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Swine Flu Is No Excuse for Ignorant Behavior

Young Latinos react to anti-Mexican sentiment related to Swine Flu

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia , Commentaries, Various Authors Posted: May 02, 2009

Editors Note : During a recent presidential address, President Obama was confronted with a barrage of questions about closing the border between the U.S. and Mexico. While the president remains confident that closing the border is not the solution, Swine Flu is exacerbating anti-immigrant sentiment. We asked several young Latinos if they felt the Swine Flu scare was changing the way they were being treated on a daily basis. The authors are interns for The Beat Within.

The Swine Flu is a sickness discovered in Mexico, not in Mexican Americans!
While Listening to President Obama give an address on MSNBC about issues happening around the country, I learned a few things: First, the economy is still in the toilet (well, actually I already knew that one since Ive been looking for a job for like four months). Second, the Swine Flu is a sickness that has been discovered in Mexico, not in Mexican Americans.

The H1/N1 virus is supposedly a hybrid mixture of the Avian Bird flu, the human flu and swine flu. For all we know, it could have been brought into the states by one of those silly European tourist. I hate to sound so semiracist, but an issue of racism happened to me on the bus today and it made me concerned about the level of ignorance going on right now. I mean people are jumping to conclusions about Mexicans being the sole source and transmitters of this virus.

Take today, for instance: I headed out of the house after watching the presidential speech about the swine sickness and really didnt think much about it, until later that morning.

As I was getting off of my part time job and heading to another a few blocks away, I approached the bus stop and noticed there were two white men standing a few feet away from me each wearing surgical masks around their necks. When the bus arrived, I wasted no time hopping on and heading to the back. When I sat down, I noticed the same two men getting on at the front -- with the masks still around their necks. The front of the bus was full, but there were a few seats left in the back, so the two men with the masks made their way towards the back of the bus.

As they approached the back of the bus, I began to feel a little out of place. The two men took a good look at the back of the bus -- filled with Mexicans and Latinos -- then frantically strapped on their masks. I must admit this offended me, but being the nice guy that I am, I think I saved them some embarrassment by choosing to keep my mouth shut.

I could see the other Latinos on the bus were not so understanding of the ignorance and showed their disgust. Two Latin cats in black hoodies from the Mission wanted to start s--t over it, with a look on there faces like: These mothaf----!! They motioned to me as if to say: 'What you think we should do about it?' I gave a simple hand gesture, as if to say I wasnt trippin' hard enough to start a fight over it, cause it was obvious they were stupid. Looking back, I think I saved those two white dudes from a serious beat down!
-John Hanley, 24

Swine Flu Has People Trippin'
This past week, I have been hearing about this Swine Flu. This flu is deadly. It got people tripping around the country, most of all in all the Border States. This is because the flu is coming from Mexico. So far about 320 people in Mexico have died due to this flu. In the States, several people have gotten real sick including a two-year-old boy who died from the flu.

The symptoms of Swine Flu are a lot like regular flu, so it's hard to tell. In my opinion, I think the flu has been here for a long time and only now -- since its affecting American lives and killing people -- is it becoming a big deal.

Although I was born in San Francisco, I am Honduran. Many people in my family are half Mexican and most of my friends are Mexican. Ive heard people are saying some pretty ignorant stuff. If I heard someone talking bad about Mexico or Mexicans, I would defend Mexico cause its wrong, just because you're Mexican doesn't mean you have the flu. People are just being closed-minded about the situation.
- Giancarlo Cestoni, 17

Swine Flu Sucks
Man, I do not wanna get Swine Flu. From what I hear, it is not the business and all this talk about it has got me real spookedI heard people get a rash and feel like they got the flu and that's how you know you got it. But what separates those symptoms from just having a regular flu?

Im hearing that people are dying and people are getting it from people by touching your mouth, and nose after touching others. They say you could easily prevent spreading the virus by washing your hands. To me, that's nothing new because I worked for a sewage treatment plant so Im used to being extra precautious. At the plant, we had to wash our hands like ten times a day, you couldn't eat around the machines, you have wear a respirator in some buildings and just generally be on your Ps & Qs. They teach you to be very safe.

Right now, it seems like I'm gonna have to take those same precautions on the daily just to get around the city. I think the uncertainty of it all is what is causing people to flip out. Right now, it seems like they arent even sure what is going on with this flu. They cant say for sure where it came from or where its going. On another hand, I am half Mexican and I cant stand the people who are there hatin' on the Mexicans just cause thats where this virus supposedly came from. Even if this true, it is definitely not a reason to be hatin' on us. Thats just how I feel.
- Chris Vargas, 19

Could the Swine Flu Signal the end of Mankind???
After reading yet another article about the Swine Flu today -- and watching the presidential address -- I am pretty convinced the whole world Is terrified.

Left and right, people are becoming infected with the Swine Flu. The only option the world has now in this time of crisis is to accept it and think positive, discriminating and closing borders isnt going to help. The world needs to accept that there is a higher power at work and maybe its fed up with man trying to be God and establishing its new world order (money).

In todays world, Man has tried to establish its commandments (laws) and has even tried to be God (judges and scientists), but have we ever stopped to think that just as the dinosaurs became extinct, maybe its our time as a whole humanity to become extinct? No one wants to accept this because everyone is afraid to die, but as you can see, humanitys extinction is a reality and man has no power against God's will.

If humanitys time is up, than its up and we just need to accept it. There are other forces at work in this world besides those that man imposes, which is probably why this is happening. People are being very racist and prejudiced against Mexicans because they say that this virus started in Mexico, but what really needs to happen is that people need to grow and embrace death as a part of life. If we dont do this, then how are we supposed to move on to the next stage of life? The stage that really matters.

Humans were not meant to live forever, at least not on this world, so to be discriminative and try to isolate each other doesnt seem very moral. Maybe this is happening because humans do not love each other as God intended. Instead humanity has built borders and governed lives for as far as history can recall, so to say dont shake hands so you wont die is ridiculous.

Love is the name of the game and to love is to live forever. Many people see this as a time of crisis, but I see this as a message from God to enlighten everyone. If you die, you served your purpose and you get to meet God, but if you live, then God still has a plan for you and you get to serve a purpose on this earth. The main message is humanity needs to work together not individually.
- Juan Cortez, 19

Related Articles:

How NAFTA Helped Spread Swine Flu

Information and Hysteria

Swine Flu, Border Security and Public Priorities

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