Latinos are Racist

latino racism

SlaveHave you ever seen a Black Latino on TV? If you have, then you probably remember it vividly because that is quite the rare event. Black Latinos in Spanish are called “Negros” [Nae-gros]– which is the literal English translation for “Blacks”. It’s not uncommon to hear the reference to Negros in Spanish, which sometimes, may even be a term of endearment.

The Blacks, aka “Los Negros”, have a deep history in the Hispanic culture. Most are direct decedents of slaves brought to the Caribbean from Africa by their European owners, and eventually redistributed to North and South America.

Ever since the arrival of Los Negros and their forceful enslavement, not much has changed. Sure… so-called “freedom” was granted by their oppressors, and nowadays these Negros are allowed to work and live among the population – and some are even allowed to date outside their race, eat at public restaurants and vote – which is a huge improvement from their forced labor and subhuman conditions – but, still, nothing has practically changed since their emancipation.latinos are racist

Although they have yet to reach any level of equality in many areas of society, African-Americans in the United States have come a long way from their original oppression. But take that one step lower in the pole of injustice and you will find Afro-Latinos currently living even worse than their Afro-American brothers and sisters. Part of the reason is that there is still a real ignorance when it comes to the blunt racism taking place in Latin America. Most people don’t know (or care) that racism in the Latino community exists, and it’s thriving!

Most Latinos in America don’t see themselves as racist. They actually think they’re an equal opportunity community… but boy are they wrong! There are essentially no Black-Latinos in any sort of power in America. There may be a handful of dark-skinned leaders, but in general, power is exclusive to “light-skinned Latinos”.

I use Television as a prime example of this racial prejudice because TV is supposed to be a representative of culture for society. If you watch Spanish-language Television you will notice a lack of dark-skinned Latinos. Accident? Coincidence? Maybe. Racism? Definitively!

Even in Latin American countries where the majority of the population is composed of dark-skinned or “indigenous-looking” people, Television is mainly a light-skinned realm. I’ve worked in the TV industry for many years as a producer, and I’ve been directly instructed to cast only “lighter-skinned” talent – even though I’m considered a dark-skinned Latino myself.

Racial equality in America is far from a truth, but racial equality in Latin America is a far fetch fairy tale. The biggest problem is that no one thinks it’s a problem at all! Even darker-skinned Latinos don’t realize how much discrimination they go through, mainly because that’s the way it has always been. It’s the norm. It is normal for darker-skinned Latinos to see their lighter-skinned brothers and sisters get more opportunities than them. Darker-skinned Latinos don’t see anything wrong with that. In a way, they’ve been conditioned to think that’s just the way things are supposed to be.

I’m not a conformist. I can’t stand idle while people get discriminated because of the color of theirlatino racism skin – regardless of what language or culture they come from. Indigenous-looking Latinos, or as they are condescendingly called, “Indios” (Indians), are also hugely discriminated against. They’re the people that don’t belong to your TV sets. They’re meant only to work cleaning houses or in the agricultural fields, picking fruit and vegetables.

black_latino_racismThe portrayal in Spanish-language TV programming of dark-skin and indigenous Latinos as the maids and servants is outright the reason why those same Latinos grow up believing that’s their place in society. It’s really a sad deal all around because there’s an endless cycle of humiliating discrimination that has never been addressed since the times when the slaves were enslaved.

Some countries in Latin American have never even officially ended slavery. Of course, slaves revolted and demanded their freedom, but it was never granted officially.

I don’t propose any solutions within these writings, yet. This is a complex problem and it requires careful planning of any proposition to make things right. But my intent with these words is to hopefully bring awareness to the problem.

In conclusion, Latinos are racist. Extremely racist! But they don’t realize it. However… knowledge is power. Things have to change.

 

Why need to support Bordertown and Lalo Alcaraz

bordertown_racismThe saying goes: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all?” And that applies to supporting our fellow artists that are out there trying to create and take advantage of opportunities in their lives and careers.

As minorities in the U.S. we’ve been trained from an early age to not celebrate our brothers and sisters’ triumphs. We’re crabs in a bucket pulling each other down. It’s become part of our nature — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have to say that I’m not a 100% fan of Fox’s Bordertown (at least for now, it may get better). But my big beef is with FOX – for the reason that instead of giving Lalo Alcaraz HIS OWN show, they opt to bring him into an existing show (created by a White writer). Still, better to take that opportunity than not have any Latinos at all on the show (like a lot of other so-called “Latino” shows).

Lalo is doing the best he can with the opportunities given, and no one can judge him unless they have walked in his shoes. Jay-Z said it best in a song “…the critics, they tell you how to do it, but they never did it.” So unless you’ve been in a room full of privileged, straight-outta ivy-league college, passive-aggressive racist writers, then you really can’t say how things should or should not be.

And the reason race is an issue in this matter its because it would be very unlikely that they would let a Latino writer create an Asian show or an Irish show or an American White show for that matter. So how come White writers are able to create “Latino” shows? It doesn’t make sense.

We need to support anyone doing something about it. We don’t have to agree or even like their product, but we must respect their hustle. And again, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!

Here are my two cents on the matter:

If you want to write for Television…

nhmc writers program

nhmc writers programIf you want to write for television, there are many programs out there that will help you get your foot in the door. One program in particular is the NHMC Writer’s Program. I’ve been a part of this program and I can attest that you will definitely learn a thing or two about writing, but, most importantly, you’ll get some insight into the TV writing industry.

A great script is probably half the battle, and the other half is who you know.

To get more information about the NHMC Writer’s Program follow this link: http://www.nhmc.org/writersprogram

If you have any questions about what to expect, or how to maximize your chances on getting selected to participate, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll tell you what I’ve learned.

Bordertown Writer Lalo Alcaraz Interview

lalo alacaraz bordertown

Award-winning cartoonist and writer Lalo Alcaraz talks about being a writer for FOX’s new show Bordertown. The show has caused controversy because of its ‘racially-challenged’ feeling (read about it here).

Watch the interview here, or download the audio podcast below.

Seth MacFarlane’s Bordertown…

seth_bordertown_mark_fox

bordertown is racistIs Bordertown Racist? Excuse my Spanish, but… What the f*** does Seth MacFarlane know about living at the border? What the f*** does Mark Hentemann know about being Mexican? If you don’t know, these are the executive producers of the Fox animated series “Bordertown.” Two White guys, that even White guys think they’re “too White”.

In this entertainment industry not too many people know the truth, let alone tell it. I used to not speak up because I was afraid how it could affect me one day.  I’m done!  F*** it!!! They can’t keep manipulating the growing majority of the population with sub-par attempts at ridicule disguising it under the “it’s funny” umbrella of stereotypical stupidity.

Why did Fox think that the Whitest guy they know can produce a show that features a Mexican family living at the border? Well, it’s the same Fox that thought that Seth MacFarlane could also produce the “The Cleveland Show”, which featured a Black family living in Virginia. <<- You can read all about my beef with that show here as well.

Look, I really like Family Guy. It’s one of my favorite shows. But I don’t like it because it’s a “White” show… instead, I love it because it’s an “anti-establishment” show. Family Guy is about a White family living the way they want to live, and it’s usually wrong — and that’s hilarious! But that show is funny because it has something “real” to the concept. It lives within certain parameters of truth. Real stereotypes are funny. I’m all for ridiculing stereotypes in order to show how dumb they really are at times.

But an issue I have with a show like this Bordertown, is that they’ve engaged real, talented Latinos to be a part of it, in order to give “validity” to their degenerate proposition of entertainment. Talented, gifted Latinos in the likes of Lalo Alcaraz (click here to listen to my interview with Lalo), Gustavo Arellano and Valentina Garza fall into the ONLY opportunity out there to reach the mainstream. Unfortunately, this Bordertown show is NOT THEIR SHOW! Their power is limited and their creative prowess is stumped by the real players behind the curtain – MacFarlane and Hentemann.

But what did you expect? It’s not Lalo, Gustavo or Valentina’s fault. They have no choice! Fox would never give them their own show. There’s not a network out there brave, or willing, enough to give real Latinos a platform to reach millions and millions of viewers – all on their own. That would never happen!! They always need that ‘all-powerful White image’ to supervise what they’re doing, and with good reason — because imagine the political implications of real issues being brought to light through comedy and entertainment??? Hmmm… Elections are won or lost through these platforms. Real Latinos have no place in creating the real content, or so think the big Networks. Instead, they’re given “associate producer” or “consulting producer” or “bullshit-taker” positions in order to appease all the real Latinos that will be offended by this garbage being put out.

LATINOS: “This is a racist show!”

NETWORK: “This can’t be a racist show, because Lalo Alcaraz is a part of it!”

I see right through all the smoke and mirrors and I hope smart Latinos will, too. In fact, I hope this Bordertown show is funny and successful and goes on for many seasons so that at least Lalo, Gustavo and Valentina can get paid! <–That’s about all the good I see coming out of this Bordertown project.

My point? This show is garbage. I’ve actually have read the scripts for the show, and trust me, it’s worse than what it looks like.

Funny, how the show its supposed to be funny, but the real joke is on the audience.

I had a chance to interview Lalo Alcaraz, click here for the interview. I’m out.

I leave you the trailer here in case you enjoy their attempt…

How to Sell to the Latino Market

sell to latino market

The Latino MarketIf you’re trying to sell to the “Latino Market” you’ve already made the first mistake.  There is no such thing as a “Latino Market”.  The so-called “Latino Market” is as broad as the “Caucasian Market” or the “Asian Market”.  No such thing!

Imagine taking more than a dozen countries and trying to sell them something just on the fact that they may share a common language.  Try to sell sell them something disregarding cultural differences, religious influences, economic factors, etc.  That would be absolutely idiotic.

So when you sell to the “Latino Market” you’re basically casting a fishing line randomly into the ocean hoping to catch some fish, all while guessing what kind of bait Latino fish might like.  The fact is that it is not that simple!

I laugh when I read research explaining how “Latinos like this…” or “Latinos like that…” That research is as primitive as when people used to think that sick people were possessed by the devil.

If you really want to reach the Latino Market, then you must stop calling it the Latino Market.  The Latino Market is a People Market.  A Human Market.  Whether Latino or not, all humans gravitate towards the same basic things, and it just happens that some of those humans are Latino.

Want a good example of good selling to “Latinos”?  See McDonald’s.  They don’t make a “Latino burger” to reach the “Latino Market”.  Instead, they make the same burger any other American buys and they sell it to Latinos.  There’s no need to add Horchata to their milkshakes or jalapeno to the Big Mac (although, those are some good ideas I’ve had).  If Latinos eat Big Macs is because they want Big Macs.  They’re not asking for a “Latino Big Mac”.  That doesn’t even sound appetizing!

Same issue with Television.  “Latino shows” fail horribly, not because they’re bad shows, but rather because no one wants to watch a bootleg version of an existing American show.  “Latino Seinfeld” or “Latino Friends” sound like the dumb version of the real show.

Latinos in America watch American Idol, Family Guy, Biggest Loser or whatever else, and they have nothing to do with “Latinos”.  They watch those shows because they’re GOOD SHOWS. Period!

I sometimes also hear people complain that Latinos don’t support our own product.  That’s false.  If Latinos have to make a choice to watch a movie, and they have two options:

OPTION #1 is SPIDER-MAN – with all its special effects, great characters and excellent story.

OPTION #2 is CORAZON DESTROZADO – a coming of age story told from an artistic perspective about an illegal immigrante that overcame obstacles and crossed the border to work as a dishwasher in an East LA restaurant after his mother got killed by the drug-trafficking coyote who molested him.

Most Latinos will probably go watch Spider-Man!  It’s just sounds like a more entertaining movie!  Besides, why would anyone (Latino or not) spend hard-earned money only to “support” something simply because it’s labeled “Latino”?  That’s a stupid financial decision, especially in this economy.  If I’m taking a risk with my money, I’m going to watch a movie that has a good probability of being good, regardless if it’s a White, Black or Latino movie.

People from ALL RACES AND ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS want to be ENTERTAINED.  No one wants to feel guilty and forced into supporting something that’s not appealing just because it’s “Latino”.

A great example of someone who reaches the so-called “Latino Market” very effectively is Guillermo Del Toro.  He doesn’t need to make “Latino” movies.  All he needs is to make GOOD movies.  Believe it or not, Latinos happen to like good movies, along with everyone else in this country, regardless of ethnicity.

If Latinos made movies that EVERYONE liked, then those movies would be successful.  It’s important not to blame the audience because they don’t want to go watch a depressing story about the struggles of being Latino and how being an illegal immigrant is hard.

People go watch films to be entertained.  To enter a world of fantasy for a while.  To escape reality and enjoy a good story. Sometimes heartbreaking movies could be well received, but if you want to reach a certain level of success with Latinos, DON’T PATRONIZE!  Make a good movie and watch Latinos, Anglos, African-Americans, Asians and everyone else all come and “support” your product.  Don’t “beg” and “force” Latinos to “support” you because you’re “Latino” or because you add “Latino stuff” to your crap.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all Latinos are Mexican just like not all Asians are Chinese.  Everyone wants to find that one-size-fits-all-Latinos.  There’s no such thing!  East coast Latinos are different from West coast Latinos.  Southern Latinos are different from Midwest Latinos.  You can’t think that all Latinos eat tortillas or that all Latinos dance salsa.

The Sopranos was a story about an Italian family, and this ended up being a great TV show.  The show was great because it was a good show on its own merits, NOT because it was an “Italian show”.

So when you market to Latinos with crap labeled as “Latino”, all you’re doing is making Latinos feel like they’re not good enough for general products.  That “they” must have “their own thing” because “they’re” not smart enough to understand and appreciate a quality general market product.

Bottom line, if you want to reach the Latino Market, the best you can do is reach the General Market FIRST, and then the Latino Market will be included.  But if your product is not good enough to be successful in the General Market, then your product will fail with the Latino Market, as well.

There’s a reason Latinos buy cars and they don’t buy “Latino cars”.  No want wants to drive around in something that labels them.

Lastly, DO NOT THROW-IN SPANISH LINGO thinking that Latinos will love it!  It’s very stupid and sounds even worse.  You can’t have an inferior product and then expect that a few Spanish words will have Latinos flocking to it.

Pretty much, if you make a product that YOU LIKE, chances are other people will like it as well – and chances are that some of those people might be Latino.  That’s how you reach them.

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