Julio Ricardo Varela

How a Silly Story About Puerto Rico’s Powerball Winner Became Our Most Popular Post Ever

I’ll admit: when our group decided to do a quick goofy story about really insane Twitter reactions to the news that one of the winning Powerball tickets came from Puerto Rico, there was nothing out of the ordinary. We had done these types of stories for years, and quite frankly, we had been doing less […]

  • Feb 13, 2015
  • 1:04 PM

RNC Leadership Perpetuates Myth of Latino ‘Activist’ Journalist

Last year, when Jorge Ramos was grilling President Obama for an immigration record that has done more to damage the U.S. Latino community than help it, personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity (who called him RAY-mos) had the Univision and Fusion anchor on their respective shows. They were somewhat complimentary about what Ramos had done. […]

  • Jan 24, 2015
  • 10:53 AM

The Morning #BlackLiveMatters Came to My Town

Let’s get the cliché right out the way: it was just another cold winter January weekday morning in the town where I live, just seven miles from the center of Boston, Massachusetts. Wake up in the dark, get the kids going, make the coffee and breakfast, turn on the radio, start the cars up and […]

  • Jan 15, 2015
  • 11:50 PM

The Speech President Obama Should Give Right Now on Puerto Rico

Now that President Obama has spoken about immigration and Cuba, the White House has several speech templates it can adapt to pay attention to the one issue no one wants to discuss but is just as important: Puerto Rico. Understanding that Puerto Rico might not be a priority for the Obama administration, not to worry. […]

  • Jan 2, 2015
  • 3:17 PM

It’s Time to Embrace the Third Rail That Is #CubaPolicy

No one saw it coming. And when news started circulating just 56 hours ago that something big was happening about US Cuba policy, we all couldn’t believe it. The United States of America would actually begin to change a 54-year-old policy towards an island that was once its neighbor, its conquest, its playground and most recently […]

  • Dec 19, 2014
  • 2:00 PM

Latinos Are Not a Math Problem

Cue Al Pacino again. I really was trying my best to not revisit the false U.S. Latino narrative that continues to spin from David Leonhardt, editor of The New York Times‘ The Upshot blog, and Nate Cohn, Upshot’s appointed U.S. Latino political expert—both clear examples of  “Latinidad without Latinos”, to quote Blanca Vega. You think that […]

  • Nov 25, 2014
  • 3:04 PM

When the Message Doesn’t Match the Action: What President’s Immigration Speech Missed

It has been a heady 48 hours from the lead-up to “what will President Obama say about immigration?” to what he actually said last night in a national address to the nation that mainstream networks ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX didn’t think was important enough to pre-empt its prime time programing. Nonetheless, the close to […]

  • Nov 21, 2014
  • 3:30 PM

No Comment Dot Soy

To paraphrase that wonderful Al Pacino overacting moment by a tired Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III, just when I thought I could walk away from Google’s .SOY initiative, they pull me back in. You see, after people in our social circles (G+!) let Latino Rebels know about “the place for Latinos online” and […]

  • Nov 12, 2014
  • 12:00 AM

Underwater Dreams at #DreaMIT Triumphs

I have become highly skeptical of immigration movies. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because our collective has received so many emails this year, that it suddenly feels like overkill. Immigration rights is a “hot topic,” and while more and more projects have become real movies and even Oscar winners, very little has happened […]

  • Oct 26, 2014
  • 6:48 PM

Why Has Twitter’s Latin@ & Latin American Group Been Inactive Since July?

This past July, Janet Van Huysse (@janetvh), Twitter’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, wrote a rather high-profile post about the company’s serious diversity challenges, promising that Twitter was going to make “diversity an important issue for ourselves.” Van Huysse shared some rather disheartening data reflecting how Twitter’s diversity problem confirmed the tech industry’s own […]

  • Oct 21, 2014
  • 12:45 PM

Immigrant Man Threatened by Arizona Officer in Viral Video Meets with Police Chief

UPDATE, October 14, 2014: Diana Durán has uploaded the entire 12-minute video to YouTube. She also said via telephone today that her husband is now having problems at work because initial media report incorrectly stated that her husband was undocumented. She insists that he is not and that he has legal status in this country. […]

  • Oct 13, 2014
  • 9:08 PM

If Only Puerto Rico Could Learn from Scotland

Now that Scotland has decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom by saying “no” to a very simple question, “Should Scotland become an independent country?, the wall-to-wall global news coverage of the country’s historic referendum will surely subside. By last week before the vote, everyone I knew in my media circles was talking […]

  • Sep 21, 2014
  • 1:27 PM

Why Does the White House Continue to Play Political Games with U.S. Latino Voters?

I am fully aware that by the time I finish writing this piece and you will finish reading it, some will a. accuse me of working for neo-nativist Republican Rep. Steve King (not true) or b. tell me I have no brain and that I should step in line or else I am I just […]

  • Sep 17, 2014
  • 12:17 PM

Villanova Sociologists Publish Working Paper Refuting Nate Cohn’s ‘White Latino’ NYTimes Conclusions

Earlier this week, I received an email from Lance Hannon, a Professor of Sociology at Villanova University. Professor Hannon wanted to let me know that he and Robert DeFina, Professor and Chairperson of Villanova’s Department of Sociology and Criminology, had just published a working paper entitled, “Controversy in the Sociological Meaning of Changes in Latino Racial […]

  • Aug 30, 2014
  • 9:08 AM

18-Year-Old DREAMer Removed from Paul Ryan Event at Ronald Reagan Library (VIDEO)

Last night, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was the featured speaker at a dinner, lecture and book signing hosted by The Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. A group of veterans from the American GI Forum of California and immigrant rights activists (sponsored by SEIU, CHIRLA and Mi familia vota) attended the event together. Members […]

  • Aug 29, 2014
  • 3:06 PM

Politico Becomes Latest Example of Digital Outlet with Serious Diversity Problems

A recent Twitter exchange between Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery (in between his Ferguson coverage) and Politico’s Dylan Byers and Kenneth P. Vogel about the political site’s lack of black reporters led to a rather detailed report by All Digitocracy’s Tracie Powell, confirming (not surprisingly) that Politico’s newsroom is not that diverse at all. “Politico veterans […]

  • Aug 18, 2014
  • 10:02 PM

Texas Sheriff: Border Convoy’s Hotel Evacuation Story ‘All False’

Calling a Border Convoy hotel evacuation media alert “false” and “fake,” Culberson County (Texas) Sheriff Oscar Carrillo condemned the group for spreading “sensationalized” information about events that did not occur within his jurisdiction. The media alert, published early today said Border Convoy had to be evacuated Monday morning at 4:30 AM from “a Van Horn, TX Comfort Inn” because […]

  • Aug 5, 2014
  • 4:41 PM

About Flipping Time: Car Company and Ad Agency Get It Right When It Comes to Latino Millenials (VIDEO)

Yesterday, my Twitter feed led me to the following link from AdWeek: “Honda Targets Hispanic Millennials by Mocking the Way Brands Target Hispanic Millennials Bilingual.” If you are one of those people who feel that agencies and brands have been pandering to Latinos for decades, the following videos from Honda kind of explain themselves. Watch […]

  • Jul 19, 2014
  • 10:05 AM

What Breitbart Texas Overlooked in Peddling ‘Leaked’ Border Intelligence Report

Before I start, a word: there are outlets that present a fuller picture when it comes to the root causes of current immigration issues, and those outlets that hide behind “journalism” to feed into your fears. It is a digital media game all too common now, because in the end, like Natalie Merchant once sang, “Give […]

  • Jul 17, 2014
  • 4:37 PM

Another NYTimes Fail: Enrique Krauze Tells the World Latin America Is ‘Less Racist’ Than Europe

As with any embarrassingly disappointing opinion piece that gets my attention, I usually find out about it via Twitter. This weekend was no different, when @RachelDecoste tweeted this: @julito77 Historical amnesia: @EnriqueKrauze in NYTimes «Latin America’s Talent for Tolerance» http://t.co/7HtHdJT0N7 #latino #racism — Rachel Décoste (@RachelDecoste) July 12, 2014 After tapping my laptop to make sure […]

  • Jul 13, 2014
  • 12:50 PM

Media Exploits Myth of Disease-Ridden Children in Current Immigration Narrative

I am starting to wonder if we are living in 2014 or whether it’s 1902 or 1857 because all of sudden the paranoia of unaccompanied minors invading the United States with plague, pestilence and illness is beginning to dominate the comments of people like this woman (yes, an actual photo from Monday’s shameful Murrieta protests): […]

  • Jul 3, 2014
  • 2:07 PM