Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ruben Salazar Memorialized on Stamp

Our brother will be receiving an honor for his martyrdom
The U.S. Postal Service next year will issue a commemorative stamp in honor of slain Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist Reuben Salazar, the Times reported. "He was a groundbreaker for Latinos in this country, but his work spoke to all Americans," Postmaster Gen. John E. Potter told the Times in a story by staff writer Louis Sahagun. "By giving voice to those who didn't have one, Ruben Salazar worked to improve life for everybody. His reporting of the Latino experience in this country set a standard that's rarely met even today." Salazar was killed in 1970 at age 42 while covering a riot in East Los Angeles. He was hit in the head by a tear gas projectile fired by a sheriff's deputy.

Ruben's story is one that echoes many Xicanos/Mexicanos in the United States. Our very identity does not recognize borders - nuestra cultura lives within the wind. Although born in
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, the Salazar family ended up in El Paso, where Ruben grew up and eventually worked his way through the U.S. educational system as well as serving in the military.

Wielding a journalism degree from the University of Texas - El Paso, Ruben Salazar covered stories that very few to none dare expose - the mistreatment of Xicanos in the justice system. From prisons to police brutality in the barrios, his intrepid journalism shined a spotlight on the corruption that faces our people through this present day.

Since his murder at a 1970 Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Porciúncula, Ruben Salazar has had numerous tributes named in his honor, including scholarships, journalism awards, libraries, the park near where he was murdered, a bilingual center y un corrido por el Padre de Chicano Music, Lalo Guerrero.

29 de agosto

Cuando vino la policía
violencia se desató;
el coraje de mi raza
luego se desenlazó
por los años de injusticia
el odio se derramó;
y como huracán furioso
su barrio lo destrozó.
En un edificio cercano
desgracia vino a caer
un gran hombre y buen humano:
periodista mexicano
de fama interancional;
fino padre de familia
voz de la comunidad.

When the police arrived
violence was unleashed;
the wrath of my people
uncoiled from within;
against years of injustice
hate spilled out;
and like a ferocious hurricane
its barrio it destroyed.
In a nearby building
misfortune came to fall
a great man and human being
él fue Rubén Salazar,
he was Rubén Salazar,
Mexican newspaperman
of international fame;
a fine father and husband
spokesman for the community.

Many thanks to Olga Briseño of the University of Arizona's College of Humanities, as well as Latino/Xicano advocates across the U.S. for uniting to make this honor a reality.

Más información:
Crossposted at ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! where Nezua and I are guestposting while XicanoPwr tends to his familia

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