Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ignorance: Enough Is Enough

The last few weeks have ... well, how shall I put it? ... sucked.

Anyone who knows me off-line, and maybe some of you who are my friends on Twitter know by the content I retweet that I value children, education, diversity, civil rights and equality.

I have a zero tolerance policy toward any form of bullying or the targeting of any group based on ethnicity, religion, economic status, sexuality, gender or disability.

Further, I do not condone hate speech. Ever.

Particularly when said speech is delivered under the supposed guise of humor. What some seem to not understand, or wish to trivialize, is that these remarks demoralize and dehumanize, wear-away at the human psyche, incite hate, and feed intolerance. It is the kind of speech that perpetuates negative stereotypes.

For any of my non-Latino friends who haven't heard of the disparaging remarks made recently about Mexicans (hi, that would be me) by a respected organization for humor's sake, I invite you to pour yourself a cup of something strong and take a few minutes to watch the BBC's Top Gear Video.

If you've seen it and can't stomach watching it again (once was enough for me), please click through to their lukewarm apology.

My question: What might the media's response been if instead of Mexicans [insert another name] had been the group singled out with racial remarks?

I have a sense of humor. A twisted one, even. But this? This is not funny. It's indecent.

Telling me to go get a sense of humor when I feel personally attacked because of my culture is not the answer.

If you have a few minutes, please visit "All the Latest of the TOP GEAR Controversy" at author and Twitter strategist Julio Varela's blog to read about this important topic.

(Since the posting of this article, yesterday, a response issued by the BBC to the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Being Latino, Inc., The National Council of La Raza and The League of United Latin American Citizens was made public, stating they'd remove the "objectionable" footage from episodes airing in America.)
"The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority." -- Ralph W. Sockman