Jose Vargas speaks to aspiring journalists at St. Edwards University, focusing mainly on the struggles Vargas had coming throughout the journalist scene.
“This country elected an anti-immigrant for president. That tells you a lot about the culture we are living in.” (Vargas) Also a piece from his book ‘Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen’… “White as the default, white as the center, white as the norm, is the central part of the master narrative. The centrality of whiteness—how it constructed white versus black, legal versus illegal—hurts not only people of color who aren’t white but also white people who can’t carry the burden of what they’ve constructed.” (Vargas)
Thursday Oct. 10, 2019 Jose Vargas touched on important topics that happened throughout his life and then took questions from inspiring future journalist students at St. Edwards University in JBWS Hall. Vargas ranged from talking about the phrases of being an advocate or an activist, to talking about his journey as a journalist and how Vargas encountered many hurdles throughout his career. Adding to this Vargas an undocumented citizen and being gay, he talked to students about the struggles and how it pushes him to better the community every day. Vargas had no problem opening up on his sexuality telling these St. Edwards’s students that he is gay. Vargas you could tell a very proud person and as you can see from past interviews with Fox, CNN, etc. he stands for what he believes is right. Vargas during this discussion with St. Edwards’s students mentions how throughout his life he has faced many different obstacles pushing through this journey as a journalist. Vargas’s big idea was people will tell you no, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. This idea of striving for something that might seem out of reach is described many times by Vargas throughout this discussion with St. Edwards’s students. Vargas also emphasized race throughout the discussion. Being an undocumented citizen and not looking the norm, Vargas explains how he struggled and maintained a level head throughout the process of becoming and staying a journalist. Questions were asked and Vargas was thrilled to answer them. St. Edwards’s students were awfully shy at this beginning at this point of the presentation. Vargas was almost begging for students to ask questions. These students asked questions solely focused on how to strive as a young journalist. Vargas was happy to explain and talk about his past experiences that helped him get to where he is today. These students were ecstatic when receiving all types of helpful tips from Vargas throughout this question and answer section of the presentation. Seemed that students focused on question re-framing from issues Vargas has dealt with rather they focused on how and what they need to do in order to be a successful young journalist in the world we live in today. A once in lifetime opportunity for the people that filled up the small auditorium at St. Edwards University, if you ever get the chance to see Jose Vargas don’t be afraid to converse with him as he is always willing to do so.