Friday, May 02, 2008

"Terror in the Latino Barrio"

Thursday evening nearly 100 people and representatives of a local Spanish language television station attended a presentation at Orange Coast College by Dr. Humberto Caspa, a professor at UCI and former Daily Pilot columnist, as he spoke about his new book, "Terror in the Latino Barrio: The Rise of the New Right in Local Government".

Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot

The book, which I acquired following Dr. Caspa's presentation, is his account of the past couple of tumultuous years in Costa Mesa and the events and players he feels are responsible for the turmoil. He focuses on the events that led to an ICE agent being assigned to the Costa Mesa jail - the players and events that have created great unease within the nearly 37,000 member of Costa Mesa's Latino community.


I skimmed the book when I got home and will give it a more detailed reading over the weekend. Based on my cursory scan, I'd say he came pretty close to the mark when he describes people and events over the past decade or more in our city. He covered the so-called "improver movement" and some of the major players in that group. I'm sure of one thing - more than a few folks around town are going to be very uneasy if they read his work.

In a nutshell, Caspa targets "right-wing politicians" and identifies one specific person in our city as the nucleus of the anti-Latino sentiment that has been pervasive most of this decade. I didn't see that person, a local blogger of ill repute, in the audience, but one of his offspring stayed throughout the presentation and the Q&A session that followed - sitting in exactly the same location that his father sits in during City Council meetings.... must be in the genes.

The guy in question has taken umbrage with the coverage of Caspa's book provided prior to the event by the Orange County Register's Yvette Cabrera. Ever the gracious guy, his most recent blog entry makes no bones about how he feels about her interpretation of the book - and her writing skills. He even discusses personal family matters in her life. He also, today, is critical of the administration at Orange Coast College for permitting Caspa to make a presentation about his book.

So, kudos to Dr. Caspa for his brave effort. I suspect this may not be the last we hear of his book. As I make my way through it I'll provide more feedback.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the name of the publisher of "Terror in the Latino Barrio"? Where can one get a copy if one didn't attend Caspa's talk?

5/03/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

kent, the book is published by Seven Locks Press, P.O. Box 25689, Santa Ana, CA 92799. 800-354-5348.

I've been told it's available on and will appear in local bookstores - Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. later this month.

5/03/2008 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Geoff. I looked for it yesterday at Barnes and Noble and was unable to find it. Amazon is great, but I always try to support Costa jmesa retailers and have my sales tax, however small in amount, stay here.

I am predisposed to vehemently disagree with Caspa's view as presented, so I'd really like to actually read the book so I know what I am talking about.

5/04/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Further on the book, Dr. Caspa advises that it can presently be found at LIBERIA MARTINEZ, 1110 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701, (714)973-7900.

5/04/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

"I am predisposed to vehemently disagree with Caspa's view as presented, so I'd really like to actually read the book so I know what I am talking about."

sounds like a good idea since you have shown time & time again you usually speak on things you don't know about.
for a person who has not read the book you sure had a lot to say about it on the daily pilot blog.
this pattern of talking from the hip with know apparent knowledge makes you look foolish time & time again... sorry just the facts sir.

5/04/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, I only commented on what the ARTICLE said about the book, and about what YOU posted. Second, I know, for a fact, from Caspa's previous letters and commentary, what he claims is the source of the terror.

When people post/write things in public, I respond to what they posted. Hardly shooting from the hip.

Finally, I post using my own name in most situations. I readily admit that, when the subject matter warrants it, I post using pseudonyms, but it is fairly uncommon.

I bring this up because you are quick to throw stones from behind your veil of anonymity. You should know that I do my research and that my opinions are far from "talking from the hip."

You should also know that my opinions have changed after I have done the aforementioned research, and that, unlike you, I am open to other ideas and viewpoints.

I won't take offense to your "foolish time & time again" nonsense because it is just that - nonsense. If you'd like to share an opinion that you think is foolish, go for it.

If you want to be part of the solution, deal with the issues instead of insulting people. You claim to have been doing ride-alongs with cops in the 1970s, so you should be old enough to know that just insulting people is immature and counterproductive.

5/04/2008 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cm"truth", interesting how you bring up the Pilot blogs HERE, instead of actually responding to the 3 separate posts on the Caspa article directed to you, asking you for an honest debate on the issue, and pointing out just WHO is responsible, in my opinion, for the racial strife in Costa Mesa.

5/04/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did respond to your pilot blog, they have not posted it, if they do you will see when it was posted.
I'm glad here & there you seem to know if im open to other view points, im very open to them, just not uniformed ones as yourself & many others seem to present.

5/05/2008 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appeared Mr Caspa is trying to instill fear in the Latino community to sell his book. At one point he tried to tie his book into the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Mr. Caspa generalized points and gave misinformation in an attempt to create fear in his audience, and it worked! At one point a student held up her green card and proclaimed she’s afraid of police. Another student said several of his friends who terrorized their local neighborhood were deported and the neighborhood has since improved. He asked the author if he could see the positive in deporting criminals who are in our country illegally. Mr. Caspa couldn’t even answer the question directly. If his book is anything like the presentation it’s all hype and not much more.

5/05/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

& yet another comment by a non reader of the book!

attn: non readers ofr Mr. Caspa's book, try to read the book before you judge it, maybe then we can take your points a little more seriously, until then your all bark & no bite...

5/05/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

hector, I was at the presentation. I saw the young lady you mentioned. She was very clearly worried about being stopped by the Costa Mesa police and possibly being deported. She told us that she never left her home without her green card. I was sitting behind the young man who spoke about the guys in his neighborhood. You neglected to mention that he describe them as gang members, criminals, who were arrested and deported. You neglected to mention how relieved he and his neighbors were after those guys were gone - that the children in his neighborhood felt safer. I think you mis-characterized Caspa's presentation. He wasn't attempting to "scare" the audience. He simply gave a very cursory overview of his book and the circumstances described in it.

5/05/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll buy the book and read it. If my first impressions are wrong, I'll say so. I also had to wait awhile for my posts to appear.

I've followed your blog, and you have good information. we obviously disagree about some things but hopefully can establish a dialogue and find some common ground.

I will try and refrain from throwing stones - I can and have hurled some anonymously myself.

5/05/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

sounds like a plan mr. dickson

5/05/2008 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

also the pilot had posted a few of my comments & now they have been removed.
censorship in full effect, & nothing false or misleading was posted, unreal...

5/05/2008 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you e-mailed Tony Dodero or Paul Anderson about the posts? I have found that sometimes it really is technical problems. They have assured me that they do not needlessly censor anything - although that doesn't mean they haven't, as only the poster would know what did get censored.

5/05/2008 04:01:00 PM  

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