Recently, the first conference on the impact of social media on the Latina community took place in Dallas. One of the main speakers was Rudy Ruiz who the National Hispanic Institute calls a cultural visionary. A year ago, Rudy was running an ad agency, but he had little to do with Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social media tools. Still, he knew something was missing in the world of social media: multicultural perspectives. So he created Red, Brown and Blue, an online multicultural sociopolitical media organization. Here’s something from the email that came to me about Rudy and the site: “The blogsite has essentially grown from just an idea to being one of the most sought-after news and opinion resources dedicated to providing multicultural perspectives. It’s been hailed by many Washington Hispanic influencers as a blueprint for someone outside-the-beltway to become influential and vocal on political issues without ever having to step foot in Washington.” I thought that was pretty amazing so I asked if Rudy would participate in a Q&A here. Fortunately, he agreed, so here we go with part three:
Leslie: Of course I have to ask what you think of what’s going on in Arizona. Your thoughts?
Rudy: It’s tragic in many ways. And it’s very complex. The trouble in Arizona stems from a failure of governments on both sides of the border. The US government has taken way too long to come up with a solution for comprehensive immigration reform. The focus on securing our borders is understandable and necessary. But that can’t continue to be the excuse for avoiding action on immigration reform because it does not begin to address the 12 million-plus undocumented immigrants who are already inside our country. The delay has left states, especially border states like Arizona, in a very tough spot. They are feeling the heat in Arizona as a result of the failure of government in Mexico. Mexico is on the verge of becoming a failed state due to the inability of the government, military and society to deal with the illegal drug trade. The violence from that industry spills over into Arizona on a daily basis, leading many to call for more extreme measures. And thus you get the new Arizona immigration law, which in my opinion oversteps the bounds of the state’s jurisdiction. But worse even, the law creates a moral hazard for law enforcement officers to engage in racial profiling which will likely have a very negative impact on Hispanics in general within the state of Arizona. This has all been widely covered but it cannot be said enough times. Two wrongs do not make a right. And the rights and freedom of legal Hispanic Americans to live their lives free of suspicion, fear and intrusion due to the color of their skin should not be infringed upon. Hopefully, the federal government will step in soon to stop this law and fulfill its own role to provide the nation with a consistent and updated immigration policy. And I also hope that our leaders acknowledge that the issues of immigration and border crime can never be fully resolved until Mexico gets its act together. We need a continental solution because as long as Mexico is in chaos, people seeking a better life as well as drugs and violence will continue to seek an escape valve and the natural path leads into the US.