Julio Ricardo Varela

Fear of a Latino Planet

“I got so much trouble on my mind, refuse to lose.” — Chuck D There is not much more to add about why the now infamous “More Hispanics Declaring Themselves White” piece by The New York Times’ Nate Cohn was so problematic. Not only for what the post proclaimed, but also the fact that, according to […]

  • May 23, 2014
  • 7:32 AM

1.2 Million Latinos Tell Census They’re Now White, and NYTimes Thinks It’s Awesome

UPDATE, 8:15pmET, May 22, 2014: I had an email exchange with one of the study’s co-authors today, and she wrote me that Cohn’s inferences about the data were his and not her research group’s conclusions. She also wrote that the study was still not public, nor was it finalized. Read more here. In the ongoing […]

  • May 21, 2014
  • 5:52 PM

Apologies Only Go So Far in the MSNBC and GMA Cinco de Mayo Fiascos

Now that MSNBC apologized for its ridiculously offensive frat-boy Cinco de Mayo segment and a co-host for ABC’s “GMA” kind of apologized for her own Cinco de Drinko silliness, many would want to believe that the “angry Latinos” who followed these stories today should just go away and disappear. If it were only that simple. As is the case with most blatantly ignorant TV segments […]

  • May 6, 2014
  • 10:42 PM

LatinoRebels.com Turns 3: Time for the Toddler to Grow Up

Three years ago today (May 5, 2011), a small group of crazies launched LatinoRebels.com. As the Lead Loco who came up with the idea of forming a new type of site the would try to tackle (and celebrate) what it is to be a “US Latino” in a digital age, I wanted to take a […]

  • May 5, 2014
  • 2:24 PM

Why Slate’s Piece About Latinos Becoming the Next Whites Failed

In a United States that is becoming more diverse every day, new questions about race, ethnicity and identity regularly appear in mainstream publications and discussions. Central to these debates is the country’s growing Latino population. These days, it seems every editorial outlet in the country has to write about Latinos (demographics! advertising!), even when those outlets’ Latino […]

  • Apr 18, 2014
  • 1:04 AM

Diego Luna Plays It Safe in Disjointed “César Chávez” Movie

Let’s face it: the initial push to get Latinos interested in attending the opening weekend of Diego Luna’s “César Chávez” worked. From White House trips to social media chats, everyone in my social circles was fully aware that Luna’s film about the heroic labor leader was coming out the weekend of March 28, just three […]

  • Mar 30, 2014
  • 11:24 AM

AP Story on Obamacare Spanish Site Misinforms and Misleads English-Language Press

UPDATE: VOXXI also ran a piece in December that is a bit more accurate than the one the AP wrote. There are many points that need to be made about a poorly reported Associated Press article claiming that several Spanish speakers are up in arms about how the government’s CuidadoDeSalud.gov page was a computer-generated translation […]

  • Jan 14, 2014
  • 9:34 AM

#ForteAllDay: The Multicultural Tenors Who Captured the Hearts of Online America

I’m biased. And it’s for obvious reasons. My brother Fernando Varela is part of FORTE, the tenor group entering Tuesday night’s Top 12 on “America’s Got Talent” as one of the Acts to Watch. The journey of the group the Latino Rebels have designated our “Official Multicultural Tenor Trio” has been beyond the wildest dreams […]

  • Sep 9, 2013
  • 9:51 PM

The Latest and (Hopefully the Last) Update on NAHJ Political Speaker Panel Fiasco

Just as I was about to move on from the media story that has every Latino journalist person talking, something changed last night. Before I go into those details, I wanted to provide some updates surrounding the controversy that occurred this past Sunday at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) conference in Anaheim, where […]

  • Aug 30, 2013
  • 9:27 AM

115 Years After US Troops Landed in Puerto Rico, the Narrative for Island’s Future Must Change Immediately

On July 27, 1898, The New York Times published the story of US troops landing in Guánica, Puerto Rico two days earlier on July 25. It was part of the Spanish-American War, which pretty much ended two weeks later on August 12, 1898, when a cease-fire was established. The Times’ headline read “Our Flag Raised […]

  • Jul 25, 2013
  • 1:11 PM

“Devious Maids” Review: Mediocrity at Its Finest

Of course I was going to watch it. Even though I had seen some parts of the pilot and cringed, I was definitely going to watch the premiere of the Marc Cherry/Eva Longoria much-discussed much-maligned much-defended “Devious Maids” show. Why wouldn’t I watch it, since one of the criticisms we received from supporters of the […]

  • Jun 24, 2013
  • 10:03 AM

Latest Food Stamps Story About Puerto Rico Riddled with Ignorance and Racism

I knew almost immediately that when a story from offthegridnews.com began with this headline, “U.S. Food Stamps In Puerto Rico Costing You 2 Billion Dollars,” readers weren’t going to get much actual real information about Puerto Rico and its relationship with the United States. That was pretty much confirmed when the piece’s author, Tara Dodrill, […]

  • Jun 20, 2013
  • 8:55 AM

What I Learned From an 11-Year-Old Boy Who Sang the National Anthem (Twice)

Who knew? Who knew that a Public Shaming Tumblr post published late Tuesday night (June 11, 2013) would turn an 11-year-old boy from San Antonio into a national hero in less than 48 hours? Yet that is exactly what happened to Sebastien de la Cruz, whose story went from one of ignorance to one of […]

  • Jun 14, 2013
  • 9:41 AM

Hoax News Story by Undocumented Activists Raises Serious Questions

On June 3 the main Latino Rebels email received a news release via email from a Daniel Vargas, who identified himself as the Communications Director for The Common Application, Inc. After getting the email forwarded, I began to read it: Rebeldes, I believe this news will be of interest to your readers as it relates […]

  • Jun 13, 2013
  • 9:24 AM

Latino Rebels Interviews Madelyn Lugo, Chairperson of National Puerto Rican Day Parade

This morning, I spent 30 minutes with Madelyn Lugo, chairperson of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) organization. We covered several issues surrounding the latest developments with the official Coors parade can that has led to controversy in New York City’s Puerto Rican community. We also discussed the request by the state attorney general […]

  • Jun 4, 2013
  • 4:23 PM

El Planeta Op-Ed Gets Today’s #NoMames for Calling Gómez a “Latino in Name Only” (LINO)

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak a the Commonwealth Compact’s diversity breakfast at UMASS Boston. One of the questions I addressed was about a Boston Globe op-ed piece I wrote saying that Massachusetts Republican candidate for Senate Gabriel Gómez was being ignored by the national GOP even though he was an […]

  • Jun 3, 2013
  • 5:26 PM

GALOS Corporation Currently Makes 33% Commission for Puerto Rican Day Parade’s Fundraising

UPDATE: Carlos Velasquez is of Colombian and Puerto Rico descent. Last Friday night on CNN Latino, Madelyn Lugo, Chairperson of the non-profit National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. (NPRDP), gave a nine-minute interview defending her organization surrounding the recent developments of an official Coors Light parade beer can that has generated controversy in the Puerto […]

  • Jun 3, 2013
  • 5:06 PM

A Sad Inconsistency: The Support of “Devious Maids” by MALDEF, NCLR, and NHMC

Earlier this evening a friend of mine sent me the following mission statement from MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund): “Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the ‘law firm of the Latino community,’ MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and […]

  • May 28, 2013
  • 9:49 PM

The Troubling Study on US Latinos CNN Didn’t Want You to See

EXCLUSIVE: Download findings here. It is a study that CNN declined to broadcast to the public: a 2012 Hill+Knowlton (H+K) Strategies online survey for the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), which concluded that a vast majority of non-Latino Americans have highly skewed and racist perceptions of U.S. Latinos. The numbers are startling. For example, one-third think that more than half of […]

  • Apr 11, 2013
  • 10:37 AM

Why Did Deportation Case of German Homeschooling Family Get Santorum’s Attention and Make ABC News?

I will be honest with you: I did a major double-take when the Facebook page of Rick Santorum posted the following plea this afternoon: Yes, the same Rick Santorum who said this at a Republican presidential debate: Q: [to Santorum]:We heard from Gov. Romney, that self-deportation, or illegal immigrants leaving the country voluntarily, is a possible […]

  • Apr 5, 2013
  • 11:11 PM

Will Yoani Sánchez’s “Rainbow Tour” Bring Cuba Into the Social Media Age?

Of all the stories and accounts that I have read the last few weeks about the U.S. tour of Cuban dissident blogger and Twitter rockstar Yoani Sánchez, this tidbit from The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) says it all for me: Cubans must pay as much as $6 to $12 per hour to access the […]

  • Apr 3, 2013
  • 11:18 AM

Join us for monthly updates!