Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Former migrant worker heads to space

A former migrant worker is scheduled to lift off for space this week. Jose Hernandez, a NASA astronaut, once toiled in California’s farm fields with his Mexican parents.

Hernandez didn't learn English until he was 12, according to the Associated Press.

California-born Hernandez is actually one of two Mexican-Americans who will be on board space shuttle Discovery when it launches this week. (Thunderstorms prevented Discovery from blasting off early Tuesday.)

Hernandez, 47, recalls his early years sweating in the fields. After a long day of work picking cucumbers and tomatoes back in the 1960s and 1970s, he said his father would turn to him and his brothers and sister and say, “Remember this feeling because if you guys don't do well in school, this is your future.”

Now a national hero in Mexico, Hernandez received a call this weekend from Mexican President Felipe Calderon, according to the Los Angeles Times. Calderon wished him “an enormous congratulation, with all our admiration, all our affection and all our pride.”

Calderon invited Hernandez down to the presidential palace once he’s returned from outer space.

Hernandez’s parents, Salvador and Julia, migrated to northern California in the 1950s in search of work. They later became U.S. citizens and raised four children.

As a kid, Hernandez continued to visit his parents’ old neighborhood in Michoacán, where cousins and aunts and uncles were being interviewed this week by the Mexican press.

For those of you interested in learning more about Hernandez, you can follow him on his Twitter feed. Hernandez has been posting updates his preparations for take-off and developments in both English and Spanish. Here is his Twitter page.

Photo: Jose Hernandez from his Twitter Page.


Anonymous said...

"California-born Hernandez..."

This guy's an American. Don't lump him in with illegal aliens.

Anonymous said...

A beaner in space, how cute.

One might ask what fine American man or woman did this man replace? And I am not talking about a hypenated American, I'm talking about me and you, brother.

Anonymous said...

How typical. You didn't do the work to get to this guy's level and now you are raising your ugly head of jealousy. It is the same story all the time. Crying about illegal immigrants coming to take your job when you don't want to go out and do the same job they are doing. Here is this guy who raised the bar for himself and you are still crying that he is taking your job. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

To the illiterate person who left the "beaner in space" comment...why don't you focus on learning how to spell and spare us your over-used racial comment. Please tell us, in English, what 'hypenated' means? Yeah, that's what I thought. Trying not be jealous of someone who actually did something with their life.

Anonymous said...

God bless America and all those who utilize what is offered.

Anonymous said...

This is a great story. Way better than the new US Supreme Court Justice. He has worked hard in the fields.
This should be on the front page and used in schools to promote education for Latino students, actually all students.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story!

Anon 6:41 p.m., when you complete a Masters degree in Engineering-- (or another post-graduate degree such as Ph.D. or an M.D.), you are free to apply for NASA's astronaut training program.

I_love_progress! said...

Congratulations, Astronaut Hernandez! More power to you! Blast off into the history books!

Anonymous said...

I don't see the story here. An american went to space. It happens all the time but way to throw it out there to blur the lines on immigration vs illegal immigration. Who can we lobby to get Franco blasted off to outer space?

Anonymous said...

This guy is an ANCHOR BABY!... He needs to be deported. NASA should leave him in space like the illegal alien he is.

Anonymous said...

I know some of you are just trolls, but "Anchor baby" and "a beaner in space, how cute"?? I would bet neither of you have achieved anything even remotely close to what this guy has. I would even bet that you barely made it through high school.

To the other chap that says you do not see the story. The story is: former migrant worker achieves greatness. It is the classic American story of someone going from nothing to something through sheer work and determination. If you cannot appreciate that you are blinded by your own pathetic politics.

Alex said...

Two stories here. A latino who exemplifies hard work (something that latinos are well known for) goes to space. Fat, lazy "native" Americans who cannot do anything, go to newspapers forums and rant about immigrants, showing their utter ignorance. In 30 years from now, the astronaut will be remembered, the prejudiced white trash will be forgotten in some tobacco spitten cemetery.

barkomomma said...

Obviously, you never heard of Jose Jimenez?


Anonymous said...

Great franco getting his rocks off by a story he knows will have negative posts.. Franco is the one who starts all this and sits backs and says ahhhh.If this is all this man can write about in order to be a journalist how sad, and it is not even HIS story he piggybacked it off someone else. Would love to actually read REAL story by him and not just something he rips off the AP..Franco you are a sad,little man..

Vicente Duque said...

Latino Evangelicals and Pastor "Butch" Montoya are protesting against Racism and the Racist Justice System - Latino Evangelicals wake up to a Harsh Reality

Pastor Fidel “Butch” Montoya writes an intelligent and learned article against the Racism that kills Blacks, Jews, Asians and Latinos. And against a Racist Justice System. He writes in LatinoLandscape.com ( a most beautiful website )

He quotes other Evangelical Latino Pastors that protest against this most unChristian attitude and behaviour of many Americans.

I am glad that the Latino Evangelicals are beginning to realize and acknowledge the Brutality and Sadism of the Right Wing.

He makes a recount of the Brutality and Sadism of Homophobia like the killing of Matthew Shepherd and the Racism and Brutality of hanging thousands of Blacks from trees, only because of Hate, Hatred, Sadism, Brutality.

"Butch" Montoya recounts the brutality of the Hate Crime against Luis Ramirez and how the perpetrators were acquitted, absolved, exonerated. Also the killing of little girl Brisenia Flores and her Father by Minutemen Racists.

I hope that more and more Latino Evangelicals see the Perversion, Sadism and Bastardy of many Bigots and Racists inside the Republican Party. Unfortunately the White Evangelicals are the "base" for the Republican Party.

By Fidel "Butch" Montoya

The American stripes and “patriotic” vigilantes: Red, white and blue in the face


Some excerpts :

When Matthew Shepherd was brutally attacked and left to die on some fence on a lonely prairie road in Wyoming, there seemed to be universal shock and disbelief. Wyoming always reflected the Old West and the values of the past encouraged by Manifest Destiny – white entitlement at all cost. So there in the middle of nowhere, Shepherd hung on that old fence as if he were a scarecrow, which is what his rescuers initially thought he was when discovering him.

After being coerced by two bar acquaintances to drink and then leave with the two men, they violently turned on the young man for being gay and murdered him for his wallet and money. Shepherd's brutal murder became one of the most famous hate crime deaths leading to movies, marches, protests, and a new effort by the gay community to make more people aware of hate crimes against gays.

We have heard the stories of how innocent blacks had to face hate, disrespect and death when many were hung from trees like common criminals just because whites hated black people. There is no question; this brutal and hateful period of history in this country is something we must constantly be vigilant. And we must rally against the violent hate crimes committed against black men and women in our country.

At the turn of the century, Bishop Henry M. Turner was able to express the uncertainty, the fear,and determination felt by many Blacks. "We were born here, raised here, bled and died here, and have a thousand times more right here than hundred of thousands of those who help to snub, proscribe, and persecute us, and that is one of the reasons I almost despise the land of my birth."

In his book, "Faces at the Bottom of the Well," Professor Derrick Bell writes about the history of persecution endured by blacks. Professor Bell's book has shaken the very foundation of our beliefs. He observes, "Many people will find it difficult to embrace my assumption that racism is a permanent component of American life."


Vicente Duque

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

He was born within the soils of America. He worked hard. He became highly educated.

He deserves to soar as high as life and NASA will take him!


Anonymous said...

Alex, you have given me the best laugh this afternoon. Your wit and insight, I'm afraid, is right on. Well said.

Quite honestly, I'm shocked that our peanut gallery here even reads the newspaper. At least, it is a start to becoming literate. The next step involves critical thinking. Keep working at guys.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Mr. Hernandez should be lauded for his drive, determination, and intelligence. I'm so glad that all young people, regardless of race or ethnicity, continue to have such role postive models.

Remember: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal . . .

Vicente Duque said...

Republican House Representative Lynn Jenkins from Kansas `Great white hope' to defeat the Democrats

Even if Lynn Jenkins was naive or innocent .... this gaffe defeats all the contestants of Super Imbecility !!

"Great White Hope" is also a White Horse that is expected to be another Seabiscuit hero, the horse that everybody loved in the 1930s .... the "Great White Hope" Horse is very White ... and that name was given to White Boxers that were supposed to defeat a tough Black Heavy Champion in the 1900s .... when boxer Jack Johnson, who was black, captured the heavyweight title in the early 20th century.

Jenkins may be a nice human being but she is today a "White Elephant" !! ....


Vicente Duque

Anonymous said...

Just another affirmative action pick.

Just never forget who invented rocket science...it was Whites.

Never forget who actually built the space shuttles...it was Whites.

And what group was it that has sent men to the Moon and sent amazing satellites and rovers far out in to our solar system while most Latinos are still sitting around in some dusty dirt-poor Mexican town eating tacos, drinking tequila, and screwing their cousins? Let me give you a hint...it was Whites.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot above...you know nothing about this guy outside of this article and have no right to say affirmative action had anything to do with him.

Add to your list of white people's accomplishments the atom bomb and the holocaust.

Only 28% of americans have a bachelors degree. Many of these are black and latino, yet they have only had the chance for the last 30-40 years. So my question to you Mr. white supremacist bag of trash, what is your excuse?

While we are at it, I worked as a scientist at the most prestigious engineering and science university in the world, and guess what... white guys were a minority. Get off your high horse and realize that your skin pigment has nothing to do with your value to the world. Based on your post you have no value.

Vicente Duque said...

Great Old Party, Great White Hope, Great White Elephant - White Elephants do not earn their keep, and they eat and cost a lot - Republican Party

Kansas House Representative Lynn Jenkins said this week that the Republican Party needs a "Great White Hope" and enumerates a list of only White Persons as possible political candidates for the future.

The Republican Party or GOP is becoming a "Great White Elephant", but the problem is that White Elephants are very costly, useless, etc ... Many Sacred Laws of Kings forbid the use of White Elephants for practical purposes and for work.

In the following section wee see the Biggest White Elephants in South East Asia, Europe and North America :

White Elephants in Wikipedia


Some excerpts :

The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. To possess a white elephant was regarded (and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The tradition derives from tales in the scriptures which associate a white elephant with the birth of Buddha, as his mother was reputed to have dreamed of a white elephant presenting her with a lotus flower, a symbol of wisdom and purity, on the eve of giving birth.

Because the animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labor, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch's favour, and a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.

Examples of notable alleged white elephants :

The Concorde, a supersonic transport built by Aérospatiale and British Aircraft Corporation, intended for high-speed intercontinental passenger travel. Only fourteen production aircraft were built, though it was planned that development costs were to be amortized over hundreds of units: the British and French governments incurred large losses as no aircraft could be sold on commercial terms. Concorde flew the transatlantic route for over two decades, and it did at least make a big operating profit for British Airways.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport runway 11/29 was conceived on the basis of traffic projections made in the 1980s and 1990s that warned of impending strains on the airport and the national air traffic system as a result of predicted growth in traffic at the airport. The $1 billion runway expansion was designed in part to allow for simultaneous operations on parallel runways in bad weather. Construction began in 1998, and continued even after traffic at the airport declined following the 9/11 attacks, the purchase of Trans World Airlines by American Airlines in April 2001, and subsequent cuts in flights to the airport by American Airlines in 2003. The project required the relocation of seven major roads and the destruction of approximately 2,000 homes in Bridgeton, Missouri. In addition to providing superfluous extra capacity for flight operations at the airport, use of the runway is shunned by fuel-conscious pilots and airlines due to its distance from the terminals. Even one of the airport commissioners, John Krekeler, deemed the project a "white elephant".

Montréal-Mirabel International Airport is North America's largest airport, but has been abandoned as a passenger airport.

Olympic Stadium in Montreal cost about C$1.61 billion. Since the departure of the Montreal Expos baseball team in 2004, it has had no main tenant. The debt from the stadium wasn't paid in full until December 2006. Because of the financial disaster in which it left Montreal, it was nicknamed "The Big Owe", "Uh-O", and "The Big Mistake".


Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

RassenReignigung in Amerika ??

Racial Cleaning in America ??

A Fool in Vdare, a Racist Website, wants to "clean" America from Latinos.

This guy can talk a lot of nonsense, but what he proposes won't happen.

There are many "good" forces of Big Capital, Money, Political Forces, Democratic Party, Mr Obama, etc ... that won't dance to the tunes of this Racist and Madman.

The first enemy of his projects is MONEY AND CAPITAL :

Consider the American Chambers of Commerce, Industrialists, Producers, Salesmen or Marketeers, Financial Institutions, Producer Associations.

They need customers, clients, they need labor, they need work.

Doing harm to Latinos in any way is contrary to their economic, social and moral interests.

A Big Majority of the American White People are not racists like him. This White Population has enough culture and education for being tolerant. His crusade is contrary to the inner self of America, that is generous and kind.

Even if I am wrong, America lives stressful moments in Foreign Policy with unresolved eternal Wars.

There is a lot of unrest in many areas and regions of the World, even in the Western Hemisphere, North and South.

To Initiate Progroms, KristallNachten, Rassen Reignigung, and campaigns against unterMenschen and to glorify HerrenRasse und MeisterRasse is not going to help America in International Relations ....

I know that many people are going to say that Europe doesn't count or that the rest of the World doesn't count, but that argument is vitiated and filled with holes.


Vicente Duque