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« In the hour of diamond light | Main | Knife Skills Class Anyone? -- going twice! »

28 April 2006


Bravo Shuna,

Another thought provoking post that will motivate people to think, talk, and act. You have certainly encouraged me to participate. I'll keep you posted on my May 1st plans.

Shuna, this is gorgeous. Stirring. Exactly what I needed to read. You amaze me. That long list of questions is so damned good that I'm going to read it to my students this morning. You're going to change some lives in Seattle.

Well, you always do when I read your site.

Thank you for your support and the questions you have posted for every American, African American and every other culture in the United States! I will be protesting on May 1st not just for fun, but to exercise my rights as a Mexican-American and thank you for your support of our people!

Thanks, Shuna. Wish there were more people like you in the world.

Right on!

Very well put. I especially like this question: Have you ever personally advocated for any one else's rights but your own?

Indeed, if we all stepped out of our own world and cared for others by acting on their behalf, things would be different

Exactly - when the immigration issue comes up I just ask my friends do you like to eat? Not love to eat like people who read this blog , just need to eat everyday beucase without Mexicans, Latin Americans and Chicanos the food would not get picked, prepared, etc. and the country's food supply chain would screech to a grinding halt!!!

Dearest Shuna:

I did read your post to my classes. A group of senior creative writing students, some of the fiercest, most alive students I have ever had the pleasure to teach. They were rapt with attention, tears in their eyes. I could tell that your piece had put their swirling thoughts into order for them. Suddenly, they knew what to do. One of my seniors raised her hand and said, "I'm doing my senior thesis on immigration. And so I interviewed three illegal immigrants from Mexico, last night, in Spanish." She started to cry, as she told their story, how 24 of them had walked for 18 hours in the desert, and when they reached the border, they had to drag each other across concertina wire on the top of a wall to make it to the other side. Then, they walked to San Diego. There, they caught a bus to Los Angeles, a train to Oregon, and then a car to Seattle. One of them just got his first job: a dishwasher in a restaurant. She said, "I can't go to the protests on Monday. Could everyone in this class who can go please go for me? We have to do something."

That's what your questions engendered.

I also read it to my juniors, who are just about to launch into a study of Latin American literature and culture for the next week. Now, this is a school that sends its juniors every year on a three-day trip up to the Skagit Valley to help repair migrant farm workers' camp grounds. These kids come out changed. But this class hasn't been yet. When I read them your piece, they were quiet. Looked at me, in wonder. Teenagers are some of the most wonderful people in the world, because they need something to be tangible before they'll understand it. They need to feel it. They're more honest than most people I know. I could tell that they were moved. It led to a big discussion of the legislation impending. One of my students, a girl named Naida, has a Venezuelan mother, and she had the chance to speak in impassioned tones in a way that the rest of the class could understand. I could tell that she felt appreciated. And this is a new class to me -- we change sections among the 11th-grade team every two quints -- only the fourth day I had taught them. Your questions helped to set in their minds that I'm the kind of teacher who cares about these issues, and about them.

So thank you, my dear, for writing what was bubbling up from the surface. For putting your heart out there. For being out there.

"Tell them that, in support of the National May 1st action and protest you would like to work for free so that one or all of their workers can leave to join in the protest without threat of losing their job."

There are tears streaming down my face. The world needs more people like you, Shuna. Lots and lots and lots more. Thank you for this post. Thank you for you.

I have goosebumps. I have been so angry about this, especially living in LA where there have been many protests, including a few on my campus. Thank you for verbalizing what I have also been feeling.

excellent questions, excellent points. but i want to point out that something else you can do is go to the protests and participate in the boycotts yourself, regardless of your occupation, ethnicity, or immigration status. every group (and every movement for social change) needs allies. you can be one by standing with people at the marches and rallies, as well as standing in for people at their workplace.

When my Mom had to go to assisted living/nursing home, the most wonderful Hispanic women changed her diapers, painted her nails, brushed her hair, bathed her, made her laugh. (I couldn't make her laugh.) They always looked terrific, nails, hair, teeth, lips, sparkling. Then they went home and changed their children's diapers. They worked swing shift, their husbands worked graveyard shift so they always had someone home with the kids, but when did they have time together? Do you even know what swing/graveyard shift is? My son worked for two summers canning green beans graveyard (midnight to 7, 7 days a week) and he was the only "American" on the shift. All his "peers" from high school quit after only one shift. Enjoy your green bean casserole on Thanksgiving!

No smart ass comments from me this time. You have struck me where I live. How blessed I am for the Latino’s in my life. They are the life blood of my business and of my life. Monday, a day without Mexicans is a huge celebration of existence for my Latin family. Us “white people” will close ranks and do the job’s that are normally done here. Not as well - not as efficient - but with incredible joy on my part. To somehow make a statement in my own way how terribly much I rely on them for so much in my life. They are the family that I have chosen, they seldom if ever disappoint me the way my biological family has.
Since everyone that is reading this is a foodie I wanted you all to know that Tomorrow will be an important cooking day for me. I will be making the best possible packaged lunches possible. Sandwiches made with bread baked by Eric Kayser of Paris fame. Salad from my early shopping at the farmers market and a recipe by Susan Goin, and yes, even baked goods Shuna - your very own Gingerbread. All tressed up in cool canvas bags and packaged with every ounce of love and carrying that I can muster to send them on their way. Monday morning when you wake up I ask each and everyone of you to say a prayer to whoever it is that you pray - first that they are safe, and that this somehow will make the difference that they so justly deserve. My Alma, my Temo, my Alonzo, my Maria, my Freddy, my Paco. That they will be blessed by change as I bless their collective illegal hearts.

I applaud you and will be linking to your thread. You have said all I have been saying for years. Some people still won't come around to the knowledge of their own ignorance. My response is always "try saying that will a mouthful of salad".

Excellent as always Shuna.

Subject: Where will you be on May 1, 2006
On May 1, 2006 illigal immigrants are planning a boycot of all stores in
the USA. They are saying that without them our economy would collapse. My
question is this are we as Americans going to let them hurt our economy in
any way and make it look as if we don't care about our own country. This
is one time where each one of us can make a difference. On Monday, May 1st
go to your local stores and make purchases, even if it is only one item,
such as a candy bar. You will still be standing up for our coutry. We as
Americans need to show that we may be the silent majority, but we can
still make a tatement loud and clear, or we can sit silently by and let
our country become latino!! As of Friday April 28, 2006, they have even
come out with their own version of our national anthem, changing the words
to include latino culture. Is This what our forfather's fought for, us to
sit silently by and let someone else take over our country. I say No!!!
Let every American Unite on Monday May1, 2006 go shopping and show our
support for our country, no one else is going to do it for us, we must do
this ourselves.

Please pass this on to every American you know..... We can and will make a

My husband I and read your post together, and both of us were moved to tears. You put into words the way we feel about this issue, but that I had never been able to express. Immigrants are the backbone of this country, and it is shameful that we should want to punish them for having the same American dream the rest of us have the right to, but take for granted. Thank you for your passionate, insightful post! We will be participating in the day as best we can, showing our solidarity and expanding the struggle against the ignorance surrounding this topic.

Thank God for the forces of nature like you - ones to be reckoned with. Should you ever consider another occupation, you could give Mr. Michael Moore quite a run for his money.

Thanks for waking me up. As a mama between child care gigs, I don't get to go protest much, though it might be time to explore taking Cainan with me. I appreciate the passion in your words. I was out of touch with the protest happening on this day, and called Isabel to see if she could come do child care. In the combination of English and Spanish we use to communicate, she told me about Monday but I didn't fully understand it. Now I intend to pay her for the day as if she had worked, so she can go protest. Thanks for the wake-up call, and the eloquent reminders about putting our bodies where our ideals go.

May 1st.

Shuna: Thank you for posting your passionate thoughts. I have read your words several times over and my consciousness on this issue has increased many fold from where it was yesterday. How I move through this day and forward is altered. Thank you.˙

You're an idiot. What makes you think those jobs wouldn't get done without your undocumented workers? There is a process to immigrate to the US. It's easier than any other country in the world. Try immigrating to a European country. They don't want you. No one wants to deny immigration to Mexicans. They just want them to follow the same law every other immigrant has to.

Thank you, Shuna, for your passion, intelligence, and eloquence.

Grafitti this on a wall so everyone can read it. It'll do the world some good.
Shibby job, Shuna!


Hey thanks for understanding man thats messed up what would America be without us were the ones who do jobs that other people won't do tell me would you go out in the feid and pick fruits. Of course not.


I think it was great because like that people would know how much they need all of our people.... VIVA MEXICO

Maybe Americans who have citizenship want those who don't ahve it yet to have it soon so that they can live here without fear. Not everyone who picks crops is undocumented. What is wrong with seeking full citizenship? It may be that there is a small minority who don't like Mexicans but most people just want them to go through the proper channels.

Maybe Americans who have citizenship want those who don't have it yet to have it soon so that they can live here without fear. Not everyone who picks crops is undocumented. What is wrong with seeking full citizenship? It may be that there is a small minority who don't like Mexicans but most people just want them to go through the proper channels.
Ignorance is thinking that Americans who are against illegal immigration are against all immigration.

pics of LA rally


thank you for the photos! They are always welcome!

An economist you are not. *plays muted trumpet*

I don't get to go protest much, though it might be time to explore taking Cainan with me. I appreciate the passion in your words. I was out of touch with the protest happening on this day, and called Isabel to see if she could come do child care.

I think this is fantastic! The majority of the people I know rely heavily on immigrant workers and without any sort of appreciation or even any acknoledgement of their hard work. I think that this protest will help the American people see the impact that immigrants have on our society. Also on May 1st a silent standing protest is taking place in colleges and high schools for those students who cannot miss school. I'm going to try to get people together, and pass out flyers at my high school. I think that this is an amazing idea and a good cause to rally for! Thank you so much for the extra information!

I am A hispanic girl here at Granger, Washington High school I have heard many so many put downs about my race. quite frankly i dont tolerate it my parents are both from Mexico, i stand for them and for the rest of the immigrants here in the United States who are trying to make a difference. so Please lend a hand help us immigrants make a difference, all we do is work hard, earn a little money, and try to live another day.

geez...i never read this. that day stands out as one of the most difficult (yet fun) days I worked at va de vi. i washed dishes all night.

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