Category Archives: Cinco de Mayo

Los Suns Also Rise: Phoenix Suns Win in More Ways Than One

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dave Ziran

Anyone who believes that sports can’t be an effective platform for social justice, needed only to watch last night’s game between Los Suns of Phoenix and the San Antonio Spurs. The unprecedented decision by the entire Suns organization – from owner Robert Sarver to star players Amare Stoudamire and Steve Nash – to wear uniforms blaring Los Suns and come out against Arizona’s anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070, created a sports broadcast like no other in my lifetime. The game on TNT began with sideline reporter Marty Snider outside the arena covering a mushrooming 3,000 person civil rights march, led by Al Sharpton and Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon (both wearing Los Suns Jerseys.) Then the scene switched to the pre-game studio with host Ernie Johnson and former players Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Chris Webber, and Charles Barkley. The viewing audience then got an unexpected and bracing lesson in dissent.

Kenny Smith, like any good point guard, set up the others by saying, “I think it’s great that the team understands, the management understands and now the people of Phoenix are all rallying together at the same time.” Barkley, a long time Arizona resident and a man who once said that he was a Republican until “the Republicans lost their damn minds” chimed in saying, “The only people screwing it up are the politicians. The Governor – the interim governor I might add – J.D. Hayworth and John McCain. They’re the ones screwing this thing up. I really take my hat off to Robert Sarver and the Suns for taking a stand. You know, living in Arizona for a long time, the Hispanic community, they’re like the fabric of the cloth. They’re part of our community and any time you try to do any type of racial profiling or racial discrimination……. President Obama you’ve got to do something because these lightweight politicians in Arizona have no idea what they are doing.”

The typically blunt Barkley speaking in such terms is hardly surprising. But it was Chris Webber who upped the ante, interrupting a visibly uncomfortable Ernie Johnson with, “Public Enemy said it a long time ago. ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona.’ I’m not surprised. They didn’t even want there to be a Martin Luther King day when John McCain was in [office.]. So if you follow history you know that this is part of Arizona politics.”

It was a remarkable display and it was difficult to not think of the millions of television viewers around the country, in sports bars, restaurants, and house parties, being confronted with this kind of forthright, plainspoken language. But perhaps even more important than the support Los Suns received from protestors and broadcasters, was their play on the court. Phoenix trailed by nine at the end of the first quarter and Spurs star power forward Tim Duncan was scoring with ease. The crowd was dead and it wasn’t difficult to envision what would be said in the SportsWorld if Phoenix lost: “The political hoopla was a distraction.” “This is why sports and politics don’t mix.” “They should have been focused on the Spurs and not immigration.” And grinning smugly would have been LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson who chided the Suns yesterday saying, “If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws…. I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff.”

In other words, everyone who stands with SB 1070 would be feeling a little more joyful this morning. It would have been an echo of the time Muhammad Ali lost his first fight to Joe Frazier and all the columnists and fans who wanted to see the draft dodging Ali punished, chortled gleefully after he was knocked to the canvas. But just when we were all ready to stick a fork in the brick-laying Suns, something remarkable happened. The slick shooting, fast breaking team started to crash the boards, play ugly, and do all the dirty work that wins games. Doughy, undersized three point shooter Jared Dudley started aggressively snatching offensive rebounds like his soul had been possessed by Barkley himself, energizing the crowd and shocking his team back to life. The result was a 110-102 victory in which the run and gun Suns were held to just eight fast break points. Coach Alvin Gentry said afterward that he had never seen the team play so mentally tough.

Maybe this will be the start of a new trend where teams see the unifying benefits of going out on a political limb and taking a stand. Maybe players across the sports leagues who oppose SB 1070 will be inspired to come together in a common organization and demand Arizona cease the imposition of “Juan Crow” on the Latino population. Maybe the major sports unions, all of whom have voiced opposition to the bill, will release a joint statement saying that they will support any player or team who boycotts the state as long as SB 1070 is on the books. Maybe this is all utterly unrealistic. But it seems a hell of a lot more possible this morning than it did last night. Vivan Los Suns.

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Dave Zirin is a sports correspondent for The Nation Magazine

Follow Dave Zirin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/edgeofsports

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Filed under Arizona, Basketball, Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Sports, Uncategorized

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host 2010 Cinco De Mayo Fiesta at White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in an event marking Cinco de Mayo in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, May 5, 2010. (Photos by REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Feliez Cinco de Mayo! At six o’clock this evening, President Obama and First Lady Michelle welcomed hundreds of guests to the Rose Garden for a celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Battle of Puebla

Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May“) is a voluntarily-observed holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

On May 19th President Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a state dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and First Lady Margarita Zavala de Calderon during a two-day state visit to the United States.

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18th Annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington


Members of the Maru Montero Dance Company perform at the Sylvan Theater near the Washington Monument during the 18th Annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington Sunday, May 2, 2010.

(Photos by AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)



On Cinco de Mayo, a Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Welcoming a boisterous crowd to the Rose Garden for Cinco de Mayo, the President had a long list of people to recognize. From Mexico’s Interior Secretary, Fernando Gomez Mont, to Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, to esteemed Members of Congress, to Secretaries Solis, Napolitano, and Salazar, to Maru and the Montero Dance Company and Javier Cortes, it was a crowd more than worthy of recognition.

The President also gave a nod to “Los Suns,” the Phoenix basketball team who has made a statement by wearing jerseys in their playoff games that give a nod to American and Arizona’s diversity. The President added his own statement:

“So today reminds us that America’s diversity is America’s strength. That’s why I spoke out against the recently passed law in Arizona. (Applause.) Make no mistake, our immigration system is broken. And after so many years in which Washington has failed to meet its responsibilities, Americans are right to be frustrated, including folks along border states. But the answer isn’t to undermine fundamental principles that define us as a nation. We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress. We can’t turn law-abiding American citizens —- and law-abiding immigrants —- into subjects of suspicion and abuse. We can’t divide the American people that way. That’s not the answer. That’s not who we are as the United States of America.

And that’s why I’ve instructed my administration to closely monitor the new law in Arizona, to examine the civil rights and other implications that it may have. That’s why we have to close the door on this kind of misconceived action by meeting our obligations here in Washington.

So I want to say it again, just in case anybody is confused. The way to fix our broken immigration system is through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.) That means responsibility from government to secure our borders, something we have done and will continue to do. It means responsibility from businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers -— they’ve got to be held accountable. It means responsibility from people who are living here illegally. They’ve got to admit that they broke the law, and pay taxes, and pay a penalty, and learn English, and get right before the law — and then get in line and earn their citizenship.

Comprehensive reform —- that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. And I know there’s been some commentary over the last week since I talked about this difficult issue: Well, is this politically smart to do? Can you get Republican votes? Look, of course, it’s going to be tough. That’s the truth. Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention how this town works. (Laughter.)

We need bipartisan support. But it can be done. And it needs to be done. So I was pleased to see a strong proposal for comprehensive reform presented in the Senate last week —- and I was pleased that it was based on a bipartisan framework. I want to begin work this year, and I want Democrats and Republicans to work with me — because we’ve got to stay true to who we are, a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

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Filed under Cinco de Mayo, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Mexico, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Happy Cinco de Boycott!

Posted by: BuellBoy
Written by Mario Solis-Marich

Mario Solis-Marich, progressive talk radio show host

Mario Solis-Marich, progressive talk show radio host

The fabled Mexican battle at Puebla will be commemorated today although most people celebrating it wont know what they are celebrating. Cinco de Mayo is not as celebrated in Mexico as it is in the US. Cinco de Mayo is in fact a uniquely American celebration about one of it’s many cultures’ historical mile stones. The holiday was only big in Puebla until it was big here. A signal that being Latino is as American as a double Patron margarita strained into a large salted martini glass ( try it if you haven’t yet).

A sore spot among Latinos has long been that America accepts our cultural best while openly vilifying us in general. Salsa has long replaced ketchup as our country’s favorite condiment. Americans have adopted Cesar salads to the extent that most don’t even know it is a Mexican creation. Suburbanites love the hard work ethic that is embedded in our cultural DNA and that they so readily hire. Tierra, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Eve Longoria, Raquel Welch, Vicky Carr are loved. The man that fixes fences, the trust worthy woman who creates safety and care for children, the boy that bags groceries are sought after. The voter that preserves balance and the politician that consistently votes for education are courted. All of these people are admired…. when needed.

Yet these same people are conflated by the media with drug smugglers and terrorists. The disconnect is painfully irritating and quite frankly politically and socially unsustainable.

No place is this hypocritical disconnect more obvious then in the political arena. The President called on Latino voters recently to help save his Democratic legislative majorities and a few days later seemed to roll over while the broken US Senate decided that climate legislation was to be it’s sole next priority. In the US Senate races the dissonance is dramatically experienced in Colorado as incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet tells Latino activists that he is better on immigration issues than his primary opponent but fails to move aggressively on immigration reform and on condemning the Arizona hate bill. Bennet cannot win without a clear Latino super majority. It seems that in politics as in life Latinos are charged with doing the heavy lifting for little pay back.

The Arizona boycott movement has been a immediate success. People of all races and ethnicities have reacted with their pocket books and are sending Jan Brewer and the GOP led state legislature a strong message. The message has been passionate and clear. While the strength of the boycott movement will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the Arizona market place it provides a warning to the national political arena as well. For now the boycott is limited to Arizona and the market place of goods and services. Both political party’s would be wise to work hard to contain it as such.

While politicians tonight toast Latinos with margaritas as they dip their chips into mild salsa they would be wise to remember that the battle that is being commemorated was one won by an outnumbered and grossly underestimated people determined to maintain their freedoms and independence. A tough lot to beat, just ask the French.

Join Mario at : Boycott the Police State Known as Arizona

Mario Solis-Marich is a radio talk show host who can be heard on AM 760 in Denver and world wide at www.GoToMario.com. You can find Mario on Facebook.

Follow Mario Solis-Marich on Twitter: www.twitter.com/marioradio

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Filed under Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Law, Uncategorized