A Letter to Our Readers

Dear Readers,

It is with sincere humility that we accept your overwhelming commentary about our publication. We take every word and every concern from you very seriously. “La Voz” stands for “the voice” in Spanish and we like to think we are the voice of our community. With that said, we have decided to cease all distribution of this semester’s La Voz magazine based on your concerns. We want to make it clear that we definitely understand the strong emotions that most of you are having after reading our magazine. We admit we made a mistake in publishing this material and we humbly ask that you accept our sincerest apologies.

La Voz is a publication with a rich heritage. We are not just a part of La LUCHA, we are also a publication that strives to empower, educate and discuss topics that are relevant to the Latino community. La Voz works independently from La LUCHA and members of La LUCHA’s executive board first set their eyes on our issue at the same time our campus community did. Our shared goal is to empower and we all agree that is where we, no matter our intention, failed in the execution. We are a magazine that thrives to discuss topics that are both current and controversial in which most campus publications are reluctant to talk about. The lack of discussion of controversial topics within our community is what provoked our interest in publishing this issue.

Our current issue was not intended to offend. This issue was published for the sole purpose of educating and bringing to light the current culture of our generation. We are members of a generation of consumers that have given way to the subject at hand. By listening to the music, watching the television shows, dancing the dances and using the vocabulary, it is unarguable that thousands have led to the questionable turns popular culture has made; acts that lead to the concerns we all have regarding stereotypes and discrimination. We wanted to point out these concerns in a constructive way. Unfortunately, we failed to do so.

We wanted our current issue to spark a positive conversation on campus. We sought to give our readers a controversial subject and turn it on its head, thus letting you all question it’s repercussions. You have all done so, but to our surprise, this completed goal did not make us feel accomplished. Our intent was to add another layer of thought to our current culture that might help bring us closer together but instead we ended up being divisive. We hope you will all take part in the programs we have planned that will further discuss these topics in a more effective way. We cannot stress enough how apologetic we are and hope we can move on as a community with the help of dialogue, empathy and critical thinking.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to all interested in contributing to tackle stigmatized subjects in our next issues. We are always open to having more writers, bloggers, photographers, or simply anyone with ideas.

Sincerely,

La Voz Magazine

Que Muera Trujillo

By Jonathan Polo

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Imagine the United States’ Congress established a law that revoked the citizenship of all the descendants of Mexican immigrants whether they immigrated legally or illegally and left them with neither United States nor Mexican citizenship?

That is exactly what happened in the Dominican Republic last week.

The highest judicial court in the Dominican Republic stripped any descendant of foreign migrants born after 1929 of their citizenship. The unprecedented and controversial decision affects almost a quarter million people, most of who are of Haitian decent, and is creating the largest refugee crisis the Caribbean has ever seen.

A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly another 34,000 born to parents of another nationality. The Dominican government has even higher numbers estimating that some 500,000 people born in Haiti live in the Dominican Republic.

The majority of people being denied citizenship are children and young adults trying to acquire identification papers to enroll in primary schools and public universities. Most of these had nothing to do with the decisions made by their parents and, in some cases, their grandparents. Many of these children have lived their entire lives in the Dominican Republic and thus have little to no ties to Haiti, do not speak Creole, identify themselves as Dominican nationals, and now face the threat of deportation.

The ruling is already being enforced by the electoral commission, which is confiscating identification documents, and by the Dominican army, which is deporting a record number of Haitian-Dominicans.

According to the army’s numbers, 47,700 Haitians caught entering the country were deported in the past year, more than double the nearly 21,000 deported in the previous year. This trend has implications that the seemingly ever-lasting and dubiously racist attitude the Dominican government and people have had towards the Haitian people is making a return after years of moderate improvement since the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010.

The two countries, which share the island of Quisqueya (or Hispañola, as it was called after Columbus and subsequent colonist arrived on the island) share a very violent and deeply rooted racist history dating as far back as the first incidents of documented history on this side of the planet. Racism was institutionalized most famously by the government of Rafael Trujillo, or Latin America’s Hitler, as I like to call him. A dictator made famous for being responsible for the death of 50,000 people throughout his 30-year rule, and his very public hatred for black people. He was frequently quoted saying the Haitian people need to be eradicated from the country for “blackening” the Dominican people. Trujillo has a place in world history as one of the most horrible, horrible dictators and one that has left a lasting negative racial legacy on Dominican society. For those unfamiliar, Trujillo identified as white and traced his ancestry to Spain and France. 16 percent of Dominicans identify as white today.

Next week commemorates the seventy-sixth anniversary since the Parsley Massacre, named after the shibboleth Trujillo and his army used to differentiate between those of Haitian decent and Afro-Dominicans. On October 8th, 1937, and for the ensuing five days, the Dominican Army, on direct orders of Rafael Trujillo, killed every Haitian they could find living near the border area of the two countries. A soldier would hold up a sprig of parsley and judge the suspected Haitian’s ability to pronounce the Spanish equivalent: perejil. Creole speaking Haitians would have trouble rolling the ‘r’ necessary to say the word and were most likely killed on the spot.

Last week’s ruling of the highest court in the Dominican Republic to make every Haitian within their borders essentially stateless, proves that Trujillo’s legacy of institutionalized racism is still alive and well. Practically every country in the world recognizes that any child born within their borders is entitled to citizenship. The fact that the Dominican government chose to only recognize children born to at least one parent of Dominican blood has no bearing and is being regarded by every international government and non-governmental organization as a human rights violation.

Unfortunately, institutionalized racism by definition is ingrained in not only in the government, but also in the courts, laws, schools, and society, so I suspect that there will not be a reversal of the ruling in the Dominican Republic unless the outcry comes from the international community. Until then, Trujillo and his sickeningly racist legacy, lives on and I personally can’t wait for him to die.

Photo by Ezequiel Abiu Lopez/AP/File

Twitter Beef

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And God said “Let there be rachet”.

It seems to be that the traditional love for big booties has evolved into twerking and with that – traditional hip hop culture has evolved too. Hip Hop icons are becoming increasingly more vocal with little care for the repercussions.

Not long ago, we saw Teyanna Taylor and Rihanna entertain the Twitterverse as they went back and forth trying to insult each other. Everything from styles, sexual histories and even networths were mentioned.

Most recently, we saw Kanye West partake in an hour-long interview with BBC. After comparing himself to Vanellope Von Schweets and decoding Yeezus, Kanye claims to have put out the most honest piece of media in years. Jimmy Kimmel of course saw an opportunity to use West as the basis for a comedic spoof that Kanye didn’t take very likely. Not at all.

Although entertaining, the increased vocal interaction between mogul icons and the general public leads me to ask how exactly does this affect us? It is no secret that Generation Y has been the most exposed generation in history, but is it getting out of hand?

Only time will tell.

-Misaell Cabral

6 Ways To Cope With Last Nights Loss

With the upset of our beautiful Syracuse University losing to University of Michigan last night in Atlanta, we would like to help our fellow peers heal those open wounds.

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6 ways to cope with last night’s loss:

  1. Cry-It’s okay to cry. We made it to the Final Four and then watched our players give up on our hopes and dreams. Don’t cry in front of people though. That’s just freaking awkward and you will be judged even though everyone wants to. However, if the boy to your left is crying, then by all means join in.
  2. Destroy anything Michigan- Real ‘Cuse fans wont have any Michigan apparel of course but if you have a yellow shirt, cut some holes in it, burn it, or tie it to your pillow and just punch it ‘til the pain stops. You can also use their picture from the paper as a dartboard for future hangouts (do people still do that?).
  3. Drink (responsibly of course)-Nothing helps numb the pain of such a heartache as the one we endured last night than a shot of whiskey. If your taste buds have not yet matured to handle whiskey, vodka helps too.
  4. Yell- Yelling relieves stress and well, it’s pretty fun. So if your poor little heart needs it, yell your butt off and throw something while you’re at it because being a fan is just as much hard work as being a player if ya ask me.
  5. Eat your feelings-You’re already fat from that freshman 15 you’ve gained and all that day drinking you did yesterday on Harrison, you might as well indulge in something that is going to make you feel at least a little better. Try ice cream or chocolate frosting. Seems to be what all those heartbroken girls eat.
  6. Remember it’s just a game- Haha, YEAH RIGHT IT IS JUST A GAME. Sorry, you’re just going to have to deal with being sad, just know that you are not alone. There is an entire Orange Nation out there with sad little hearts.

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So follow these coping tips and try to stay sane. At least we made it to the Final Four, and that my friend is popping. Try and smile a little and remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be Orange, always be Orange. 

 

Gabrielle Aviles

Yoga For The Soul

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Taking a Yoga class this spring semester has been incredibly enlightening partially because I have an amazing teacher, Therese Arno.  This is her first semester teaching here at Syracuse University and thus far she has been so amazing and helpful. One of the things she focuses on is to help students develop their own daily yoga practice. From taking her class I have felt so much happier and at peace with myself. It is incredibly relaxing to practice yoga and meditate for an hour. For that whole hour you forget about the ridiculous amount of stress due to school and work and just focus on yourself.

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While taking this class is incredibly relaxing it’s much more than that. Yoga is a whole movement; it’s not just a rigorous workout. While it can be a workout, it is also about connecting both body and mind and feeling at peace with your-self. It sounds a lot easier than what it actually is. Learning to meditate was difficult because your mind can be so easily distracted. Therese Arno always tells us to try and turn off our minds for five to ten minutes and just let your mind and body relax by focusing on your breathing. It takes a lot of practice to do this!

I suggest for everyone, if you have the time, to take a yoga class here in Syracuse at either O Yoga Studio or Lotus Life. They are both in downtown Syracuse and they have amazing teachers that help guide you. If you’re on a budget try and do the Free Yoga classes here at SU in Archbold Gymnasium these classes give you a feel for Yoga. Try and experiment with the different kinds of practices of Yoga like Vinyasa Yoga, which is a practice of flow and constant movement between poses. There are also other kinds of Yoga like Hot Yoga, which is when you practice Yoga in a room with the temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  The point here is to try something new, you might end up falling in love with Yoga the same way I did.  Once you really get into Yoga you find out it’s not only just a workout but also a way of life.

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Patricia Alvarez

Students, Cuban dissidents gather in NYC to brainstorm a path for Cuban youth

Originally posted on NBC Latino:

A group of young students and members of the grassroots organization Roots of Hope have organized a conference with Cuban dissidents in New York City as a way to promote social progress between Cubans in the U.S. and abroad.

The tenth annual leadership conference – which continues into Sunday – featured activists and dissidents including hip-hop artist Doble Filo, blogger Orlando Luis Pardo, and Rosa Maria Payá. Economic reform, civic engagement and the use of technology in promoting social causes were discussed through panels, workshops and forums held at New York University.

RELATED: Cuban dissident blogger, Yoani Sanchez, speaks out in New York

The conference coincides with Cuba’s new travel policy, which has allows Cuban activists to travel internationally. For Pardo, who recently spoke at an event with Yoani Sanchez at Columbia University, visiting the U.S. for the first time and speaking to youth at events such as at the Roots…

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