Sunday, February 11, 2007


By Rafael Martínez Alequín

If Barack Obama becomes President, one of his first duties should be to declare a state of emergency integration at Univision and Telemundo TV. Both are large network conglomerates, broadcasting throughout the Spanish speaking world. Its programs include news and entertainment. However what it does not include are black Hispanics. At times, programming appears as a recreation of the Aryan Nation. The novelas (soap operas) often depict blacks and Indians in menial roles. The stereotypes of the fifties can often be seen here. The irony is that while Latinos continue to fight for representation in main stream media, we are discriminating against our own in Latin television. According to statistics, black Hispanics number approximately three million in the United States. That is approximately ten percent of the total Hispanic population. So, the excuse that qualified persons cannot be found does not apply. If we are ever to be accepted into main stream society, then our own institutions must be a reflection of that society. We are not living in the fifties of “Ricky Ricardo”. A sanitized Cuban married to a zany white red headed wife. Under the Univision code, even George Bush's Mexican nephew would be rejected. After all, he is unacceptably brown skinned.

The days of blond supremacy are over. The talent pool of black Hispanics is waiting to be tapped. If these stations plan to continue their policy of "No Blacks Need Apply", then they will reap the karma of discrimination.
The power of advertising rests in TV. But the power of legislation and boycott rests in the people. Where most television networks must provide community programming, Univision and Telemundo do not. Show me a community service program dealing with black Hispanics and I will show you my cat piloting a 747. The time has come for the unrepresentd viewers to challenge the license of this powerful Spanish media. Remember, it is the FCC, a federal agency that grants TV licenses. And remember that the dark skinned niece and nephew of the President of the United states are the people that you have excluded. We are watching you Univision and Telemundo, even when the remote is turned off.


Anonymous said...

Your main point ( black Latinos are not represented on Spanish television ) is correct. Your examples of President Bush's nice and nephew as members of the class is not on target. They a not only mainstream in Latin culture, but also in most of white America. but your main point is absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

I'm Black American, and I've had this conversation several times with my friends, and I agree with you that your main point is dead on. I think it's a global issue as in many populations where there are many shades of color, the whiter you are, the better. Dark skinned people are not looked as a beautiful or having as much appeal on screen. The same case exists in India too. When was the last time you saw a dark-skinned Indian woman starring in a Bollywood movie, or seen as a Miss India/World/Universe contestant. Most likely, it wouldn't happen.

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