Chicana/o Studies – Publishing an Alternative View Since 1970 – CSU, Northridge

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El Popo Staff has 140 articles published.

Latino Baseball Players Lose Out in “Save America’s Pastime Act”

in The Word is Text by
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by Guadalupe Canales

With a new president in office new changes in law are bound to happen.

But does the Trump administration keep targeting Latino communities?

31% of baseball players are Latinos and this spring training many were scared of the Trump administration. With many players worrying about making it to the major leagues, now, they have to worry about the pay they would receive if they successfully made it to the MLB.

The Administration signed the Save America’s Pastime Act, which will permanently exempt minor league players from federal wages; this means that team owners will be legally able to pay less to Latino players than those born here in the United States.

This becomes a problem not only for the players but also for the Latino fans of baseball. As a Latino community, we have grown to love many players of Latino decent, but with this new act, we might not be able to see many players peruse baseball. Over all MLB understands that they rely on Latino fans to watch baseball because many Americans are not watching the sport themselves anymore. Although an American sport the baseball community has expanded to many Latinos because of Fernando Mania here in LA, and with Kike Hernandez and many others players around the league that have made a huge impact for their home countries.

This administration is targeting the Latino communities, not realizing that without Latinos the United States wouldn’t be what it is now. It’s a shame that our community is getting bombarded by idiotic acts and laws that in the long run will hurt America.

Latinx Music Rises Again in American Pop Culture

in The Word is Text by
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by Jose Medrano

For the last several years, latinx representation in popular music in the United States has been very slim.

We are currently seeing an amazing renaissance of hip hop where artists like Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Drake dominate the charts and radio. White pop artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Lady Gaga have had consistent commercial success over the years as well. In all this music, where is the voice of the latinx musician? In 2017’s year-end Billboard charts, a total of only six songs (one of which was a feature) by latinx artists placed. Of course, we had the standout success of Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Despacito but it’s a small success given that it’s one of the only memorable latinx songs in American pop culture last year. This year, however, things are starting to take a turn.

One of 2018’s major artists is former member of girl-group Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello, who’s debut album Camila debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Two of her songs, Never Be The Same and Havana, are the 15th and 16th spot on the Hot 100, respectively (on the April 21st chart). Rapper Cardi B has a whopping thirteen tracks on the chart. It is amazing to see the emergence of latinx representation on the charts. But this emergence of representation can be seen by artists who aren’t even on those charts – particularly at this year’s Coachella festival.

Two artists who are typically considered “underground” and are now experiencing a surge of success are Cuco and Kali Uchis, who both are performers at this year’s Coachella. Columbian indie pop and R&B artist Kali Uchis has worked with the likes of Tyler the Creator and recently dropped her debut album “Isolation,” which has received major acclaim, garnering an 88 out of 100 score on the popular critic site Metacritic. This year, Daniel Caesar’s song “Get You,” on which she featured, was nominated for the Grammy for “Best R&B Performance.” She has an enormous fan base online who has been following her since as early as her 2014 debut single “Know What I Want.” Cuco, also an indie musician known in particular for his “sad-boy” ballads, also has developed a huge fanbase and his name is in the mouths of the entire Los Angeles indie artist community.

Arguably, the most important latinx act at Coachella was the iconic Los Ángeles Azules, a Mexican cumbia band that’s been around since 1976. Many millennial Mexicans grew up with Los Ángeles Azules playing at family parties and in car rides with their parents. For the community, to have such an iconic and older Mexican band be one of the top-billed headliners at Coachella, is nothing short of magical. Fans on Twitter were ecstatic to see them perform:

With the rise of artists like Kali Uchis and Cuco, a major headlining performance at a major festival by Los Ángeles Azules, and the return of latinx artists to the Billboard charts – the future of latinx representation in American pop culture seems not only promising but exciting.

 

Endometriosis: A Hidden Health Issue

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by Jacquelyn Andrade and Melody Medina

Going to the doctor may seem dreadful and somewhat mentally exhausting.

Like many other immigrant communities,  Latinx communities bypass the yearly doctor checkup, whether it is due to superstitious beliefs, the inability to pay for the medical costs, or simply because the lack of communication that establishes the importance of a regular doctor’s visit. Many times, the Latinx community rely on religious beliefs and traditional home remedies to help aid in the “healing process,” but what happens when there is a complication that requires critical medical attention that isn’t well known by physicians? Endometriosis is one of the main concerns that women all around the U.S. today struggle to understand.

Even if a Latina, or any woman for that matter, decides to go to the doctor’s for endometriosis, there is no cure, it is relatively unstudied, and the treatments are expensive.  We had the opportunity to interview a Latina with endometriosis, who gave us an insight on what it is like to live daily with endometriosis.

Interview

 

Endometriosis is the disorder where the tissue that regularly lines the inside walls of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, even attaching onto outside organs. The tissue located on the outside walls still functions as it normally would – shedding and performing menstruation, which leads to internal bleeding. With no place for the blood to exit the body, it pools inside the body, creating extremely painful cysts. Even with the extremely high rate of women who experience this disorder – one out of every ten women, there are very few options for those dealing with this disease. As explained by Christie, upon arrival to the doctors, she had already researched her possible illness due to the initial uncertain diagnoses given by the doctor who initially thought it was simply cramps caused by menstruation. Once discussing with the doctor she believed she had endometriosis, the doctor looked into the possibility. Not only is the diagnoses hard to come by but the treatments are even harder to obtain due to its  high costs. The only real “treatment” for endometriosis is the cauterization of the tissue growing outside of the uterus lining which costs on average $2,000-$5,000 dollars per treatment. And this is not to say that the tissue will never grow back, in many cases it does, leading to multiple laparoscopies, which can cost thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Latinx population had the lowest rate of any health coverage and also the lowest rate of private insurance at about 56%. One reason is the lack of documents, but the larger issue is not having employer sponsored healthcare. If they do have employer sponsored health insurance, employees can pay twice as much if they want to include a family members into the insurances.

Having Endometriosis means patients have to pay ten times as much if you don’t have any insurance. This means someone who is going through this would have to be referred by a regular physician to a specialist, several required testing’s to make sure it is actually endometriosis, and end up only to be prescribed over the counter medications that have no effect in helping painful menstrual cycles.

Even though most of the Latinx communities bypass the yearly doctor’s visit, it is not right for those communities to keep on continuing this path. Sure, some traditional home remedies may work from time to time but the fact of the matter is that it will not always work. We need to try and visit the doctor to insure that all is covered. There could possibly be a bigger health issue than what one might think where only a certified physician can possibly know. Especially when it comes down to Endometriosis most physicians ignore the agonizing pain that patients go through so it’s even twice as important to go and get yourself checked out. Only you know what is going on with your body, do not undermine the pain that your body is trying to tell you.

Los Globos Alley (First in a Series)

in The Word is Text by
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by Konzo KO (Staff Writer)

Gonzo Series: Part 1

There I was in the alley of Los Globos with my friend Ana.

We were trying to sneak in to try to see one of our favorite bands ‘Subhumans.’ The show had been sold out for months, so of course, me having the bright idea of sneaking in, tried every conceivable way to get in.

We saw our opening! There a man came out to smoke and look for his friends and that was our chance! There was no security, no bouncers, only smokers and drinkers on the smoking deck trying to get a not so fresh breath of air.

The first act had just gone on and we were fine with that but after that we noticed the security guards were keeping a close eye on us. Did they know that we snuck in? Or were our outfits that cute they had to stare? I tried to push the paranoia to the back of my head, but I couldn’t help having a sinking feeling. So to push all those thoughts out of my mind, I started to drink from the alcohol I had snuck in. Drinks are expensive, so I had to. My fake ID was at home anyways. So we pushed ourselves as close to the stage to be immersed in the body of people gathered there to drink without a worry.

That’s when I knew we were being watched.

A security guard made beelined to us, pushing his way through with his flashlight, yelling. The next band had came on and no one could hear him, as they were to concentrated on the band playing and the mosh pit starting. Finally, freedom!

We can now watch and enjoy the show and our liquor! Oh how wrong I was, the security went to get back up with an extra 3 men on his heels. We hear him yell in our direction and that’s when I knew we were in trouble. He starts pointing to his wrist shouting, he looked like a mad man but as I stare around I see everyone with red paper bracelets. I thought to myself how can we be so unlucky! We’re we really in that much trouble? Is this over got us? Can we really not watch this bad we love? As he closes in on us with his evil henchmen I grab my best friend and run, run where? I had no idea! We had to get out! I run to the exit that leads to the smoking patio and there was one of the evil men that doesn’t want us to watch the show! I panicked and saw the bathroom and pushed my best friend in and shoved in behind her.

“WHAT’S GOING!” Ana shouted.

Finally, we could speak and hear each other so I began to explain but as I was getting into the details I noticed something strange, this bathroom doesn’t look like a women’s bathroom, IT WAS THE MEN’S! Thankfully it was empty but still we weren’t safe. I remember that the women’s bathroom was downstairs. We talked, and I caught her up with everything that she missed, yes she was drunk, so I had to explain it a few times.

Once she was caught up, she asked “well what are we going to do?”

I responded with, “unless you have some paper and a red marker and tape in your purse we have to stay in here.”

We were lucky enough to hear the music from the bathroom and we planned to stay in the restroom until our favorite band came on. We were drinking and having a jolly time on our own. Alas, our fun was short lived! We heard men getting close and we ran into one of the stalls. We heard a group of men come in and heard them pee. They were talking amongst themselves how great the band playing was and soon after the band stopped. Oh no! Doomed! We are DOOMED! That’s when all the guys at the show had to use the restroom, it’s always in between bands, and we just prayed no one had to poop and use the stalls. But like I said luck wasn’t on our side and sure enough they came on knocking. I put on the most manly voice and said “I’m taking a shit man” and either he was drunk or didn’t really care but somehow that worked!

Finally I can hear our band come on! That’s it were in the clear! We rushed out and rushed into the best place to be, the pit. Being in the pit you need to either be very drunk or have your wits. There are no rules and it’s just a free for all! No one gets mad you punched them in the arm or gut or face and everyone respects each other at the end of the day. If someone falls we all stop and help them up and block the, you never want to be stomped on, and continue pitting.

Just when it was getting good I see my evil men coming to us so we go on the other side of the pit, then again they try to follow but can’t. They come to our side and the same dance happens, we move to the other side. Midway through our bands set I suppose they gave up and we were in the clear! Finally!

The show ended, and I felt a tap on my shoulder, bruised and sweaty I turn around to see the security guard that I had been running from all night. He asked me for my red bracelet and laughed.

He said “damn you gave us all a run for our money! I knew the last band was on and after everything you went through I knew you deserved it”

His name was James, and he was one of the nicest people I had the privilege of being chased by.

Would I do it again? Without a doubt, IN A HEARTBEAT!

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