When I was a youngster, my school chums always tormented me. They’d sing me these lyrics of a then popular song (Too Fat Polka), “I don’t want her you can have her she’s too fat for me, she’s too fat for me.” Though I was a boy, the kids made fun of me because I was, well, a fat kid, as were several other kids who attended my school. Two fat boys, Ralph Salinas, was tagged El Tripon (Big Gut) and Billy Anguiano was called La Vaca (The Cow). As I grew into a teen I eventually lost my supposed baby fat. However, Ralph and Billy remained fat well into their adult lives and sadly both died rather young of diabetes due to their obesity.
Just recently I read an article by Jeannie Kever of the Houston Chronicle titled, Hispanic kids impoverished more than others. In her piece she quotes Luis Salinas, a sociologist at the University of Houston, who states that a report released recently by The Pew Hispanic Center that if 6 million Hispanic kids are being brought up in poverty, that doesn’t give them much hope for the future. They are likely to end up in poverty for the rest of their lives, and many do not have adequate nutrition. Folks, that has to be the biggest piece of horse manure I’ve read in a long time.
Follow me on this folks, what have we constantly been told by the news media and the Obama Administration about the harmful effects of obesity. Haven’t they been telling parents not to take their kids to fast food restaurants because they contribute to the children’s obesity? In Los Angeles City Council members are going to ban fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles, a minority community whose residents are mostly African-American and Hispanic. Blacks and Hispanics are responding that they feel they aren’t the only fat people in our country by a long shot. Blacks and Hispanics in South LA now want to know if white people in white neighborhoods are going to be told no more Big Macs, no more chicken nuggets. Or, is the situation in Los Angeles simply stating that white neighborhoods have Big Macs and chicken nuggets in moderation and therefore their fast-food joints can stay. Evidently there is an opposite problem in Atlanta. Minority young men there are so skinny their pants are falling off, so the city is going to ban sagging pants in all the schools. Maybe the skinny people in Atlanta with the sagging pants should move to L.A., and the fat people in L.A can move to Atlanta and get skinny.
In my opening paragraph I talked about my obesity and that of my school chums. I might add here that most of my Hispanic school chums came from poor households similar to mine. I recall that most of the homes in my neighborhood of El Norte (The North Side) didn’t have hot running water, refrigerators, ac/heating units, washers/dryers, a telephone, and some didn’t have inside bathrooms. I remember mom and other ladies of El Norte washed clothes outside in huge black pots heated with firewood. After mom soaked the clothes in hot soapy water she would get a scrub board and scrub the clothes in a No. 8 washtub. Then, she’d hang them in several clotheslines in the backyard.
Though most Hispanics in my neighborhood were poor, I can’t recall ever hearing of anyone dying of hunger. Most of us have seen those poor black kids in Africa with their bloated bellies and flies all over their faces. Folks, I never saw any of that in my poor Hispanic barrio. I take that back, Hispanic kids did have bloated bellies, but that was due to their bellies being full of beans and tortillas! I recall my dad telling mom when we went to the store, Anna, nomas papas y frijoles!” (Anna, just potatoes and beans!). Mom ignored dad and though she did buy rice, potatoes and beans, she also bought cheap meat products: boloney, wieners, chicken and cheap beef cuts. Out of those inexpensive food products mom cooked delicious tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, refried beans and potato with wiener burritos. I remember telling mom, “Mom, I don’t want to take burritos to school, please pack me a ham sandwich like the white kids.” Today I entertain at several Mexican restaurants and guess who usually is eating those poor food dishes mom used to cook? You guessed it, the white folks!
If Luis Salinas, the sociologist at the University of Houston, states that Hispanic kids who are being brought up in poverty, don’t have much hope for the future, how does he account that we poor Hispanics in the 30s, 40s and 50s who had less than these poor Hispanic kids of today and who are not discriminated like we were, have done just fine? My poor chubby friend Ralph Salinas grew up to be a chef at a hotel, my other fat friend, Billy Anguiano, owned and operated his own business, a flower shop, for many years. Other poor Hispanic friends who came from large families did exceptionally well. One school chum was Stanley Flores, who came from a family of 8 kids. Stanley, worked his way through college at Texas A&M and earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Art Lazo, another school friend who also came from a family of 8 kids went to Texas University and became a Mechanical Engineer. I could write a book about all the achievements of my poor Hispanic friends but I think I’ve given enough examples of how we did well despite our poor upbringing.
Why did we do so well despite being poor and being discriminated some might ask? Speaking for myself and my school chums, I can only attribute it to the great education in English I might add, the nuns gave us at our poor Catholic school of San Jose and the fine education we got in high school which is totally lagging today. Aside from that, most of my poor Hispanic friends like myself came from strong close-knit families. Coming from a broken home when I was a kid was almost unheard of in my poor Hispanic neighborhood. Today, divorce runs rampant and many Hispanic kids don’t get the guidance they need from loving parents or any encouragement to stay in school. Thus, many join gangs and end up on the wrong side of the track and eventually poor as Professor Salinas so states.
... written by clementedelacruz , October 26, 2011
Amen Gino - yes - know these two Barrio Friends - Ralph "Rafee" my Cousin. I also have friends in my age group who have started to leave us due to Diabetes Health concerns which makes me realize that it has to be attributed to all that Great Barrio Tasting food we've eaten all our lives and which contributes much to this alarming Health concern. Sonograms for "Fatty Liver" are non-painful exams which will provide some alert/alarm to those with these type Health Problems. Please post this article on FB.
... written by John Dale , October 26, 2011
Want to see a lot of fat white people, James? You should spend a little time at the restaurants around Lake Country Estates or Azle. Both areas are loaded with lard asses, both male and female. Some with excess fat that appears to droop way below their private areas and rear ends that are so large that they envelope the chairs in which they sit. No, blacks and Hispanics do not have a corner on obesity. Ducks waddle the same no matter the color.
... written by Joe Skalamera , October 29, 2011
Gino, my friend, you mentioned it briefly in this article - the single most devastating issue for young hispanics is not obesity but it is a lack of profficiency in English. In response to some of previous articles I have mentioned that my parents were immigrants from Croatia who had 12 children born in America (counting 2 still-born). I am #11 of 12. Mom and Dad were sort of worn out when I came along so I only heard their native tongue when they argued. I also told the story of how I witnessed the magic of the English language "melting" all ethnic groups into "Americans" while my father attended night school to learn and to improve his English. Like most immigrants at that time (and the same is true today)the better you spoke English the more opportunities for better paying jobs came your way. My Dad worked for 40 years for the old Pa. Railroad. There weren't too many fat kids in my neighborhood but those that were fat caught hell. I was the self-appointed "Defender of the Oppressed" in my neighborhood and had a few fist fights defending my chubby friends against bullies. I remember one fight inparticular where the local bully who always beat up "Babes (his nickname - what were his parents thinking of? ...and, his brother's nickname was "Hotshot"). One day this bully came up and punched all 3 of us real hard. When I didn't react my older brother said to me, "Joey, Daddy hits harder than that kid. Go kick his a--!" And that's exactly what I did. My major point, however, is that Hispanic kids are put at such a terrible disadvantage today because Hispanic Leader's refuse to recognize and support the reality of today! English is the language of business in this world. I just returned from my first trip ever to Croatia. With a cousin (that I had never met before) I visited the poor and humble home of my father. There was no electricity, no running water and dirt floors when he was born up there on the side of that steep mountain, 4 1/2 miles up from the Catholic school in Moscenika Draga. I walked around that property and thanked God and thanked my Dad that he came to America. English is taught to all school children in Croatia from their earliest ages. The teenage granddaughters of my cousin spoke fluent English and acted as interpreters. I witnessed Oriental tourists speaking English with the hotel clerk at the front desk. Countries all over this world realize that English is the language of business, yet Hispanic Leaders and Politicians in this contry hoping to win support for re-election continue to fail the Hispanic youth of today; far too many "graduate" high school without being profficient in English. How heartening it would be to see and hear just "ONE" Hispanic leader put his self-interest away and tell the truth to Hispanic parents. I sincerely hope that our new, handsome Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, will be the first! God Bless America! God Bless those Catholic school Nuns! :-) Joe Skalamera, Kissimmee, Florida.
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 29, 2011
That's right John. James is just trying to bring down people he doesn't like. As far as I'm concerned, he still hates the fact that he was "FAT." His goal is to destroy, "NOT" cure.
And Joe, you are forgetting that some in congress are trying to cut funding for the education that "WE" got when growing up. With all the demonstrations going on, you better hope we fix the greed in this country or we'll have another civil war.
Here's something of interest your boy said.
“I think there’s is some low-hanging fruit on the immigration debate,” said Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican and conservative favorite. The son of Cuban immigrants, he supports a visa program for some high-skilled workers and a limited one for agricultural workers and some students who came into the country illegally as children."
“I am troubled by the demonization of immigrants, legal or illegal, in our party,” said Representative Blake Farenthold, who represents a South Texas district and is a member of the bipartisan House Border Caucus. “We’ve got a country that was built on immigrants and immigration, and we’ve kind of lost sight of that.”
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 29, 2011
By the way, you can find more here. When you address an issue, you "MUST" consider "ALL" consequences; including who suffers and what hurts our country.
Beyond 2012 Field, Nuanced G.O.P. Views on Immigrants By JENNIFER STEINHAUER Published: October 28, 2011
I wonder if Charley and John have ever heard the term "accountability"? This is the USofA, you can be whatever you want to be. I don't care how you got here, if you don't take advantage of the opportunities presented to you., that's on you. I am not in favor of exceptional opportunities for people who don't want to better themselves. The public dole is full of people who are about taking and never giving, but the availability of a McDonald's is not going to cause or solve anyone's problems.
PS. Charlie, is it possible for you to write a post without the word hate?
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 31, 2011
P, As long as you dudes write hate, that's what I'll call it. You don't know dittly squat about what the U.S. of A stands for. You keep blaming our problems on people not wanting to better themselves, when it's the have it alls who want more and don't care about those who are trying just to support their families.
Are you trying to tell us that all those who are in lines all around the country, trying to get a job, "DON'T" want to better themseloves? Hell, all they want to do is work so that they can pay their bills.
Are you trying tio tell us that all who want to, can be a $"MILLIONAIRE."? Who is going to do the work that really keeps our country (world) moving and surviving? Pick crops, clean your motels/homes,teachers, those who drive semis to deliver our food, public works, and lets "NOT FORGET" the military. Haven't you found the media with the truth yet? You're on the side that "NEEDS" compasion, yet your hate keeps you blind. Today: Gospel, Lk 14:12-14 12 Then he said to his host, 'When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you.
13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.'
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 31, 2011
P, said: "I wonder if Charley and John have ever heard the term "accountability"?
Do you "REALLY" wonder that? You're asking a 76 year old Musician? Marine Corps veteran? Father of six? Grand father of 15? Great grand father of 6?
Don't tell us you're asking with love. What's the opposite of that?
I have experienced all kinds of accountability. Have you? But here's one that you better heed.
Romans 14:10 ESV / 5 helpful votes Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
Matthew 23:1-12 23Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.