Ed Morales

Things got heated at breakfast at the Coronado Bay Hotel in San Diego at this year’s annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. Cristóbal Alex, head of the liberal nonprofit Latino Victory Project, tangled with his rightwing counterpart, Daniel Garza, president of a group called the Libre Initiative, at the breakfast plenary. Both men were raised in Texas by immigrant Mexican workers, but that’s where their similarities end.


The nation may be turning leftward. The election of Bill de Blasio, an openly progressive politician, as mayor of New York has been the clearest signal of this much-needed shift in direction.


Despite various public opinion polls that show that a strong majority of Americans want it, Boehner recently announced that House Republicans "have no intention of ever going to conference" on the reform bill passed by the Senate in June.

House Speaker John Boehner should stop getting in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. Despite various public opinion polls that show that a strong majority of Americans want it, Boehner recently announced that House Republicans "have no intention of ever going to conference" on the reform bill passed by the Senate in June.

Puerto Ricans have been second-class citizens for too long.

Although they have participated as Americans both in war and as mainland citizens, island Puerto Ricans still can't vote for the president of the United States.

For too many years now, the debate over Puerto Rico's status has amounted to a three-ring circus that has done nothing to solve the territorial status of the Caribbean island, whose residents are U.S. citizens. The island, which has been a de facto colony for 115 years, deserves much better.


We can't let the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial widen a rift between Latinos and African-Americans.

Zimmerman is half-Peruvian, and many conservative commentators seized on this as proof that he could not be a racist.

But the claim that Zimmerman's minority status precludes him from bigotry doesn't make sense. Some white Americans have been shown to be racist despite being married to a minority group member, and many Latin Americans, despite being primarily of mixed-race background, have their own baggage.

President Obama's speech on immigration Tuesday was a significant demonstration that the second-term president has embraced a mandate that demands rights for marginalized people.

By making the argument that America has always been a nation of immigrants, he has taken the first step in reversing a tide of anti-Latino sentiment, stoked by Republican politicians as a vote-getting device for years.

President Obama won re-election in large part due to overwhelming support from women, African-American and Latino voters.

Obama's victory in the general election last night was not by a huge margin -- despite winning by almost 100 electoral votes, he squeaked by in the popular vote -- but his victory spoke volumes about America's new voice. According to exit polls, he won despite Romney capturing about 60 percent of the white electorate.

Immigrant-rights groups have urged the media to drop the label, but there has been some pushback. By Ed Morales

We don’t have a welfare problem in America. We have a poverty problem in America. And Republican race-baiting does not get us any closer to solving it.


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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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