What the Neo-Nativists Say About #2Million2Many

Take a moment and read what the “other side” had to say about this weekend’s #2Million2Many demonstrations. The following email comes from a group called “Help Save Maryland.” It is a real email, which we did not edit. We decided to add our response to this letter first before we ran it. Here is our response:

keep-calm-and-no-mames

Here is the email:

Help Save Maryland Crashes Amnesty Party in Lafayette Park

Special thanks to the Help Save Maryland supporters from MD and VA who took the time to come to DC Saturday afternoon to let the illegal alien community know up close and personal that Amnesty is not an option for criminal lawbreakers.

I’m sure CASA of Maryland, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the other radical groups at Lafayette Park had to be quite disappointed at the low turnout for the DC event, part of a multi-state event to push Amnesty and lawlessness. Other then Telemundo, there were no legitimate press/media covering the event. None. Shocking.

PASS THIS NEWS ON TO THE VA GOP CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION WHICH IS TOYING WITH VISIONS OF AMNESTY.

It was a typical CASA/SEIU event with lots of white Spanish speaking handlers coaching a small group of illegal aliens who spoke little to zero English. Many had those nice red CASA wool caps on. Did not see what was provided in the standard CASA provided box lunch. 90% of the event was in Spanish. There was a sprinkling of Georgetown students there.

HSM members had some good conversations with many there, explaining our position on the rule of law, what national borders are and why we have them, why we think Amnesty is unfair to legal immigrants and more. Even filled some folks in on the colorful flag we had flying below the large Gadsden (Don’t Tread on Me) Flag – It was our Maryland flag!

Highlights of the afternoon

(1) After we walked around and through the illegal alien gatherers and talked with Telemundo & some radical press folks, a couple of the El Jefe (Spanish for the boss) types came over and asked if we were with Help Save Maryland. Nice to be recognized! I believe they were SEIU leaders.

(2) – This one guy from CASA was intent on showing me his CASA of Maryland ID card. Not a clue why. Maybe because he knows Maryland taxpayers actually fund the ID card and organization. I gave him a HSM business card in return.

Lowlights of the afternoon

(1) Was quite disappointed with the knowledge base and line of reasoning being utilized by the few Georgetown students and other young illegal aliens we met. They just could not hold a conversation and defend the positions provided by CASA, SEIU and the other radical groups. My favorite was that thousands of illegals die trying to cross the “militarized” southern border each year, so therefore we should open the border; My other favorite, Why can’t you just show up in the U.S., get a job and just stay? Why would this make the unemployment situation worse for Black and Hispanic citizens?

I think these Third World youngsters have no conception of the rule of law, economics or basic rights or wrongs. Never taught it in the Third World countries they came from. Certainly hanging out with CASA or SEIU types will not provide it. Sadly, they are the “Dreamers” we give In-State College Tuition to as well as other taxpayer funded social services. These are not the next generation of American leaders we want!

(2) The CASA/SEIU “Jefes” found a Black Preacher to get up on the stage and rant about how Amnesty for illegals is the next Civil Rights movement in the United States. Yikes. More than half the small crowd had no idea what he was saying since he spoke in English. He obviously came for the CASA of Maryland provided boxed lunch. Did have on a nice black beret similar to what Che Guevara wore from time to time!

The Sexist Dentyne Ice Ad That Pissed Off People in Puerto Rico

When we get a Change.org petition from one person, we give it a glance. When we get the same petition from 15 people in the same day, we tend to write a story about it. Such is the case of a petition from Puerto Rico slamming a local Dentyne Ice advertising campaign for being sexist. Here is the image of one of the ads, found on a public transportation train in the San Juan metro area:

dentyne

The sign shows a figure (male?) sitting on a train seat, which the following text below: “Don’t give up your seat. Offer your lap.” (“Falda,” which can also means “skirt” in Spanish, also means “lap” in Puerto Rico). Then it says, “Ready for each opportunity (chance).” Slogans from other parts of the campaign included, “If that body were a mountain, I would be a mountain climber,” and “I want to be the sun to warm you up [get you hot] all day.” Apparently, many did not get the joke, as the petition (“This campaign encourages male behaviors that threaten the integrity of women. In addition, it projects men as irrational beings, unable to control their impulses and treat women with respect. The campaign perpetuates sexist, macho and violent notions that cause many of our society’s ills of our society”) and social media (#NoMasticoElMachismo/#IDontChewMachismo) spread the word about the ad.

Calls for apologies were made, and it looks like the pressure worked. Earlier today, just hours after word of the ad spread, the distribution company responsible for the ads offered the standard “our bad” statement. Dentyne also added a statement, part of which read that is was never the intention to “promote inappropriate behaviors” in its advertising. The ads were removed as well.

However, DentynePR’s Facebook page is still getting hit with comments against the product.

machismo

Fauxccupy: The Selling and Buying of the Venezuelan Opposition

EDITOR’S NOTE: Latino Rebels contributor Roberto Lovato visited Venezuela last week and wrote the following opinion piece. As of this morning, according to reports, the death toll resulting from the protests in Venezuela is at 25. The most recent violent events have occurred in San Cristóbal, near the Venezuela/Colombia border.

Faux1

CARACAS—Reports and imagery coming out of Venezuela in the past weeks would lead the casual observer to conclude that the country’s youthful opposition are “peaceful protesters” following a long line of global youth activism seen during the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement or in other parts of Latin America. Such a conclusion would be false, as the news from Venezuela’s protests contains journalistic practices that are very questionable and on an unprecedented scale.

Consider, for example, how both sides have killed people. The corporate media (both in English and in Spanish) have failed to cover the eight (or more) pro-Chavista victims of student and other opposition violence. No one is investigating claims that the majority of the killings were committed by the opposition. The radical erasure of pro-Chavista victims is astonishing. The following image, for instance, allegedly shows Venezuelan opposition students setting up barbed wire that beheaded an innocent cyclist, 29 year-old Elvis Rafael Durán de La Rosa, whose death eluded most global media.

Faux2

Another example used in the carefully curated Venezuela media reports pertains to the images of rock-bearing youth wearing Guy Fawkes masks, a popular symbol of anti-capitalist movements, thanks to a Hollywood movie and, more recently, the Occupy protests.

Last week, I conducted interviews with opposition members, including dozens of opposition youth. Amost all of the youth were middle- to upper-class university students living in middle-class to ultra-elite neighborhoods of Caracas, the wealthiest in the Americas. Asked it they identified with  ”anarchists,” “Marxists”  or any of the other oppositional ideologies that have historically and which still define most opposition movements in the region, these students uniformly responded in the negative, with some even throwing in a “para nada!” or other Spanish equivalents of “hell no!”

Some interviewed even told me they identified with military men like El Generalísimo Marcos Pérez Jiménez, a much reviled former dictator. They also identified with Venezuela’s opposition, led by three elites —Henrique Capriles, María Corina Machado and Leopoldo Lopez— all of whom have direct familial ties to either the owners or top executives of the most important corporate conglomerates in Venezuela and the entire continent.

So ask the following question: If the Venezuelan opposition is led by millionaires in a poor country and if instead of fighting multi-million dollar US policy initiatives (as do most Latin American opposition movements) the Venezuelan opposition is receiving million$ from US policy, how do we account for all those images of students wearing a symbol associated with and used by leftist movements?

The answer is threefold. One is that the mask-wearing is part of the very sophisticated media training the students (and the opposition) received from OTPOR/CANVAS and other consultants bought with millions of US dollars. Second, students engaging in violent acts or those who fear retribution need cover. Finally, there is the logic of the market—people buying the masks because they’re cool and because someone saw a chance to make a buck, which is what I mostly documented in the photos I took last week.

Faux4RL

fauxccupy-vRL

(Photos: Roberto Lovato)

Without closely analyzing the imagery and careful curation of the Venezuelan opposition, one would conclude that this opposition is just like Che Guevara or Occupy or the Arab Spring. And with Venezuelan student opposition leaders like Yon Goicochea receiving the $500,000 Milton Friedman prize and other funding from private sources as well as from the U.S. government, there’s much more behind the Guy Fawkes masks in Venezuela than meets the media eye. And we may be witnessing the birth of something altogether new and radically different in the insurgent continent of América: Fauxccupy.

***

Roberto Lovato is a writer and dissonant dude. You can read more at his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter @robvato.

Agency That Created “Juanito the Illegal Immigrant” UN Campaign Was Named 2013 Agency of Year

As we wait to hear back from 72 and Sunny, the global ad agency responsible for a bizarrely offensive “Juanito the Illegal Immigrant” campaign for a UNHATE program sponsored by Benetton and the United Nations, we failed to mention in our original story that the agency was named Ad Week’s Agency of the Year in 2013.

According the article, some of 72 and Sunny’s clients include Samsung, Target, ESPN, Google and Starbucks. A full list of its executive team is here. Based in Los Angeles (and Amsterdam), let’s just say that the team’s leadership team lacks diversity, but that doesn’t surprise us.

Meanwhile, our community has already begun to weigh in on the campaign.

juanito

As expected, reaction to it hasn’t been positive, to say the least:

And then there is this from our Facebook page: “Wrong in [sic] so many levels.”

We know that these kinds of agencies are trying to “push the envelope” with new ways to generate buzz. The “satire” lacks any depth and the casual use of “illegal immigrant” is beyond troubling. Someone actually paid someone else to create this campaign. This is the United Nations we are talking about. Do we even continue? And even though the UNHATE campaign once did this…

…Juanito 2014 doesn’t even come close.

.

It really doesn’t. We explain why here.

1_Juanito-Shoot

Sigh.

Real Email Promo Sent by Ad Agency: “Benetton & UN Create Illegal Immigrant Candidate for Governor of Arizona”

This story starts when the main Latino Rebels account received an email from someone at 72andSunny, “a full service, modern communications company, recently named ‘Agency of the Year’ by Advertising Age,” according to the agency’s website. The subject line to the email read: “Benetton & UN Create Illegal Immigrant Candidate for Governor of Arizona.”

At first we all thought it was a joke, but when we opened the email and began to read it, we sadly knew it wasn’t. Here is part of the initial email we received:

Hi there Rebels,

Meet Juanito. He’s a model citizen, he works hard to support his family, he believes in equal rights for everybody and he wants to run for governor. There’s only one little thing—he’s an illegal immigrant.

Juanito’s campaign launches in earnest in Arizona tomorrow. It’s got all the usual facets -

A campaign website: http://juanito2014.com/

A campaign film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoI6tAjLAVc

Even an official twitter feed: https://twitter.com/VoteJuanito2014

We stopped for a second. This COULD NOT be real. So we checked out the video (which already had 111 views):

And the Facebook page (which had zero likes):

juanito

Then we checked out the Twitter page (which had tweeted only four times but had over 10,000 followers):

Juanito99

What was going on? So we kept reading:

We’ve even got people on the ground spreading lawns signs and bumper stickers.

However, it’s not quite what it seems.

Juanito’s story is part of UNHATE News, an initiative by Benetton’s UNHATE Foundation, sharing news stories that we would like to see. Although primarily about raising awareness, this fantasy could have a very real impact on reality: the project is in association with the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, so voting for Juanito counts – the UN have committed to support initiatives around key social issues like immigration.

When we visited UNHATE News, we were expecting to see similar bizarre campaigns to Juanito 2004, but instead we actually saw some very clever headlines, but with very little content. For example, “US-MEXICO BORDER TURNED INTO GIANT ART CANVAS” or “ARIZONA PRINTS SPECIAL EDITION DOLLARS IN HONOR OF IMMIGRANTS”. We even saw this: “US RELEASES MONUMENT OF DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN SPANISH”, which, by the way, we did a few years ago. Also, the UNHATE campaign was genius when it did this.

But Juanito 2014 doesn’t even come close to those ideas. (By the way, the campaign is already live.)

Enjoy this new image:

10_Juanito-Shoot-7882

And this one:

1_Juanito-Shoot

So let’s get this straight: the United Nations and Benetton are involved in this campaign? Someone who works for the UN approved this? The United Nations? This is how you try to raise awareness about immigration, with a cheap attempt at bad satire? And ready for the kicker? The agency sent us the email to see if we could partner with them. Our official response?

In all seriousness, if the idea were actually clever, we could see some potential. Yes, using satire and humor is a good choice, but Juanito 2014 fails on so many levels, where do we begin?

We share a few reasons below, besides the most obvious and important one: A campaign approved by the UN and developed by an ad agency has no problem tossing the label “illegal immigrant” when actively promoting a campaign that is supposed to change the narrative about hate, not perpetuate the same stereotypes it wants to eradicate. Does the UN not know that “no human being is illegal?”

Why Juanito 2014 Gets a Huge #NoMames

  1. The guy’s name is “Juanito?” Is he 8 years old?
  2. Oh yeah, Juanito is Mexican. Of course, he is.
  3. Gee, the red, green and white colors are suggesting what? Why not some US of A flags? See point 2.
  4. Hey, the video has silly Mexican-themed music, because you know. See point 2.
  5. The motif of the “worker” immigrant has also become its own caricature of itself. The reality is that there are also many academics, students, and entrepreneurs who are making valuable contributions to the US every day. Immigrants are not all “worker bees.”
  6. What is so funny about “covered faces?” Is Juanito literally “living in the shadows?” Undocupower has inspired people to speak out, and on the same day activists were protesting (again) about record deportations, a hip ad agency with no clear idea about immigration asked us to help them on one of the dumbest campaigns we have ever seen. The undocumented aren’t hiding any longer, so why would Juanito (geez, his name is Juanito) hide his face?
  7. Good satire uses actual intelligence and depth to gets its point across. We cringe at the thought of how this creative session to get to his Juanito campaign evolved. Imagine the convos.
  8. The focus is on the “illegal” language. Yeah, we had to say it again. The campaign, if it truly wanted to raise awareness about immigration, should be taking on the broken system, the wide-spread exploitation and the lack of government action to protect migrants’ human rights, not dehumanizing migrants.

Our founder did write back to the agency, by the way. Here is what he said:

…was the purpose you reached out to us b/c you wanted us to slam this? I know other stories from this campaign and the vast majority of them are so well-done. This one you just shared has left us a bit disappointed and speechless. We don’t know where to start as to how is misses the mark. If we do write about it, we plan to be pretty brutal about how much this campaign does very little to advance the message of immigrant rights and instead relies on some very offensive stereotypes to achieve that. I shared it with our group and the last thing we would want to do is associate our name as a supporter of this campaign, so that is why I ask: did you send this to us because you need publicity, any kind of publicity for this campaign, whether it is negative or positive?

I don’t know where to start about this campaign so unless you are pulling my leg (I kind of wish that you are), we will officially pass. But congratulations on earning a potential #NoMames for this. FYI, I do have a few questions: How did you get so many Twitter followers with just five tweets? Did your agency develop this campaign and who can I speak to for a comment on this? Did the United Nations actually approve this content?

We got a reply saying that it was not the agency’s intention to “cause offence” or “incite criticism for the campaign.” The person from 72 and Sunny who emailed us was just doing his job, and he thought that LR would be a group interested in promoting the campaign. The person who wrote the email offered to get more answers for us.

So our founder wrote back:

If you don’t mind getting some more comment about this specific campaign, that would be great. We will be running a story, and I will be very frank with you: it will not be complimentary. Hopefully someone can answer our questions. There are so many problems with this specific campaign, I don’t know where to start.

Thanks again for responding!

We guess the agency didn’t conduct its due diligence about whom they should have contacted. Here’s hoping they reply to us with more details and even consider: 1) canning the campaign right now and 2) apologizing on behalf of the UN. And Benetton, too. We’re still shaking our heads.

By the way, 72 and Sunny was named Ad Week’s 2013 Agency of the Year. Of course it did.

Reuters: Venezuelan Protests Continue as 25 Students Reportedly Released

Celebrating Los Beatles

On the day when everyone is reminiscing about when four lads from Liverpool arrived in New York City 50 years ago, we decided to celebrate “Los Beatles.”

argentina_los_beatles

Here is just a sampling of some our favorite finds:

From a 2012 Christian Science Monitor article:

In 1965, the Beatles announced a possible tour in Mexico, but Mexico’s then- iron-fisted authoritarian government blocked the plan, saying that Mexico’s youth weren’t ready for an event of that magnitude. And so fans were left eternally waiting.

Perhaps that’s why Mexico holds the record for radio time dedicated to Beatles music at 12 hours weekly. Fans can listen to Universal radio’s “Club de Los Beatles” every morning during rush hour; the station also sponsors an actual fan club which claims 1 million card-carrying members. The program’s host plays everything from the group’s happy early hits to its more dissonant, obscure later work.

At a 1965 press conference, the band was specifically asked about whether they were asked about whether they would do a South American or Russian tour. Here is what they said:

Q: ”George, have you and the Beatles ever been to South America and Russia for a tour?”

GEORGE:“No.”

Q: ”Why not?”

JOHN: ”The Russians don’t like us.”

GEORGE: ”And we don’t particularly want to go to Russia.”

PAUL: ”They burn us there.”

GEORGE: ”And South America– I don’t think they’ve ever heard of us down there.”

PAUL: ”Yes they have, George. We nearly went this time ‘cuz Brian (Epstein) wanted to see Mexico.”

JOHN: ”We tour the places our manager wants to see. He takes his camera. So, we’ll be going there pretty soon, eh Brian?”

(laughter)

By the way, the 2012 CSM piece was published just right before Paul McCartney played in Mexico City. You have to watch these two clips:

But Sir Paul was singing “Bésamo mucho” in the band’s early days:

We also found this cool pic from 1970 at the end of the band’s career (h/t to http://martinmrochaart.com/)

Via: http://martinmrochaart.com/2011/07/28/the-beatles-influence-in-latin-america-and-the-rolling-stones-disaster-at-altamont-by-martin-m-rocha/

Via: http://martinmrochaart.com

And this one from Argentina (via Beatlesite)

Via: http://beatlesite.blogspot.com/2008/05/south-americas-records.html

Via: http://beatlesite.blogspot.com/2008/05/south-americas-records.html

A cover from Uruguay:

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If you ever have a hour of your time, check out the YouTube site of Pako Alfie Giarazzolla. A few gem:

And don’t forget the “tropical tribute” to Los Beatles.

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Celia Cruz, anyone?

Here’s another one from the album:

And we had to include this:

¡Que vivan Los Beatles!

Why Jerry Seinfeld Completely Missed the Point About Comedy and Diversity

Before we weigh as to why Jerry Seinfeld’s comments about comedy and diversity were perhaps one of the most disappointing and ignorant comments we ever heard about the topic, let’s step back and provide the context about what he said.

Seinfeld

This is what Buzzfeed reported about the interview Seinfeld gave on a BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning interview to Peter Lauria BuzzFeed’s Business Editor:

“People think it’s the census or something,” Seinfeld said of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. “This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

Seinfeld went on to say that approaching comedy through the lens of race or gender or sexuality are “anti-comedy.” “It’s more about PC nonsense than ‘Are you making us laugh or not?’” he said.

You can also watch the video of the interview clip here:

Now that you saw and read what Seinfeld said, here is why we think he really doesn’t “get” it and why he never will:

White = Funny. Non-white = Not Funny.

For some reason, Seinfeld makes a mistake in associating “diversity” with “being PC.” We agree with him that comedy should not be tied to numbers, but this is where we greatly diverge. It is really easy to say that when you have already worked your way through the door and are looking at everyone behind you.

Why? Because the world of Jerry Seinfeld truly doesn’t reflect the real world. This isn’t about making sure that “black comedy” or “Latino comedy” or “Asian comedy” or “Muslim comedy” gets featured more often, it is about the fact that Seinfeld thinks that such type of of “diverse” comedy is not funny. Sorry, don’t shove your ethnicity down my throat, it makes me uncomfortable and in the end I hold the purse strings and make the decisions. In the end, it truly is about power and control (and the fear of losing that power), and Seinfeld has never been one to promote diversity, so why would he now?

However, why get so defensive, Jerry? Seinfeld sure seemed really confident about his opinions during that interview, but why wouldn’t he? It was his “safe place.” A bunch of Buzzfeed (read: white) supporters with a white host asking a white comedian about why diversity is a bad idea. Would Seinfeld say the same thing to a diverse group of New Yorkers? Probably not, because in the end, something like that gets him out of his cocoon and we wouldn’t want to upset Jerry Seinfeld.

It just goes to prove: even if you are white and progressive (Seinfeld), making your world a little browner is still a bad idea. And the way Seinfeld describes it, that idea is almost revolting. He sounds as bad as any other person who thinks the Browning of America and catering to it is the most un-American thing one can do. How quickly they forget, since we are pretty sure that Seinfeld’s family (his dad is of Austrian Jewish descent and his mom Syrian Jewish) at one point in their lives were outside looking in as well. Seinfeld’s privilege was earned, and he is doing a great job in flaunting it now.

Seinfeld’s comments really don’t surprise us, and that is why this is all about creating your own situation and taking advantage of it. Comics of color don’t need Seinfeld to pass judgment of what is funny or not. We know funny and our worldview only adds to what makes comedy a rewarding craft. Would it help if Seinfeld help to open a door for a few comics of color? Sure, but he isn’t going to, and that is what can make the journey more rewarding. Imagine when those diverse comics do make it because there is someone who is smart enough to understand that the world is changing. When that happens, Seinfeld will be playing to a bunch of senior citizens talking about cereal bowls and the rest of the world will be laughing at us and with us.

LATINO REBELS EXCLUSIVE: Music Video/Novela Series by Del Exilio (Chapter 4)

You can catch Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here and Chapter 3 here.

Indie-inspired, Latin-hearted group Del Exilio brings you new music videos from their new album PANAMERICANO, blending telenovela episodes with traditional music videos.  Check out this web video series that captures the story of how an immigration reform revolution is sparked, and how a young man’s identity is transformed by a journey through North and South America. You can catch the full album here.

DelExilio_cover

It’s the story of boy meets girl, loses girl, loses himself in a new land, then finds the will to start a revolution back home in the U.S., bringing about the advent of a long-awaited immigration reform. The songs follow his progress, thanks in part to the lush but funky touch of producer José Luis “Cheo” Pardo of Venezuela’s Los Amigos Invisibles.

As a special “thank you” to our readers, the first 10 people who share each video on Facebook or Twitter and get 10 likes/favorites, send a screenshot to [email protected] and you will get a free autographed CD!

And now, Chapter 4: Santa Maria del Buen Aire:

Fernando confronts Miriela after discovering that Miriela is both a Cuban diplomat and a dissident blogger.  Miriela leaves for her assignment but then asks Fernando to join her—and them mysteriously cancels, leaving Fernando to get sucked into the city of Buenos Aires.

The Most Powerful Super Bowl Ad You Will Not See During Tonight’s Game

Let this one speak for itself.

Redskins

A new video from the National Congress of American Indians:

More information about the campaign can be found here. This is what the NCAI wrote in an email to Indian Country Today Media Network:

This week’s celebration of football is exactly why we need to keep talking about the D.C. mascot. Cheering for a football team should never include the casual use of a racial slur. It is important for all teams and all of their fans that the name of the D.C. team is changed.

This is what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at his annual State of the NFL address on Friday right before today’s Super Bowl:

I spent the last year talking to many of the leaders of the Native American community,” Goodell said. “We are listening and we are trying to make sure we understand the issues.

“But let me remind you: This is the name of a football team, a football team that has had that name for 80 years. That has presented the name in a way that is honorable to Native Americans. We recognize that many don’t agree with the name. And we respect that.

“But if you look at the numbers, including the Native American communities, the Native American community poll, nine out of 10 prefer the name. Eight of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name. So we are listening and being respectful to people who disagree.”

He paused before adding, “But let’s not forget that this is the name of a football team.”

The NCAI is asking supporters to let their opinions be known to the following profiles on social media:

The DC football team:

@redskins
Team’s Facebook page

Roger Goodell & the NFL:

@NFL
@NFLcommish
NFL’s Facebook

Washington Post: “DC’s hometown paper is still using the R-word in its coverage of the team.”

@WashingtonPost
@PostSports
https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost