The Reality Dysfunction

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#91 - Heroines and Heroes: Latina/o organizing during the 1980s-1990s HIV/AIDS Epidemic


In this segment of The Reality Dysfunction, Juan Carlos Vega and Alex Lozada take over the mic to talk with Memory Activist, Julián de Mayo about his incredible work documenting the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and early 90s, and specifically the work and stories of the Latina/o Caucus of ACT-UP New York. Julián explains the history of a not so inclusive movement and the efforts to record what has been mostly until now a forgotten chapter of the fight against AIDS. ACT-UP stands for AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and in order to have Spanish-speaking, Latinx, Latin American, trans, and other non-white voices, the ACT-UP Latina/o Caucus of New York emerged. We explore the relevance and importance that organizing and personal narratives from over 40 years ago bring to not just the current and persistent AIDS crisis among people of color in inner cities across the country but to the discussion on how to reduce health disparities among Latinx and other vulnerable populations.  

Related Resources & Articles:

#88 - Jose Oliva and the HEAL Food Alliance fighting for workers rights

This segment of The Reality Dysfunction Dr. Ernesto talks with Jose Oliva of the HEAL Food Alliance based in Chicago, Il. Jose came to the United States, with his parents as a young man, in the 1980s fleeing governmental oppression in his home country of Guatemala. The work he is doing alongside workers in the food industry is vital not just to fairness and equity but to environmental sustainability an often overlooked aspect of workers rights. For more information about HEAL click the link below.

#85 -This is what we talk about when no one is listening.

In this episode of The Reality Dysfunction we trashed the political, and just talked about clothes, belt buckles, health and tattoos. In case anyone was wondering this is what we say to each other before the tape starts rolling. 

#84 - Lori Lizarraga, Channel 9 in Denver and the fight for brown stories in the pitch room

















This week we're back with a conversation on media, Latina reporters and how important it is to fight for responsible brown voices in our mass media. 

On March 27 of this year Lizarraga published a piece about her two year's working as a reporter at Denver's Channel 9 (an NBS affiliate) . The opinion piece, which unfortunately is more likely the rule to the exception starts like this, "It was during my second week as a new reporter in Denver that I remember first feeling concerned about discrimination in my newsroom." In this episode Dr. Ernesto and Alex Lozada talk with Lori about her experiences at Channel 9 and what has happened since then. You can read Lizarraga's opinion piece at the link below.


Update on this situation

"The fallout continues from former 9News reporter Lori Lizarraga's essay detailing the exit of three Latinx reporters from the station in a year — including her. Now, following a federal filing from a major investor in TEGNA, 9News's parent company, alleging "a broad pattern of bias and racially-insensitive behavior" at its outlets, TEGNA has issued guidance to news directors telling them to stop using the term "illegal immigrants" in their reporting."


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#83 -Tales from Aztlantis - Kurly Tlapayawa and Ruben Arellano



In this segment of The Reality Dysfunction Dr. Ernesto talks with Mexica internet sensation Kurly Tlapoyawa and Dr. Ruben Arellano about their new podcast Tales from Aztlantis where they talk about their own experiences within the contemporary Mexica movement, and the need to question "tradition." 

They're smart, they're skeptical, they know what they are talking about, and they are down for their people. Please listen in to this very interesting conversation and definitely check out Tales from Aztlantis. 

#82 - Aztlan Report 2021



Greetings Dysfunctionals, we're back with a special episode of The Reality Dysfunction. Today we have the first every Aztlan Report, a state of the Xicana/o/x union presentation from Xicana/o/x organizations around the country. This recording was made on March 31, 2021, an originally ran live on Facebook. This presentation was sponsored by Mexicanos 2070, Partido Nacional de la Raza Unida, La Mesa Brown Berets, Union del Barrio, Centro Community Service Organization/Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Servicios de la Raza and other community organizations. This presentation brought organizations throughout Aztlan and the diaspora together to report on the state of the nation, the state of resistance and as a call for unity. 

Speakers in order of appearance: 

Tonatzin Alfaro Maiz - Moderator

Dr. Vanessa Bustamante (5:36) - La Raza Unida Party

Maria Zavala Paredes (8:54) - La Raza Unida Party

Rafael Avitia (16:10) - La Mesa Brown Berets

Scott Russel Duncan Fernandez (21:05) - Mexicanos 2070

Ernesto Mireles (24:01) - Mexicanos 2070 

Matt Sedillo (26:52) - Poet

Marisol Marquez (33:20) - Centro Community Service Organization/Freedom Road Socialist Organization

Lupe Carrasco Cardona (38:46) - Union Del Barrio/ Ethnic Studies

Patrick McKenna (50:10) - Barrio Hollywood, Tucson

Rudy Gonzalez (56:41)- Servicios de la Raza

Tanya Villalobos (1:01:00) - LRUP Youth Representative

Vanessa Mazon (1:08:04) - Poet

Ernesto Ayala (1:11:27) - La Raza Unida Party Chair Pro Tem


#81- Among other things, Fuck Rush Limbaugh

This episode of The Reality Dysfunction is actually the second half of the How Do We Get Power discussion. But lets face it, Francisco Lopez's logic and passion won the day. So, the second half the conversation dealt with how the crew felt about Limbaugh's death (take a wild guess) and how the white trash hate mongering industry that walking piece of shit helped create has impacted the Xicano Latino community. 

#80 - How do we get power?

In this episode of The Reality Dysfunction the Dysfunctionals get jiggy with the question of how do we get power?  They also get a little jiggy with each other over the issue of immigration and how Xicana/o/x's should pick the top political issues facing the Xicano Latino community. It is an interesting discussion. 

# 79 - Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez “Who declared war on the word Xicano”

This week on The Reality Dysfunction Dr. Ernesto, Alex Lozada, and Juan Carlos Vega talk with Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez, the author of the seminal Xicano essay "Who Declared War on the Word Xicano" and "Our Sacred Maiz is our Mother" and "Yolqui: Testimonios of Violence"

Dr. Cintli talks about his experiences writing his last books, what drives him to write and what brown folk can do to come together for a better world. 

#78 - Dr. Javier Sanchez and why the Covid 19 vaccine is critical.

Everyone here on The Reality Dysfunction podcast hopes you are being safe as the world works to bring this pandemic under control. We're getting out shots and we truly hope that when you opportunity arises you will too!

This special segment, the Dysfunctional Crew is pleased to present Dr. Javier Sánchez, who talks with us about why the Covid 19 vaccine is critical for the Xicano/Latino community. Dr. Sanchez is a family practice doctor for Southern California Kaiser Permanente and is an Associate professor at the University of California, Riverside Medical School. The crew talks with Dr. Sanchez about the COVID-19 vaccines, what we can expect from them and when we can expect to get back to ‘normal.’ Dr. Sanchez is also part the National Campaign #ThisIsOurShot which seeks to spread knowledge on the COVID-19 vaccines and how people can get it.


You can check it out here:

#76 - Fallout from the Coup - what are the ramifcations for the Xicano Latino community?

As the events of 2021 continue to unfold one thing is for certain. A certain segment of the Xicano Latino community is openly embracing white seperatism, white supremacy as their political ideology. As the protest ramp up around the country it is clear a group of us have bought into our own colonization to such a degree they actually believe their "rights" are threatened to such an extent they are compelled to defend the very system that has disenfranchised indigenous people from our history, culture and political self determination. Mass delusion - the foundation of any settler colonial society.  

#75 - Siege at the US Capitol - We told you all these people is crazy!

This segment of The Reality Dysfunction is a sound file of the live broadcast we did on Wednesday Feb. 6, 2021 as the US capitol was being ransacked and pillaged by bunch of American "patriots". 

As always, The Dysfunctionals do the best they can to keep the focus on the Xicano/Latino community and what these unfolding events mean for us. 




2020 Sucked!

In this final segment of The Reality Dysfunction the crew talks about their year, what they hope for the next year and how much we appreciate all of you being a part of this with us. We can't wait to do it again in the 2021.


Para La Gente!





Dysfunctionals! Forget the hater hype blasting the latest show about the iconic Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, you heard it here first. Selena ROCKS!

Opinons? We got’em all day. The RealityDysfunction on steriods.

Dysfunctionals, We're almost to the end in the true spirit of 2020 the crew is tackling all the topics from Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexican Independence and Mexicano Revolution, Indian armies, pan dulce, cultural appropriation, the Mandalorian, why we should boycott movies like Liam Neeson's The Marksmans and how California is selling stocks in water. Its a wild ride - don't miss it. 



#resist the dysfunction 

Radio KDNA - The History of Xicano Radio

This special presentation from Mexicanos 2070 presents the history of Radio KDNA in Seattle, Washington. Here is a description of the segment and some of the people talking. 

KDNA, also known as Radio Cadena, La Voz del Campesino, has served The Yakima Valley in western Washington for 40 years, facilitating not only information and entertainment but community development as well. For the last four decades KDNA has created specialized programs for the Chicano audience and motivated community organizations and campaigns related to the AIDS and COVID pandemics, the census and electoral politics. Its program, MIGRA WATCH, inspired United Farmworkers Union co-founder César Chávez, who in 1979 visited KDNA-FM and marveled at the radio station’s farmworker-oriented operations, which in 1983 developed KUFW Radio Campesina, equally convinced that radio was the most efficient means of reaching farmworkers toiling in the fields.
Rosa Ramon is the only female co-founder of KDNA and served as the station manager from 1979 to 1984. She represents the radio station’s historical significance as a producer but specifically as a Chicana feminist. Ramon’s contribution to the foundation of KDNA reveals the important and central role women thought played in the founding and development of this station, particularly in its focus on programming for, by, and about women.
Gilberto Alaniz runs the Northwest Community Education Center which houses KDNA. As the station’s special projects director, he sees expanding the building to provide more services to the community through KDNA. He focuses on needs of the population they serve and require more “pesticide research, scholarships for adult education, English as a second language classes, and to learn how businesses are managed in the United States.
Monica De La Torre is an Assistant Professor in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. De La Torre’s interdisciplinary research and teaching practices bridge Chicana feminist theory, Latinx feminist media studies, radio and sound studies, and women’s and gender studies. A former community radio producer and member of the Los Angeles based radio collective Soul Rebel Radio,

Medical care for the incarcerated: The story of Joaquin Ramos

Joaquin Ramos is currently incarcerated by the Michigan Department of Corrections. He is Xicano revolutionary nationalist, a former Brown Beret from Detroit, Michigan. Joaquin and I have been close friends for the past 23 years. I believe this brother is dying from lack of adequate medical care from the staff of Duane Waters Medical Correctional Facility. Please take a moment and listen to this short interview. Below are links that will take you to the MDOC website,4551,7-119-68921-269692--,00.html

Please take a moment and call 517-335-2252 and leave a message for Marti Kay Sherry who is the administrator for the MDOC Bureau of Health Care Services which according to the MDOC website coordinates and monitors health care services for prisoners. Please be respectful but let MDOC know in no uncertain terms people are watching, concerned and willing to act. 

Environmental Justice - NACCS Rene Nunez Political Action/COMPAS

The Reality Dysfunction presents the first in a series of collaborations between TRD and the Rene Nunez Political Action Committee of the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies. This first discussion is a presentation moderated by Professor Karleen Pendleton Jimenez (Trent University) the national chair of NACCS. The information on environmental justice is presented by Professor Devon Pena (University of Washington) with Professors Reynaldo Macias (University of California Los Angeles), Manuel Hernandez (Arizona State Univesity) and Raoul Contreras (Indiana University Northwest) responding and discussing. This segment was originally produced by Professor Ernesto Mireles and the Youtube  video can be found here.

We hope you enjoy this intellectual and provocative conversation. This exciting collaboration is part of an ongoing effort by War of the Flea Media to bring a Chicana/o/x Studies perspective to the mainstream. 

Please leave a comment and hit that follow button. 


Chingatumaga: Post Election Wrap Up

In this segment of The Reality Dysfunction the crew takes on the challenges of navigating post election fallout especially concerning the emerging narratives of the conservative "Latinos" voted for Trump when it's clear Xicanos and Puerto Ricans enmass and across the country voted against Trump. What gives? Clearly, its time to revisit the term Latino and make some decisions about who we want to be affiliated with. 

Justice for All Tucson Style - making sure immigrants are legally represented

In this episode of The Reality Dysfunction we have the very real pleasure of talking with Margo Cowan, Lupe Castillo and Gage Stewart. Margo and Lupe are organizers of many decades who have taken on the US immigration system over and over with surprising success. Their secret is building community power through community mobilization. We talked about their ongoing campaign - Justice for All - which takes as one of its central tenets that the right to legal counsel should not depend on charity. It is a brilliant campaign that Castillo and Cowan are heading up through their grassroots “fighting machine” Keep Tucson Together.  These veteranas are on point.

Lupe Castilla is arrested at Tucson MAS protest

Here is the link to the campaign website:


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