Criticism Is Fine: Libel Is Not (The Curious Case of the Anonymous Think Mexican)

Originally published at JulioRVarela.com

I was not going to respond any more about the libelous and slanderous posts being perpetuated by the anonymous Think Mexican profile, but since this coward has now begun to personally attack dear friends, I will respond. This will be brief and this will be to-the-point: Think Mexican is currently consciously libeling myself and Latino Rebels. He/She/It is acting with malice. It is simple as that. I have already reported these false posts to all the social networks that have allowed such content to be published.

By consciously displaying malice and exhibiting a desire to disparage me and my group, Think Mexican has shared the following lies:

  • TM has manipulated images and my professional resume (classless).
  • Has “proof” that Jorge Ramos paid us to publish a piece about him (hilarious).
  • Has said that Latino Rebels are in a partnership with Fox News Latino (umm, that is another Latino page).
  • Has said that we are in a marketing relationship with Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). That statement alone is beyond funny, and just sad.
  • Has “proven” that we are working for Televisa because the head of Televisa’s Twitter page is following us. BTW, we are also followed by a guy who looks like Yoda.

For further “proof,” Think Mexican is using a published ABC News profile from earlier this year. That article initially contained several factual errors. After that piece was published, I alerted the reporter, and ABC News had to revise the piece because of those factual errors. ABC News never publicly said that such revisions and corrections were made. During that time, I also expressed my extreme displeasure about how the reporter portrayed my professional career. There was a suggestion that I was a communist (silly) and that Latino Rebels was being funded by bigger clients (since I and the CEO/CFO/GM of Latino Rebels, I can tell you that such a “fact” was also false.) However, unlike Think Mexican, ABC News displayed no malice. It was just sloppy reporting, and I moved on, after letting the reporter know that the piece missed the mark.

But if you want to know, in the past three years, my clients (who bill me through Latino Rebels LLC) have been: four educational curriculum companies who hired me to develop PreK-12 programs; a science curriculum company that needed Spanish translations; a manufacturing company who uses my social media expertise as a community manager; and a major media company that retained my company to run an educational awareness campaign. I have also worked with several friends who needed help in amplifying their messages: whether it is a petition about immigration reform or a story about a young man dying at hands of Bakersfield, CA police. That is what Latino Rebels does. We share untold stories. We don’t run ads on our site and we don’t make money off the site.

What the critics don’t understand and cannot understand is that I also founded LatinoRebels.com as a collective of about 20 people. These are special people who do what they do for the love of the game. They are amazing, and they are my family. I love them, and I would defend them anytime, anywhere. We work really hard to pay our contributors, and there is no secret marketing agenda. The critics just don’t get it because they continue to try and categorize us through a traditional business model. They can’t, and it perplexes them.

Think Mexican lies, and to be honest with you, I have really have no respect for anyone who hides behind an anonymous page. The sad thing of all this is that Think Mexican is falling into the trap that the mainstream wants: keep them all divided, so they can still be conquered. I personally believe in a lot of what Think Mexican does, and respect the content, but I don’t respect personal attacks and fictitious accusations.

Think Mexican celebrates hate and is cheering for failure. I choose love and celebrate my friends.

TM

Think Mexican can call me any name in the book, and he/she/it can disagree with me all he/she/it wants, but spreading fabrications and claiming that it is TRUTH is a slippery slope. But what do you expect from an anonymous person who is actively promoting a campaign for me to fail?

Bring it.

I am Bronx and Think Mexican lacks courage and character.

Dignity comes from honesty and being real. How can an anonymous profile be real when he/she/it is anonymous? But if he/she/it wants to keep hating me, I welcome it. It only makes me stronger.

I started my career 25 years ago as a journalist,  and I  have been filing/editing/reporting new stories for the last five years through good old-fashioned reporting. My blogs have kept my love of journalism alive. Many of those stories made national news outlets. That is called hard work and dedication, and such a philosophy is not driven by money. To be honest with you, at 44 years old, I don’t do this for money. I do this because I love it.

Now I have returned to journalism. In this economy, I am blessed to have a steady job again. Such an opportunity has grounded me, and I feel like I am 23 years old, when I was young editor working for a company that was family to me. For a long time, that sense of family was lost, and the Rebels helped me find it.

This is the last thing I will ever say about this sad situation.

And if Think Mexican continues to lie, the next response won’t come from me.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77) founded LatinoRebels.com 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 pens columns on LR regularly. In the past year, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the NationNPR,  UnivisionForbesand The New York Times. Currently, he is a digital producer for Al Jazeera America’s The Stream. The views expressed in any of the columns writte by Julito on this page do not reflect the editorial stance of Latino Rebels or Al Jazeera America. His opinions are his own and his alone.

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