Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How I ended With EL DEFENZOR

My Companion In The Highest Cause Of all,

My full name is Homero Roel Villarreal -- hey, just call me Homer.

My background: I was born in Robstown, Texas. I come from a family of twelve. My mother used to refer to me as La Ultima Fruta “the last fruit” on the tree. My mom was very smart and now I hope you realize how intimidating that can be to a child. She had me in her early 40s.
She had been a literacy teacher (teacher at an "Escuelita")before she got into the “children having business.” Hehehehe. My father? He came as a young man from Mexico and then as an adult married this very sophisticated lady from Robstown, that is, my mom.

I am basically a by-product of the above. My mom had me in her mid-years and my father was not that great of a provider. Yo Soy Sufrido. I was given a lot of latitude intellectually to grow and experiment. My father was afraid that I would become a cold, insensitive and stoic human being, so he did his best to sensitive me to a higher cause then myself. Eventually, I eventually finished high school. Later, college: Bachelors, then a Masters of Arts, then a Masters of Education, then I worked on a Doctorate at Texas A&M University (but I had a family crisis and did not complete my dissertation).

After that I found myself in a mental tug-of-war, experiencing the push-and-pull factors of what I wanted to really do in life. My eldest sister, graduated from the University of Texas and when on to marry a Professor of Physics who resides in Boston and makes hefty contributions to various causes, even the Harvard Fund and so forth said: “Homer, come here and attend the elite schools of higher education and you will be cultured into a gem.”

“Hehehehe,” I said to myself. “My heart is not over there, but here – here in my challenging environment – among the masses of the poor.” I wanted to rise from the dust into the light. I felt (to be subjective) an epiphany; I came to the cultural/spiritual awareness that I wanted to humanize the institutions of South Texas, institutions that lagged behind the rest of the country (in my perceived estimation).

I was a high school teacher only for about two years; then I also was a Visiting Profession at the former Texas A&I University in Kingsville. I even gave it a whack at being an administrator: I also when on to hold a few titles at Robstown ISD such as – Community Education Director, Adult Educator Director, Student At-Risk Coordinator. But to be honest, every program that I head I started from scratch and built it up – and I guess the reason I held all those titles was because of my creative adroitness in GRANT WRITING. Why the latter? Because of necessity? Maybe?

In the 1990s I felt I had outgrown the “four walls” of a class room. I felt both constricted as a teacher and administrator. I felt that if I really wanted to “educate” people and empower them, I had to educate them about the social, health, educational, political institutions around them. If they wanted to humanize any institution – e.g., the health system; they first had to understand the set up; then take action to solve the problems. Action Without Reflection is merely ACTIVISM. There has to be both reflection and action to have praxis. Does it make sense so far?

About fourteen years ago I founded and “underground” newspaper known as El Defenzor (newspaper) in the small community of Robstown, Texas (a town that is 99.5 Hispanic). El Defenzor means “The Defender.” … Why did I choose that name? It sounded like “Zoro” and had the characteristics of a Batman or Green Hornet (a mythical hero of an oppressed people). What gave me the most satisfaction was that the “little people” (mostly Hispanics at first) felt empowered. The paper was a socio-psychological shield. The “Little People” knew how to get a hold of El Defenzor, not the powerful. Hehehehe. Hey, it was fun while the “underground status” lasted. Back then many a “high-dollar” attorney were trying to sue me – so as to “shut me up” or better phrased “shut us up.”

But then after a handful of years in operation, El Defenzor became legitimate – we registered at the courthouse and went through the whole bureaucratic and legal ritual. Hey, I even put on a suit and a tie. Hehehehe.

I had never tried to use my name publically (not that I was scared of the legal repercussion) but because I knew the socio-psychology of the masses that felt alienated from the formal world of institutions. “El Defenzor” was not me but a psychical concept.

Eventually a Tejano station invited us to have a show on Sundays entitled “El Defenzor live.” I was invited to many a group of both mainstream and independent media as a guest. Even conservative radio, one of my arch rivals – The KEYS Morning Show (with Bob Jones) made me a regular guest for a few years.

Currently I have a radio show on a Tejano Station – i.e., 104.9 FM on Fridays. El Defenzor newspaper comes out every two weeks – it serves Nueces, Jim Wells, Duval, San Patricio, Kleberg, Brooks, Bee and a few others. We also have an internet site. We load up videos on YOUTUBE.COM …

I also used to operate a newspaper in Callalen/Annaville for a while known as the Callalen Patriot; and a newspaper in the Southside of Corpus Christi known as the Southside Defender – which I am seriously considering of reactivating.

My initial goal in life was to be a “janitor.” I had made this decision when I was a young boy in elementary school during a time when all my teachers were females. The janitors that worked there were my role models – I love their carefree existence: mopping floors and painting walls and enjoying the wind as soft as silk. How did I end up this complex web of work? I DON’T REALLY KNOW. I DID NOT CHARTER THE COURSE OF MY SHIP TO THIS HARBOR.

During the course of my life, I have interviewed very interesting individuals: from former President George Bush to Jesse Jackson to the street philosphers in the street. About seven years ago I founded a marketing company called ROYALHOUSE MARKETING & PUBLISHING. I have brainstormed and been commissioned by Corporate Giants such as CP&L (Now AEP) to Motion Picture Companies to powerful politicos (such as U.S. Representatives, to State Representatives to Thirteen Court Of Appeals Judges to District Court Judges to local elections to influential citizens in the community such as Mauricio Celis who felt they have been wrongly targeted).

So what? You might be saying by now!!! You’re right. I’ve learned the powerful and influential are used to being worshipped by many that orbit them – that might be a reason why their egos are so flatulent. Hehehehehehe. Just a joke. Someone needs to get a pin and ...

I guess you are wondering by now – “How did he make his fortune?” The answer: NO! My appetites can be satisfied with a bowl of frijoles (beans) and a tortilla.

God Bless you brothers and sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Adios for now.

2 comments:

Arturo Limon Jr. said...

Mr. Villarreal is the most humble living entity on this planet and I am honored to have had the privilege to know him and call him my brother, friend and mentor. Homero started El Defenzor about fourteen years ago due to the discriminatory editorial practices of the Robstown Record, which at the time was owned and operated by Sam Keach.
Mr. Villarreal, Rene Zamora (Zamora now resides in the Philippines) and myself (Arturo Limon Jr. Denver, CO.) decided to get involved and make a difference in our beloved Robstown “Robe” ; we decided to run for office: Villarreal for Mayor, Zamora and I for City Council. The word got around town that some “new young blood” had just filed the paper work for the up coming city election. The status quo was being challenged. The old political boy network became nervous and they tried to co-op us by trying to give us political campaign contributions. When we refused their bribe---the “good old boy” political machine got into gear and ran a political campaign of fear and lies.
As usual, during the campaign season, those running for office would submit their “to do list” (platform) if elected to the local paper (Robstown Record). The Record printed all of our opponents same old political rhetoric: If elected I will serve my community to the best of my ability.
When we submitted our comprehensive platform to revitalize Robstown—Sam Keach told us that he could not publish our agenda because we were not elected officials. If we wanted our platform printed on his paper, we would have to pay for it. El DEFENZOR was born. As Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

Seimpre tu amigo
Arturo Limon Jr.

Jaime KenedeƱo said...

So said in a nutshell Homero, with love, honor and a commitment to a greater cause a simple reminder my friend, A Quarterback always praises his linemen and credits his receivers. Your other half, the Defenzor network and last but not least the man upstairs. We have miles to go before we sleep.......... and miles to go before we sleep. The promises we make only to ourselves. Use more glue and spread it around liberally.

BTW on Brent Chesney I wonder where his children attend school and I wonder why his residency remains a non issue. We need to put it in the public arena and if nothing else give him an opportunity to explain how he was on our city council but lived in another city