By Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher
The incident that shows the Argentinian musician destroying the cart of street vendor in Los Angeles is one of many examples of the internal struggle and hates that is part of the daily life of the Latino community not only in the US but also in Latino America. The mindset that this man showcases is one where some are willing to hurt others while somehow believing that it is not only okay, but necessary, he feels justified to do so because may be in his confused mind, he is teaching this “dunce” a lesson, and because he is from the same community he is allowed. There is a reason why many Latin American countries suffer under their “elected” administration; here is a walking, talking example of why this happens. Argentina, like many other countries in Latin America have terrible human rights records against their own citizens and they have acted on their hate for the others, usually the indigenous population, by committing terrible acts of barbarism. From before the term Neoliberalism was coined, a modified form of liberalism tending to favor free-market capitalism, there has been a movement where those with the financial power have been able to subjugate those in need. They feel justified to not only subjugate those that work for them but also to resort to physical violence or harassment in order to get what they feel they deserve from those that work for them, generally, total acquiescence.
The willingness for any person to destroy another’s livelihood is not new, it happens regularly. Corporations, business owners, managers are willing to put folk in jeopardy of starving by making decisions on a whim about who is deserving and who is not. It is a form of power and control. There are many stories of people losing their homes, their family, and their sense of purpose once they lose their livelihood. What this creates is a worker community in crisis, and once any one is in crisis will either acquiesce or will need to be defiant at risk of suffering harm.
The response of the community in Los Angeles feels justified and refreshing and the recently passed motion to decriminalize street vending also supported this. Mr. Hakas is learning that the larger community does not approve his emotional motivation, what ever it was. However, we must be very careful to stay focused on this incident and build upon it as necessary through legal means. At this time, it is disappointing that the LAPD seems to not be interested in justice. The community stands in contrast with the current administration’s hair trigger emotional responses to anything that creates confusion or emotional strife with them. Let’s not emulate them, but learn from the civil rights icons who truly loved this country and all of its people.