Published On: Mon, Jun 29th, 2015

Up Front and Center: ¿Comprendes Ahora Donald Trump?

TrumpI am that around the way girl society vowed would never amount to more than a stereotype statistic.   My kind were considered: dirty- drug-dealing-taking-vandalizing-menace-to-society-roach-multiplying-waste-of-space-on-American-soil.  We were (and continue to be) surrounded by seductive subliminal media messages from bodega ads to front page news misrepresentations, sweet visual and auditory senses decaying under false ideologies.  We were inner city youth, who sent mylar balloons to Heaven and poured out sweet liquor in memory of our loved ones.  We occupied projects and inhabited windowless basement apartments, surviving the life through school and the arts.  We are many – the underreported – the ones chosen to spread the message that we are not merely a kind, but a contribution to humanity.

As a young Latina, fresh out of college, I landed my first full-time job at Univision.  As an Account Executive Assistant in Commercial Network Sales, I learned about advertisement distribution strategies and formulas derived from Nielsen Ratings and prime time slot placements.  I gathered and displayed yearly, in-depth research in attractive PowerPoints for distribution to current and upcoming major advertisers.  For the first time in my life, I witnessed the power of Latin@s (it was no myth!) from the mailroom to the boardroom, behind the cameras and in front of the lens.  All prepping for the company’s annual Upfront Party where CEO’s, accountants and A-list celebrities would dine and network at Cipriani’s followed by the after party in the famous Rainbow Room.  Not bad for a kid off the block.  And I was far from the only one.

So, here we are, 2015 and big business and media outlets continue to try and pass us off as invalid imbeciles, dismissing our countless contributions to this society’s economy and well-being.  Within the 55 million (plus) Hispanics currently occupying North American soil exists: lawyers, judges, doctors, surgeons, accountants, CEO’s, teachers, therapists, architects, artists, writers, journalists, astronauts, politicians, world leaders.  And yet, those quickly losing rank as the dominant culture continue spewing bile with our names attached, trying desperately to keep us marginalized.  Latest major case in point: Donald Trump.

Bendito, he tried his best to taint us further, thinking his monetary numbers contribution would outweigh our numbers contribution.  What he saw in dollars, he failed to realize we multiply in unity.  Univision took a historic stance – up front and center – when they called his bluff and pulled the Miss Universe Pageant from their program schedule.  Let me explain something: when an anticipated high ratings program special is sold in an upfront package to sponsors, an unforeseen cancellation (although not impossible) is not common.  What happens here is, a new formula is derived and presented to the sponsors.  The end result is new package deals amounting to the same amount of exposure that was predicted for the upcoming canceled program.  Everyone still makes money, ties are maintained and, in this case, pride and dignity remain intact.   Not bad for “rapists and people bringing drugs and crime” into this country, huh Donnie?

As I type this, Trump’s choice of inaccurate syllabic representation of Mexicans and their fellow brethren (yes, we ARE family!)  has stripped him of previously invested funds, future investment profit, and reputation (can only assume the public humiliation of 55 million people will also have a negative impact on his dreams of becoming the next US President).  Not only has there been a petition spreading like wildfire on social media (currently up to  218,988 supporters), but NBC (who is part-owner of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants) has severed the business relationship with their delusional, abusive partner, stating the pageants will no longer air on NBC, with the Celebrity Apprentice continuing on without the Trump.

This, mi gente, is victory.  Historical, public victory.  But Donald Trump is not our only problem.  In every city of this nation, Latin@s struggle to cultivate and preserve their culture.  While Univision took the lead and proved they have the backs of their people, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our ancestors and our future to continue the struggle.  Where I’m from, Capicu Cultural Showcase and Sofrito For Your Soul are responsible for pride and dignity preservation from open mic stages to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee.  What are you doing to keep the family alive?  Please share your Latin@ Conservation story.  We’d love to hear from you.


Up Front and Center: ¿Comprendes Ahora Donald Trump?