Our Twitter Convo with @jessewashington of the @AP Regarding His “First Latino Pope” Story

Mar 25, 2013
4:51 PM

First of all, we want to give props to Jesse Washington, the Associated Press’ National Writer on Race and Ethnicity, for taking the time to tweet with us today. He didn’t have to, but it was really cool that he did.


The subject was our response to an AP piece that Washington wrote over the weekend. It was called, “‘First Latino pope,’ son of Italian immigrants, revives debate in the US: What makes a Latino?” and to us the story was a non-issue. We listed our reasons in our response to Washington’s piece, and we still believe that “reviving” a pointless debate that adds nothing to the current landscape of U.S. Latino issues was a mistake on AP’s part.

Nonetheless, Washington responded to us, and here is our conversation, with an assist by GinaVergel7:



We still think the AP story was a non-story, and it was interesting that Washington didn’t address the other piece we mentioned in our response (which talks about an “off-white” America) or that the AP board currently does not have a Latino journalist. We know that is not Washington’s charge —he is doing the work of a good reporter— but we are really hoping that he takes our suggestions to heart, especially this one: if the AP wants to dedicate three digital pages about whether the Pope is Latino or not, then it should follow a similar path and debate why it still uses the term “illegal immigrant” in its copy. That media issue is so much more important within the context of U.S. Latinos and media than what people think of a pope from Argentina. That is what the AP should be doing, and maybe this entire Twitter convo will lead to some improvements. We sure hope so, since we appreciate that Washington took the time to tweet with us. Now let’s see if the AP is listening.