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Pocho Heartache: Mexico loses to the US in El Estadio Azteca

August 30, 2012

I started writing this blog back in 2009. My first post, “Why I root for El Tri: an Exploration of Pocho Mexican Nationalism,” narrated the experience of watching Mexico barely beat the United States in Mexico City. Like most Mexico-US games, that one was filled with its dose of heartache and stress. Soccer is one of the few things in Mexico that gets embedded with so much meaning. It’s as if it was Mexico’s last stance against the encroaching United States. As if it’s the only bragging rights Mexico has left in US-Mexico relations.

Looking back on 2009, it makes sense that my first post would not just narrate the game, but use soccer as venue to explore “pocho nationalism,” belonging outside of the nation-state. So when Mexico lost at El Estadio Azteca I was caught of guard. Shit, I didn’t even watch the game. I was at the park playing a 4 on 4 pick-up game with some Mexicanos. It was clear they saw the game, but I don’t recall them mentioning who won. There were just a few scattered jokes: every time someone missed a clear opportunity someone would call them “Chicharito.” I can’t even say I wanted to watch the game. After so many years of watching Mexico play I only really care about the World Cup. Olympics, friendlies, international tournaments, they don’t really matter. The World Cup matters and teams that matter win it. It’s that simple. You think Brazil is sweating losing in a friendly? Nah. hell nah.

This lose is historic, this is true. Mexico’s 75 year winning streak in the Azteca is gone. To give it the drama and heartache Mexicans love the goal was scored by a Mexican-American. Mexican-Americans have long been caught in an awkward position: do they play for the US or Mexico? Professor Alamillo research shows that Mexican Americans in Los Angeles played for the Mexican national team in the 1938 Los Angeles Olympics. Imagine that, the entire Mexican pueblo in Los Angeles rooting for Mexico (and you). While soccer in the US continues to privilege middle-class and elite families—it cost a good amount of money to play at the most elite levels—we are seeing more and more Mexican Americans play for the US national team. The documentary Gringos at the Gate (coming out this September) is sure to provide some great insight. High profile players from both national teams are interviewed. But what about us, the fans? What are we to do? As more and more Mexican Americans play for the US national team our position becomes that much more complicated. Maybe we can continue to root for the Mexican national team, while hoping that Mexican Americans players play well… just not well enough to beat Mexico in the Aztec.


No se mata la verdad matando periodistas

August 3, 2012

Those of us north of the US-Mexico border constantly lament the quality of American mainstream media. Whether its the representations of people of color, the coverage of Mexico, drug trafficking, or the absence of significant social and political movements (in the US and Mexico). Academics, journalist, activist and bloggers seek to not only to correct misrepresentations, but shift the debate. We often forget that just south of the US-Mexico border journalist are doing similar work, but in a completely different context. Nuestra Aperente Rendicion is putting together a book to honor the journalist who have murdered or gone missing since July 2000. Please consider donating and spreading the word.



Update/Final Call for Black, Brown, and Blue at CU

April 23, 2012

Author: James T. Roane

The politics of this event is to have folks talking about race, space, and place at CU and NYC in ways and at times that they might not otherwise. People of color, so crunched in the physical plant of Manhattan and NYC, desperately need shared spaces and moments of simultaneity. As the history of slavery in the Western Hemisphere teaches, people need both to organize revolutions. Stealing away in the interstitial spaces, the swamps and woods  and importantly using local knowledge that the land’s indigenous inhabitants taught, black people organized revolutions in a scale from individual maroons, to whole maroon states, and to successful total revolution in Haiti. It is in this radical tradition of reorganizing space to reorganize time that we convene on Friday. Please join us at 4pm in front of Hamilton Hall.

In the spirit of collaboration and our effort to open up space for people of color we encourage you to send us a poem, rant, some words, a photo project, a twitter or FB status, etc. We’ve received a dope facebook status from Law School students, documentation of radicalism at Columbia from doctoral students/radical organizers at UCSD, an amazing photo project juxtaposing people of color with Columbia’s founding fathers (white, elite, males),  a photo project on racial profiling, and security alerts from the perspective of black and brown bodies. Send contributions to to and

Security Alert: Profiling and Homicide

April 18, 2012

Brown, Black, and Blue at CU & Security Alerts

April 17, 2012

If you are graduate student, undergrad, or Columbia University staff you periodically receive emails from the Department of Public Safety. These emails are addressed to the Columbia community and contain pdf documents titled “Security Alert: (insert crime here)”. The victims are always folks from columbia, (students mainly) and the suspects are always our black and brown neighbors who reside along the north, west, and south of Columbia. Interestingly, crimes committed by Columbia students (remember the frat students who were dealing cocaine) or faculty (the political scientist who was sleeping with his daughter) are never reported. The message seems pretty clear the danger lies outside the University, the criminals are there, we are here.

Below is  sample Security Alert issued by Columbia Universities Department of Public Safety

Folks working on Brown, Black and Blue at CU got together and decided to write our own Security Alerts, but from the perspective of black and brown folk at Columbia and our Harlem neighbors (see below). We invite you to create your own Security Alerts and email them to

FLYER for Black, Brown, and Blue at CU. [designed by Michael Sulik]

April 13, 2012

Call for Brown, Black, and Blue at CU: Toward an Archive and Beyond a Gallery

April 11, 2012

                 Brown, Black, and Blue at CU: Toward an Archive and Beyond a Gallery

Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity, the African Diaspora Literary Society, the Graduate Students of Color in the History department invite you to explore race and place at Columbia University through our exhibit Brown, Black, and Blue at CU: Towards an Archive. One of the projects in the exhibit, explores the intersections of gallery, archive, and people of color. The curators invite fellow graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and community members to contribute by sharing with us your experience as a person of color at Columbia and NYC. Our event will be held outside of Hamilton Hall on Friday April 27th, 2012, time at 4pm Please send us:

          photo projects

            twitter and facebook status

            a rant

            a letter addressed to a faculty, dean, fellow student, etc


            primary sources from earlier periods

           contributions can be anonymous


Read during the exhibit: spoken word, poem, experience, historical speech

Everything we receive will be placed in an archive box, inviting gallery visitors to carefully (or casually) explore and contemplate being Black, Brown, and Blue at CU. Contributions can be emailed to,, or left in Romeo Guzman or James T. Roane’s mailbox on the 6th floor of Fayerweather. For a sample contribution click here. To check out one of the art pieces keep scrolling down….



                                                    An Evening Stroll in Morningside

Operating under “Stop and Frisk,” the cops have the right to stop, search, and bother anyone they deem suspicious. In 2010, the NYP Blue stopped and frisked approximately 600,000 people. 85 percent of those stopped were Black and Brown bodies. But don’t fret, they have a keen eye for these things: of the 600,000 people who were stopped an outstanding 2 percent were in possession of drugs or weapons….

SEMAP members Christopher Anthony Velasco and Romeo Guzmán decided to document one of the most routine and mundane aspects of life: an evening stroll. Shifting our attention away from the fall leaves, the clean pristine buildings, evening joggers, and rushed pedestrians, Velasco and Guzmán highlight a small, but essential characteristic of Columbia Universities’ architecture. Closed upon itself, not a single building faces the public and a security guard monitors each entrance. Walking along Amsterdam and Broadway between 116th and 120th, one finds 4 large, remote control cameras and approximately 25 smaller ones. An Evening Stroll in Morningside implicates Columbia University in racist and oppressive policies towards its black and brown Harlem neighbors.