Legalize Racial Profiling to Fight Illegal Immigration? I Hope Not!

Dear Friends,

I just signed an urgent appeal to Governor Janet Brewer and urged her to veto an anti-immigrant law that would legalize racial profiling in the State of Arizona against Latina/os and others who police suspect to be immigrants.

The law would authorize officers to pull over, question, and detain anyone if they have a “reasonable suspicion” to believe they are in this country without proper documentation. Not only will this create a police state for immigrants — it will essentially legalize racial profiling.

This bill is heading to the Governor’s desk and is expected to be signed into law as soon as today. This is a moment for all of us to stand with the people of Arizona against this injustice.Can you join me in telling Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto this bill?

http://presente.org/ref/112248/campaigns/arizona

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Ok now for my own words on this. I’m sorry but this bill is not the right way to handle illegal immigration in our country. We are all human beings and should be treated as such. Most illegal immigrants here are good people simply trying to better their families, believe me I’ve met, worked, and befriended many of them when I was in San Diego. While we can’t allow a free for all for anyone who wants to come here illegally, we need to find ways to help the ones that are here and have already established their lives to become citizens instead of throwing them out.

Besides, there are much bigger problems out there for police to be spending their time on rather than stopping any random latino/a. Get the real criminals off the streets.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…

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Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Something that has been in the forefront of my mind especially in recent weeks is modern-day slavery and human trafficking. It is a serious problem in our world today with estimates of over 27 million people stuck in slavery of all different forms – sex slavery, debt bondage, forced labor, and chattel slavery – but it is almost impossible to get an accurate count because slaves are kept hidden from our view. The fact is nobody wants to believe that slavery still exists – even governments are afraid to admit it.

Not in the US though – the US abolished slavery with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation back in the 1860’s, right? True, but unfortunately it is estimated that 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year to be slaves. That’s right, there are slaves here in our own backyard, right here in Denver, Colorado.

Most of us don’t want to believe it, so we turn our heads the other way. It’s easier for us to ignore it and act as if it doesn’t exist. That way we don’t have to feel bad, we don’t feel guilty, because once we feel guilty we can no longer ignore it. We feel compelled to take action, and action takes work that is far from easy. We’ve gotta get dirty because the world of slavery is ugly beast.

Over the past 3 weeks I have read 5 books on this subject. When I read the story of a young girl who has been sold into sex slavery and is raped, beaten, and starved 24 hours a day for years, it breaks my heart. I can no longer turn a blind eye to the reality that slavery exists and people are put through so much pain by others. Their human dignity is stripped away and they are looked at as less than human, with no rights or freedom, and many lose all hope of ever getting out. This is not right and we need to do more to eradicate slavery in our world.

Here are some of the books I’ve read recently and I highly recommend reading:

Slave Hunter: One Man’s Global Quest to Free Victims of  Human  Trafficking by Aaron Cohen with Christine Buckley

Description: Aaron Cohen is a man who travels all over the world posing as a sex  tourist  attempting to free women as young as 8 years old from bondage and forced  prostitution.  From Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, Aaron  describes the often dangerous situations and young victims he encounters. Sometimes he’s able to actually free one or a few of the young girls, however more often than not he has no other choice but to leave them in slavery hoping that one day they will be free.

For a more in-depth description and review see: Slave Hunter: Aaron Cohen, 21st Century Emancipator
Aaron Cohen’s WebsiteThe Abolish Slavery Coalition
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The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian  Heroine

by Somaly Mam
Description: Somaly Mam recounts her heartbreaking and powerful experience of being  sold into sex slavery as a  young girl in Cambodia and, after fighting her way out, how she  now helps other girls in  sex slavery find  hope in such misery.
Somaly Mam Foundation – Home

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A Crime So Monstrous: Face-To-Face with Modern-Day Slavery

by E. Benjamin Skinner
Description: See A Crime So Monstrous

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Enslaved: True Stories of Modern-Day Slavery

Various Authors
Description: See Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery

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Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves

by Kevin Bales
Description: A 25 year plan to end slavery. For more see Free the Slaves – Ending Slavery – The Book – The Plan
UNTIL NEXT TIME…

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A Simple Man

One morning last week I woke up and thought, why don’t I start a blog? The thought had never really crossed my mind before, and I’m not sure why it popped in there now, but here we are with the birth of simple man ruminations. This is my attempt to humor those who care with my random and crazy thoughts about anything and everything. Who knows, maybe I’ll just be reading my own thoughts?

Well I thought I’d start out by introducing myself a bit. I’m a 27-year-old single guy who has lived everywhere from Kansas to West Virginia, Oklahoma to Washington, California to Colorado, and Italy to Nicaragua. This past year I returned to Denver to be closer to family and start my own group travel business. I must say after living in the more tropical climates of Nicaragua and San Diego the previous 4 years my body didn’t like the Colorado winter very much.

I am bilingual – y me siento que soy medio Nicaraguense! I’ve traveled to 24 different countries. I’ve trekked to the top of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. I was present in St. Peter’s Square in Rome for the Beatification of Mother Teresa. I’ve witnessed first-hand the concentration camps at Dachau and Auschwitz where horrible atrocities took place during the Holocaust. My eyes have seen one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world on the island of Santorini. I’ve enjoyed beers with locals at Oktoberfest in Germany and on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

I’ve lived in the Nicaraguan campo where roads are unpaved, running water is scarce, electricity comes and goes, and the food of choice (or necessity) is gallo pinto, yet despite their poverty the people are some of the most beautiful, loving, caring, generous, and joyful I have ever met.

I’ve seen and experienced things most people never have the opportunity to do in a lifetime, and my journey has just begun.

I am blessed. I am Catholic. I love to sing, rap, and beatbox. I love Gonzaga basketball, Chipotle burritos, and playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, and golf. I have loved and been loved.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…

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