Trying to understand Tianna Arata

August 14, 2020

Tianna Arata, photo by Richard Bastian


Here is why I have a difficult time understanding Tianna Arata.

My birth name is Sandra Del Carmen Rojas Portillo. In El Salvador you have many names and your last name order is determined by your parent’s marital status. In my case Rojas is my maternal name which lets society know I am a bastard child meaning my parents are not married. This is no longer the case in El Salvador, we have advanced, woohoo.

I grew up in a Salvadorean village with no running water, no electricity, no toilets, very little food. We ate chicken twice a year, Christmas and New Year.

I came to this country when I was 16.5 years old with no money, no real family, no English, and only a sixth Salvadorean grade education, and nothing but a dream to succeed and the knowledge that only in this country could a peasant girl like myself could succeed. This country gave me the opportunity to become a critical care nurse and because of what some of you have labeled as a minority, I graduated with zero debt. This was not a privilege afforded to my white counterparts.

To those of you who call label me as a minority, I want you to know that I find your term demeaning and insulting. What I hear you say is that you believe I am less than you based on my skin color. I have always been proud of beautiful brown natural tan, and have never really seen myself as anything but a person.

However, since all the talk about having to see each other for our skin color, I can’t help to wonder if people notice my color instead of Sandra, the person. Looking at everything from an immigrant’s perspective, I strongly believe that this country has equality of opportunity for everyone, but the outcome is up to each individual.

I recognize that some of you may feel very uncomfortable because my story challenges the current national narrative, but it is ok to feel that way. All I ask is that you question, think and think some more. I am open for respectful discussions. In order to have a diversity of thought, we must be willing to feel uncomfortable.

I also want to make it clear that I acknowledge the suffering of others, and in no way I am trying to minimize someone else’s pain or experiences. I simply believe it is important to get other perspectives.

The last point I want to make is that we must not forget the roads paved by those who came before us such as Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and many more. We must also recognize that we need each other, we share this planet, and we must find a way to work together.

kevin rise

If you dont get racism in the USA, slavery and its lack of reparations and police brutality, then you are not American. Done and done. If you disagree, your privilege is blinding you, and you do not know what suffering and human condition are simple and done. Too many silver spoon in mouth folks whom still manage to talk yet know nothing of what they speak. And if you speak of Marx and Socialism in a bad light, you have not been to college.


Kevin, I have been through a hell of a lot more education than college. Racism is truly one of the worst evils that exist on our planet. If YOU “don’t get” exactly what it is that people are upset about with how these protests have played out, well, then I think either you or your parents wasted money on your college tuition.



I am having a hard time understanding you:i think you must have to much education.

I do not need education to understand social justice:i live it everyday.

So may be , your parents could have teach you a couple thinks

I forgot,you were not listening.


Doc, which people are you referring to who were upset? The ones who were actually detained on the highway? Their anger would be reasonable that their slowdown / stoppage wasn’t one of the many frequent car wrecks on that stretch. But for the vast majority of them it would be a fleeting emotion. I don’t recall seeing a single comment on this site from anyone who was actually caught on the Hwy during their protest. Just second hand accounts.

It is the lingering anger of those who were not waylaid that I find most curious.


There were good people. On both sides.


From what I understand, we’re all socialists because we pay into a collective for social programs. But I went to college in Fresno.


I honestly don’t know if you are being serious, or if you’re joking around? Is it parody Friday for you?

I’ve been to college. I even graduated from a few of them. Despite that, I learned how to think in a critical manner along the way, and I have assembled/digested what many would consider an excellent private library.

Anyway, would you please name a few countries where Marxism/socialism has worked out well? Thanks.

kevin rise

Here’s a list of socialist marxists countries: Estonia, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Switzerland, Greenland, Germany, Post USSR eastern Europe, England, France, Ukraine, Canada, yes all capitalist with socialist Gov programs to better themselves. Shall I keep going? It’s odd how Estonia and Denmark have almost no debt, poverty, or crime and are ranked the safest, most educated and most desirable places to live-BBC Estonia made Skype btw. Beautiful place with Modest people.


What about Iceland? They say Iceland is a very nice place, despite its name.


Kevin rise, none of the countries you listed are true Marxist countries. In fact, off the top of my head, the only Marxists countries (communist) that exist today are;


North Korea




Mozambique (?)

So, is that who you think the US should emulate? Before pulling that lever, why don’t you try visiting there for a while, or better yet, talk to some recent immigrants from those nations.

Like many on the left and in the Democratic party you are confused by the terminology, (socialism vs Marxism). Point of fact: None of the Scandinavian countries (yes Iceland too), are communist or even socialist. That is because in a socialist country the government controls the means of production, price controls and distribution of goods and services, all for the good of the collective. Western European countries like all of Scandinavia, the UK, Germany and Russia (and certainly our neighbor Canada) have private ownership of production and enjoy a robust free enterprise system. With the exception of government controlled or subsidized health care and free higher education, and really high taxes and high regulation, these are free enterprise systems, not Socialists.

Yes they have bigger social safety nets but they are not socialists.


Okay, okay. We believe you. You went to college.


Kevin, name one Marxist country that is prosperous and free. (Please don’t say PRC as they use a form of Communist Party controlled capitalism that props up the totalitarian regime). Anyway, just name just one….

The answer is ZERO. That’s because the premise of Marxism is flawed, on so many levels, not the least of which it destroys individualism.

Anyway, yes, I have been to college but I have known high school students that are more well versed in the subject than you.

Please educate yourself properly and stop listening to TV pundits and left wing, 30 something year old leftists. Read some books please.

kevin rise

I listed above. I could list more.


Maybe unchecked capitalism is good but we just suck at it. I mean, we’re only about 240 years old and we lead the world in incarceration, we’ve got to be close to first place in sexual perversion and religious zealotry, we snub our noses at science, our democracy is in shambles. We are the laughing stock of the world – no one can believe how we’re handling the pandemic or how we could elect the kind of man we did to sit in our once-respected White House.


There a lot of educated people who have little practical knowledge, and a LOT of intelligent people who have never been in a college. I have friends that never finished High School, don’t know how to read and write well, but hand to eye coordination, they are brilliant. Likewise, I know of art oriented, very aesthetically intelligent people; mechanically brilliant people; kindness, and with an empathy towards others, intelligent people. My upshot is that intelligence has many manifestations that I wish I be better at.


You have a beautiful story, and a beautiful birth name.

I think that I understand Tianna. She is the local leader of a nationwide effort to impose a Marxist, Social Revolutionary order onto the USA, very much like the efforts of the FLMN in El Salvador.

kevin rise

Making mountains out of mole hills and comparing failed USA influenced countries to the USA makes no sense? Whom created all the chaos in central and south america? Russia and America. Did you take any econ?


I can tell you who created all the chaos in central and south America: Karl Marx, that’s who.


Actually, for better or worse, we played a major role in quite a few countries, as did ideological communism.


Hyperbole, more worried about the administration’s voter suppression that a FLMN type organization.

kevin rise

Agreed, thank you Mazin and Yan as well for speaking your truth, the peer reviewd truths.


My, how this country loves a nice word or two they can blame everything on. The burning need for cognitive closure.


She’s 20 years old. Time to turn off Fox.


Perhaps when Ms. Arata has advanced in years she will achieve your level of wisdom.


If she does, she’ll be very lonely in this country. We worship (and elect) fools!


Well said Sandra. Unfortunately many people don’t want race, gender, sexuality, etc to be blind as you so eloquently state. They need excuses to blame others for their problems.


Beautiful commentary, thank you for sharing your perspective. Life is what you make of it no matter how hard that journey may seem.


Great article Sandra! It highlights the fact that the modern Left, practices the antithesis of MLK’s message.


Antithesis? Not if antithesis still means ‘opposite’. Opposite might be more like stoking racial hatred or voter suppression.


Thank you Sandra Boc! God bless you and your family always….


Breath of fresh air. Thank you.


Sandra – I loved what you wrote but, I didn’t realize this would scratch off an old scab from an injury suffered long ago. You said quite well “I graduated with zero debt. This was not a privilege afforded to my white counterparts. To those of you who call label me as a minority, I want you to know that I find your term demeaning and insulting.”

At 16 1/2 I knew my educational opportunities were quite limited. In high school the counselor’s handed out jobs to “minority kids”. I asked about it and was told “unless your mom or dad are Hispanic or they make a lot less than I’m guessing they do you don’t qualify”. This was my first taste of “white privilege”.

Growing up middle class left me in a spot common to me and many of my friends. My parents made too much money for me to qualify for a free education yet not enough to foot the bill for me to go to college. My choices were a) graduate high school and find a job or b) join the military. I reported for boot camp soon after graduating and have zero regrets. Zero college debt as well now that I think of it!

This isn’t intended to insult your piece at all. As I said I loved it but, wanted to give you one different perspective that maybe you can appreciate. I have zero racism in my blood and served alongside every nationality you can imagine and drank gallons of beer with one muslim buddy (he wasn’t a real staunch muslim believe me) and got to see life through many different lenses.

All the best!

Uncle Jack

Couldn’t afford school myself so I had to join the military to get college paid for. That’s my “white Privilege”.

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