The two-week grace period that Boricuas For a Positive Image (BFPI) had extended as a courtesy to ABC-TV for their efforts to schedule a meeting runs out on March 8th, 2012.
So on Thursday March 8th we look forward to seeing all our friends and new acquaintances again on 66th Street and Columbus Avenue. This protest was originally scheduled for Disney in front of their Times Square store and their Broadway production of the Lion King. However, BFPI wanted to keep to their word of trying to resolve this before it escalates and changed the protest back to 66th St & Columbus Avenue.
It will be like a reunion of folks who have been seeing each other every Thursday for a record seven demonstrations in a row. I believe that might be a record for Boricua protest in this country. Boricuas and friends demonstrating for seven weeks in a row, who said we were not disciplined and consistent?
ABC-TV did reach out after our initial meeting with the local New York affiliate, WABC. They confirmed that they would meet with BFPI and they set the date for the week of March 19. Obviously ABC-TV has no urgency in meeting with the Puerto Rican community, therefore, BFPI has no urgency in postponing the protest. On March 8th the two-week grace period is up, BFPI complied with our promise now we will be back in front of WABC-TV in New York City.
It’s incredible how a major business entity would take so long in meeting with a consumer base that they are eager to attract over a problem that is easy to resolve. The good thing about all of this is that it shows clearly what we have been saying all along: Ellos no nos entienden. Since they don’t understand us it is clear that whomever they have advising them on “Latino issues” is not respected, or that person, or persons don’t understand us either.
Under the umbrella of “Latinos,” Boricuas make up the second largest Latino community in the country, but you would not guess that from the way ABC-TV has been handling this problem that began on January 3rd with the premier of the sitcom, “Work It” and those insulting words: “I’m Puerto Rican, I would be great at selling drugs.” Part of the problem is that we have been dormant for so long with few if any major voices on both local, or national level that in reality we have been erased from the radar of national Latino politics.
It appears that Puerto Ricans only exist in our own reality, in our own localized communities with our own festivals and parades that many times do not represent our true nature. Thank God for Sonia Sotomayor who upon being nominated to the nations highest court caused some attention to be given to the Puerto Rican community. Thanks also to internationally recognized performers like Calle 13 who win so many awards at the Latin Grammy’s that Puerto Rico, our flag and our image get highlighted on a national and international level above the umbrella, “Latino.”
As I had stated before, in the long run we will thank ABC-TV for helping us unite and wake up our dormant community. Back in 1968 former Black Panther leader, Eldridge Clever describing the state of many in the black community who were not responding to many abuses against them wrote in his book, “Soul On Ice” that the black community was in a “state of Novocain.” That description of the black community back then is so applicable to the Puerto Rican community today, our community is in a state of Novocain. But thanks to this ABC-TV issue that started with a show produced in California by people who do not understand our community has boiled over to the streets of New York and from the emails and comments we receive is slowing growing in Chicago, Kissimmee, Orlando and Miami Florida, Boston, San Diego and Puerto Rico.
The longer ABC-TV takes to resolve this unimportant issue to them, the stronger our community gets fighting on this very important issue for us.
I look forward to seeing all of you and more on Thursday March 8th, 2012 on 66th St. & Columbus Avenue, NYC. Pass it on to your friends and let’s take a bigger crowd than ever to let ABC-TV know, “We are Puerto Rican and we don’t sell drugs!