Latino USA

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#1441 – The Fear Of…

This week Latino USA examines fear, from facing it, to what we learn from it. We hear about people stopped by border patrol who cite the fifth amendment, a man deported to a home he never knew, and a fight for justice after a loved one is gunned down by cops. We learn about the Mexican folk saint some whites are worshipping, and counties where others are fleeing multiculturalism. Plus the story of a young man who sat in solitary confinement without a trial, a new movie inspired by the Day of the Dead, and why even a cloud as gloomy as cancer can have a silver lining.

Challenging The Checkpoints

For years, people passing through border patrol checkpoints have answered agents’ questions without complaining. Lately though, some are refusing to answer. Instead, they talk about their rights, quoting everything from American Civil Liberties Union pamphlets to the Constitution. They record their checkpoint encounters and post them on YouTube. Debbie Nathan reports.

Deported home, to a strange land

The United States deports nearly four hundred thousand individuals every year. Each one of those deportees has a story. This is the story of Marco Merino. He grew up in Florida. His parents had brought him to the United States from Chile when he was only five months old. He lived most of his life as a permanent resident of the United States. Then in 2007, he was deported back to Chile, a country he had never even visited since leaving as an infant, for minor drug offense from his teenage years.  Eilís O’Neill visited him in Santiago, Chile.

 

The Shooting of Alex Nieto

Alex Nieto’s name can be added to a growing list of young, unarmed men of color killed by local law enforcement. The 28 year-old City College of San Francisco student worked nights as a bouncer, which is why he wore a taser on his hip. Police responded to a 911 call about Nieto, described as a Latin male with a gun, walking late at night through his own Bernal Heights neighborhood. Assuming his taser was a firearm, they shot Nieto ten times. Since his death, the community has tried to take action in support of Alex Nieto and his family. Maryam Jameel reports from San Francisco on the aftermath of his shooting.

 

I’m White And I Worship La Santa Muerte

Steven Bragg is the owner of The New Orleans Chapel of Santisima Muerte. At his home in New Orleans he keeps an outdoor shrine and indoor altars for the Mexican folk saint of death. Bragg is one of the many new followers of the Mexican grim reaper, whose worship has grown in the U.S. mainly among Mexican and Central American immigrants. But Santa Muerte is now becoming popular in non Latino communities that practice alternative forms of spirituality.

 

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Outdoor shrine to the three colored robes of Santisima Muerte at the New Orleans Chapel of Santisima Muerte in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of the chapel’s Facebook group.

 

Religious studies professor Andrew Chesnut specializes in “the skeleton saint” (watch one of his lectures on youtube), and he estimates that there are between ten to twelve million followers between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

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Altar to Nick Arnoldi, aka. Hechicero (sorcerer) NIck, Steven Bragg’s teacher in the worship of Santa Muerte. Photo courtesy of chapel’s Facebook group.

 

In this piece, we hear a ceremony to La Santa Muerte from Steven Bragg’s home in New Orleans, and he tells us the story of how he came to worship Santa Muerte.

 

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Steven Bragg in front of an altar at The New Orleans Chapel of Santa Muerte in his house in New Orleans. Photo: Eve Abrams for Latino USA.

 

Andrew Chesnut_PhD_Walter Sulivan Chair in religous studiesDr. Andrew Chesnut holds the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and is the leading expert on Mexican folk saint Santa Muerte. His book, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, is the only study of the skeleton saint both in Mexico and the U.S.. Professor Chesnut also is the co-founder of Skeleton Saint, the only website dedicated to news and analysis of the Bony Lady. He lectures at universities and institutes throughout the Americas and Europe and is a featured blogger for Huffington Post. Dr. Chesnut is currently writing the sequel to Devoted to Death.

 

 

 

Reporter Eve Abrams contributed the audio recording of the ceremony from New Orleans. 

Photo by Luis Acosta AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Whitopia of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a growing town near the Canadian border, is what author Rich Benjamin calls a Whitopia–a place that is overwhelmingly white in the face of increasing national diversity. Maria traveled to Coeur d’Alene and met Pat Boland, a former LAPD officer who moved with his family from Los Angeles in 2001 to the highly homogenous community of Northern Idaho with a troubled history of white supremacy. She also talks with Patricia Gonzalez, a Mexican restaurant manager who experienced firsthand the leftover racist and anti-immigrant attitudes of the town–yet who nonetheless has no desire to leave.

Made in conjunction with Futuro Media Group’s new television series America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, Maria looks at what these Whitopias mean for a country that is less and less white.

America By The Numbers: Our Private Idaho Trailer from The Futuro Media Group on Vimeo.

Fear of those who are supposed to protect you

What happens when those who are supposed to protect you are the source of your fear? We talk to Jennifer Gonnerman, a reporter for the New Yorker whose latest piece follows the unfortunate story of Kalief Browder.

Kalief was held at Riker’s Island for more than 1,000 days without trial. For many of those days he was in solitary confinement. After three years of being held the charges against Browder were finally dropped. But Browder continues to experience fear…

You can find the New Yorker article here.

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Jennifer Gonnerman is a contributing writer for New York Magazine and Mother Jones. She is also the author of “Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Day of the Dead gets its Hollywood moment

Jorge Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua know a thing or two about the Day of the Dead. The director of the new animated film The Book of Life and his wife who was a character designer for the film got engaged and married on el dia de los muertos.

So it only fits that their first big studio theatrical film be inspired by it. They tell us what day of the dead means to them and how they hope to pass on its meaning to others.

The Book of Life comes out October 17th.

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Jorge R. Gutiérrez is an animator, painter, writer and director who created the multiple Annie and Emmy award winning animated television series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon.

Sandra Equihua is an illustrator, painter, and animated character designer.

Sabiduría: The Silver Lining of Cancer

Maria Martin, the founding executive producer of Latino USA, tells us about the unexpected good that has come with a fearful diagnosis.

Maria Marmartin_maria700tin is a pioneering public radio journalist with over two dozen awards for her work covering U.S. Latino issues and Latin America. She began her radio career as a volunteer at the first Latino-owned and -operated public radio station in the country—KBBF in Santa Rosa, California. She’s gone on to develop groundbreaking programs and series for public radio, including NPR’S Latino USA, and Después de las Guerras: Central America after the Wars. A recipient of a Fulbright and three Knight fellowships, she has extensive experience in journalism and radio training in Latin America, especially in Guatemala and Bolivia. 

 

 

REUTERS/Jason Reed

This Week’s Captions: The Fear Of…

This week Latino USA examines fear, from facing it, to what we learn from it. We hear about people stopped by border patrol who cite the fifth amendment, a man deported to a home he never knew, and a fight for justice after a loved one is gunned down by cops. We learn about the Mexican folk saint some whites are worshipping, and counties where others are fleeing multiculturalism. Plus the story of a young man who sat in solitary confinement without a trial, a new movie inspired by the Day of the Dead, and why even a cloud as gloomy as cancer can have a silver lining.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:
Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.
For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

 

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