Mexicans are known for their humor and sensitivity in hard times. When the swine flu contained and quarantined the country, the country capitalized on the misfortune and hardship by instilling humor, such as decorating the respiratory masks and making twin masks for their dogs. The masks were creative, cute and photo-memorable.
With the present situation in Arizona, humor once again, finds its way to the fore front for coping with and surviving what is a potentially volatile law enactment, that could leave many isolated, and a target.
With the law now known as “SB1070”, passed in Arizona, the idea of no green card now encompasses a direct pass to the local jail for holding and ultimately deportation.
Siesta Tees is a hispanic themed apparel company taking a humorous route to raise awareness and combat the stress and fear the new law has evoked. Understanding that the law targets a particular ethnic group, the law is viewed as racist and manifests hostility and outrage in the hearts of those hispanics who call the United States home, both legally and illegally. Launching the newly designed and designated Siesta T Shirt, “No Green Card, I’m Legal!” ebnables Siesta to make their statement by combatting the matter with open humor. The Arizona House and Senate have passed bill, SB1070, which essentially not only allows but clearly encourages law enforcement officers to stop and interview an individual in the state regarding citizenship status and it is clearly a crime to be an undocumented person in Arizona.
So, there you are, you have run out the door forgetting your wallet or purse with your identification, and you thought, “no big deal, just to the market and home”….Come on! WE HAVE ALL DONE IT! Here is where it hurts in Arizona, if you happen to be of hispanic descent, and you can not immediately present documents proving legal status in the US, you may be criminally prosecuted, jailed and handed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. The bill has no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of subjective arrest and detention.
So what all is Siesta Tees releasing to cast a smile and a laugh or two along the way? A new line of designs for 2010! The shirt slogans are indicative of the nature of the culture, the spice of life in the hearts of Mexicans, and the basic ability to cast a smile in the darkest of hours.
“Make Tacos, not war!”
“Powered by Brown Energy”
“Diego is my homie!” and my personal favorite………
“My Chupacabra will eat your pit bull! “
Siesta Tees started with one funny design and now offers more than fifty designs and phrases that also include
“Stop the violence- hit a piñata”
“I think the Chupacabra is under my bed”
“Don’t make me use my chancla!”
According to the PEW HISPANIC CENTER, 30% of Arizona, in the year 2008 were hispanic, of which 91% were Mexican Hispanic. When you assess that in 2008 1,965,000 registered legal hispanics take residence in Arizona, this potentially appears to be open hunting season for the avid law enforcement officer looking to make a name for his or herself and get ahead. It is frightening at best and leaves the margin for human error, inhumanity, cruelty and harrassment wide open, and subjects the state to even greater violence in the bigger picture.
But, as it is with most of life in the hispanic community, it is in fact, being met with a dose of great humor, a survivors number one tool in his or her personal coping toolbox to get through and overcome.