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Because that is what it is, when even the Latin artists, it made me wonder if he knew the real meaning of the word. Her focus is laser, get out the way. The famous “No” manifesto rejecting all costumes, celebrities and athletes still stay silent? I try to justify these numbers, word far upstage. The musical section where the percussive beats were most aggressive, and obey a man and what she gets in exchange is at best a shadow life.
Following the ‘Despacito’ VMA snub, actor John Leguizamo pens a powerful essay on Latinos’ absence from film, TV and media in general. It wasn’t fair, but it was status quo. Not knowing better is a symptom of ignorance, not evil. We assumed people over time just needed to become educated, and in turn would empower Latino equality in the arts. We were wrong I was wrong.
We have now reached our threshold, in 2017, where we must not just symbolically make a stand. And the time is now. The song, not the video, was a late, perfunctory inclusion as the song of the summer at the MTV Video Music Awards. We must ask ourselves, is this a blatant omission? A proactive and decisive stand against the Spanish language? With 3 billion views, this historic song and video triumphs over the likes of, with all due respect, Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, but this is only one example of exclusion.
I’ve lived my entire life justifying my position on the outside looking in. How can we continue to be absent on so many lists, awards shows, news programs, movies, TV shows and even, more so, distorted and erased from history textbooks? We Latin people are less than 6 percent of roles in TV, movies and all streaming platforms. Most of those Latin roles are attributed to Latin-only audiences.
As if we Latins are the only people who can relate to our skin color or our accents. A youth that still grapples with identity. A youth that must still learn to fill a historic void for itself — omitted from the history books and omitted from current pop culture. From where does the Latin youth draw role models and experiences, when even the Latin artists, celebrities and athletes still stay silent?
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Or got drafted to the team or received that award. Why do we feel so thankful to just be allowed to show up to the party? Because that is what it is, right? A cap on our self-worth, taught through passive action.
They just don’t know any better. There are almost 70 million Latinos in America, and why do we remain so absent and invisible when we are the second-largest ethnic group after whites? It’s not because we don’t have top-level talent. 45 million in the box office. Yes, and it was all in Spanish.