In response to a forceful statement that the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) gave to NBC Latino saying that community leaders should “top misguidedly telling the public that the Puerto Rican flag has been posted on beer cans,” Boricuas for a Positive Image, a grassroots New York City organization that has called for both the NPRDP and MillerCoors to stop the marketing and distribution of an official parade beer can, is organizing a demonstration in front of NPRDP’s offices tomorrow at 2:30 pm local time.
The demonstration’s Facebook link also shared another image of the beer can’s label, which shows a more complete depiction of the Puerto Rican flag, behind the NPRDP’s official logo.
Several New York City politicians of Puerto Rican descent sent a letter to the NPRDP’s chairperson asking why the parade’s board had approved this product and suggesting that more stricter guidelines be put in place when it comes to sponsorship and product placement for the parade, which will be held on June 9 in Manhattan and whose main theme this will focus on health. Two years ago, MillerCoors had to take down “Emborícuate” ads before the 2011 parade, after the community questioned them via social media and grass-roots organizing.
One of the parade’s most vocal critics has been New York City councilor Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem. She tweeted the following to Latino Rebels last night:
— Melissa MarkViverito (@MMViverito) May 29, 2013
Mark-Viverito was referring to the fact that the NPRDP was claiming that a Puerto Rican flag was not on the beer can, and according to the statement from the NPRDP, it would be “something that the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. would NEVER authorize.” Also, the councilor questioned NPRDP’s judgment, considering that the politicians who submitted the letter were also asked to participate in the parade.
“The flag is the most important symbol of a nation and of a culture and to then be minimized on the back of a beer can as a way of selling our culture is just in poor taste. So I don’t understand why we went through this two years ago, why we’re going through this again,” said Mark-Viverito. “I really am concerned about the mass commercialization of this parade and the mass commercialization of our culture.”