Thanksgiving is upon us, and all across the United States, kitchens are going into overdrive to make enough turkey to feed a nation of more than 300 million.
But not everyone is crazy about turkey, so there's obviously going to be some alternatives being served. One such alternative that is gaining steam (literally, play on words here) in both Latino kitchens and among the converted faithful non-Latinos, is tamales.
"In the 25 years my husband and I have been married, I cannot recall a single Christmas or Thanksgiving without tamales," says Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, Texas, sharing her online recipe at whatscookingamerica.net.
Though Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday, immigrants have apparently carried their own traditions into the fold, and the American appetite is very welcoming to the new addition.
"Tamales are an everyday food but also have special places on holiday tables in Mexico and Central America," writes Amanda Moniz of The Washington Post on the history of holiday foods. "In Mexico, they are eaten at Day of the Dead celebrations in early November.
"Thanks to recent Latin American immigration to the United States, tamales are increasingly showing up on Thanksgiving tables as well. With a name derived from the Nahuatl word 'tamalli,' this hearty newcomer to our national meal highlights the fact that Latin American immigrants often have Indian ancestry."
These delectable little favorites are becoming so commonplace that they even make their way onto the menu by those serving up the holiday meal for the less fortunate in areas that are not normally considered to have heavy concentrations of Hispanics.
Jack D'Orazio, who runs the Boise Rescue Kitchen, in the Idaho capital, includes 5,000 beef tamales in his to-do list when preparing food for the recipients of his charity's efforts.
And for those who insist on the big turkey being the mainstay of the Thanksgiving feast, there's always the question about what to do with the enormous amount of meat left over after the family's stomachs have had their fill.
Are Latinos void of top leadership? Do Latinos need a national voice that brings them together? A recent survey by The Pew Hispanic Center noted that “The job for a national Latino leader is open.”
The survey found that over 64% of Latinos cannot identify a national Latino leader. Similarly, the National Institute for Latino Policy found that Latinos could not agree on a national voice and instead identified 27 distinct leaders. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the highest with 20%.
Does this mean Latinos are void of the very leadership we need to move forward as a people? !Jamas! Nothing could be further from the truth! The gains Latinos have made in the past 50 years bears witness to the work of thousands and thousands of leaders across the countries. In fact – watch out – because Latinos are forging a new model of leadership. One that is people-oriented, community-based, and participatory. Latino leadership is not concentrated in one voice or in only a few people. Instead, Latino leadership is inclusive. It is leadership by the many.
Julián Castro, the young mayor of San Antonio, follows this tradition:
“I think that what our young people should understand is that they can be leaders in their own right in their own community—in their neighborhood, church, college, job, or career, wherever it is. That is more empowering than looking up to one person as the Latino leader.” This inclusive form is turning the old traditional hierarchical leadership up-side-down. It may just be the exact type of leadership needed for the 21st century.
For generations, the centerpiece of mainstream leadership was the individual leader. This worked in an assembly-line where people followed orders and looked to the boss for direction.
Today, our economy centers on service, technology, communications, and industries such as health care, where people skills, joint problem-solving, and on-the-spot decision making are required. Civil rights, diversity, and globalization have also transformed leadership. Leaders today must be able to guide people from many distinct backgrounds, races, and nationalities.
Effective leaders, therefore, create inclusive environments that encourage diverse people to work together. Leaders must hand over the reins and shift the locus of control from I as the leader to We—the people. In response to these changes, leadership is transforming to a more collaborative and inclusive form. This in sync with how Latinos are leading their communities every day.
Latinos come from a We or people-centered culture. They are natural collaborators, having learned to share and to contribute to their families and community at an early age. Values such as reciprocity, cooperation, and generosity encourage collaboration. This is encapsulated in the revered Latino saying “mi casa es su casa.”
Latinos are inherently diverse
They are a fusion culture – mainly the Spanish and the indigenous people of this hemisphere, but many Latinos have mixed ancestry from other countries. Latino leaders, therefore, have to motivate and guide people who come from many backgrounds and races and who hail from 24 different countries. Inclusiveness leadership has also been reinforced by the wave of Hispanic immigration in the last quarter of the 20th century. Integrating immigrants into the American way of life has been an on-going leadership challenge.
As minorities who have endured discrimination and have not reached educational or employment equity, leadership has entailed ardent community organizing and social action. Activist leadership requires the fuerza, or strength, of many hands and many voices. Leaders share responsibility and through collective action grow other leaders.
These factors have cultivated an inclusive leadership style that welcomes people’s contributions and nurtures civic engagement.
Arturo Vargas, President of the National Association of Latino Political and Appointed Officials Foundation, describes this:
“We’re not going to have one charismatic leader who’s going to bring everybody together. It’s thousands of leaders. It’s thousands of movements in thousands of communities across the country, whether it’s immigrants organizing at a local level or the head of a nonprofit mobilizing his community or the young politician that gets elected to office. It’s a different kind of leadership – it’s much more inclusive.”
Sylvia Puente who heads up Chicago’s Latino Policy Forum, understands the power of leadership by the many:
“Our strength lies in our numbers, in our collaborative work with hundreds and hundreds of community members. Every day we’re working to train community members—more than five hundred this year—in parent education, fair housing, and to understand the complexities of immigration reform. Then they become community leaders in these areas.”
Vargas urges continued engagement, “If people are waiting for the great Brown hope, give it up. It ain’t gonna happen! Instead we have thousands and thousands of leaders working collectively everyday throughout our communities. That’s the new model of Latino of leadership and it’s inclusive.”
!Claro! Latinos leadership is uniquely suited for today’s diverse and global age. It holds the promise of a new America with inclusiveness, active citizenship, and people’s welfare at its core. Latino leadership is of, by, and for the people.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, black and Hispanic households were most at risk from food insecurity in 2012. Households labeled as food insecure have limited access to nutrition for a healthy and active lifestyle. The national average in 2012 for food insecure households was 14.5 percent, and more than 24.6 percent of black and 23.3 percent of Hispanic households were food insecure.
Contrary to the rhetoric and scare tactics of some opponents of comprehensive immigration reform, Latinos are following the typical immigrant pattern of rapid assimilation into American culture. Univision’s recent launch of Fusion, an English language cable channel whose target audience is young Latinos, is a case in point. It is a market response to the fact that most young Latinos watch television in English. A new analysis conducted by the PEW Hispanic Center finds that 90% of Latinos ages 18 to 29 who get their news from television do so in English. There are similar percentages for entertainment viewing.
Partnering with ABC/Disney in this new venture, Univision, the nation’s most watched Spanish language network, is making its first foray into producing programs in English. “This is a huge opportunity. Hispanics are young, and the purchasing power of millennials is going to be bigger than baby boomers very soon,” said Isaac Lee, president of Univision News and the newly named chief executive of Fusion.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, according to Lee, the biggest challenge for the fledgling new channel will be striking the right balance between identifying Fusion as a Latino channel, while appealing to young Latinos who see themselves as “Americans first."
Latinos and Education
On a similar note, Latinos are also following in the tradition of earlier groups of immigrants in viewing education as the key to advancement. Latinos are more likely than the general public to say a college degree is the key to life success, according to PEW.
In fact, Latinos have now moved ahead of whites in the percentage of high school graduates that go on to college. Citing Census Bureau statistics, PEW Hispanic Center reports that “49% of young Latino high-school graduates were enrolled in college in 2012, surpassing the rate for white (47%) and black (45%) high-school grads.”
Due to a higher drop-out rate among Latinos, the percentage of all Latinos age 18 through 24 in college is still slightly behind the percentage of whites: 38% as opposed to 42%. But the drop-out rate among Latinos is declining rapidly.
Keeping the American Dream Alive
Immigrants have revitalized our nation throughout our history, bringing new economic energy and enriching our arts and culture. At the same time, each nationality has also faced fierce discrimination and the tired and discredited old story that somehow this group is different or other, won’t assimilate and will wreck our culture.
Latinos are no exception. Every day this wave of Latino immigrants, like the immigrant groups that preceded them, provides a dynamic new generation of entrepreneurs and small business success and adds new ideas and perspectives to our culture—renewing the promise of America and the spirit of the American dream.
As a Latina, I was so proud when I heard that Pitbull, Armando Christian Pérez, was hosting the American Music Awards. To me, it signified that Latinos are finally as relevant as everyone else on television. Pitbull is someone that I have long-admired. He is not only extremely talented, but he has helped build a charter-, middle-, and high school in Miami's Little Havana, the neighborhood where he grew up. He has been quoted as saying that he had to lie about his address to be able to attend one of the "better" schools and he did not want other kids to have to do the same.
So I, along with 12 million other viewers, tuned in to watch him do his thing on Sunday night. Soon after the show, viewers began questioning his hosting skills and this did not cause a stir because everyone is entitled to their opinion. But in what seems to be a growing trend, people began questioning his nationality, assuming that because he is Latino he is not American, but you can be BOTH. The Tweets did not stop there. When Marc Anthony received his award for favorite Latin artist, viewers began questioning why there is a Latin category. This type of lashing out also happened earlier this year when Anthony sang "God Bless America" at the All Star Game. Not even an 11-year-old was spared. When Sebastien De La Cruz belted out the National Anthem at game 3 of the NBA finals, he also became the target of angry Tweets.
I thought it was important to share some facts from the latest U.S. Census:
1) Hispanics are the largest racial minority in the U.S.
2) 14.5 million Hispanics live in California
3) 37 million people speak Spanish in the U.S.
It is important to note that with these numbers, Hispanics would actually be underrepresented in the AMA's if they were not included.
On Feb. 2, when Fox Sports carries Super Bowl XLVIII from MetLife Stadium, so will Fox Deportes, the Spanish-language network that is also part of 21st Century Fox. The Super Bowl has never before been televised in Spanish in the United States.
The two-year deal with the N.F.L. allows Fox Deportes to carry other Fox games, starting with Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, followed by all Fox’s postseason games, culminating with the Super Bowl. That schedule will be followed in the 2014 season and will include preseason games. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Clearly, the Hispanic market has, and continues to be, a major priority for us,” said Peter O’Reilly, the vice president for fan strategy and marketing for the N.F.L. “We have a large and growing Hispanic fan base, and we’re seeing growth among the more Spanish-dominant segment.”
Fox Deportes will add a weekly 30-minute N.F.L. program and pregame shows.
Research done during the past off-season demonstrated a desire among Hispanic fans to watch games with Spanish-language announcers and graphics rather than broadcasts with Spanish audio.
The games under the Fox Deportes contract will be called by John Laguna and Francisco X. Rivera, who have experience calling N.F.L. games in Spanish.
The league has a variety of other Spanish-language deals, including one announced during the season that put Super Bowl XLVIII on ESPN Deportes Radio. Those rights are rotated every other year with Univision radio.
U.S. Hispanics are more likely to use digital coupons than the U.S. population in general. Some 84.2% of U.S. Hispanic consumers said they have searched for an online coupon based on a recommendation, compared to 70.6% of all U.S. consumers.
The findings, based on a national consumer panel survey by Valassis, also noted that 80.2% of U.S. Hispanics surveyed said they have used discounts from a mobile device or downloaded them to a loyalty card, compared to 66% of the overall population. Turning to social media, 69.6% of U.S. Hispanics surveyed by Valassis said they have used coupons found on social media sites, compared to 53.9% of the population at large. Plus, 61.2% said they have shared coupons via social media, compared to 39.4% of all consumers.
These findings seem to agree with other research showing, for example, higher rates of mobile device ownership among Hispanics. A Pew survey published in May found that 86% of U.S. Hispanics own a cell phone, compared to 84% of the U.S. white population, while 76% of U.S. Hispanics said they use a mobile device to go online, compared to 60% of U.S. whites.
In addition, 68% of Hispanics surveyed by Pew said they use social media, compared to 66% of whites.
Valassis also noted the importance of geographic targeting for reaching U.S. Hispanics, who tend to be concentrated in metropolitan areas. In April, Valassis unveiled new targeting capabilities through Brand.net, with a service called Geo-Commerce Retail Zone, which uses over 100,000 local targeting zones created by Valassis to reach prospective consumers on their way to retail.
Over the din of our family’s morning routine, a news report last week told of a University of Texas political organization’s commissioning an on-campus event called “Catch an Illegal Immigrant.” In this supposed game, the organization would provide $25 gift certificates to its members who located and reported illegal immigrants, roles played by volunteers.
The stated purpose was to bring attention to the complex, often divisive issue of illegal immigration. My daughter innocently asked me, a fourth-generation Texan of Mexican descent, “Papa, what is an illegal?”
The stark nature of her query took me a bit by surprise. For the first time in her young life, my little one was presented with the notion that a fellow human being, maybe even one of her schoolmates, could be referred to simply as an illegal.
As I contemplated how to answer, I was both saddened and disappointed that my answer would likely change her budding perspective on what it means for her to be a Latina.
What made her question all the more relevant is that I am a conservative Republican elected official. I protect the rule of law and work tirelessly to ensure that our border is secured against those who would seek to harm us. I believe that those who abrogate the law should not benefit from their transgressions, and I am most assuredly against what many people refer to as amnesty.
But I am also compassionate of my fellow man and acknowledge that, in most instances, those who seek to come to our country do so at great risk in search of the same opportunities that our ancestors sought.
The illegal-immigrant game in Austin, which was later canceled, presents Texas Republicans with a teachable moment. Instead of focusing solely on the ills that result from illegal immigration, we should strive for workable solutions to the challenges we face.
Instead of denigrating and dehumanizing those among us who have transgressed our laws, let us find ways to better enable undocumented immigrants to satisfy their obligations to our country, to pay back taxes and any penalties that they have incurred as a result of their transgressions, and to learn English and assimilate into the American culture.
Most important, we must work to provide a streamlined and efficient legal immigration system so that these individuals might contribute to our great and growing economy.
I am not proposing a path to citizenship. I am proposing a common-sense solution to a real problem that respects the dignity of people who seek nothing more than a better life for their children and the opportunity to work hard and contribute to our society.
As a Republican elected representative, I am not forced to abandon my conservative principles in the face of a complex issue. I am called upon to find solutions, rather than focusing solely on the inherent problems.
Many of my fellow conservatives have asked me, “How do we meaningfully engage the Latino community?” My answer is always the same: Show them respect and engage them as you would any Texan, by talking about issues like public education, jobs and the economy.
Hispanics are not defined by politically charged issues like race and immigration. We are people who seek Texas opportunity, and we are willing to sacrifice, work hard and play by the rules to obtain it.
I answered my little girl’s innocent question the best way a father knows how. I told her that illegal is just a word. It describes a person who has broken the law and that people who have broken the law will have to pay a debt to society. But I also shared with her that in our great country today, most Americans believe that “all men are created equal.”
If Republicans want to reach Hispanics in coming political cycles, we will be better served by following the unifying words of our Founding Fathers, rather than playing sophomoric games that divide us.
Ahead of Black Friday this year, new research reveals Millennials and Hispanics are among the savviest mobile shoppers. Specifically, more than one in three 18-24 year olds (37 percent) and forty percent of the Hispanic market are either somewhat or very likely to partake in mobile showrooming – where shoppers go into physical stores to browse items, but then use mobile apps to compare prices, find the best deal, and ultimately make a purchase – this Black Friday to save money. The findings were released today in the “2013 Black Friday Mobile Commerce Report” from BiTE Interactive, the mobile application specialist for Fortune 1000 brands, which commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,539 American adults online from October 28 to October 30.
Additional key findings uncovered that the availability of a mobile app will be particularly influential this Black Friday. The data includes:
Nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. adults said they would be somewhat or more likely to shop with their favorite retailer on Black Friday if they had an app that offered their favorite feature to help with the shopping process.
Immediate discounts were overwhelmingly the most preferred features on mobile apps. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said their most desired feature of a mobile app would be if their favorite retailer offered them real-time discounts based on the items they were looking at currently.
Insight into inventory such as seeing if a store has a specific size or item in stock and in-app one-touch ordering, payment and home shipment of out of stock items were also highly sought after features with 32 percent and 28 percent respectively, listing them as the most desirable feature of a mobile app.
Shoppers appear to want less personalization in a mobile app and were turned off by a mobile app that offered personalized suggestions based on their past purchases.
“Overall, the data underscores and supports the sentiment we have heard from many retailers: mobile apps will play a huge role this Black Friday,” said Joe Farrell, EVP Operations, BiTE Interactive, whose firm commissioned the research to gain a better understanding of mobile trends this holiday shopping season. “With so many people using smartphones for showrooming but simultaneously indicating there are features they want specifically from retailer apps, it is clear that retailers can attract customers back into their stores by providing apps with real value and features that inform and empower the shopper.”
In addition to the specific features that consumer want from retailer mobile apps, the research also found a correlation between larger phone screens and interest in mobile shopping. Samsung Galaxy S series (S, S II, SIII or S4) smartphone owners are the most likely to shop more with their favorite retailer on Black Friday if they had an app that offered their favorite feature.
Farrell adds, “Retail is visual, and larger screens offer an amazing opportunity to engage the consumer. Retailers that offer and promote full-featured apps that take advantage of larger real estate on mobile devices will reap the lion’s share this Black Friday while those that take a 'wait and see approach' may find themselves out in the cold this Black Friday. Our research shows strong and sustained consumer desire for mobile apps to augment the traditional retail experience. As Mobile continues its staggering gains, especially as part of the core shopping experience, there's no time like the present to catch up.”