Monday, July 18, 2011

Support Change Support McNair Support Education

@Change Dot Org has a survey started by the Council for Opportunity in Education and I want ALL my Twitter followers, blog followers and FB friends to sign it! I am a McNair Scholar and being a McNair Scholar has CHANGED MY LIFE...this may seem like an exageration but it is not. I am going to graduate school to get a PhD in Sociology because if the McNair Scholars program and I refuse to see it cut! Nor the other similar programs!
Here is the link! Sign the petition please!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Movies w/ Substance

I love movies. What I love even more are movies with substance! I'm not talking about dramas though I do love a good drama like Milk...or a good documentary like Born Rich but that's not what I want to talk about here.

"7 Feminist Take-Aways From the Final Harry Potter Movie" is a MUST READ

Hermione Granger
The title should say a must read for feminists, and Harry Potter fans, well...that should include EVERYONE. Feminism is for men, women, the trans community and everyone!!!! That being said please read it located here from @msmagazine

I love following Ms Magazine on Twitter because they always have something interesting to say or something to make me thing or want to get involved. That being said I am fan of Harry Potter. I loved and read the books as they came out taking in all the words from every page from the 7 books telling the story of Harry and his friends in their journey to destroy Lord Voldermort.

I love the piece from Ms Magazine because not only is it current as Harry Potter 7.2 just came out but because it will give people another way to look at the films. They also have another piece with Hermione as a feminist shero and I would totally agree as she is smart, talented and vocal about the changes she wants to see and takes action and while not perfect (no one is) she does her best.

Prof Minerva McGonagall
Please follow them and see the last film. An end of a chapter in my life serves as a beginning. I can take lessons of Hermione, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Lily Potter, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Tonks, Harry, Ron and the rest of the characters dead or alive, past or present and use them to fight the Voldermorts of the worlds. They can no long be He Who Must Not Be Named. Let's call them out. Let's end racism, sexism, heterosexism, patriarchy, heteropatriarchy, homophobia, xenoophobia, transphobia, classism, and oppression of all types.

Be Inspired...

I cannot say that my words will inspire you but you need to lit that fire in your heart or under your need to get your life goals accomplished...that means you need to work.

Like Dr. Calvin Mackie said, if not you, then who?

This post is just a few links, vids, quotes and people that inspire me and I encourage you to be inspired or find your inspiration and with that deep inside you go out and live your life...fight your fight...sing your song...BE You! BE GREAT!

First a song that comes from a storm of depression and is beautiful in its cathartic nature:
Skyscraper by Demi Lovato!
Celia Cruz-Yo Viviré One of my fave songs from m fave artist, la Reina de la Salsa, la Guarachera de Cuba...she brought Latino music and culture to the world, representing Cuba and speaking out! She also worked to unite Latinos with songs like Latinos en Estados Unidos...

Beyond the world of music there is the #LatISM movement afoot on Twitter with  Elianne Ramos taking the lead with #LatISM townhall meetings on Twitter bring Latinos of all kinds together.

Last night at the 17th Annual McNair Scholars Conference Dr. Calvin Mackie ended the event with a bang bring out emotions and inspiring many! Here is his website (and twitter too) and he is well worth checking out!

Socrates said " The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear."
A Chinese Proverb says "Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still"
 Dr. Henry Louis Taylor from the University at Buffalo held a coffeehouse talk at the McNair Scholars Conference said in response to a question blaming the media for the state of African Americans and Latinos in the US said to utilize the media to better attack the problems we face both media caused and otherwise. We can do that with blogs like this, with hashtag groups like #LatISM #LGBT spread news on Twitter and FB and communicate with Yahoo! Groups and more. 

With the death of my grandmother a short time ago to cancer this song has touched me more and more so I'm going to share it...
Only you can light the fire inside or under your ass to keep on keeping see the world with new eyes and to fight til the finish whatever that end is for you, but like Lil' Wayne says "Every finish line is the beginning of a new race"

McNair Conference Notes


Like I have mentioned already I attend the 17th Annual McNair Scholars Research Conference in Niagara Falls hosted by my Alma Mater the University at Buffalo. As a McNair Scholar I attended and presented on my role in the research project of Dr. Lois Weis (my mentor). The McNair Scholars Program for those who do not know is a federally funded program that is SO necessary for low-income, first generation students and racial and ethnic minority students. As part of the Summer Research Program one gets a stipend to work with a professor who acts as a research mentor teaching about academic, research, and important stuff you should know as well as prepare you to go to graduate school to receive a doctorate.

Each year UB hosts a conference bringing together McNair Scholars from across the country to present on  their research. This year was especially moving and powerful for me and I will proceed to discuss it in the coming posts. I will say this: education is important, this programs reaffirms this for students, guides students, supports students and believes in students. I need this program and it helped me so I hope that the federal government and President Obama continue to support it.

I must say thank you to the federal government for funding this program, and more importantly to Dr. Susan Ott, and Heather Hagenbuch!!! You have been pillars of strength supporting me and the foundation that began as an Acker Scholar thanks to Dr. Leticia Thomas, Nicole Williams, and Danielle Johnson ABD, and was given sabor and azúcar by the Latin American Student Association! I could not have done it without you all and all your support!

I hope the McNair Scholars program continues to exist in more schools, supporting more students, until we are living in a different equal, equitable world!

Real Men...Know When to Move On

While I did start with the best intentions this project has not com out the way I hoped. While writing a blog daily may not have produced my best work but it is great practice. I will continue to write but the real men thing is not working out. Partly because it's not my style. My other posts are generally different. So real men know when to stop. This ends the real men series. Thanks for watching!

Real Men...Share Their Emotions

Hello All,

I have been gone for too long. I won't give you excuses. I have been lazy and have not cared to stick with my word and that will change especially after this weekend. I just came home from the McNair Scholars Conference and have a lot to say about a lot of thing. But first...

Last night was the final night of the McNair Conference and our speaker Dr. Calvin Mackie was our final speaker and really ended the conference on such a high note. This inspires two posts this being the first. Real men are not afraid to hug each other, because a hug is a sign of affection and real men can show affection to does not make one gay and being gay is not a bad thing. A real man would realize this. That being said, I cried last night. I'm not afraid to admit that. I went up to the mic during the Q&A and explained how I was touched and Dr. Mackie called me forward for a hug. It didn't feel weird at all. After I sat down more people went up and I was pleased to see another Latino go up and get emotional on the mic. Real men can and should show emotions. It makes you strong to own who you are and to be yourself. Thanks Dr. Mackie!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Real Men...Play

While being informed and working hard take a toll and keeping the body in shape takes time it is important to play. Whether it be video games, board games, crossword puzzles, or sports sometimes you need to get up and go.
Video games are one of my favorites. I love board games.

It is important to balance work with play.

Sweet dreams!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Real Men...Help Others

I'm now all caught up with my posts and I am planning a great one for tomorrow but this one like my others will be short.

I'm always helping my friends. It started in middle school through church. I went to church and was always volunteering with my family for this or that event and as I grew up I continued my service to the church. In high school I expanded out a bit and in college I was all over the place. UB gave me so many opportunities to get involved in the Buffalo, Latino and college community. I'm so grateful. I was involved through the Intercultural and Diversity Center, through LASA (the Latin American Student Association), the LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Alliance), and more. It was great. I met some great men through this service. I always saw people who gave their time and energy to others in a positive light but I think men especially need to pick up the community service cause.

It can be simple cleaning up a park (which gives others a clean place to relax), tutor (help other learns) or you can go closer to home and help your friends. You're not always going to be able to give but when you can you should. I'm working for a few hours tomorrow but I'm also helping a friend build his garage (most likely). If I have the time I'll help. I've gotten help and support from many friends that is why I know a real man helps others.

This one is simple enough to start...are you at a party? Help clean up. Someone frop their books? Help them pick them up. Walking through a door and a person is behind you? Hold it open. I'm not saying hold it for a woman but hold the door for the next person, male or female. Courtesy is not dead!

Real Men...Are Only As Good As Their Word

Real men say they'll do something and they pull through. They're the ones you want in your corner. The believers, supporters, true friends...I know I sometimes need to try harder to give my word and stand by it but a real man can admit when he makes a mistake, can say sorry because it he is sincere he is giving his words power that they can lose. If he's continuously sorry then there may be a problem there.

Sometimes our word is the only thing we have and if we ruin that there may be no going back. Don't say yes, when it's no. Don't give your word or promise if you won't follow through. Sometimes mistakes happen and things come up but you make that chance very slim. This is one I'm working on and so our challenge for the week is to stand by our word. If we'll get it done tonight then get it done...night's almost over. Also ties into my next post!

Real Men...are Informed

This one is simple enough. You check out my blog, you're on the right track. You follow @AJEnglish (Al Jazeera), @BBCNews, or whomever you're on the right track. If you read the Times, the Post, Daily News, watch GMA, the Early Show, The Young Turks, Maddow, whatever you consume...take it in. We can have a conversation about where to consume from, how to consume, and what to do with it but real men know what's going on. You don't need to know that gay marriage passed 33-29, just that it passed. Being informed makes it easier for you to talk with people you don't know because something in the news will interest them. I think it makes you a real man when you know what's going on in the world. You cannot be an expert in American politics, and European politics, and the scientific community but you can know that we're getting ready for an election soon, that economies are struggling and that NASA is making changes.

With that here is your goal for tonight: find out something you didn't know about the world. Something occurring/that occurred or will occur in the last 24/next 24 hours. See what you find!

Real Men...Take Care of Their Bodies

I was out of town for a job interview and could not bring my laptop on the road so I owe you all for 4 days.

Since the death of my grandmothers I have been trying to get healthy especially since my grandma Olga passed because she had stomach cancer (and liver cancer) and we have a history of GI cancer...this inspired me because I have had some minor stomach issues and I'm only 22 and I carry some extra fat on my gut. Real men take care of themselves. [I must state here that real men are works in progress...if we stagnate we should find something else to work on. Also I am not perfect at any of these but I'm trying.]

What does it mean to take care? For some men it means exercising to lose the fat, increase the muscle, tone up, improve the heart but most importantly prevent disease (heart disease, diabetes, etc). For others it means eating healthy, maybe a vegetarian diet, vegan even...for others it means getting manis and pedis to keep out hands comfortable and looking good. My thought is there are very few things women do take care of themselves that we can't. You don't have to be gay to use conditioner...seriously it's 2011. Loved this HuffPost Piece...I condition...and I try to keep my brows in check...I got a mani with my cousin too and I'm not afraid to blog it!

Pick a small goal to start with...I started drinking soda at work and raid the vending goal is to stop drinking soda again and drink more water...especially in the summer heat. But regardless to be a real man you take care of your body in whatever ways you can!
Public Domain

Monday, July 4, 2011

Special July 4th Blog Post

Here are some links to check out that I think are awesome and relevant to us today.

Check out this Colorlines piece on what to do for the 4th of July: How to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Then watch a few music videos about different issues:

Dear Mr President by Pink-while not directed at President Obama (written about former President Bush) I think some of this is still very relevant

When The Revolution Comes by The Last Poets-found on the album Black Power:Music From the Revolution, Black Power song about the revolution when the revolution which is for more than Blacks and African Americans but Latinos, Natives, and more

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron-the coming revolution will not be on TV it will be live, and the revolution will be you in the driver's seat!!!

Why?-Jadakiss-Raps asking many hard hitting questions, where is the AIDS cure? Why brothers can't get degrees in jail? And more. I love the video footage at the end espcially showing many faces getting active in the fight.

Latinoamérica por Calle 13-For spanish speakers and English readers Calle trece raps about the people, work and land of Latin America and how we will not be bought and sold anymore. Translated lyrics by my friend Ana Luisa! One of my fave songs!

Last but certainly not least a song whose very title inspiring protest and the fight that song is Fight the Power by Public Enemy. Speaks for itself and again is not just for Blacks but all people of color and they are featured in this video as well. 

These were all previously shared separately on Twitter but in the event you don't follow me (@CarlosMCamacho) I have included them here. By virtue of being in America and being citizens we ahave the right to redress our grievance with the government and the right to free speech and freedom of the press. This blog is my press as is my twitter account and they are the platforms with which I share my voice. Working together, joining our voice in a multinational, multilingual, rainbow of colors and stories, we can change this country and the world. Have a blessed day and find your way to fight the power!

Real Men...Keep Their Hands to Themselves

Last night I had a horrible dream in which there was a lot of violence and it inspired today's post. Men we have given ourselves the idea that we are the masters of the universe and that what we say goes and that our bodies should control the bodies of others if our words fail us or we fail to use words.

Whether a friend, significant other, lover, parent/guardian, sister, brother, child, violence is NEVER okay. Real men do NOT hurt others. (Sometimes self defense is required but this is not the case in domestic violence, assault, etc when one person is being an aggressor towards another). No one has the right to abuse another person. Like the saying goes that is being spread on college campuses "these hand don't hurt"! Men we are not all violent but we must all work to conquer violence in our communities and stop people from being hurt. We also must ensure that our young ones especially our young boys do not get the same message but a different one. One that says that we can be strong and defend our loved ones without violence. While some of our loved ones may not need protection it is everyone's job to protect their family the best way they can. One way is education. We must educate our children on conflict resolution.

Tying into my first post on rape, men we need to stop. A woman does not deserve to be punched, kicked or assaulted in any way. While not all violence against women is physical it is a huge problem. It is not limited to a racial/ethnic group/social class. Everyone can be affected by violence. From hate crimes against marginalized groups to violence in the home against a children and partners/family, to street violence and more. Men we must learn to use our words and settle our differences with them not with fists, knives and guns. I'm not going to blame the media for violence. I'm not going to absolve the media of responsibility. I don't hit and I pray I never do (again. As a young teen I didn't know how to keep my hands to myself). A real man has self control which seems to be lacking with men in the world today. A real man does not hurt, abuse or hit people. It's simple. It may not seem easy when one is angry but we must not get violent. If we 'lose control' when we are under the influence of legal or illegal substances then we need to remove them from our lives. It is possible to live without drugs and/or alcohol!

Again, real men do not hurt others. Learn to use your words in a positive way and keep the peace!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Real Men...Know (Their) History

Today is my 3rd blog day and today is about real men knowing their history. This seems less serious than yesterday's post about rape but I think it's important and ties in as well. Men, thanks to patriarchy and our propagation of it have been on the top of the world. Men need to know this history so that we can change our ways and improve the world. We must challenge our male privilege. We must level the playing field and understand that is is not level.

As men of color we need to know the history of our people. We need to know about the status of our suelo natal (homeland) and help the next generation to know the same but also to know our history here in the US and how the fights are not done. We come from generations of story tellers and from oral traditions. We must know this to send it forward to the children and the children of the children.

White men must know the history of their homeland as well. Even if we don't go farther than a few generations we must look at our history and for white men in the US the history of oppression has been very real for women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and more.

Okay so real men know their history, you may ask what's the point?

I am a firm believer in the idea that if you don't know your history you're doomed to repeat it. If you don't know where you're from you don't know where you're going. This one is open to interpretation but I think that knowing that America's beginnings were on the soil of the Native people will and should affect they way we legislate and treat people coming into our country. When we celebrate a holiday in the US like the 4th of July, Independence Day it is important that we remember the Natives that were murdered and robbed (and still live in poor conditions)...remember that the US still has Puerto Rico as a colony...that women make less than men...because knowing this we can change it. You cannot solve a problem if you don't the context. it doesn't matter that x=4 if you don't know the formula or how to use it.

Men, we must know our history so that we can move forward toward a better a tomorrow. Men we need to put a value on knowledge of self, and of past, and we need to pass this on to our sons AND our daughters. If we can know and understand our past, we can see the context of the present and move forward into the future. Maybe we'll have a paradigm shift, maybe we already did, maybe we won't at all but the point is to know where you come from, where you are, to get going in the best direction!

Brightest Blessings!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Real Men...Get Consent and Do Not Rape

Part 1 of my 30 day 30 blog posts on real men and what they do and don't!

Men get consent when they have sex. Men need a Yes! from their partner whether their partner is male, female, intersex or transgendered (etc.). This is not a question or an option. No means no. Rape is a serious problem in the US and around the world. The majority of rapes are committed by men against women so men hold the key in stopping rape.

If you are making love/having sex with a partner and they want to stop. A real man stops. A real man does not pressure another person to have sex. A real man knows that a child cannot give consent to any sexual act. A real man respects everyone's right to privacy with their bodies. A real man practices safer sex. A real man does not use sex as a weapon. A real man works to pass laws that protect women and children and their bodies. A real man has discussions and conversations with women.

Let's be real men and stop rape!!!

On Twitter follow @theLesbianMafia @MsMagazine @Feministing

Real Men...Series

Inspired by @MattCutts at his @tedtalks I'm going to blog for 30 days. I had a realization this morning that tweeting was too simple and that I needed something passionate to blog about. While I'm doing this I will also be personal real world stuff what's relevant here is my blogging. Beyond Ted Talks I'm entitling this Real Men in part inspired by the Twitter controversy between @VillageVoice and Ashton Kutcher. This is me making for yesterday...real post for today coming soon.

Men and masculinity issues are something a lot of men deal with at some point. I had to redefine what I thought it was to be a man when I came out of the closet. I realized I could still be a man and like men and being Boricua and Latino, masculinity issues are different so as a gay man of color I will be discussing my thoughts on what real men do and do not do.

Hope you enjoy and feel free to comment!

Brightest Blessings