El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The rally

Yesterday, there was a rally in DC (and other cities throughout the US) for immigrant rights.

I’ve written about this before. My opinion on this matter is known.

Many disagree with me and this is ok. I am not angry with them. I am not angry at the ignorant. The United States is great because we are all allowed to have an opinion.

I saw one of the most beautiful things in my life yesterday. I saw a man of Asian descent standing with his young wife and baby. In his hands he held a large pole with an American flag hanging over his shoulders. His whole world was within a hug’s reach and he incorporated an American flag within this world.

Look, I am the son of immigrants who came to this country for a better life. I am a US citizen and I’m allowed to say this.

If there is anyone that wants to hold the American flag with pride, then I welcome you.

If there is anyone who wants to take a test and learn about my country in order to become a citizen, then I welcome you.

If there is anyone who wants to make this country a better place, then I welcome you.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Any questions?

Ok, now, onto something that bothered me about yesterday. Unfortunately, it was cause by a couple of my Guatemalan hermanos. After the rally some of the younger people decided to walk down the middle of the street. Streets that were not closed off.

Now, I understand that it is not often you feel like a majority in downtown DC, but amigos, you don’t gain any friends by causing traffic jams. The idea is for you to get people to want you to be in this country. Making them sit in their gray Volvos when they’re late to pick up their dog from doggy day-care is not the way to make friends.

Just a thought.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo


At 1:42 PM, Blogger Petra said...

I'm so proud of what happened yesterday that it brings tears to my eyes. 10,000 Latinos in MEMPHIS TENNESSEE gathered at the Civil Rights Museum where Dr. MLK was killed and noone acted a fool! We aren't the most tolerant folks in the world here in the South, but yesterday, I was proud to be here.

Si, se puede.


At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Mamasita said...

I was so moved yesterday. It was one of the most beautiful sights ever. I saw people from all the different countries, African, Asian, Irish, and Latin coming together for the same purpose. I stood next to another Guatemalan (El Guapo, was that you?) and we smiled at each other when they called out our country. We shouted even louder when they chanted USA! I am naturalized citizen and stand with everyone and anyone who wants to come to this country and live free.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger DC Cookie said...

Actually - given the hype, when I wandered down to the rally myself, I was surprised by how organized it was.

Si se puede, I'm with you mi amigo. I also guarantee that all the privileged asscorns that run our government would be too if they had to suffer the way many immigrants have had to suffer just to survive.

There's always Canada...

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous fran said...

I know there was some doing that here in santa ana, california...it's awesome when they we do it for the right reasons!! :)

I agree about the traffic jams...that's insane.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous restaurant gal said...

I was struck by so many families marching in my city. And by the American flags. And by the happy mood and sense of being on the edge of something very new and profound. And I felt so sad reading your post about someone who has not seen his young son in so many years.

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Olga said...

It is heart warming to come across a site where people are not "sending every illegal immigrant back to their own country". I came here from El Salvador 22 years ago as a 13 year old. I listen to my ipod on the subway, I go to happy hour with friends after work, I buy cute stuff for my apartment at Pottery Barn, I read blogs on the internet, watch Grey's Anatomy on Sunday nights, spend money I don't have on cute shoes, I graduated with honors from college, speak fluent English, have a decent paying job where I work with my brain not my hands and oh yeah, I haven't set foot on my beloved country since April 17th 1984 because I am an illegal immigrant. Except for the last sentence I could've been anyone of you, pray to God you never feel unwelcome in your own home.

At 12:49 AM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

Gracias, El G. You don't disappoint.

P.S. Still working on my flippy cup/sippy cup moves.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Phil said...

Question: Why are there only Latinos/Hispanics at these rallys? Are they the only immigrants who care?

At 11:37 AM, Blogger jaymichaelrivera said...

"If there is anyone who wants to make this country a better place, then I welcome you."

You know, every time I see the Coast Guard pick up a group of Cubans who have converted a 1950s American sedan into a seaworthy vessel I think "Waaaaaait! Don't send them back to Cuba! We could use them to teach shop class to our impoverished students. Anyone with the hutzpah to do this should not only be given admission, they should win some kind of Home Depot Science prize.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I had to reply to jaymichaelrivera... Do you know how many people die each year trying to cross the Florida straights? Far too many. Creating heros out of those rafters only encourages more to try it.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger DCThrowback said...

I have no problem being a voice of dissent to this thread of people who are here illegally(numbers - approx. 8 to 12m). While our country may be a beacon of light to those who wish to come here, thousands of other people wish to come here legally must wait, for years, to do so. While I sympathize with the man who sends money home to put his children through school, why did he come here in the first place? Because of the failed economic policies and development of his own country that could not provide him/her with an opportunity. So, everytime he sends money home, he's actually letting his own politicians off the hook. Vicente Fox, for example, LOVES the idea of illegal immigration to the USA. His administration publishes even publishes a "how-to" guide (why? 3% of the Mexican economy is from transfer payments from illegals here to families back home).

So, while we all wrap ourselves in the American flags and say "rah-rah" chants (which works much better for the cameras than Mexican flags and La Raza signs, I might add), the reality is the real folks hurt by illegal immigration are the bottom 20% of wage earners in our country - people who would work in chicken factorys for $15/hour and not $7.50/hour - because the flood of illegal labor is willing to work for less AND be less likely to complain about management abuses.

I wouldn't even go into MS-13 and other criminally minded illegals (approx. 15K locked up in the California Penal System alone).

Therefore, while on an individual level it's easy to sympathize with the dishwasher, the construction worker, etc. on a macro-societal level there are negative effects: those include the push down of wages for poorer Americans, more resistance at assimilation and higher strains on people's tax dollars for services (like education, healthcare and yes, prisons).

So, while marchers all feel good about themselves, the real policy issues still must be addressed. A nice look at those can be found at:


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Prom said...

Hell bring in anyone willing to work. All us old people from the baby boom bulge need lots of you young workers to pay our social security benefits (not to mention all the newly documented workers keeping their families and money here and paying taxes!)


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