Do we make assumptions based on race?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy:  In the final episode of Los Americans, Lee is excited about a job interview. It is his dream job, he tells Alma. Landing that job would solve many of his problems. The interview is going great. The prospective boss tells Lee that they are looking for someone to work with their Latin American division. Lee assures him that he is familiar with Latino culture.

The prospective boss gets the head of the Latin American division on the telephone to speak to Lee.  The prospective boss assumes that Lee, being Mexican-American, speaks Spanish. The ability to speak Spanish is, in fact, a requirement of the job.

Lee does not speak Spanish. Lee does not get the job, and begins to question what it means to be Mexican-American. Continue reading

Is it possible to have a rational discussion about abortion?

By Cindy Moy:  Grandmother Lucia reveals a deeply personal secret to Ariel, who is 15-years-old and pregnant, in Episode 7, The Truth Hurts, of Los Americans. Lucia had become pregnant as a teenager, and succumbed to pressure to have an abortion. Lucia urges Ariel to let her heart guide her in deciding what to do about her unborn baby.

I was adopted when I was an infant. I have since discovered that my birth mother would have chosen abortion over adoption if that option had been available to her. I also know several American women who have had abortions. They are decent, faithful women, and none of them made the decision lightly. Continue reading

What would you do with that lemon cake?

By Cindy Moy: There are a lot of major issues tackled in Los Americans Episode 6, and the producers really need to make a second season, if only to clear up Paul’s cliff hanger at the end of this episode.

Rather than try to tackle the more serious issues, which would only depress us for the rest of the day, we’re going to go straight to the lemon cake scene, in which Alma stands before Lee, holding the lemon cake brought over by the pretty neighbor who has been distracting Lee. He’s afraid she’s going to throw it at him. She’s tempted to do so.

First, congratulations to the creative minds behind the lemon cake scene, because you nailed it. As I watched the scene, part of me was chanting, “Do it, do it, do it,” and the wife part of me was sighing, “Don’t. You’ll only have to clean it up.” Continue reading

What would you do if a friend was having an affair?

By Cindy Moy: Poor Lee. Out of work. At home all day. Then, in Los Americans Episode 5, the pretty blonde neighbor brings over a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Her husband is out of town.

Yes, Lee would have to be an idiot to cheat on the beautiful Alma, but as my friend Marty McKee is fond of saying, men are only as faithful as their options. (That seems like a rather pathetic view of the male gender, and I do not understand why men are so quick to ascribe to it, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Several of my friends are having affairs. I know this because they tell me.
As their confidant, I’ve noticed a few things:
Continue reading

Should evangelical Christians reach out to gays and lesbians?

By Cindy Moy: Some of my friends are confused by the things they are reading on The Socratic Project. They don’t understand how I can be a Christian and not be opposed to gay marriage.

Pastor Ken Fong is an evangelical Christian who is searching for ways to bring the LGBTQ and Christian communities together. His journey is being recorded in the documentary The Ken Fong Project.

He expresses this much better than I can, so I am sharing with you the letter that he is sending out about documentary: Continue reading

MN Masala: Orange, Date, Mint Salad

By Jane and Chux: This is Jane’s favorite salad that we often mix in as a side dish or as a dessert.  According to Jane, one can even have this for breakfast! 

It is always a hit when we take it to potlucks; it’s easy to make, looks beautiful, and it tastes awesome!  It is preferable to use naval, cara cara or other sweet oranges.  If you use a very tart orange, just sprinkle on some sugar to balance the flavors. Continue reading

Where are you from?

Amber D. Stoner

I am from…
A Poem by Amber D. Stoner

I am from Michael who is from Al and Alma and farms and grocery stores.
I am from Brenda who is from Marv and Vida and farms and grocery stores.
I am from small dusty towns and wide fields and forests.
I am from Germany and Ireland and Sweden and Minnesota.

From Grandma Drum of the Cheyenne.
From Grandma Evelyn of Durango, Mexico.
From Tennis and Smith and Turner and Soto.
From names I do not know. Continue reading

What are you passing on to your children?

Janine Fugate

By Janine Fugate: The fourth episode of Los Americans tackles a subject only too familiar to many families: alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Lee calls it his “Family Heirloom,” a legacy that is being passed from generation to generation of Valenzuelas. The legacy is illustrated so clearly by Jennifer, the teenaged daughter, found passed out in the family’s garage with two boys from school, while her grandmother is inside the house passed out on her bed.

Not every family has an “heirloom” as destructive as alcohol. It can be the family genetics (ours is extremely high cholesterol) or tendencies (we have some pack rats in the family). When I started planning this post, these were the issues I was going to write about. Then my 8-year old daughter refused to wear a beautiful red top for Valentine’s day because it makes her look “thick,” and I was hit over the head with the real Family Heirloom at play in our home. Continue reading

How do you talk to your child about alcohol?

By Cindy Moy: There’s a small cemetery in central Minnesota surrounded by quiet fields, where I go to visit generations of my family no longer on this earth. In the northwest corner of this cemetery is the grave of one of my childhood friends, a 16-year-old girl, G. (Her identity is concealed to respect the privacy of her parents.)

It is G that I think about when I watch Legacy, the 3rd episode of Los Americans. Jennifer follows in her grandmother Lucia’s footsteps, over indulging in alcohol. Lucia is supposed to be watching the kids while the parents are out to dinner, but drinks until she passes out. Jennifer takes the opportunity to invite friends to the house, and after they all get drunk, Jennifer passes out, leaving her vulnerable to the actions of two of the male guests. Continue reading

Have you ever been downsized?

By Cindy Moy:  In Episode 2 of Los Americans, Lee struggles with the loss of his job.  This scene is all too familiar to many of us, and while the media and politicians debate the necessity of downsizing, and how to help those out of work, I see no discussion on how the experience affects the way employees view their role in the workforce and their loyalty to their next employer.

When J.J. was 3 years old, I was working in the new online division at a large legal publishing company. The Internet was so new then that we were the only department in the company with access to the Internet on our computers. This 120-year old company prided itself on never laying off employees. Continue reading