Tonawanda News

Columns

October 24, 2013

The wrong focus on Baby Hope

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Yes, the authorities speculate that worries about legal status came into play. But there were obviously many layers of dysfunction in the family that fed into the group silence. These include broken marriages, sibling alliances, long estrangements, shifting households and other turmoil -- all of which can be found with alarming regularity in the native-born population. 

Margarita Castillo told Spanish-language reporters from Telemundo that she didn’t even know that two of her daughters were missing. Castillo said her husband had taken the two youngest of their three daughters to live with him and that she believed they were in his care. Castillo hadn’t seen Anjelica since the child was 1. 

When pressed about why she didn’t go to police when one daughter, but not Anjelica, was returned to her, she replied that she “was scared to not be heard, of not knowing the language ... that was my error.” Though it’s reasonable to imagine how immigration status could have played into her fears, Castillo didn’t mention it as a reason for her inaction.

In truth, though it’s a terribly sad incident, there are no policy implications to be drawn from this case.

Whenever something -- anything, whether good or bad -- happens in the Latino community, people try to use it to reinforce their longstanding stereotyped beliefs.

If a Latino donates a kidney to his or her sick mother, it’s not just about universal parent-child bonds but Hispanics’ legendary love of their families. Likewise, when a Latino man does something heinous, it feeds the narrative that immigrants are dangerous.

There were those who strained to put Ariel Castro -- the Cleveland kidnapper who kept three neighborhood women in captivity for years -- into the neat box of “violently criminal immigrant,” but it was to no avail. Castro was a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico who spent almost his entire life in Ohio. 

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Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

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  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

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