December 27, 2002 - Orange County Weekly: Orange County's Year In Failed Latino Leadership

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 12 December 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: December 27, 2002 - Orange County Weekly: Orange County's Year In Failed Latino Leadership

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 1:19 pm: Edit Post

Orange County's Year In Failed Latino Leadership

Orange County's Year In Failed Latino Leadership

The Year In Failed Latino Leadership

by Gustavo Arellano

Photo by David Kawashima

A todos Ustedes que piensan que soy pendejo: Idiocy is idiocy, and it is worst when your ethnic brothers and sisters do it. As the token minority for this paper, readers expect me to write only positive stories about Latinos. This explains why some activists have criticized me this past year for writing scathing articles about local Latino leaders. Some even call me the worst political slur imaginable: un vendido—a sell-out.

To not report lapses in morality and ethics because minorities are doing it is patronizingly frightening and a breach of what little journalistic ethics I practice. Besides, I wouldn’t be writing so many stories critical of Latino leadership unless there was reason to. And God knows there were reasons in 2002.

The year began with Orange County LULAC president Zeke Hernández urging Latinos to support Gaddi Vasquez for the Peace Corps directorship simply because he’s Latino. Never mind that the former Orange County supervisor had no Peace Corps experience and presided over the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez continued another year of serving the rich while ignoring the pleas of her heavily immigrant district by publicly supporting a controversial Anaheim INS-police partnership started by notorious Anaheim cop Harald Martin.

Vaunted civil rights group Los Amigos rallied behind Anaheim City School District trustee Don Garcia when word came out he lived in a million-dollar Corona del Mar house far away from the working-class children over whom he presides. In fact, Los Amigos members were so adamant about protecting Garcia they launched a smear campaign against longtime Anaheim watcher Duane Roberts, the person who broke the story.

Then came the Gigante fiasco in which Latino leaders joined forces with Curt Pringle—a man whom these same leaders had spent the better part of 15 years demonizing as a racist—in supporting the Mexican conglomerate’s efforts to obtain an Anaheim liquor license. At the Anaheim City Council meeting where the council finally approved the permit—after these Latinos threatened to sue the city under NAFTA regulations—I had the following encounter in the Anaheim City Hall men’s restroom.

As I disintegrated the urinal cake below me, Nativo Lopez sauntered into the other urinal and did the same. The Hermandad Mexicana Nacional member was already upset with me because I had earlier criticized his support of Gigante. But all Nativo could do was smile as he looked at me while I emptied my bladder.

"So why do you like to write bad articles about me?" he inquired.

They don’t even let me take a piss in peace. Zipping up (and shaking off those final few drops), I responded, "I don’t always write bad articles about you" and left. I made sure to wash my hands.

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Story Source: Orange County Weekly

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Peace Corps Directors - Vasquez



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