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.


Ms. Arata is angry and short on the facts…she is mad as hell and also in my opinion very ignorant of our history as a nation….that is a real bad combination and often leads to disaster…the two democrats running for office…the highest office in our land could educate her and others and ask them to subside with the protesting…and the anger but not a word about it was said yesterday at the presser….like its not even happening….

And there is where the problem really is…the lack of responsible adult leadership on the left….the lack of enforcing the law by left leaning state and local leaders…all over the nation not just here…its making things worse… is making the protesters angry enough to want to harm others….and that’s what the leadership want….civil unrest leading towards November 3rd…..


There are two basic types of people on this lovely planet. One type try to raise themselves up to the level of others more successful. The second type want to bring successful people down to their level.


I don’t have a hard time understanding Tianna at all, she is fowl mouthed, instead of bringing empathy/understanding for the BlK movement she is alienating me gross generalisations such as chanting “ fu*k the police” which is stereotyping a group just like racist do.., she is not a leader …


Sandra you hit the nail on the head. You have gratitude for the opportunities in the USA. Conversely, Tianna and her group are caught in the victim loop. If you are stuck in the victim loop you cannot progress until you switch mental tasks and think of things to be grateful for. Gratitude allows a group to collaborate and form a collective consciousness (which doesn’t have to be a religious collective consciousness). A good book on the subject is “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michaels.

It appears that Tianna’s mother rather than keep Tianna insulated from harm as they protested together, instead her mother put Tianna in legal harm’s way. Her mother either condoned blocking the freeway or stood silent while Tianna crossed the legal line and with willful disregard of the law did an unsafe act. There is a parenting problem here and now Tianna will suffer the consequences for her mother living vicariously through her daughter.


These kids aren’t in any victim loop – they’re in a boredom loop. They don’t have anything to feel victimized about – they wish they did. They’re stuck inside, playing video games, tik-tokking and tweeting. Their planet is dying, their president is an idiot. There, I’m old.


Ms. Arata is very easy to understand. Her expletives against people calmly eating a meal (“Fxxx your comfort”) are perfectly clear. Her stomping and burning the American flag are clear. Her other actions are clear. She wants a revolution in this country that would destroy the existing system and replace with a totalitarian Marxist system in which, of course, the “enlightened” people such as herself would dictate how we live. That attitude shows that the person who really does not understand something is Ms. Arata, who obviously hasn’t the faintest idea about this country, individual liberty, the law and the economy. She is young enough that she might learn, but I wouldn’t bet on it.


Well, but you have to agree – San Luis Obispan’s are pretty annoying in the way they dine outside, even in a pandemic, they come across pampered and precious.


What is the insult for a Salvadoran woman who disagrees with your political paradigm? I know Heidi Harmon is calling African-American city council candidate Abrianna Torres, lifelong SLO resident and the daughter of wonderful community-minded parents who I have known for decades, an “Uncle Tom”. I don’t know of an analogous term for Salvadorans. I will just have to wait until Heidi speaks up again.


Sandra, I like you not because of the color of your skin, but because of what I perceive from your writing as a person of good character. On the other hand, I find the Arata woman as a person of bad choices and poor character and for that reason alone detest her.


Well said B_C_P.


See. They’re not ALL bad.


What a great story. One of millions of such stories that have had a huge hand in building/shaping the US. Thank you.

One thing that’s never spoken about (it’s simply too taboo) is the critical need for the black community in the US to help itself by taking greater advantage of the opportunities in the US.

The gate to the mountain has long been opened, and the trail has never been in better shape (even including the damage by Obama), but they still need to do the climbing. There’s no donkey ride to the top, and there never was.

At the same time the govt needs to take a fresh and honest look at how it’s facilitating a continuation of poverty with some programs that do far more harm than good. Some of the programs cripple good men and women from a societal standpoint! Hotly political, but it needs to be addressed.


Hillary’s to blame too. I don’t know how, but she is.


I believe that our background & circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we BECOME! Thank you for validating that philosophy Sandra…your story should embolden people of all colors, gender or religion that you can overcome struggles if YOU WANT TO. My Grandfather came here st 17, did not speak English and worked hard to become an American Citizen and provide for his family he started here. America is a country that is SO willing to give people a “hand up”…I’m just saddened that some people are so willing to demand for “hand OUTS” and unwilling to put effort into becoming a self sufficient individual like YOURSELF! You are one of millions who make America PROUD and the great country that we are! Thank you again for your story. In contrast to Ms. Arata, who has been afforded opportunities but is so hateful of America, stomping, spitting on our Flag – I can not and will not respect her for her so-called leadership of a message she raped of the purpose of what I believe the original message was…police reform and the acknowledgement of racism against the Black Community. She deafened the message with her thuggish, obnoxious, mean-spirited, DANGEROUSLY and criminal acts.


In places like El Salvador you often BECOME a CORPSE before your 15th birthday, no matter who you ARE. In places like SLO you often get a brand new car from ma-ma and da-da.