I've heard multiple times over the years that the Chicano / Latino civil rights movement needs an energizing central figure to bring cohesion and coherence to such a large and diverse group with equally fissiporous issues. Who could be that uniting force? Who will step up as the Hispanic Reagan (um ... the ability to unite different groups, not the imperialism part), bringing together Miami's Dominicans and Californias Chicanos - Austin Tejanos and Bernallio españoles? Well, a Hollywood soap opera star, of course. Eva Longoria no-longer-Parker recently (March 2) made a splash in Texas by joining in a rally to protest budget cuts to the elderly and handicapped that will total nearly $1 billion dollars.
Parker drew attention to herself just over a year ago by enrolling in Cal State Northridge's Chicano Studies MA program, and in 2006 by supporting protests against deportations and Bush "reforms" on border and immigration issues. A native Tejana (from a Tejano family with deep roots in Mexican and Spanish Texas) with connections to the Hollywood elite, it is doubtful she possesses the sort of radical stomach for change that a Bert Corona or Dolores Huerta brought to the table, and if she does one wonders if she would be willing to trade main-stream acceptance for Martin Sheen-esque marginality due to activism. Nevertheless, pert, pretty, and appropriately mestiza, she might at least draw some attention from her Anglo fan base that still thinks the ALMA Awards are somehow a diverse celebration of all Latinos. But really, check the photo below... is she just giving a finger-wave to somebody at Cannes, or is there a solidarity power salute in there somewhere?