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Dream Act and José José

December 14, 2010

José José is the SHIT. He captures a cursi/dramatic/melancholic sensibility. One that enjoys/lives in the pain of heartbreak. Take this line from El Triste: “Que triste todos dicen que estoy, que siempre estoy hablando de ti, no saben que pensando en tu amor, en tu amor, e podido ayudarme a vivir.” This song has made its way into my post on the Mexican national soccer team and the one on my first trip to Mexican Queens. Today, he arrived to my inbox:

This past Saturday, MALDEF partnered with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) as well as Dolores Huerta, José José and students from DREAM Team LA and the Orange County DREAM Team to organize a phone-banking outreach event to urge passage of the DREAM Act in the Senate. Over 60 undocumented DREAM Act college students and graduates made cell phone calls to elected officials throughout the day to urge support for the DREAM Act. Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta is now on Day 7 of her water-only fast in support of passage of the DREAM Act.

Accompanying the text was a video in which José José delivered a passionate speech. As a huge fan, I was taken aback by his words…For Jose Jose, the students are part of the struggle and dreams of their parents, grandparents, MALDEF, César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and others. He asked them to acknowledge/be conscious (tomar concencia) of all those that are supporting them…to not drop out of school…To drop out of school is to substitute all the effort of these people for Rock n Roll, for drugs, for a future that is completely negative, one that leads to nowhere. See video: Jose Jose hablando por el Dream Act.

I know a ton of his song, but very very little about him so I was surprised by this old school rhetoric: drink, drugs, and rock n roll are bad, stay in school. The other odd thing was how he understood the role of the Dream Act students and civil rights organizations, the students seemed to be recipients and not protagonist. Baffled, I did some serious research.

I asked the following, open-ended, not biased question, to a Chilagno friend via facebook: “José José Great or Greatest?”

He responded: “You serious? Para mi es súper establishment. para mí es el pri y raúl velasco (el moral del pri). se fue con el pri. seguro le va a la america.”

Aside from whether José José is Great or the Greatest, his participation raises questions about political support by Mexicans for political projects in the United States. More than anything I was wondering how folks south of the US-Mexico border have understood and responded to the DREAM ACT and what the past/present can tell us about possibilities and limits for future binational organizing. Is it time that we build organizations, schools, etc, etc, in Mexico and the United States that hire, link Mexicans across the border regardless of papers? What is the role of Mexican society in supporting/nourishing the talents of these students? Is stuff like this already happening? What is to be done? What should we be reading? Who should we be talking to/organizing with? Bueno, in the meantime I’m going to go have a beer at this Mexican restaurant I frequent, listen to CAfe Tacuba, Ramon Ayala, Juan Gabriel, etc, etc, and do some grading.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. C.S. permalink
    December 15, 2010 7:12 am

    And what about Los Ilegales ?

  2. December 16, 2010 7:00 pm

    let me check it.

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