Race-work, Race-love

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Open Letter to Latina: The Year of the Latin@ Intellectual & the Fascinating Story I Missed – La Muerte de La Comay

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2013 at 11:40 am

Fascinating Story Number Six: The Year of Latin@ Intellectualism & Latin@ Intellectuals

One thing learned from the 2012 election: Neither candidate or media, advertising and marketing experts knew how the hell to deal with the growing Latin@ population. Between polls and surveys, seems like no one got quite right what Latin@s think or how we feel about “our” needs. It seemed that media journalists/academics who discussed Latin@ politics (without a Latin@ scholar/activist/intellectual at their discussion panels) looked confused, were misinformed, and seemed misguided. But we had our champions, our Latin@ public intellectuals who took to Facebook, Twitter, blogs and even their own shows to break through all the confusion among non-Latinos. And, we were all the more grateful for it.

Our biggest national champions throughout this time were Jorge Ramos, Maria Elena Salinas,  and Maria Hinojosa. With shows like Al Punto and their own shows such as Latino USA on NPR.  In fact, Jorge Ramos was noted by the  Washington Monthly as “The broadcaster who will most determine the 2012 elections…” Getting these Latino journalist-intellectuals in the same space is a real treat. Their journalism is characterized by their advocacy and have been part of our homes for years. You can watch them on Bill Moyers here. In this episode, Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas discuss why there has not been a Latino moderator for the presidential debates. Jorge Ramos responded, “We were not invited to the party, so we had our own.” Their push for more visibility of the Latin@ community is interestingly promoted by their own recognition that as much as they expect non-Latin@s to accommodate and recognize Latin@s, Latin@s in Spanish language media must also change to accommodate the newer generations of Latin@s who do not primarily speak Spanish. It is a must-watch episode.

Other Latino journalist-activists intellectuals include and Juan Gonzalez and Roberto Lovato  who push national imagination on immigration. 2012 was the year Harvest of Empire by Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now), was finally made into a movie and reached a wide audience outside of the book’s readership. Others such as Roberto Lovato, were equally as important as he reminded Latin@s of the unfulfilled promise of an Obama administration capped by the deportation of over 1 million undocumented immigrants. Despite the unpopularity of spreading this truth, Lovato reminded us that Juan Crow, a term he coined, is alive and well in this “Post-Racial” era. He forces us to explore the role Latin@s play in a White Supremacist society headed led by a Black president. In fact, they all push us to think in this direction.

Where mainstream English language media lacked, Spanish language media, political blogs like the National Institute for Latino Policy and HP Latino Voices,  cultural blogs such as Capicu Culture and Latino Rebels, and Latina health bloggers as demonstrated here all provide us with insight into Latin@ lives in a way that surveys and polls cannot – and, it takes Latin@ intellectuals to do it.  Because we do it everyday – we take more than just snapshots of our community. We are not a summary and we are not items on a menu or agenda. We are THE fascinating story that continues to be ignored. And, as Jorge Ramos points out, if we don’t get invited to the party, we will make our own.

A final example of the strength of Latin@ intellectualism is Junot Diaz.  A Pulitzer Prize winner for his book The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao he is also a recent recipient of the coveted MacArthur fellowship, an honor that many Latin@s cheered almost like it was a soccer or baseball game. The combination of the Pulitzer Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship gave us our own personal genius in our modern Latin@ times.  His writing and his quest for decolonial love provides us with a different type of road map for Latin@ intellectualism – like many of the geniuses before him, they understood that at the heart of the matter is love. Self-love, love for your partner, and love for your people – a love free from the internalized oppression that makes us sell ourselves short, a love that doesn’t sell your people out for retweet or a Facebook like, a love that is free from White Supremacist values and if that cant be achieved – a love for the fight to end White Supremacy.

So now I wonder: What is the story you want to tell, Latina magazine, about your people? We can easily ask ourselves this, too.  What is the story we want to create for ourselves as Latin@s and as a community? One thing is for sure: I love my people and the work we do. Let’s push each other to do better, be better. Let’s see what we come up with in 2013.

Here is to Latin@-race-work-race-love filled 2013 full of fascinating Latin@ stories!!!

 

The Fascinating Story I Missed: La Muerte de La Comay

This story I missed until my friend and colleague Dr. Manolo Guzman wrote his thoughts on the end to La Comay. I have included his thoughts below. You can read more on the Boycott of La Comay here and here and here

El Rotundo Exito del Boicot a La Comay

by Manolo Guzmán on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:40am ·

La Comay ha sido castrada, Kobbo Santarrosa se quedó sin auspiciadores, y muchos de los que apoyan y aplauden el boicot nos hemos quedado boquiabiertos.

No sé por qué otros quedan con la boca abierta. A mi me cuesta aceptar que una respuesta en contra de la homofobia en PR, parte central de la protesta en contra de La Comay, haya tenido el éxito que en este boicot ha encontrado. Quizás 20 años son nada, pero, a lo mejor, los 35 años de exilio a cuesta de el odio homofóbico, sin salida y asfixiante, de los primeros 17 que viví en PR son algo y el boicot contra La Comay un éxito inesperado en el que ese algo se recoge.

Sobre este éxito debí haber escrito un artículo pero odio escribir las quince páginas que los escritos académicos, los que conozco, requieren para exponer una idea que no necesita más de una oración. Además soy vago para escribir. Así que al grano, el éxito de el boicot y los esfuerzos astutos de Carlos A. Rivera-Jones y los otros 75,000 entusiastas del boicot no sólo se manifiestan en la castración de una muñeca de trapo o en haberle hecho perder millones de dólares en auspicios a esta basura. No, eso es sólo parte de este rotundo éxito.

El verdadero éxito se vislumbra en el final de la producción del programa en vivo. Y lo que esto vislumbra es que los procesos de vigilancia han sido en alguna medida democratizados. WAPA TV, toda las estaciones de TV en PR, todas las estaciones de radio y todos los periódicos han perdido en esta batalla. Y todas estas instituciones [y el resto de el aparato que incluye una iglesia asquerosa y un departamento de la policía que es una vergüenza] saben que están bajo la vigilancia de un pueblo que completamente dentro de la ley le viró la tortilla del panopticón a medios de comunicación que se imaginaban altaneramente invulnerables e impunes además.

En un momento histórico en que está claro que los procesos de vigilancia no menguarán, quien se sienta detrás de las persianas desde donde se vigila es una de las luchas más importantes. Hoy todos los medios de comunicación e instituciones aledañas [curas, puercos, alcaldes y el resto de esa saorria ideológica] en PR saben que en un PR que se extiende mas allá de las islas municipios de Culebra y Vieques hay miles de puertorriqueños que los están velando y evaluando. Y lo que importa es precisamente eso, que se sienten velados, que se regulan internamente en relación a otra lógica mas complicada que la del mercado. Esa nueva distribución y práctica de la vigilancia ha sido el gran éxito de este boicot. Por que vendrán otras muñecas y otros auspiciadores, y, peor aún, quizá la muñeca castrada nunca se vaya; pero los procesos de vigilancia y la manera en que esos procesos se entienden, materializan, y experimentan cambiaron para siempre y por eso debemos estar de júbilo, sin tiros al aire por favor.

A lo mejor en algún lugar encontaré un jaca baya y en mi Collores un bohío arropa’o de los famosos cundeamores, por que tu sabes Puerto Rico que yo te I love you y que nunca bote el baby con la placenta.

La falta de matices me la disculpan. Para eso hubiese tenido que escribir las malditas quince páginas que mencione arriba y que tanto detesto.

¡Féliz 2013!

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