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Hispanic, Latino, Latinx — A Question Of Belonging
San Diego News Now / June 18, 2021
Identities are complicated, messy and often incredibly personal. San Diegans weigh in on how they identify and their thoughts on the term Latinx. Meanwhile, a report released Thursday by a Yale University-based research organization found distinct racial disparities in police contacts in San Diego. Plus, how the Angelika Film Center is doing as pandemic restrictions ease, along with our weekend arts events preview.
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, June 18th
San Diegans weigh in on the term Latinx.
More on that next, But first... let’s do the headlines….
Face masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated California workers under rules adopted by state regulators Thursday.
The five-to-one vote came after four hours of public testimony. Dave Thomas, who chairs California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, noted the continued misinformation on masks and vaccines.
“If you have not been vaccinated, I wish that you would seriously consider it. Because I think it is probably the most important thing that you can do in these circumstances.”
Within minutes of the vote, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the rules to go into effect immediately instead of undergoing a ten-day administrative law review.
Championship golf is back at torrey pines. Thursday was day one of the championship series that’s featuring local pros Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele. There’s more than 150 players teeing off this week. Attendance, though, has been scaled back with a cap of 10-thousand fans per day. Restrictions ban autographs, selfies, and fist bumps with the golfers.
Petco Park was packed full for the first time in more than a year for Thursday night’s opening day. Fans were excited to be out and about, to say the least….
it's totally different from seating on the couch... almost two years since we were allowed to go in. so, really excited to get there."
The fans were thrilled with a walk off win against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Big crowds are expected for the rest of the season.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
Latino, Hispanic, Latinx, Chicano… there’s so many different ways to express one’s sense of common Latin American identity.
Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim spoke with community members about the different ways they identify and how they feel about the term Latinx…
The way people choose to identify is always changing…. especially when it comes to defining Latinidad, or anyone of Latin American descent, here in the United States.
At KPBS we’re now using the term LatinX, which is a non-binary way of saying Latino or Latina... in an effort to be as inclusive as possible.
But we know it’s not definitive and has proved controversial… because how we identify and are identified by others can get, well, personal.
And that’s something UC San Diego Professor Ariana Ruiz, who teaches about Latinidad, knows all too well
It's the politics of labeling. And with that politics, of course, our conversations around race, sexuality, gender, all of those components come into play. So that is something that, again, it's so personal that it is one that is emotive. It's one that people have strong feelings about and will lead to very lively conversations and debate.
Which is why we asked you, our audience, to share how you identify and your thoughts on the X in LatinX. We got almost 200 reponses… and they showed how deeply many of you are thinking about this many-layered issue. Some like Prizila Vidal, who identifies as nonbinary, embraced the LatinX term five years ago.
When I first started identifying as my binary boxes, like no is male or female. And for me, I just don't identify a smaller female. I feel like it’s very gender neutral. And so the whole term Latin kind of feels like that. But it also feels like it's his own movement and it's own community.
Others like Rodrigo Tapia of Chula Vista, prefer terms like Hispanic or Latino because they connect him with his roots as a Spanish speaker. He understands the need to be inclusive but thinks LatinX erases his connection with Spanish, which he grew up speaking.
It is a little bit of whitewashing insofar as the language is concerned, you know, because, again, to me, Latino or Latino or even Latin X means that you're identifying with a culture that holds Spanish in a special place within within our community,
Another Chula Vistan, Michael Inzuzna also doesn’t use the X. He prefers the term Chicano -- a political identity label often associated with Mexican Americans that emerged in the 1960s during the civil rights movement.
Like Tapia he thinks LatinX is term imposed by white people.
I've never heard anyone use it. I've never heard anyone identify with it. And it's just a term I don't know if it's going to stick or not, but it's not from us, just like anything else. It's not from our community.
And that’s a big tension point. Where did LatinX even come from? Professor Ruiz says that’s a difficult question.
So there is no one origin story when we're thinking about the use of the X within LatinX or the move from Latin or Latin to Latin X. The X is one that is discussed as coming out of indigenous communities throughout Latin America. It's one that we have seen used within Latin American feminist circles as well. When we're talking about Latin X within the US as it's tied especially to the LGBTQ community.
Because of the lack of clarity about when people started using Latinx, people have their own interpretations and understanding about it.
Alejandra Lucero Canaan identifies as queer, Latinx and Chicanax. And unlike Inzunza and Tapia, doesn’t see Latinx as a colonized label coming from outside the community. She likes using the X because it makes people stop and think about who has been ignored.
The ex makes me think of the people that are not often included in these conversations, non binary people, Afro Latinos or Afro Chicanos and people with disabilities.
Of course there’s a big difference in how people choose to identify themselves and what happens when large institutions like universities, big companies or media outlets begin to use terms like Latinx… because it can feel like outsiders are telling you who you are.
Professor Ruiz says that as more organizations adopt the X, they should think about why they are making that choice.
Are you actually doing the work that's related to these questions of sexuality, to these questions of gender? Right. Or is it just that you're using it as a placeholder for Latino, which was doing the same work?
But ultimately whether at the personal or larger level, Ruiz says we shouldn’t run away from these conversations…
In the end there’s no single definition or understanding of any of these identity labels but Ruiz says that’s a good thing.
We want to think about it as embracing the tension, really leaning into the messiness that is a term like Latin, like Latino. This question of Latini, that it's not one singular thing, but one that is much more multifaceted and has lots of different histories and experiences tied to it.
Cristina Kim. KPBS News.
And that was race and equity reporter Cristina Kim.
After 11 years of exile, a deported US army veteran is back home. KPBS’ Max Rivlin-Nadler was at the border on Thursday as he reentered the US.
The 77-year-old army veteran had lived in the United States for more than fifty years, before he was deported for a nonviolent drug offense.
DeLeon was joined on Thursday by other deported veterans, who walked with him to the border crossing.
The veteran had petitioned for years to re-enter the United States…but to no avail until Thursday.
Immigration Attorney Ian Seruelo helped DeLeon get his successful application to the federal government.
Having him live here, in Tijuana, away from most members of his family, it’s just again, very unfortunate and sad to even imagine the situation of Andy.
DeLeon plans to live with family in Santa Maria California.
He has diabetes and other health issues, so he hopes to be able to get some of his army benefits back… his goal has always been to return, in any way, to the country he served.
Max Rivlin-Nadler, KPBS News
The city of San Diego has released a new analysis of policing practices… and how they’re experienced by communities of color. The report comes from a Yale University based research organization called the Center for Policing Equity. KPBS’ Melissa Mae has more.
The report looked into three areas: traffic stops, non-traffic stops and use of force… comparing the treatment of people of color to the treatment of whites.
“Black people who were subject to force 4.8 times as often per resident as White people.”
Michael Burbank of the Center for Policing Equity says Black people also experienced more non-traffic stops.
Michael Burbank // Center For Policing Equity
“What does it mean when we have a finding of a racial disparity. Disparity rates and police contact and the outcome of this contact, mean that racial groups within the community of San Diego have different experiences of policing.”
The report takes into account crime rates, poverty rates and neighborhood demographics that contribute to the disparities.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit (NIS-light) says the department expected to find disparities.
David Nisleit // San Diego Police Chief
“These disparities do not necessarily mean discrimination, but they do allow us to take a much deeper look into why they exist and how we can address them through procedural, operational and strategic decision making.”
Francine Maxwell of the San Diego branch of the NAACP welcomed the release of the report.
Francine Maxwell // President of NAACP San Diego Branch
“But we’ve had enough talk. We need to have action and we need immediate, a sense of urgency, implementation of new policies and procedures.”
This report is part of the Center for Policing Equity’s National Justice Database project... which is the first database that captures police behavior. It’s now available online at sandiego-dot-gov slash c-p-e report. There’s also a schedule of planned community forums on the report.
Melissa Mae KPBS News.
That was KPBS’ Melissa Mae. The public will have a chance to learn more about issues raised in the report and air any concerns and opinions during two virtual community forums, including one tailored for youths. They’re scheduled over the next two weeks.
Environmental groups have asked the city of San Diego to close off part of the La Jolla coastline to protect sea lions and their pups from tourists. But The city has declined to take that step for now. KPBS environment reporter Erik Anderson has details.
The Sierra Club asked the mayor on Tuesday to close off public access to the Sea Lion rookery. In an emailed statement from the mayor’s office, city officials say
They will add additional signage soon and the city will increase park ranger hours at the park. It is mixed news for the Sierra Club’s Richard Miller.
“I’m glad to hear that they think they can get the signage up that’s necessary in a very short period of time. That would be extremely good for us.”
Miller is unhappy the city is not willing to keep the rocky shoreline off limits to people. City officials said in their email statement that the Mayor is willing to consider it in the long term if regulators and stakeholders can reach a consensus.
The statement says the guidance from federal and state agencies is skeptical about full beach closures to protect marine mammals. Erik Anderson KPBS News
A Summer event celebrating classic cars and ‘the good old times’ now has something more to celebrate. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne has more about Cruisin Grand’s return to Escondido.
Cruisin Grand- The classic car show, returns to Grand Avenue in Escondido today (Friday).
Last year would have been the event's 20th anniversary, but the pandemic put a pause to its 20 year streak.
Bob and Nancy Enlow have been driving their 59’ Impala to Cruisin Grand for the past 6 years.
“We’re very excited, we missed it a lot. “It means a lot to us older people with classic cars. Cruisin Grand you get to see your friends all the time.”
The free family event will start at 4pm every Friday through September.
Diana Gil the manager of Filippis Pizza on Grand is excited to welcome the event back but is also nervous.
“Super excited but at the same time kind of nervous because we are understaffed like a lot of restaurants right now.”
Although the event is called “Cruisin Grand”... there won’t be any cruising because of outdoor dining in the downtown area. Instead, Grand Ave will be closed to car traffic in both directions…. and the classic cars will all be parked, giving people a chance for an up-close look.
TT KPBS News.
Coming up.... Will people go out to the movies now that pandemic restrictions have eased? KPBS’ Beth Accomando checked in at the Angelika Film Center at Carmel Mountain. Plus, we’ll have our weekend local arts events preview. That's all next, just after the break.
On Wednesday the Angelika Film Center Carmel Mountain celebrated the state’s lifting of pandemic restrictions by offering morning screenings.
KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando visited the cinema to see how things are going.
On June 15th cinemas received new guidelines for operation from the state signaling a return to a kind of normalcy for theater patrons says Angelika Film Center’s general manager Chris Herbert..
It's like coming back home, you know, basically, A, they want to get out of house, be a lot of people. Their weekly routines include going to the movies. So when we have so many of our regulars come in and they're so happy and it's good to see them, you know.
The past 18 months have been a challenge for theaters, which had to close for a good portion of the pandemic and then were only allowed to operate at 50 percent or less capacity says Natasha Mullholland, marketing manager for Angelika Film Center and Reading Cinemas.
We felt a great deal of suffering throughout this time. It was so difficult to enforce all these new measures. We had many people upset about having to wear a mask or upset about having to wait in seemingly longer lines because of the social distancing.
Social distancing is now gone and staff were peeling off the floor stickers on Wednesday as proof of the change.
Starting now, we are at one hundred percent capacity, so we will no longer enforce social distancing measures. So when you book your seat, there are more seats to choose from and there won't be that social distancing requirement where it automatically blocks off seats next to you.
Although cinemas are now allowed to fill every seat, the Angelika Film Center is not selling out at least not yet. So the National Association of Theater Owners has designed a campaign called Cinema Week.
Which is taking place June 20 second to twenty seven. And it incorporates several fun events. So we'll be doing movie trivia and outdoor patio June twenty third at seven pm. So we're here to test your movie knowledge.
Movie goers may also have to test their knowledge about how to do old familiar tasks like serving themselves their own drinks and standing next to people in line. How eager people are to come back to movie theaters may depend on the films.
And we've seen a lot of presales for F9, the fast saga. We just released ticket advance ticket sales for Black Widow. And that has been incredibly popular already.
So we're really gearing up for that.
Again Chris Herbert.
we're basically we're beefing up our staffing levels just for that, you know, but I mean, the movies lately have been really good. The Conjuring has done really well. Quiet Place. Cruella has done well. So and of course, now some of the major pictures have been pushed back for months, almost a year now are starting to come out. So we got Black Widow coming up in July.
But Angelika Film Center has a history of encouraging people to attend more than just the blockbusters.
We have a fantastic documentary about Rita Moreno opening this week, as well as the Sparks Brothers, the Edgar Wright film. I really feel a strong sense of positivity. I think people really do want to get out of the house and want to have that feeling of normality again. I think that our cinemas are a place for community and for families and people who love film, especially the Angelika.
Herbert says he and his staff are driven by two things.
We show good movies and we take care of our guests. And that's first and foremost, when you come in here, you treat it like you're part of the family. So that's that's, I think, what really brings people here to Angelika.
So maybe Dom and his cinematic family are just what’s need to get people off their couches and into cinemas again.
Angelika Film Center like so many theaters is just hoping that people will get back into the habit of going out to a movie.
Beth Accomando, KPBS News.
That was Beth Accomando of KPBS News.
And if you’re looking for some local arts events this weekend, KPBS Arts editor and producer Julia Dixon-evans is here with her weekend preview...
Local writer, bar manager and musician Ben Johnson released his feature film, Fanboy" earlier this year and now, the long-awaited soundtrack is being released.
It's a thriller firmly entrenched in the local music scene, so as you can imagine the soundtrack is jam-packed with locals.
But the film centers around a fictional band, Xenos, so a lot of the incredible music in the film were original tracks written for this fictional band.
Johnson is bringing Xenos to life to perform Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Krakatoa parking lot. It's a free show, and the newly released soundtrack will be available to buy on vinyl.
This weekend marks Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the official end of slavery as word of the emancipation finally reached people in Texas.
The San Diego Black Artist Collective has paired with local theaters to put together a week-long festival of brand new plays by local Black playwrights, and will also present two in-person events on Saturday.
The first, at noon, is The Old Globe's free AXIS event, featuring short performances of music, dance and theater on the globe's outdoor festival stage — the first time the stage has been used since the Shakespeare festival back in 2019!.
Afterwards, stroll over to the other side of Balboa Park at 1 p.m. to catch the second annual Artists 4 Black Lives event, with performances, booths and more.
And, if you don't want to go out, check out some of the virtual plays. I loved "The Mango Tree," by Bibi Mama, a 20 minute one-person play that is just gorgeous and powerful.
The Mango Tree by Bibi Mama, produced by Moxie Theater and it'll stream tonight at 8:30 and Saturday at 6. -
In San Ysidro, there's a new art crawl. Art spaces and businesses are coming together to launch "Sidro Saturdays," which will be held the third Saturday of each month.
This Saturday's is the first, from 5-10 p.m., featuring poetry performances, live music, art vendors, DJ sets and food, beer and low riders.
There's a QR code and a map online of all the participating locations, but a good place to start is The Front gallery on W. San Ysidro Blvd.
And finally, looking for non-cliche Father's Day plans?
The Hausmann Quartet is doing a special Father's Day performance on Sunday at 4 p.m. aboard the Maritime Museum's Berkeley ship.
It's a quick 30 minute show, and it's free with museum admission, so you can also impress the dads in your life with some maritime facts.
Hausmann will perform Jessie Montgomery's intriguing quartet "Strum," as well as this piece—
— which is one of my favorite contemporary compositions, Caroline Shaw's "Valencia."
You can find details on these and more arts events, and! Sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, at KPBS dot ORG slash ARTS
That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.