Jose Miguel Leyva

Obama has chosen Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Like everyone else, Latinos across America are busily preparing the Thanksgiving feast. Some of them may be doing it a little differently than traditional imagery and Norman Rockwell paintings.


By Jose Miguel Leyva

This year marks the 25th annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, but we’re still being taken for granted by politicians of both parties.

The Department of Justice’s lawsuit against “America’s toughest sheriff” alleges that he and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department “intentionally and systematically discriminate against Latinos.”

He is blaming his glaring failures as sheriff on a supposed witch-hunt by the Obama administration. But the only witch-hunt Arpaio has been involved in is the one he has spearheaded against Latinos.

Several states are taking an encouraging step on the immigration issue. They are making it easier for students who weren’t born here but raised here to go to state colleges or universities.

California, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland have recently passed laws offering such students in-state tuition or access to privately funded scholarships to make it affordable. New York is considering a similar law, as well.

The recent assaults on public sector unions are also an attack on Latinos and other minorities that these unions represent.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been right to press for the passing of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act. And he should keep at it.

For many Mexican immigrants living in the United States, the holidays have come to represent a time of sadness. Separated by a border that has become harder and harder to cross, many immigrants must make the agonizing choice between staying away from family south of the border or risk not being able to return to their jobs here.


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This time we’ve got some advantages.

We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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