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Showing posts from February, 2008

Obama is in San Antonio today and this I know

I'm for Obama, but all my girlfriends are for Hillary. As a born and bred Tejana with absolutely no polling experience, I predict that Clinton will take Texas - but not by much.

My beloved state of Texas has a history of racial segregation between whites and blacks, whites and browns - and browns and blacks. I'm from the baby boomer generation, and my peers carry the prejudiced baggage of our parents. Not all - but many. They will never admit it, but it's there in what they don't say and the murmurs...you don't want to hear those words.

My generation of people in the fifties and forties has led separate lives from Blacks.At the MLK March we have every year here, billed as the largest in Texas, latinos and whites were maybe 20% of the thousands of black marchers on the city's eastside - now turning browner with immigrants and middle-class blacks leaving for the suburbs. Remember, latinos are easily 60% of the city's population, and I think blacks …

I picked a fight with the Girls Scouts over their fat cookies

Yes, it's true, I was a Browniea long time ago, and learned how to toast marshmellows and make rag-rugs, and I sold cookies then too.

But people weren't so - ummm - deliciously smitten with cookies and cakes and candies and pizza and hamburgers and tamales and barbacoa. We weren't so gorditas and gorditos then, ok?

San Antonio, Texas, has a reputation for great Tex-Mex food. But if you live here, it's hard to be slender. And the only slender thing about San Antonio is the river. We are one of the poorest cities in the country, deliberately so, making my community vulnerable to commercials and the flour-tortilla temptations of our working-class history. In my part of the city, there should be a law against all the fast-food joints on one block. Cheap, fast, filling food that working and middle-class people eat all the time. Have to eat, or else they'll starve.

This is why I picked a fight with the Girls Scouts selling their make-me-fat cookies outside the sto…

Rachel, The Battered Woman from the Pink House Next Door

The reason I haven’t written is because of Rachel.I live in the barrio, well, San Antonio is one eternal barrio, a heaven and hell mix of fix-your-flat-tire repair shops, tortillerias, taquerias, pitbull puppies for sale around the corner. There are no bookstores here, no kiosks, and the only place to buy the New York Times is at the Starbucks off the freeway.My street is working-class, on the poor side of JeffersonHigh School, away from the big homes of the Monticello district. I like living in the barrio, it’s real.But I also know why people don’t like living here, it’s too hard.People here have problems that my family surmounted years ago, my parents made sacrifices so that I wouldn’t see what I have in the almost-three years I’ve been here.And I know there must be something wrong with me – because I want to see it. I want to help, but I'm not able to help. Like for example,
Rachel.I haven’t been able to write because of her, my next-door neighbor.Right after New Year’s, sh…