Posts Tagged ‘Mexicans’


Tucson has a supposedly liberal city government — which okayed the brutal crackdown on Occupy Tucson six years ago — and a seemingly genuine good-guy, community-policing chief of police, Christopher Magnus, the gay former chief of police of mostly black Richmond, California.

One of my neighbors just passed her citizenship test. She’s over 50, so the government charged her a mere $1200 to do it, rather than the standard $1700.

Yes, they charge people $1700 to become citizens.  We’re talking about people who are mostly low income and an asset to society. How wrong is that?

Three weekends in a row my neighbor and/or her kids were racially profiled on First Avenue. Stopped in the university district for bullshit reasons. Nothing stuck. They were stopped for Driving
While Mexican. (In contrast, I’m an old long-haired redneck with peeling bumper stickers all over the tailgate of my 20-year-old truck — when I bought it I immediately de-choloed it for fear of racial profiling — and I haven’t been stopped in decades.)

The reasons? Apparent lack of insurance (wrong) on two occasions. On one of them, my neighbor, a 56-year-old woman living here for the last 20 years, who just passed her citizenship test this past week, was cuffed and stuck in the back of a squad car. For total bullshit reasons. They let her go after 15 minutes, but can you imagine the trauma? Can you imagine how she felt and how her 21-year-old son felt seeing his mom cuffed and tossed in the back of a squad car?

Now, my neighbors avoid the university district. They stick to Stone for the north-south corridor. At least there they stand a decent chance of avoiding racist cops.

Can you imagine how you’d feel seeing your mom treated in such a manner. Can you imagine it?

Yeah, imagine it — imagine seeing your mom in cuffs, treated so disrespectfully, and you’ll start to get what it’s like being black or Mexican in Tucson, in America.

And, yeah, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s no way on the Tucson PD site to contact Chief Magnus directly.

I did eventually find a complaint form on the TPD site and did fill it out, essentially setting myself up as a target. I think there might be as much as a 25% or 30% chance that the TPD will do something about the racial profiling rather than just put a bulls eye on my back and fuck me over, but I’m so angry about this that I’ll take my chances.

 

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by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

Six years into his presidency, after betraying the people who elected him time after time, in almost every particular, Barack Obama has finally done something right: he’s called for police to wear body cameras.

This would go a long way toward reducing crimes (committed by the cops). I’ve talked about police terrorism, violence, and crime in previous posts, and the brutality yours truly and my friends and neighbors have been subjected to. So, for once, bravo Obama–too bad it only took you six years to propose this. Let’s see if action follows. As Hillary Clinton–who I despise as much as I despise Obama–said, “he gives a great speech”; again, we’ll see if action follows.

I’m sitting here listening to “Democracy Now,” and they’re talking only about “communities of color.” Yes, the police fuck over black and brown people more than they do white people. No argument there. But here in Tucson’s Keeling ‘hood, which The Arizona Daily Star calls a “hardscrabble neighborhood,” damn near everybody hates the cops, including the white folks. (My white friends in the neighborhood are all bikers, and the police screw with them mercilessly.) Damn near everybody here looks upon the cops as an occupying army, who can (and do) get away with murder.

So, for once,  bravo Obama. Let’s reduce crime. Let’s have the cops wear body cams.


by Zeke Teflon

Twenty years ago, when I moved here from San Francisco, I  had a great neighbor–Jesus, a really nice Mexican brick layer with a grade-school education from Nogales. My bro . My friend.

When he married a trailer-trash white chick I was appalled. I really didn’t like her (and it was mutual).

She screwed him in the inevitable divorce–I showed up at court with him, and told him “This is what you have to say.” (She had a lawyer; he didn’t.) But would he listen to me? No.  She got full custody and he got a $700-a-month child-support payment.

Then, a few months after she’d headed back to her native habitat, a trailer north of the Grapevine in the Central Valley, Jesus came over to my patio one night around midnight.

He’d wiped out on his bike a couple of weeks previously, and his right arm was in a cast up to his shoulder. He  knocked on my door, and said “Hey man, I need some help.”

Fine. Whatever.

We walked into his place, and he said, “Go into my closet and reach into my coat pocket.”  I thought that was passably strange, but did it anyway.

I pulled out a baggie  with a half ounce of rock cocaine.

I’d just gone down to Nogales and had brought back a liter bottle of Cuervo (yes, I know, terrible shit, but cheap).

We alternated lines and shots the rest of the night, calling it quits only when the sun came up.

I was hungover for two days. It was the last time I ever did coke or tequila.

Six months later, Jesus’s sister called me to tell me he’d died. His heart had stopped from doing too much cocaine. At age 37.

The moral to this tale? Stay away from coke. Stay away from hard booze.

Part of the royal screwing Jesus got in the divorce was losing his house, which is the only silver lining in this sorry tale. The best neighbors I’ve ever had, the Cárdenas, moved up from Mexico and bought the place. They’re both very good neighbors and very good friends.

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Zeke Teflon is the author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia.

Free Radicals front cover