ABC’s Puerto Rican Drug Dealer “Joke” Fiasco Spreads Through Social Media and Community

What was just five seconds of air time on a major network has turned into a social media campaign within 48 hours among the Puerto Rican social network. Just days after the ABC sitcom "Work It" premiered, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the Latino blogosphere have been buzzing about a toss-away joke that equates Puerto Ricans to drug dealers.

In case you missed it, this clip from "Work It" (a lame, unfunny Bosom Buddies rip-off that has already been panned by critics) will give you some context.

We have already shared our initial reactions to the joke, which was delivered by the character of Angel, portrayed by Puerto Rican actor Amaury Nolasco. Like we said last night, we are giving the show the benefit of the doubt, since we think that what might have been a sarcastic joke in written form became a lame and offensive joke when it was recorded.

Nonetheless, a grassroots movement out of New York City was immediately formed through social media and a small group of protesters stood in front of ABC's offices in New York City, demanding that ABC apologize. According to Julio Pabón, one of the campaign's organizers, the local New York affiliate WABC-TV has already apologized, but nothing has come out from the national network.

"We want apology from the network, who are the ones responsible for the airing of the show," Pabón said. "We have not heard from them yet."

Pabón will be appearing tomorrow morning with Rhina Valentín at 10 am on Bronx cable to discuss next steps, but he did tell us tonight that the group will be meeting with other community leaders to promote a formal response from elected officials. The group is also planning to demonstrate again next Thursday night, January 12, in front of ABC's offices. To watch the show online, you can click here: BronxNet Streaming (Select Channel 67/33 on home page.)

Also today, El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico's largest newspaper covered the story on END.com and reported that US Rep. José Serrano and Rep. Nydia Velázquez are demanding an apology from ABC. 

"This is unacceptable," Velázquez wrote in a statement. "ABC owes an apology."

The END.com article had received over 1,000 comments today before the newspaper closed commenting on their story.

After Calling Jets QB Mark Sánchez a “Chihuahua,” Boomer Esiason Apologizes on ESPN

So, yes, football fans: the New York Jets had an awful season, missing out on a playoff and filling the back pages of New York's relentless tabloid culture with tales of their demise. This week, former Jets quarterback and current sports talk radio host Boomer Esiason criticized the team's lowly performance, making it a point to compare current Jets QB Mark Sánchez, a Mexican American, to a chihuahua.

As reported on NFL.com, Esiason said the following comments on his weekly appearance at Boston's 850 AM WEEI sports station:

 "If you watched Mark Sanchez the last month of the season, he was like a chihuahua standing on Madison Avenue and 36th Street entering the Midtown Tunnel, eyes bigger than you-know-what, and just so shaky."

Later on ESPN, Esiason said that he wasn't making a reference to Sánchez's heritage:

"I chose a small dog that always looks shaken and has big eyes, and doesn't like big things — a chihuahua. It's a skittish dog and he's been a skittish player."

What is up with chihuahua hate, Boomer? Really?

 

The Chess Game Begins: Defiant @RealSheriffJoe to Cooperate with Department of Justice, But…

Yesterday, Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America's self-proclaimed Sheriff, formally responded to recent allegations by the US Department of Justice that his office was racially profiling a disproportionate number of US Latino citizens in the name of enforcing his state's immigration laws. The full letter from MCSO's legal team to the Department of Justice can be read here.

In essence, the letter says the following: we are willing to cooperate with the DOJ, but you better be up front and show us all the evidence, where it came from, and prove your allegetions. The DOJ quickly responded to the letter with the following statement, as reported by AZ Central:

The Justice Department would prefer to discuss a meaningful enforcement agreement that creates reforms in the Sheriff's Office, spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said.

"Our findings show a clear violation of the Constitution and federal law and are more than sufficient to file a complaint against a law-enforcement agency," Hinojosa said.

"MCSO purports not to understand the underlying basis for the findings when MCSO's own actions and documents form the basis of these findings. We look forward to sitting down soon with MCSO, but we will not hesitate to take prompt legal action if we determine that MCSO is again failing to act in good faith."

According to reports, the two parties now have 60 days to privately negotiate an agreement, although it is safe to say that this highly charged situation might go public and it might get ugly before it gets better. As for Sheriff Joe? AZ Central summed as to how he feels:

 

Arpaio said his request for information was based on the simple fact that he could not defend himself against discrimination charges if he is not familiar with the details that Justice investigators used as the basis for the allegations.

"How can you negotiate if you don't even know what you're negotiating on?" Arpaio asked. "Right now, I'm saying it's politics, and everyone else is saying it. Let's see if they come up with all their facts. What are they going to do next, take me to court?"

Court is the likely landing spot for the case if Arpaio fails to cooperate with Justice Department investigators in reaching a settlement.

The sheriff's response asked Justice officials to let Arpaio know within two weeks whether investigators would be able to turn over the requested documents to the Sheriff's Office by late March.