Alexandro Jose Gradilla, Cal State Fullerton Professor, Helps Smack Down Ruben Navarrette Over Olympic Mexi Flag Flap
A week ago Leo Manzano crossed the finish line winning a silver medal in the Men's 1,500-meter final posting the fastest time ever for a runner from the U.S. and A.
The former undocumented immigrant who came from Mexico at the age of four took hold of the stars and stripes for his victory celebration in one hand and the Mexican flag in the other. The gesture left Know Nothings and brown clowns aghast alike.
The image gave CNN contributor Ruben Navarette, Jr. an upset stomach as he wrote in a recent, much read article, (get some sal de uvas!) but not before Cal State Fullerton Chicana & Chicano Studies Chair Alexandro Gradilla helped pen an open letter to the columnist calling him out!
Navarrette was besides himself on Facebook basking in the glory of how many comments were being racked up within the first few hours of his Friday write-up on the issue. The oversimplified tome somehow gave Oscar De La Hoya a pass for his "symbolic" 1992 two-flag salute after winning the gold medal for boxing in Barcelona while lambasting Manzano, who was actually born in Mexico, for doing the same. It was the kind of fluff that gets xenophobes all hot and bothered!
Chairman Gradilla and Washington State profe David J. Leonard lapped Navarrette running circles around him yesterday as guest contributors for the Racialicious blog. Their much-more substantive dissection looks at U.S. neoliberal policies in Mexico and outlines the hard struggles Manzano's family endured before his talent for running landed him upon the world stage.
The best take down that the CNN contributor is going to have trouble with, though, is when Gradilla and Leonard point out that U.S. citizens, ones who are even born here, don't just raise flags of other countries, but actively compete for them like when former LA Clipper Center Chris Kaman joined Dirk Nowitzki in suiting up for the German basketball team in the 2008 Beijing Games! Milorad Čavić, a swimmer from Anaheim, represented Serbia in 2012. Selective outrage, much?
Navarrette posted the Racialicious piece laughing it all off while lampooning its content later writing that the only lazy people were his critics. If that's the case, why be a huevón and not get to work contending with the open letter in a serious manner?
Until then, Navarrette will continue thinking his last place finish is really a victory lap complete with the adoring throwing confetti along the way!
Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!