One Nation Under God

Imagine if you can, a Puerto Rican boy growing up in an urban ghetto during a very turbulent time in modern American history. Not only was society undergoing a cultural revolution, but the Puerto Rican community and family was deteriorating as well. It was the second generation of Puerto Ricans to be born on the United States main land during this turbulent time. The generation prior was the generation still with one foot on the Island and one foot in New York, where the vast majority of Puerto Ricans had emigrated to. While still being called spics, this second generation had more in common with the American ways than they did of those of the Island, and they fought back. The older generation was the generation that formed the barrios in New York City for the rest of us. They set up the bodegas and established our communities, our own little place in this smorgasbord of ethnicity and culture. Their form of activism, for the most part, was by establishing social clubs. These social clubs were where the men would hang out to play dominoes, a favorite past time of most Hispanic cultures. But these social clubs served more than just a hang out for playing dominoes, they served as social service agencies for our people. These social clubs were formed based on hometowns, so for example, if you came from Lajas, Puerto Rico you would join the Lajas social club, if you came from Ponce or Mayaquez you'd likewise join one of those clubs. New arrivals from the island would be acclimated into American society via these social clubs. Job openings, housing availability etc were shared via these clubs.

It was hard for that generation making their way into New York City. Those pioneering Puerto Ricans were sold the same BS that other immigrates had been sold. Ask your elders about the concept of "streets being paved with gold." Everyone was led to believe that America was this wonderful welcoming society where jobs and housing were plentiful for anyone. Of course that was nothing like the truth.

The truth about America

The truth is that while there were opportunities in New York City and everywhere else in this country, those opportunities were/are reserved for white people only with a rare few and rare exceptions. America is a xenophobic, racist society that only respects violence. To anyone reading this I may sound like a hater, a bigot myself. Maybe you are right, but if I am one I was made this way by the environment I grew up in. You see, Puerto Ricans have always been the rainbow people. Long before Jesse Jackson co-opted that term for his Rainbow Coalition Puerto Ricans were called the rainbow people. You see, within one Puerto Rican nuclear family you could find a father with skin the color of burnt coffee grinds, a mother with yellow hair and blue eyes and children with complexions that run the gamut of very fair and snow white like, to caramel colored, dark coffee and even to burnt sienna. We did not know the concept of racism since within our own family we had them all. Racism is a learned behavior, no one is born a racist. If you don't believe it, they to find a place where there are very young children of mixed races playing together. You will observe that they all get along just fine, playing and sharing. It is the parents that have the disdain for the other children and their parents.

Unfortunately this is a color eccentric society. The older you are the more likely it is that you have subconsciously bought into the whole white is beautiful, good and pure and black is ugly, evil and un-pure rhetoric.

To be clear I am not saying all white people are racist and or haters. But I also have to be albe to express my reality unapologetically. History proves my point for me. While the white media paints black and brown people as violent savages, the truth is in fact the opposite.

According to the history book a vast majority of people beleive in, namely the bible, it supposedly cronicals the beginings of mankind. Well according to that very sacred and most trusted book, the very first violent act ever was when Cain killed his brother Able.

If you recall, Cain and Abel were the Son's of Adam and Eve. If you further recall they, historians and religious philosophers, Adam and Eve were Caucasians.

That is the chronology of mankind according to those historians. If you fast forward, every major upheaval henceforth was perpetrated by whites against white or whites against people of color.

In North America, the natives welcomed the white settlers with open arms. In fact the indigenous peoples taught the whites how to survive that first brutal cold winter. What does the white man then do? He treats them like idiots and steals their land, then begins the wanton slaying of men women and children. Fast forward a little more and we encounter the slave trade. Again white men brutalizing black people and eventually herding them onto ships like cattle for that long transatlantic voyage and into the arms of slavery. Oh but it's not limited sole to North American. White people, with their white privilege did this and more to black and brown people around the entire planet.

Now, perhaps, you'll begin to understand what Trump and his minions are attempting to put in place. They say that the first rule of nature is self preservation, then it would appear that the white Man's greatest fear is fast approaching. So Chump is trying to put people with his propensity into key positions that can affect the lives of millions of people for years to come.

To be continued...

The Island Nation of Puerto Rico has been abandoned

The Island Nation of Puerto Rico has been abandoned by the Federal Government and the money hungry corporate community we are sinking so deep into the quagmire of debt that soon there will no longer be a Puerto Rico.

After the tax incentives ran out, so to did the parasitic pharma companies. Three and one half million people through no fault of there own are floundering, on the verge of starvation. The political infighting between Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, Partido Nuevo Progresista and Partido Popular Democrático has not served the best interest of the people.

I live here in the mainland United States, I do not want to voice a political opinion, what I do want to do is help bail Puerto Rico out of this abyss its in. There are more so-called Puerto Ricans living on the Mainland United States than there are on the Island, and multitudes more living elsewhere on the planet. Many love to raise a fist and yell out "Que Viva Puerto Rico" but that does not really mean anything. That does not serve anything but to make you feel good for that moment. "BORICUA" sounds awesome, makes you feel like you belong to something special right? Well it is something special, we are someone special and we are worth preserving, worth saving.

It is time to stop wearing that false Puerto Rican pride on our sleeves and to actually roll up our sleeves and do something to safeguard the motherland. We, "La Gente," "el pueblo" can do it. We can save our Island all we have to do is "chip in". Between all of us we can raise the $72,000,000,000.00 to take our Island out of debt. Once we do that, then we can worry about the form of government we need. But before we can even think about governance we have to save the Island.

The first step toward accomplishing this is for all Puerto Ricans to band together. Put our party idealogies aside. The goal should be to save Boriquen. After we accomplish that the rest will work its self out.

Among our people I know that we have the brain power to figure it all out. It's time to use that brain power, put those skills to work for the salvation of a majestic people. You say you want self determination, well here is your chance, a real chance to determine for yourself weather Puerto Rico flourishes once again, or just sinks into history like Atlantis.

If you really feel anything about Puerto Rico take a stand. The federal government, the municipal Puerto Rican Government has once more demonstrated that we can not depend on them to bail us out. The usefulness of Puerto Rico to the United States has come and gone. The only reason we were made a commonwealth was because they needed us as a strategic military installation during the Cold war, that war has been over since the 1980's. The only reason we were made citizens were so that we could be drafted to fight in the world war. Now Trump and his people even want to take that away from us.

Did into your pockets and make a contribution to the most worthy of all the causes you will ever make in your life, a contribution to save BORIQUEN. Now that is a legacy worth leaving.

5 months in, but whose counting?

[perfectpullquote align="left" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]Tomorrow is the super bowel of politics and the world will be watching. The Nixon Watergate scandal pales in comparison.[/perfectpullquote]

This has been the longest 5 months in my life. It feels like an eternity but is was just on January 20th that Donald J. Trump was sworn in as our 45th President. All the things Trump accused Hillary Clinton of and how she was supposedly engaged so many illegal activities seem to have been his way of deflecting attention from himself. In fact, it was he that was the crook, and liar all along. For the 52% of us that did not vote for him we already knew, or at least suspected that he was full of it.
For 30 years the Republicans went after Hillary Clinton, using every negative adjective under the sun. Yet no matter what rock they looked under they could never find anything remotely indictable. For all his jumping and stomping and pleading to "lock her up", it seems that his moronic followers are going to witness him being locked up or leaving the White House in disgrace like his brethren, Richard Milhous Nixon.

It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid, or hateful, or both, Republicans are. I cant get it out of my mine that despite the things that Donald Trump has said and done, not imagined as in the case of Hillary, they continue to support him.

In a long ago interview Trump told Oprah that if he decided to run [for president] he would do so as a Republican because Republicans are so stupid they believe anything he says. His words not mine. Just as it was his words that mocked the Mayor of the London City that had just experienced a horrific terror attack, or his lack of words to reassure our allies that we (America) have there back as they had our back after 9/11.

Tom Hanks character, Forrest Gump, was lovable in his naivete and stupidity. It is not, however, befitting the American President. For all his money and world travels, his celebrity and his status Donald J. Trump remains the PT Barnum of the 21st century. I can't help it but whenever I see him on TV attempting to sound presidential all I can see is W.C. Fields drunk man from "My Chickadee" making a sales pitch to Mae West.

It's Wednesday June 11, 2017 the day before fired FBI Director James Comey is to testify before the Senate Committee investing Trumps collusion with Russia. This week has not been business as usual despite Trump's feigned appearances. The conflict between he and his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has become public with Mr. Sessions offer to resign. More Republicans are beginning to stand up to Trump leaving his group of allies smaller then ever. His poll numbers keep dwindling and his son in law, Jared Kushner, may prove to be the nail in Trump's coffin.

Internationally, Trump has made himself the laughing stock of the free word. After his absurd reprimand of the G7 last week and his deliberate omission to affirmation US support those that supported us after the 9/11 attacks he has left the United States more vulnerable than ever. I guess he never learned the concept that no man (or in this case no country) is an island. Then again maybe its by design. He alienating of our allies and embracing of our enemies. Perhaps he and Vice President Mike Pence really are Pinky and the Brain trying to take over the world.

Whatever, tomorrow is an exciting day for us political needs. Tomorrow is the super bowel of politics and the world will be watching. The Nixon Watergate scandal pales in comparison.

To be continued...

Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

While it is rare for a poet to become a cultural icon, Julia de Burgos has evoked feelings of bonding and identification in Puerto Ricans and Latinos in the United States for over half a century.
In the first book-length study written in English, Vanessa Pérez-Rosario examines poet and political activist Julia de Burgos's development as a writer, her experience of migration, and her legacy in New York City, the poet's home after 1940. Pérez-Rosario situates Julia de Burgos as part of a transitional generation that helps to bridge the historical divide between Puerto Rican nationalist writers of the 1930s and the Nuyorican writers of the 1970s. Becoming Julia de Burgos departs from the prevailing emphasis on the poet and intellectual as a nationalist writer to focus on her contributions to New York Latino/a literary and visual culture. It moves beyond the standard tragedy-centered narratives of de Burgos's life to place her within a nuanced historical understanding of Puerto Rico's peoples and culture to consider more carefully the complex history of the island and the diaspora. Pérez-Rosario unravels the cultural and political dynamics at work when contemporary Latina/o writers and artists in New York revise, reinvent, and riff off of Julia de Burgos as they imagine new possibilities for themselves and their communities.

Gilberto Cintron Life In The Rear View Mirror

I was born in 1954. That is the decade that America started changing. It was the decade of Brown V. Board of Education, it was the decade that Rock N Roll music took over the air waves, and the Motown sound was getting established. My mother and father arrived in New York City in 1950. My older sisters, Aida, Maggie and Lucy were brought to New York in 1956. That is the year that the newly established New York City Housing Authority opened a new development in East Harlem New York, The Thomas Jefferson Houses. I was two years old when we moved in. My family was one of the first families to move into that development.

I attended kindergarten PS 102. It was 1960. One of the most popular TV shows at the time was Davy Crockett. A story of a white man hired to hunt down and kill Indians (Native Americans). Of course being that young I had no idea of the political innuendo, but it was a very popular TV show. In kindergarten I had two teachers Mrs. Aberamson and Mrs. Mysell. These teachers really loved working with the children and would give us gifts once in a while. I received a Davy Crockett raccoon tail cap. I really loved it and I really loved those two teachers.

The 1960's were a very tumultuous decade. This was the decade of assassinations; President John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy and Nation of Islam leader and community activist Malcolm X. It was also the decade of the hippie movement was born, college takeovers by student, and the era of Bull Conner, the racist
American politician who served as a Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, during the American Civil Rights Movement. It was under his orders that the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs were used against civil rights activists.

From these events and forward my memory does serve me. Even as a young child I knew what they were doing to the Freedom Marchers was wrong. Bare in mind that childhood in the 1960's was much different than childhood these days. Children were not in-tune with current events like the kids are today. There were no computers or 24 news shows on TV in fact television consisted of three major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and a few minor ones.

The Black Panther Party was a community based organization formed to change the treatment of the black community by whites. Founded by young black college students, The Panthers fought back when confronted by the white racist police. Whereas historically black people were subservient to white people, after reconstruction black people secretly started organizing. Is was horrible for blacks, lynchings occurred almost daily. By the 1960's they were a little more firm in there stance, however many still paid deference to white people while protesting non violently under the leadership of Martin Luther King. The Black Panthers changed that. They began to purchase rifles and to walk the streets carrying them. This was legal for the second amendment guarantees its citizen's the right to bare arms, in California one is allowed one to walk around with an unconcealed weapon, i.e. rifle. This action was in response to the constant brutalization at the hands of the police. It was during this time that blacks began to act differently. This new generation of black people refused to be subservient any more. Malcolm X while a Black Muslim started educating the black masses. He was the one saying that it is OK to defend yourself from racist "By Any Means Necessary". After his assassination, there was a void in that type of leadership. Luis Farrakhan attempted to fill that void and while he and the Black Muslims had many adherents, he was not as charismatic as Malcolm X had been.


Waring their hair naturally, the "Afro" hair do became very popular. This new generation of blacks refused to be labeled negro and began espousing self determination. It was during this time that James Brown had a hit song "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud". Of course the media portrayed the Panthers as a gang in an attempt to justify the white police action. No longer did black people allow themselves to be fire hosed or attacked by dogs. The black community had awoken. It was a sleeping giant that once awake would never go back to sleep.

Meanwhile on the East coast Puerto Rican's were getting similar treatment. In 1898 the small Island Nation of Puerto Rico became a colony of the United States. It was ceded by the Spaniards after losing the Spanish American war. This Island was important to the US because it was strategically situated to protect the US from invasion by any hostile nation. American corporations began buying up the land and building businesses. The industry with the biggest share of land was the Pharmaceuticals. The entire Eco system of the island became turbulent. These large American company's became the islands biggest employer. Puerto Rico was the biggest exporter of sugar. Many Puerto Ricans were farmers. Puerto Rico had never been a self determining nation because prior to 1898 it was under the rule of the Spanish Crown. For 500 years the island had no self determination. When it was ceded to the US, the islands inhabitants were elated, and dancing in the streets. The assumption was that finally free from the Spanish, Puerto Rico could form it's own government and have self determination. The US, however had different plans. The geography of Puerto Rico consists of the Island of Puerto Rico and five other, smaller islands. One of these small islands, "Viegues". The US military took over that island, displaced it's populace and began constructing its military base.

nyt-puertorico-invasion From the time Europeans first landed on the Island of Puerto Rico it had never had it's own government. The native Puerto Ricans, the Taino Indians welcomed the Europeans with open arms. However once the rumor of gold being buried in the Forrest spread the Spaniards began forcing the people into compliance. It was not until 1948 that Puerto Rico had it's own democratically elected governor. Luis Munoz Marin was the island's newly elected governor. Now depending on one's political ideology or outlook Marin was either a blessing or a curse. It was Luis Marin that got the Islands status to recognized as el "Estado Libre Asociado" which loosely translated means the Associated but free State of Puerto Rico. It was in 1948 with the election of Marin that the US government initiated "Operation Bootstrap" a massive economic development project that transformed the island from an agrarian society into an industrial society. It was this initiative that destroyed the farming industry on the island forever.

In 1917 Puerto Ricans were made American citizens. That means that anyone born on the island of Puerto Rico after 1917 was automatically an American citizen. On paper this sounds wonderful, but for those residing on the island its a two edged sword. On the one hand a passport to travel from the Island to the main land is not required, on the other hand Puerto Ricans are treated as less than second class citizens.

When the turmoil of Operation Bootstrap took hold, many former farmers, now unemployed, emigrated to the US, specifically Brooklyn, New York. This first migration took place aboard an ocean liner named the "Marine Tiger." Packed like sardines onto this ship, Puerto Ricans were excited about landing were the streets are paved in gold. Upon landing on the shores of Brooklyn, New York the reality smacked them in the face. Not only were the streets not paved in gold, they received a hostile reception. As all immigrant's do upon arriving in the US, Ricans began forming their own communities. Many of these Puerto Rican immigrants found jobs in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Most however could find no employment. This was especially true for Puerto Rican men. Consequentially women found jobs in the garment district of New York City as seamstresses. Because of the long commute from Brooklyn everyday, it made sense to relocate to Manhattan. The community they settled on was East Harlem.

For those familiar with the Broadway show, and later the movie, Westside Story you will recall that the premise was about the rejection Puerto Ricans received when settling in a new community. You will also recall that a white boy fell in love with a Puerto Rican girl, a taboo in the 1950's. To protect themselves from the harassment, name calling and physical assault, Puerto Rican's formed gangs. Never mind that for decades prior to Puerto Ricans arriving on these shores, whites of every group formed gangs to protect themselves as well. While Puerto Ricans did not have to go through Ellis Island like prior emigrating groups, they did go through the same initiation those former groups received. In 2002, Producer-Director Martin Scorsese released a film with the title "Gangs of New York."

This movie, while a work of fiction accurately depicted the hostility between one group that was already in New York, and the new immigrants. Bare in mind that these were whites against whites, when Puerto Ricans arrive and are not welcomed by the host community and subsequently formed gangs to protect themselves, the news media from those days forward depicted and continue to depict minority communities as wild, uneducated and lazy savages. To be historically accurate, it was not minorities that were robbing banks across the country in the 1920's and 30's. It was not the minorities that organized crime and killed many innocent people over the illegal alcohol trade during prohibition.

A very partial list of White US criminals throughout history:
Jesse Woodson James AKA "Jesse James", Robert Leroy Parker AKA "Butch Cassidy" and Harry Longabaugh AKA "the Sun Dance Kid", Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, George Francis Barnes Jr. AKA "Machine Gun Kelly", Alphonse Gabriel or Al Capone AKA "Scarface", Adelard Cunin AKA "Bugs Moran", Vito Genovese AKA "Don Vito", Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr. AKA "Crazy Joe", John Gotti AKA "The Teflon Don", "The Dapper Don", "Johnny Boy", " Black John", "Crazy Horse" and of course the motorcycle clubs specifically the big four, "the Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Outlaws, and the Bandidos"
To be cont.

An Interesting Article about East Harlem, Hillary Clinton in East Harlem

Here's why information about East Harlem is important -

East Harlem health impact assessment shows...

"...first for the community of East Harlem. The East Harlem HIA shows the many ways that the rapid ... development or other activities.East. Harlem, the Academy's home and one of the poorest..."

We sincerely feel that East Harlem can change the world because -

To find out more about "East Harlem health impact assessment shows..." and East Harlem , click here | Share with your friends!


Fighting gun violence - Video

"...program in Manhattan called S.A.V.E., or Stand Against Violence East Harlem, is not only acknowledging that gun violence exists, but is intent on addressing the issues from within the..."



Here's why information about East Harlem is important -

PsBattle: Hillary Clinton in East Harlem  Madam President. Here Hilary Clinton Is Looking Very Presidential

"She is shocked that an "honest" living is a real thing."

We sincerely feel that East Harlem can change the world because -

To find out more about "PsBattle: Hillary Clinton in East Harlem" and East Harlem , click here | Share this post with your friends and family!

Top 10 Crazy Donald Trump Moments


Here are some Donald Tumpisms to ponder  as we enter the 2016 Presidential convention season:

  1. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud"
  2.  “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” 
  3. “One of they key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.” 
  4. “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”
  5. “If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired."
  6. “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
  7. “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.” 

Top 10 Crazy Donald Trump Moments


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The History of the Young Lords.

The Young Lords, Celebrated Today, not so back then




A Video About the Young Lords

The Young Lords

The Young Lords: From a Garbage Offensive to Occupying
the Church on East 111th Street in East Harlem, NY.

The Young Lords were a radical group founded by Puerto Rican college students and modeled on the Black Panther Party of California. It was late July 1969, New York City Sanitation workers were on strike. The garbage in East Harlem kept piling up and emitting a foul stench into the air while a few blocks south the community of Yorkville continued to have regular thrash pickup. As a result, the Lords staged their first action, an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickup in East Harlem.



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<<< The History of The Young Lords

Barrack Obama To Sarah Palin: What’s Wrong With Being A Community Organizer?

 community organizer

Obama To Palin: What's Wrong With Being A Community Organizer?

"Sarah Palin to Obama: What does a community organizer do?"


President Barrack Obama, started out as a community organizer in Chicago. Organizing a community is noble. It means giving people a voice, it means developing natural community leadership. Back in the 1970's and 80's I was a community organizer. I was working at Manhattan Legal Services and met a young, dynamic and charismatic lawyer whose name was Ramon Jimenez. In those days, the East Harlem Community was in total disarray, it was a community in transition. Prior to 1970 the community was still predominately a mixed Caucasian community, Italian, Irish, German and even some Jews. Growing up I got beat up a lot of times by those people. As previously stated the community was is total disarray and it was so because of a term that was coined back then, white flight, that's when all the white people leave or flee from a city community to go live in the suburbs.

In 1972 the East Harlem community had a new majority group, it was us Puerto Ricans. Here I am not accusing anyone but, when the whites left, the community was inundated with heroin. It was very bad, many people became addicted to heroin, many died of drug over does. People with money do not understand poverty and everything that comes along with it. Those people vote, and get the services they need. Impoverished communities like East Harlem, are often neglected. For example, in the summer of 1972 in New York City there was a strike by the workers of the New York City Department of sanitation. We understand strikes and are not strike breakers. However, just a few blocks away is the Community of Yorkville. This is an affluent community, it is the community where the Mayor's mansion sits. So trash was being picked as usual. The community of Yorkville had sanitation service almost as normal as before the strike. In East Harlem, the trash was not being picked up at all. The garbage cans were all filled to the rim, so much so that people started leaving there thrash bags on the floor adjacent to the thrash cans. Since this strike occurred in the summer, the trash was smelling awful. It began to attract flies and rats. A group of young, college educated Puerto Rican students banded together and formed The Young Lords. Whenever a minority group of color organizes, the media is quick to label them a gang. The same thing was happening in California within the black community. Over there it was really bad because of J. Edgar Hoover's own bias, and prejudiced the FBI infiltrated the "Black panther Party". People, rather young black men were being gunned down on the streets by the police, (nothing changes this is still going on today). Using the law, members of the Black Panthers began carrying rifles. I believe the law was that as long as the weapon was not a gun or pistol and was carried out in the open it was legal, that is barring one did not have a criminal record. It was a constant struggle. Confrontation between the Panthers and the police were daily. As stated above the media loves labeling groups. So now they were calling the Panthers "Black Militants. When in reality all they were doing was organizing the community, giving a voice to the voiceless. They ran day care and fed the hungry. They educated the community about sanitation and health. So back in East Harlem, during that sanitation strike residents of the community observed that the thrash was getting picked up in Yorkville but not in East Harlem. The Young Lords began sweeping and moving the thrash cans into the middle of the street. Of course this disrupted the flow of traffic and confrontation between the Lords and the police ensued. Soon the media was covering the story and eventually the strike was over and sanitation began again.

Puerto Rican young men were being arrested at a very disproportionate rate. To make matters worst many of these young men were ending up dead. The department of corrections claimed that they committed suicide but everyone that knew them said they were not the kind of kids that would commit suicide, they were happy and had many friends. Something was going on Rikers Island. One person turns up dead its possible that he committed suicide. But it was not one, it was many Puerto Ricans that were turning up dead.

Many people do it, I'm sure you've probably seen it yourself. When the weather outside is freezing some folks would get a metal drum or thrash can and light a bon fire to keep themselves warm. I do not know all of the facts Iwas not there, but this is what occurred to the best of my recollection. It was a cold winters day in East Harlem and a group of young [Puerto Rican] men were standing around there little bon fire when a police officer walks by and tells them to put out the fire. One of these young men, Julio Roldan, tells the officer that they are not doing anything wrong but keeping warm. The officer became belligerent and an argument ensued between he and Julio. For whatever the, I have no idea, but for the eye witnesses that were there they all said the same thing. After the arguing started the officer pulled out his gun and shot Julio dead right there on the spot. There was massive community outcry but as usual nothing happened. No investigation, no hearing, nothing. The Young Lords, the voice of the people, then decide to make a mock coffin and parading it throughout the community. Every block they walked through they'd pickup more followers. By the time they got back to their headquarters it was massive. Then it became a rally, very similar to what is going on today with the Black Lives Matter movement. A charismatic and vociferous young man, a founding member of the East Harlem Young Lords becan to speak. This guy, Felipe Luciano who was a member of the last poets, had his own radio program and whom would go on to become a televsion newsman, was eloguently articulating the community's needs.

The thing that lit the fire in the East Harlem residents was an incident that occured in church. The mass was held in the church as usual, but the Puerto Ricans had a seperate mass down in the basement. It felt like even god allowed class differances. Upper class in the "church" lower class (Puerto Ricans) dow n in the celler. Today the church where the incident occured is calleed the peoples church. When the parents of some members of the Young Lords brought the situation to light, they took action. At first they tried negotiating with the church, but when the church refused to correct the situation or to just listen to the concerns, the Lords went into action. They took over the church and held a few people hostage, or so the media would have you believe. They did occupy the church but it was to invite the community in, to give lunch to those that were hungry, They emulated the Black Panthers in many ways. They ran a free day care center for those single working moms. They'd read stories and watch movies. The church became a festive, welcoming place one that embraced the community. That was until the stand off came to an end. The church did eventually come around and became a part of the community and not just another institution that neglected those that need the most.

I could go on forever, this is called life experience, but I'd rather bring it back to the topic at hand, Community Organizing. When people do not come from an impovished neighborhood, have not suffered the humiliation of having to ask for assistence (welfare), have not lived in a building were the landlord goes to Florida for the winter and neglects to buy oil for the furance so several families have to live with no heat or hot water. Since they are blessed enough to not have had to experrtience any of this they mock community organizing efforts. But community organizing is a time honored tool, it's one of social works greatest tools. It goes way back to when social work began. When Jane Adams started the settlement movcement. When Doratia Dix organized to get mental health facilities built. Prior to Doratia's efforts the mentally ill lived in squalor, on the cold dam lower floor of hospitals. They were treated with digust and disdain. In fact, the word bedlam, that is commonly was to explain pandimonium actually comes from a hospital in England named Bedlam. This is where people would pay an admssion fee to watch the "crazy" people.

Empower the community and change happens. Its a long process, it does not happen over night. Sometimes it takes decades but as they say, the Struggle continues or as is said in Spanish "en La Lucha".


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