog with a focus on Latinx and Latin American culture, bilingual/bicultural life, language, and language acquisition. This is my happy place, and I like to wipe my feet before entering so as not to track any dirt in here.

But if you know me personally and/or follow my personal Twitter account, you know that I’m very vocal and passionate when it comes to current events, politics, human rights, and other less cheerful topics. (I contain multitudes, as we all do.) Usually Twitter is the perfect platform for me to be involved and have my say, but today I need to say something much longer than 140 characters, and I also feel that it’s important enough to break with my self-imposed rule of covering only very specific topics, because in the end it affects this community. It affects the readers of this blog who are mostly Latinx, or married into the Latinx community. It especially impacts those of us without papers, DREAMers, and DACA recipients, but also our loved ones regardless of legal status, our family and friends — all of us.

I know that most of us here voted for Hillary, and felt sucker punched on election night. Since then, many of us have gone through various stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression. The last stage of grief is acceptance, but this is a stage we cannot enter, at least not in a traditional sense. If we are to reach acceptance, it must be an acceptance with conditions. It must be “I accept this is our situation, but I will fight it every day and in every way I can.”

Some people like to say those who have not accepted the results of this election are not respecting democracy, (or in less eloquent words, that they are “liberal cry babies.”) This is not true. This would be true if this had been a normal election, and if Donald Trump was a normal candidate. Not accepting the results of an election corrupted by FBI and foreign government involvement is exactly what we should be doing in a democratic society. Not accepting the presidency of an incompetent, dangerous demagogue who daily threatens Constitutional rights is our duty and responsibility to prevent the destruction of our country.

So drowned out the voices of the ignorant, emboldened trolls and hatemongers. Despite what they want you to think, thankfully, they are in the minority. My advice is to not waste your breath, time, or energy, arguing with them. There are bigger things to do.

As most of you know, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald Trump has won more electoral votes. This is why many have turned their attention and hopes to the electoral college who will vote on December 19th, 2016. It is these electors who actually hold the power under the Constitution to select the president. Regardless of why the electoral college was created by our founding fathers, (there is some disagreement on that), and if we should abolish it, the fact is it exists today, and it is a tool that can be used.

And so there has been a movement to contact electors and convince them to become “faithless electors” – to vote their conscience — which is to say, they should not vote for Donald Trump even if their state went red during the election. There is another movement called Hamilton Electors, which is somewhat less popular with those who supported Hillary Clinton because it calls on all electors, even those in blue states, to unite behind a “reasonable Republican candidate.”

Some find it unconscionable that electors in blue states would cast their vote for a Republican, but I ask those of you who are having a hard time with this to take a deep breath, and listen for a moment.

You will never get enough Republican electors to back Hillary Clinton. Let’s just be realistic and clear-headed here. If the vote then goes to the House of Representatives with Hillary as the candidate electors backed, the House of Representatives will simply revert back to Trump. All your efforts will have been pointless.

Choosing a Republican alternative is the only option that has an ice cube’s chance in hell of working. If the vote goes to the House of Representatives in January with a sensible Republican alternative to Trump, that would be very tempting to many at the House of Representatives who have already voiced their concern that Trump is not fit for office. (There are more than 40 Republicans in the House of Representatives who reportedly feel this way.) States only get one vote, so those states with multiple representatives must come to a consensus. A president is elected with a 26 state majority — So this scenario isn’t impossible.

Those who say electors need to vote Hillary because she won the popular vote — in an ideal world, yes — but this is a numbers game, this is not a time to fantasize about what could have been. You will not get Republican electors to vote Hillary – it just will not happen. We must compromise. For those refusing to support Hamilton Electors, you are showing your privilege. Not all of us can afford to be so idealistic. We are in damage control mode. We are in anyone-but-Trump mode, because we fear for our Constitutional rights. We fear he will do the things he has promised. We fear for our freedom of speech, freedom of the press. We fear for our rights as women, our safety as Muslims and Jews, as members of the LGBTQIA community, as POC, as immigrants and refugees. We fear for future generations and the future of this planet when climate change isn’t taken seriously. So much is at risk. We can’t afford to be idealistic.

Whether we agree on this point or not, in the meantime, I encourage you to be active and vocal. None of us can afford to sit idle and hope the electoral college will save us.

What else can you do?

• Join Flippable.org to get daily and weekly action items. For those intimidated or confused by contacting congresspeople, Flippable makes it simple to know who to contact and what to contact them about. [Updated 12/5/2016 to add another great one to join: Wall Of Us.]

• Sign petitions from organizations such as Change.org, and MoveOn.

• Get involved with Hamilton Electors. (There’s an event happening nationwide on December 19th, as well as other actions you can take.)

• We have midterm elections to win in 2018, you have representatives at the state and local level you should be contacting regularly. Call them, tweet them, write them, email them.

• Denounce each disagreeable Cabinet pick Trump makes via social media, signing petitions, calls and emails to relevant government officials.

• Stay vigilant and call Trump out on social media every time he tramples our Constitutional rights.

• Follow The DJT Resistance on Twitter.

• Protest his “victory tour” rallies if they come to a city near you.

• Show up to the Women’s March on Washington.

• Join the #GrabYourWallet movement and contact companies you’re boycotting because they carry Trump merchandise.

• Donate to and volunteer for organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matters, #NoDAPL, We Need Diverse Books, Immigration Reform for America, CAIR, Greenpeace, American Association of People with Disabilities, and MALDEF.

• Subscribe to responsible news outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, donate to NPR. Call out irresponsible reporting. [Updated 12/12/2016 to add: Even these respected news outlets have been hit or miss the past few weeks, so it really is important to call them out when they’re irresponsible. Also wanted to add that Teen Vogue, to many people’s surprise, has been doing some of the very best reporting, thanks in great part to the arrival of their new editor. They are very much worth reading and following on social media.]

• Download the Signal app for double encrypted texting. This protects your messages from government spying or from being otherwise intercepted.

• Prepare for the worst by arming yourself with knowledge of your rights and resources. It is better to be prepared than not to be.

• Ask your mayor if he/she will declare your city as a Sanctuary City.

• If you see racist or anti-Semitic graffiti then grab a paint brush and cover it up. Do not allow hate symbols and speech to be normalized.

• If you see someone being mistreated or discriminated against then take action to stop it.

• Resist, resist, resist.

• Share this post on your social media channels. Spread the word.

Our work is not nearly finished, it’s only just begun.

Additional Reading:

5 Concrete Ways You Can Act Now in the Face of a Trump Presidency

Cantinflas Marathon


Cine Sony Television will have a four-day Thanksgiving weekend Cantinflas movie marathon. From November 24th to November 27th. Starting at 7 am ET, you will be able to watch over 30 Cantinflas films commercial free.

A few of the popular Cantinflas films airing during the marathon include:

• El Analfabeto (The Illiterate One)
• A Volar Joven (To the Skies Young Man)
• Los Tres Mosqueteros (The Three Musketeers)
• El Padrecito (The Good Priest)
• El Bolero De Raquel (Raquel’s Shoeshiner)
• Ni Sangre Ni Arena (Neither Blood Nor Sand)
• El Barrendero (The Sweeper)
• Su Excelencia (Your Excellency)
• Si Yo Fuera Diputado (If I Were A Deputy)
• El Bombero Atomico (The Atomic Fireman)
• Don Quijote Cabalga de Nuevo (Don Quijote Rides Again)
• El Ministro y Yo (The Minister and I)

If you’re not familiar with Mario Moreno (1911-1993) who was professionally known as Cantinflas, you should take this opportunity to get acquainted. Moreno was not just a Mexican Golden Globe-winning comic film actor, but a producer, and screenwriter who was regarded as “the Charlie Chaplin of Mexico” for his onscreen persona of the underdog who overcame all odds. (Chaplin, by the way, upon seeing “Ni Sangre Ni Arena”, declared Cantinflas to be the greatest comedian alive.) In his life off the screen, Moreno was an activist and philanthropist who became a symbol of hope for the downtrodden and impoverished.

As a linguaphile, one of my favorite things about Moreno is how he became a verb.

“Cantinflas is so popular, he even changed the Spanish language. There’s a verb in Spanish: cantinflear. It means to talk in so many circles and puns that everyone ends up completely confused. It was the character’s signature move when caught in a tight spot.” – [JASMINE GARSD/NPR]

The impact Cantinflas had and continues to have, can not be overstated. His films span decades and served not only as entertainment, but as political commentary which is just as relevant today as it was then — commentary which extends well beyond the borders of Mexico.

Links worth checking out:

Cantinflas, With His Puns And Satire, Is Back (And Still Relevant)

Cantinflas on Wikipedia

Not sure if you have Cine Sony? Click here to find the channel

Playlist: Paz

During the month of December, blogueras Romina of Mamá XXI and Laura of Mamá Especial Cuenta Conmigo are posting messages of peace on their blogs and social media channels as part of the #MamisPorLaPAZ initiative they created.

You can read more about it here but I decided to contribute at least one post to the cause by creating this playlist for peace.

What song or video that fits the theme of “paz” would you add to this list? Share in comments! (And feel free to join initiative on your own blogs and social media channels.)

Juanes – Odio Por Amor

Natalia LaFourcade – Un Derecho de Nacimiento

UNFPA El Salvador – Yo Decido Vivir en Paz

Espinoza Paz – Si Amas a Dios

Señor Tenga – Mensaje de Paz

Playing for Change – United

Julieta Venegas – Un Poco De Paz

Juanes – Paz, Paz, Paz

A few videos (not songs) worth watching:

Naciones Unidas El Salvador – También soy persona

Unsung Hero – TVC Thai Life Insurance

The Most Astounding Fact – Neil deGrasse Tyson


Si Amas a Dios - Espinoza Paz

Over a week ago Regional Mexican artist and composer Espinoza Paz announced that he would be releasing a new song called “Si Amas a Dios”, (#SiAmasADios on Twitter) inspired by the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, Mexico.

The song is now available free to download from iTunes.

If you don’t have iTunes, you can also find it on YouTube.

I searched the internet and wasn’t able to find the lyrics so (with a little help from Carlos), I transcribed them myself. Here they are for anyone else who wants them.

Si Amas a Dios

por Espinoza Paz

Si amas a Dios
No tomes café con el diablo mañana
Hagamos consciencia hermano, hermana
¿O de qué lado estás?

Si amas a Dios
No juegues al bueno con esa pelota
No dejes que al vaso le caiga otra gota
¿O de qué lado estás?

Si amas a Dios
Es tiempo de hacerle caricias al mundo
Dile que lo sientes en lo más profundo
de tu corazón.

Si amas a Dios
No cierres los ojos, la boca, y la puerta
Se encuentra encendido un foco de alerta
Ya pasa la voz.

Si amas a Dios
No rompas piñatas llenas de pistolas
Que ya no se tiñan de rojo las olas
¿O de qué lado estás?

Si amas a Dios
Oremos por todos los que tienen hambre
No dejes que siga rodando el estambre
¿O de qué lado estás?

Si amas a Dios
Es tiempo de hacerle caricias al mundo
Dile que lo sientes en lo más profundo
de tu corazón.

Si amas a Dios
No cierres los ojos, la boca, y la puerta
Se encuentra encendido un foco de alerta
Ya pasa la voz.

No dejes que la maldad gane más terreno.
Sólo nosotros podemos ponerle freno.
No más veneno.

Si amas a Dios
Es tiempo de hacerle caricias al mundo
Dile que lo sientes en lo más profundo
de tu corazón.

Si amas a Dios
No cierres los ojos, la boca, y la puerta
Se encuentra encendido un foco de alerta
Ya pasa la voz.

Si amas a Dios.
Si amas a Dios.

Latinaish.com at the White House – The Issues

On May 21st I attended the LATISM Top Bloguera Retreat in Washington, D.C. and part of that event included a White House briefing on issues affecting the Latino community. Today I want to share my experience and some of the things I learned which I think are worth passing on.

The main issues discussed were Health and Education, however, that didn’t stop Meagan Ortiz of Vivir Latino from kicking things off with a very good question regarding immigration. Of course the answer to the question was less than satisfying to anyone who has long supported comprehensive immigration reform, but perhaps that was to be expected.

(Check out Meagan’s thoughts on her experience here.)

Meagan’s question seemed to ignite others. Passionate blogueras lined up and asked very brave and difficult questions. I was proud to be in a room full of women who weren’t afraid to stand up and speak their minds.

Roxana Soto of SpanglishBaby asked about bilingual education and the possibility of more dual immersion schools – again, the answer she/we were given, didn’t satisfy me, but I still feel that our voices were heard, and that’s a start.

(Check out Roxana’s thoughts on her experience here.)

While the blogueras were given plenty of time to ask questions, the White House also had plenty of talking points and messages they wanted to get out to us and to the Latino community as well. Here is video I took, highlighting some of the parts I found most informative.

Here are some links to learn more about the programs mentioned in the video:

FNS.USDA.gov (Nutrition Assistance Programs)
La Mesa Completa
Let’s Move!
Let’s Move! – Spanish version/español
Choose My Plate
Choose My Plate/Mi Plato – Spanish version/español


What information did you find most useful or surprising? What question would you have asked?

On This Day, We Are All Mexicans

(Originally published on CafeMagazine.com on June 21, 2010 as part of their World Cup coverage.)

In a world divided by borders and intolerance, there are rare moments to be savored which bring people together, and inspire an outpouring of love and unity. Often times it’s a natural disaster like an earthquake, such as the one that shook Haiti earlier this year. Other times we’re brought together by a political event, the death of someone loved around the world, or by a religious celebration – but sometimes we are unified by an amazing triumph, such as Mexico’s historic 2-0 win over France.

When East Germany erected a wall, then-President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Rathaus Schöneberg in 1963 and, declaring his support for a free and united Germany, said “Ich bin ein Berliner” – or in English: “I am a Berliner.” In the shadow of the 9/11 attacks against the United States in 2001, as the entire world stood in disbelief and grief, many countries declared in solidarity, “On this day, we are all Americans.”

And on June 17, 2010, as “El Chicharito” Hernández scored the first goal and led “El Tri” to victory, it felt as if, for a brief moment as we shared in their pride and glory, that on this day, we were all Mexicans. In the words of the English singer Morrissey, “I wish I was born Mexican, but it’s too late for that now.”

From Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa, to El Ángel de la Independencia in Mexico City, fans cried tears of joy and sang “Cielito Lindo.” Mexican-Americans, Latinos of all nationalities, (and believe it or not, a few gringos too), couldn’t help but be swept up in the moment, and maybe – just maybe – we shed a tear or two as well as we watched the triumphant band of brothers, their jerseys stuck to their bodies with sweat, embrace each other as the song, “One Day” by Matisyahu echoed over the pitch.

“…All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day…”

-One Day by Matisyahu