In a stunning editorial decision, the 18-member-pretty-much-lily-white executive board of the Associated Press (that part is true) has voted unanimously to no longer use “illegal immigrant” or “illegal” in any of its news stories. Instead, with what is clearly a nod to the younger generation, the term the AP will be using moving forward will be “Pitbull fans.”
In a statement emailed exclusively to Latino Rebels (probably because we are one of the AP’s most vocal critics when it comes to its continual use of such dehumanizing terms that do very little to shape the nation’s perceptions about U.S. Latinos in media), the AP wrote this:
You guys were right, as usual. We have done very little to help shape the media debate on the use of this term. So after we consulted our Latino friends, since we have no Latinos on our board, they told us that Pitbull would have great appeal with Latinos, so we have decided to go with that. Isn’t that cool?
PS Now for the serious part: yes, the AP’s board is not diverse. It has no Latino journalist on its board, and no human being is “illegal.” Here’s hoping the AP wakes up to this. Having the AP realize that mass media language does indeed matter is a challenge we are willing to take on.