Articles + Columns

Not everything I’ve written has an online link. Even the Waybackmachine wasn’t helpful in finding preserved URLs. But here are a few links I found that are still live. And I’ve uploaded a few via Google docs. It’s just a sampling of the work I’ve done during my career.


Will the U.S. ever prosecute criminal bankers?

  AUGUST 05, 2012
 Former chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick is charged with conspiracy.
ASSOCIATED PRESS/Former chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick is charged with conspiracy.

By Cindy E. Rodríguez

It was big news two weeks ago when investigators arrested Sean FitzPatrick, the former chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank, and announced new criminal charges against him. FitzPatrick has been widely cast as the man who nearly bankrupted Ireland, and his July 24 arrest adds 16 counts relating to a conspiracy to prop up the stock price of the now-defunct bank.

Didn’t hear about it? I don’t think I would’ve, either, had I not been in Ireland when it happened. The US media barely covered it.

But throughout the British Isles, it was front-page news, the headline story of TV news programs, all the talk on talk radio. A bank executive facing criminal charges!

That night, I watched the evening news in the house of my Irish friend, Mary. As I was watching all I could think was: When are we in the United States going to start indicting the financial executives who caused our economy to crash?

Just then, Mary interrupted my pie-in-the-sky thoughts by saying something about how Ireland was taking its cues from America’s get-tough stance on criminal bankers. I wish that were the case. So far, it’s just been talk. To this date, not one American bank executive has been arrested for his or her involvement in the global financial crisis.

In Ireland, the collapse of Anglo-Irish Bank cost taxpayers there $36 billion, which is about $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in Ireland. When the bank collapsed — not least because of the manipulations at issue in the many charges that FitzPatrick faces — it put Ireland’s economy into a tailspin.

You can read the rest of the column by clicking here.

“Illegal’’ as a noun breaks law of reason

When figuring ways to shape public opinion, the first thing any savvy strategist does is craft phrases that will elicit a desired response.

Want people to have a more positive reaction to dead Iraqi civilians? Call them “collateral damage.” Want to get Americans to feel good about government spying? Name your law “The Patriot Act.”

If you can control the words people use, you can frame the issue. In effect, you control the way people view it.

That is exactly what is happening with the immigration debate.

To avoid dealing with complex problems in our nation – crumbling public schools, senior citizens who have lost their pensions, a shrinking middle class – some politicians are taking the easy way out by focusing on undocumented immigrants.

Those politicians are being goaded by nativists, racists and brainwashed people who are confused in our culture of fear.

Their term of choice: “illegals.”

That shorthand term for “illegal immigrants” – which they use as a noun, making linguists cringe – is being used repeatedly by reactionary commentators and politicians in every venue available.

Read the rest here: “Illegal’’ as a noun breaks law of reason

Orthodox rabbi matches gay men to lesbians

If that link doesn’t work, try this one:,32068,1114933312001_2088670,00.html

This is a video I produced in 2010, after a reporting trip to Jerusalem. It was a challenging assignment, considering very few people wanted to speak on camera. (I also wrote a text story for Time:,8599,2087274,00.html

Teen learns why men leave Teacapan, Mexico

Lily Bresee, a Glendale teenager who listens to indie rock, plays lacrosse and has a pierced lip, never paid attention to the topic of illegal immigration. “I wasn’t really interested,” the 17-year-old says.

That was before last month, when her class from Jefferson County Open School went on a 2 ½- week trip to Teacapan, a small fishing village 80 miles south of Mazatlán in Mexico. Her host mother taught her how to make tortillas. She loved the warmth of the culture, and the close-knit families, but she noticed there weren’t a lot of young men.

Nearly every family she met had at least one brother, uncle or father working in the United States. Some obtained work visas; others paid “coyotes” to sneak them across the border.

The void of young men made Lily wonder about the cause. Looking to the sea, she found her answer.

She watched as fishermen came back from their shrimp trawlers and fishing boats with little in their nets. A seaside village that had sustained itself for centuries had been depleted of shrimp, oyster, red snapper and corvina.

James McGoodwin, a professor of anthropology at CU-Boulder and author of the book “Crisis in the World’s Fisheries,” lamented the crash of Teacapan’s fishing economy: “The tragedy here is this was one of Pacific Mexico’s most productive marine seafood areas.”

Read the rest here: Teen learns why men leave Teacapan, Mexico

Facts expose myths about undocumented immigrants being on welfare

Is a column about a bogus study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a propaganda tank that masquerades as a nonpartisan think tank and research center. Read the column here: Facts expose myths about undocumented immigrants being on welfare

What Americans can learn from “Precious”

In a blog for the Huffington Post, I write:

Today, thanks to the likes of Lou Dobbs and others in the media with huge platforms legitimizing bigotry, the schema that’s locked into America’s mindset is that dysfunctional poor people are products of their own making.

It’s an ideology that helps wipe the slate clean. So it’s no one’s fault that U.S. prisons are full of black and brown men from dysfunctional homes who never finished high school.

Read the full blog post here: What Americans can learn from “Precious”

My piece and video story on an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Israel who marries gay men to lesbians.

Other columns:

FCC should not relax media ownership rules

A wary eye on anti-immigrant protesters

Vet concludes: ‘We were pawns in Iraq’

Military recruits teens

Focus on the Family misleads its “sheeple”

A rap song Bush does not want to hear

Election results hurt gay people

Check box for race: human

Getting real in dating fantasy land

Slow, steady wins the race to intimacy

Potheads, chill

How to help teen girls value themselves

Sensational news distracts us

Corporate media dumbs down news

Fact is we aren’t bilingual

Tancredo assumes Latinos don’t want to learn English

“Ex-gay?” Don’t believe the hype.

“Reparative therapy” represses

Fighting Against Focus on the Family

Rich Addicts Get Rehab, Poor Get Jail

Immigration stories:

Arab-Americans say they are being profiled (Boston Globe)

Consulates combine for community fair (New York Times)

Immigrants languish in U.S. prisons (Boston Globe)

Visa restrictions delay arrival of mail-order brides (Boston Globe)

Loophole skews Census money to jail towns (Boston Globe)

Securing airports (New York Times)

Mexican pueblo empty as residents move to East Boston (Boston Globe)

Social Security checks lead to mass firings (Boston Globe)

Enterprise stories:

Multiracial tag bothers some (Boston Globe)

Latinos become largest ethnic group (Boston Globe)

Riot or rebellion? (Detroit News)

Schools more segregated than ever (Detroit News)

Redistricting aids incumbents, undermines political clout of minorities (Boston Globe)

Blacks in Detroit suburbs feel isolated (Detroit News)

Spanish becoming language of choice for Americans (Boston Globe)

Black and Latinos in poor communities struggle to avoid clashes (Boston Globe)

Census reveals world of difference (Boston Globe)


Pedro el escamoso is everyman hearthrob (Boston Globe)

Doc uses cultural cues to shape treatment protocols in Africa (Columbia)

Monkey brains hold key to how humans think (Columbia)

Dr. Oz brings healthfotainment to TV (Columbia)

Book review: Thomas Sugrue’s “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Personal columns:

Celia Cruz guided this Harlem kid

A promise to the next generation of Latinos

Best dad a kid could have: mom

Column about me


In Washington Heights, bargains galore but few shoppers

Homeless, and now, petless

Jazzy sleeps in the car

Salsa clubs in NYC long gone, but salseros still get their groove on,32068,1114933312001_2088670,00.html

2 thoughts on “Articles + Columns

  1. Cindy – did you leave Facebook? I was thinking I hadn’t seen your posts and realized you were no longer there 😦

    Hope you are well!

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