Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Salinas, Valle, Concerned Latinos Force A's To Bring Down Insensitive Billboard

ALAMEDA COUNTY | On June 21, the day that Yoenis C├ęspedes, the Oakland Athletics' top Latino slugger, blasted a game-winning, walk-off home run that completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the A's' front office was headed toward controversy. A group of East Bay Latinos, lead by Hayward Councilman Mark Salinas, had raised objections over a billboard promoting last Sunday's "Turn Back the Clock Day," saying that it was racially insensitive...



  1. Goodness. Growing up in the EastBay during the 50's and 60's, while I would say the term "greasers" was somewhat derrogatory, the first image that comes to mind is not a Mexican or Hispanic person, but a "white" teenage guy, driving some marginally fixed up car, wearing a white t-shirt that has a pack of cigarettes rolled up in one of the sleeves. He is not even Italian and may not even have dark hair.

    He would be driving around the San Leandro Strip on Friday and Saturday nights, parking at Prings or nearby, trying look cool, but frequently looked down upon as being a loser by the jocks and appropriate students.
    He seldom would be Latino.
    Perhaps Italian if we were able to actually check his drivers license and discern the last name.

    In other words, my perception of that term, in the 50's, in the East Bay, is exactly what the A's intended.

    Heck, my brother was a greaser for a time, as was my brother in law. Motorcyles, greased back hair, the whole nine yards.
    I'll call my brother and tell him to write a letter to the A's objecting at the use of the term "greaser". He's a retired cop.
    I'd better call my brother-in-law as well, since he surely qualified as being a "greaser" in the eyes of many.
    He was Portuguese, so he even had darker skin and drove a chromed up Harley Sportster.

    Sure, allow the A's to change the signs, as they quickly did, but do they "need to be more culturally proficient"?
    That I'm not sure.
    Culturally proficient... I'm not even sure what that means.

    Let me give you a example of where being "culturally proficient" has begun to go over-board as a key emphasis.
    Our schools are in the business of trying to give kids a education. We are struggling greatly with that.
    Yet the current issue of the CTA Journal, has as its main cover story this month, "Are You Being Culturally Compentent" (as a teacher).

    The "cover story", mind you.

    In that article, a example of the issue of "culturally compentent"..( sounds a lot like "culturally proficient")

    The first example from one teacher profiled.
    "When I meet Muslim parents, I know it is appropriate to shake the father's hand, NEVER to take the mother's hand, and that I should pat my heart twice to say it's a pleasure to meet you as a greeting."

    We see the state of education, the test results, and now we see the current issue of the CTA Journal having that emphasis for its cover story.
    Might we have lost site of the minimal objectives in education. Might even minority parents be more concerned about whether their child can read or do math, than whether the teacher makes a faux pas in shaking hands in a culturally insensitive manner?

    Just saying, were spending a lot of energy on such matters as being "culturally competent" and "culturally proficient", while Rome is burning, and other nations are educating their children far better we are.

  2. Growing up with Latino neighbors they often used the word greaser to define a dirty mechanic. I think it is time to tell these politicians like Salinas to get a life and a real job. These guys are too politically sensitive. Soon the word greaser will be stricken by the dictionary because our politicians are not that well educated to understand how words have been used different even by the same people that they think will be offended. Salinas and Valle go get some education.

  3. culturally proficient? What the hell does that mean? Many Hispanic's, born and raised in the USA are so removed from the Hispanic culture they don't identify with the Hispanic culture. Many Hispanic's both recent and born in the USA have more allegence to their Hispanic culture than identifying with their USA roots. Can you be Hispanic and identify with and hold allegence to the USA? That's the question you need to ask yourself if you are Hispanic.

  4. Amen to the above comments!

  5. I understand the comments here, but the A's made a mistake in the marketplace. I also think "Grease" but i also think wetback. I'll say the best thing about A's management is that they recognized the error, moved quickly and covered it up.

  6. If you think it's impossible to be proud of your ethnic culture and a proud American at the same time, look in the mirror. You're the problem with this country.

  7. The A's did not make a mistake. I think the uneducated politicians are the ones that made the mistake.

    I just read the article at the eastbay express and I noticed that Salinas is a Chabot instructor for Chicano studies. Well, I think Mr. Salinas is way off. If that is how he feels then his courses at the community college must be worthless to any contributions for people to really understand cultures.

  8. If you think grease but also think wetback you might be racist. Just thinking.

  9. And, what might my problem be annointed one?

  10. Can someone explain why Mark Salinas is the bad guy? Isn't he just saying, let's all get along. Maybe if the A's did their homework they would have known this ad wasn't such a good idea.

  11. I saw the new A's billboard with Coco Crisp on I880 is no longer up. It was promoting the Yankees series which has not occured yet. Odd.

    The point of this story was really to illustrate the little things in each others cultures that may offend and as a part of our collective knowledge that we keep them in mind. I don't think it's meant to shackle everyone to a lifeless PC world. If I personally thought that way, I wouldn't allow what I believe is pure free speech on these comment sections.

    I was also trying to enpower people. If you stand together, you can get things done and get them done quickly. That's what happened here and the A's were freaking out on this one and they moved fast.

  12. The posts where they identified Mark Salinas and claim he needs to be educated on use of culture words I agree, and in my opinion are correct. I don't think they are vilifying the ignorance of Salinas at all.

    What I am really curious about is that if "culture proficiency" is what is being taught on the community college then those courses need to be audited to see if the education coming out of these type of classes are worth the money expense of instructor pay, facilities, etc,..

    What are the qualifications of this community college instructor anyway? Does Mark Salinas have anything that the public can read such that we can understand he is the authority on what he means by "cultural proficiency". These days anyone can teach at a community college regardless how unproficient, irrelevant, or worthless a topic is about anything.

    I always thought most community colleges do a very poor job on delivering what they get paid to do. More suspicious I am on those so called social/culture/ethnic classes.

    BTW I am a second generation Latino and I am very proud of my heritage for I have family traces of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese.

    I am not insulted nor any Latino people I know by words such as greaser, wetback, spic, etc.. I am more insulted when we as people give validity and credence to "those" type of words that are misconstrued as ethnic slurs.

    Go A's Go and Viva La Raza.

  13. Amen to 5:42pm and I could not agree more.

  14. "Viva La Raza"? Now that is racist!

  15. In the words of a famous person a few years ago.
    "Can we all just get along"

    I also concur with 5:42, and I think Mark Salinas and Richard Valle are just insecured of being Latino.

    Yes, Go A's Go and Viva La Raza.

  16. What a bunch of stupid Mexicans. If they wanted to slam Mexicans they would have said "cholo's" not "greasers".

  17. or "Beaner" "Wetback" "Lettuce Picker"

  18. To 8:24 not all Latinos are Mexicans, and not all Mexicans are Latinos, but some Latinos are Mexicans and some Mexicans are Latinos. Either way I do think we have too much political correctness. I also think 5:42 describes it very well on all points.