#BoicotLaComay Wins the 2012 Rebelde of the Year Award

With over 1,850 votes tabulated, our online community spoke and chose #BoicotLaComay as the recipient of our inaugural Rebelde award.


Here are the results:

The La Comay Boycott 88%
The DREAMers 5%
The YoSoy132 student movement 3%
The Librotraficante movement 2%
The return of the Zapatistas 1%

Other write-in votes included “ni idea,” #TodosSomosJoseEnrique, Cuéntame, Pedro Julio Serrano, and Quesigalacomayenwapatv.

We plan to contact the Boicot group to see when we can deliver the award to them.

Ann Coulter Wins the 2012 #NoMames Award

With over 300 votes tabulated, our readers spoke and chose Ann Coulter as the recipient of our inaugural #NoMames award.


Here are the results:

Ann Coulter slamming Latinos: 45%
The quasi-nativist musings of Ruben Navarrette: 28%
Penn State’s Chi Omega sorority dresses up in Mexican costume: 12%
Joseph Maturo, also known as the Taco Mayor: 9%
Shaquille O’Neal insulting Puerto Rico at NBA All-Star Game: 5%

There was one vote for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and one vote for Joe Ramos, president of Puerto Rico’s WAPA-TV.

We plan to contact Coulter to see when we can deliver the award to her.

Latino News Roundup for December 31st, 2012: New Year’s Eve Edition

Latino News Roundup Edition from HispanicTips:


Federal marriage law may force deportation of many immigrant gay spouses
     From: www.washingtonpost.com

Immigration, economic revival head Obama’s second-term checklist
     From: www.reuters.com

Latino Talents and Legends who Left Us in 2012
     From: www.sefijaonline.com

New Year’s Eve Traditions And Superstitions: 22 Latino Rituals To Guarantee A Prosperous 2013
     From: www.huffingtonpost.com

Yesterday’s Latino stars: Where are they now?
     From: nbclatino.com

2012 Sport’s Highs and Lows: From Messi and Miggy to Sanchez and Guillen
     From: latino.foxnews.com

¡Bienvenido 2013! Latinos in U.S. Prepare to Welcome the New Year in a Myriad of Ways
     From: latino.foxnews.com

As 500th anniversary nears, cities vie for title of Ponce de Leon’s landing spot – Where did that most ambitious conquistador, Juan Ponce de Leon, wade ashore five centuries ago and name his prize “La Florida?” Inquiring minds all over our state would like to know
     From: www.tampabay.com

Pa Fin De Año: 10 Worthy Quotes From La India Maria
     From: www.juanofwords.com

Erasing The Brown: Whitewashing of Latino Characters in Film
     From: elblogdehola.blogspot.com

Culled from these HispanicTips’ Reports

TOP STORIES Hispanic Report for December 31st, 2012

CULTURA Hispanic Report for December 31st, 2012

BUSINESS Hispanic Report for December 31st, 2012

40 New Year’s Eves Ago, My Hero Left This World: #21Forever

Originally published at JulioRVarela.com

I was 3 years old the night my hero died.

I don’t know if I was wearing my Pittsburgh Pirates shirt on that New Year’s Eve in 1972, and I couldn’t even begin to remember the details that swirled around Puerto Rico like bees around a hive. A child’s mind does not recall the facts, it just recalls the tears. The tears, I do remember.


But now the facts are far too familiar, and the Internet will forever enshrine them. As these excerpts from the January 1, 1973 edition of The New York Times say:

SAN JUAN, P. R., Jan. 1—Roberto Clemente, star outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died late last night in the crash of a cargo plane carrying relief supplies to the victims of the earthquake in Managua.

Three days of national mourning for Mr. Clemente were proclaimed in his native Puerto Rico, where he was the most popular sports figure in the island’s history.


Mr. Clemente was the leader of Puerto Rican efforts to aid the Nicaraguan victims and was aboard the plane because he suspected that relief supplies were falling into the hands of profiteers.

The four-engined DC-7 piston-powered plane crashed moments after takeoff from San Juan International Airport at 9:22 P.M.

The plane, carrying a crew of three and one other passenger, came down in heavy seas a mile and a half from shore.

Coast Guard planes circled the area trying to locate the plane by the light of flares. The wreckage was not found until 5 P.M. today in about 100 feet of water. There was no sign of survivors.


Mr. Clemente had been asked to take part in the collection of funds by Luis Vigoraux, a television producer.

“He did not just lend his name to the fund-raising activities the way some famous personalities do,” said Mr. Vigoraux. “He took over the entire thing, arranging for collection points, publicity and the transportation to Nicaragua.”

Mr. Clemente’s relief organization had collected $150,000 in cash and tons of clothing and foodstuffs. More money and clothing are still being donated.

“We sent a ship loaded with supplies during the week,” said a member of the earthquake relief committee. “One of the reasons Roberto went on the plane was to get there before the ship arrived to see the supplies were distributed properly.”


News of Mr. Clemente’s death plunged Puerto Rico into mourning.

Gov. Louis A. Ferre decreed three days of mourning and Governor-elect Rafael Hernandez Colon, who will be sworn into office tomorrow, ordered the cancellation of an inaugural ball and all other social activities related to the inauguration.

Roberto Clemente was 38 years old when he died. 38 years old.

His baseball feats will forever be celebrated, but Clemente went beyond that. Not a day goes by where I think of how this son of Puerto Rico represented a different type of athlete, one that we rarely see today.

I often wonder: “what if Clemente were still alive today?” He would be baseball’s premiere Latino ambassador, sure, but he would be marching with the justice-seekers, speaking out against violence, and calling for a better world. As PBS’ American Experience says, “Clemente was an exceptional baseball player and humanitarian whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change. He would die in a tragic plane crash.”

And that is why I struggle a bit every December 31. Clemente was so much more than a baseball player, but it was baseball that transcended him into places he would have never reached. I have friends from the Pittsburgh area who still consider Clemente the greatest Pirate ever. Everyone loved and admired Roberto (even those who called him “Bobby,” not knowing any better.) The Puerto Rican taking over Pittsburgh. That’s how it happens. That’s how we become a better world. When cultures blend, and we find commonalities and we celebrate achievements.

That is why I know that we can all be like Clemente. You can still stand for what you believe in,  you never have to settle, and still treat people with love, grace, and respect.


His son said it best when he told PBS the following:

I would like for people to see my father as an inspiration. To see him as a person who came from, you know, not a rich neighborhood or anything, but from a noble house in Puerto Rico. Probably with no hopes of knowing what he was going to become, but carrying himself in such a way that always had — you know, the values. That was always first. The caring and respect for the parents and siblings, and towards people. Zero tolerance against injustice. Not putting up with being put down. Becoming an activist and letting his message get across very strongly. That should be an inspiration to everyone… understanding how a single individual really truly makes a difference.
— Luis Clemente, son

This New Year’s Eve I still long for the possibilities of what the world COULD have been with Clemente here. Instead, the best I can do is just try and remember that each of us can truly make a difference. This is what Roberto means to me, and this is why I will be #21Forever.

Now I have a 10-year-old son who shares my love of Clemente. And when my son asks me about Roberto, I can show him game footage and tell him stories from my abuelo, my dad, and some Latino baseball legends I had the pleasure to meet in my lifetime (I will never ever forget when the great Mike Cuellar told me and my brothers about the Game 7 homerun Clemente hit off of him at the 1971 World Series). But even when my son and I talk baseball, I also tell him that Clemente was always larger that just baseball. He was a great human being who tried to make a difference. And he succeeded.

¡Que viva Roberto! #21Forever.


Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77 on Twitter) founded LatinoRebels.com (part of Latino Rebels, LLC) in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He is also a weekly contributor to NBC Latino. Recently, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the NationNPR, and The New York Times.

VIDEO: One DREAMer’s Response to Ruben Navarrette

Here is one video response to Ruben Navarrette that speaks more about the reality of the DREAMers than a series of whiny CNN columns that come across as elitist and reactionary.


Get out the way, Ruben.

We are wondering why Navarrette has suddenly become so absurdly critical of the DREAMers. Guess he forgot what some DREAMers have been doing for the past couple of years. Our take? Without the DREAMers, the push for true comprehensive immigration reform would have vanished from the national dialogue.

Is any movement perfect? Of course not. But if people think that the DREAMers should not stir the pot, then they have no clue about the movement’s essence. The DREAMers have no problem calling out the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration (does Navarrette forget that?) or the Republicans who are quick to ignore them. Sorry if that makes the Latino establishment uncomfortable.

For more of the real story, one that will never make the columns of CNN contributors, check out DreamersAdrift. The real stories are happening every day. The DREAMers didn’t need CNN before, and they don’t need them now.

#LatinoLit: Cristy C. Road’s “Spit and Passion” Revisits Latina Punk Identity and More

Beware: the front cover boasts a blurb line courtesy of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong—”Cristy C. Road is a badass.” This six-chapter graphic novela takes a curious look back at the often painful crossroads of the US-born Latino bicultural experience and the awkward gelling of artistic and sexual identity. Cristy C. Road’s Miami childhood, commandeered by powerful matriarchs and the always looming Cuban/Latino machismo that breeds paranoia and obsessive self-scrutiny, comes to life with stinging realism, despite the, at times, over-the-top, exaggerated imagery she composes. Adolescent transformation, not fitting in, always finding yourself thinking the opposite of the majority–an interior life navigated by the fear of being different steers the story forward.


The illustrations ring true to the punk rock esthetic of improvised DIY comic book style, which perfectly accompany the often embittered, confused, yet always intelligent commentary/text…and the narrator finally arrives at a crossroads where she can retain her “Cubanness” and her punk rock identity with careful balance and negotiation. The public school characters instantly dredged up our own such memories. “Spit and Passion” will resonate intimately with anyone who finds (or has found) themselves on the tense cultural divide between Latino tradition and underground values, and for those who do not find (or have not found) themselves on this fault-line, “Spit and Passion” will clearly illustrate the secret and silent world many turn to when they fear that the outside world will not accept them for who they really are

Most charming for us was the epiphanic moment the narrator experiences after listening to various punk rock cassettes that a schoolmate lends her. After suffering from one to the next and not finding the right “fit,” the miraculous happens when she plays finally plays Green Day for the first time. Her interior and exterior worlds finally merge and although this may sound too easy an explanation for the story’s rising action, Road handles this transformation with clever honesty, humor and skill. Music has affected changes in all of our lives, and especially during high school and adolescence, when we begin that frightening metamorphosis into “adulthood” and all the inherent compromises that comes with it.

And then there are those of us who keep dreaming, who keep fighting.

Please support these #LatinoLit bookstores before you buy anywhere else:

La Casa Azul Bookstore, New York, NY: http://www.lacasaazulbookstore.com

Tía Chucha Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA: http://www.tiachucha.com

Resistencia Bookstore, Austin, TX: http://www.resistenciabooks.com

Casa Ramírez, Houston, TX: 241 W 19th St – (713) 880-2420



Librería Barco de Papel, Queens, NY: http://libreriabarcodepapelny.com

Girón Books, Chicago, IL: http://www.gironbooks.com

Librotraficante Underground Library locations in AZ, NM and TX: http://www.librotraficante.com/index.php/underground-library/locations

#NoMames: Urban Outfitters’ “Juan at WalMart” Shirt

UPDATE, January 2, 2013: The retail strategy team for Urban Outfitters responded to us tonight.

Tonight we got a tweet from SUNY Fredonia’s @LatinosU about a shirt found at an Urban Outfitters and posted on Twitpic.


When we asked about the context of the shirt, here is what we were told:

Others on Twitter also weighed in:

Long live fashion racism. Granted, the shirt could be part of the store’s consignment section, but still… why even display it? A quick search at Urban Outfitters’ site does not include the shirt. We plan to reach out to UO for comment.

AUDIO: Latino Rebels Founder @julito77 on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio

2012 was certainly a turning point for the Latino Rebels. The year began with a little bit of luck, which led to spectacular growth, a highly engaged social media community, and 50+ Rebelde stories being picked up by global and national media outlets. Yesterday our founder @julito77 had a chance to talk about the history and the future of the Rebeldes with WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, one of the country’s premiere NPR radio stations.


Here is the entire 30-minute interview with host Marcela García (who rocks, by the way) and Julito (click here). We hope you like Julito’s “NPR” voice.

And many thanks to our newest Rebelde, Charlie García, for sharing the interview with his Twitter stream. The following tweet got over 4,000 RTs and was favorited over 4,000 times as well.


Our Most Popular 2012 YouTube Videos Reflected a Focus on Rebelde Journalism

As we reach the end of 2012 and approach 500,000 YouTube views on our channel, we wanted to share a few of our most popular videos from this year. Our goal this year was to use video as a way to complement the stories we covered, and YouTube was the perfect vehicle for this.


Here are just a few of our most popular videos that we posted:

ABC’s WORK IT controversy got over 74,000 views in 2012.

The East Haven Taco Mayor got over 20,080 views.

The first time Penn State returned to the football field after the Jerry Sandusky scandal struck a chord with many. This video got over 18,000 views.

ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe calling for the deportation of Melky Cabrera also got over 18,000 views.

The recent “Puerto Rican Temper” video from an ESPN broadcast was posted last Sunday, and it has already gotten over 12,000 views.

Latino News Roundup for December 28th, 2012

Latino News Roundup Edition from HispanicTips:


Mexican traffickers plant pot crop in American forests – the activity has spread to 20 states and 67 national forests
     From: www.usatoday.com

Spanish Literacy Obstacle for Some Seeking “Deferred Action”
     From: newamericamedia.org

Iowa DREAMers Won’t Get Licenses – announced Thursday DACA applicants cannot get licenses or state identification cards
     From: abcnews.go.com

As One Immigration Enforcement Program Fades Away, Another Rises – 287g Gets Scaled Back while Secure Communities expanding
     From: abcnews.go.com

Another Bloody Year in Puerto Rico – Though the number of homicides won’t match last year’s record total of 1,122, violent crime remains the most pressing issue as Puerto Rico prepares to bid farewell to 2012.
     From: www.laht.com

Opinion: Temporary victory for Mexican-American studies in Arizona
     From: nbclatino.com

10 Latino Films You Probably Didn’t See in 2012 And Should
     From: music.remezcla.com

Shakira’s boyfriend Gerard Pique reveals their ‘son has been born’, but is it a prank? – Because December 28 is actually the Spanish equivalent to April Fools’ Day
     From: www.mirror.co.uk

Adios 2012: Blogamole Looks Back At The Year’s Greatest Chisme
     From: blogamole.tr3s.com

Alt.Latino – Lo Que Mas Les Gustó: Listeners Pick The Best Music Of 2012
     From: www.npr.org

Culled from these HispanicTips’ Reports

TOP STORIES Hispanic Report for December 28th, 2012
     From: www.hispanictips.com

CULTURA Hispanic Report for December 28th, 2012
     From: www.hispanictips.com