Category Archives: Race

²Eva Longoria: “I’ve never played any stereotypical roles” Oh REALLY?

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria was on AC360 yesterday and made a satement that she has never played a ‘stereotypical’ role on TV. I couldn’t help but think about the word ‘stereotypical’ and what it means. When it is stereotypical to play a maid when you are a Latina, not playing one won’t still ensure you don’t play a stereotypical role. You can play a rich Latina, one who has fame and fortune and has achieved a lot in life but the stereotype should not just be looked upon as a ‘role’ or a ‘job’. It’s more about a certain type of attitude people think is attached so certain ethnicities.

Although some countries have people who have naturally more of a temperament and joy for life, stepping into that territory is a little dangerous, especially when defining people by negative stereotypes.

I remember 3 years ago writing a post on a forum about “There are no stereotypes about Gabrielle Solis being a Latina on Desperate Housewives, she and her husband have the biggest house on the block. That’s one of the reasons I love to watch it.” Another poster quickly threw me a reality check bucket of ice cold water on my avatar face. “Wait a second, she said, Eva is definitiely playing the typical girl mainstream America believes all Latinas are like. They make her play the role of a selfish materialistic big mouthed sexy woman who only thinks about her looks. People believe all Latinas are like that, and this only reinforces the stereotype. So what if she has money. Her attitude on that show screams louder than her title or bank account.”

That made me think. I reasoned that Eddy Britt, who is white, also plays a selfish woman with a bad attitude and too concerned about her looks and devouring men. But she’s not a Latina, and she doesn’t seem as concerned about money as Gaby is. She’s a man-eater. But there are other white women on Desperate Housewives who can counteract that image. But the only Latina in the show has got to be a scheming, mean, loud, shallow and materialistic person.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the way that Gaby grows in the show and becomes the ‘perfect’ wife. She learns to be less egotistical. She learns the true value of love and family.

“Stereotypical” is more than just a role you play on TV. It’s about attitude.

Think about other popular shows or movies who star Latinas as the main character. Think of Ugly Betty, for example. Betty’s family is a poor family living in Queens. I can live with that although some people will say it’s stereotypical. Betty, the main character of the show is a brave young Latina woman who works really hard to achieve her dreams. Although from a poor background, she’s definitely not the average girl people think Latinas should be like. She doesn’t take care of her outer appearance that much (has huge braces and red glasses aka Steve Urkel), and she’s too honest to her disadvantage at times. She’s the most unselfish and unmaterialistic person you’ll meet. She has big dreams and she doesn’t take no for an answer and manages to become an associate editor for a prestigious magazine in the fashion industry. Basically, she’s strong and intelligent without needing her looks. Is she playing a stereotypical role just because she’s from a poor family from Queens ? No.

Do I personally think that Latinas are big mouthed women who only love drama and Gucci clothes ? No.

Do a lot of people in America think that? Saddly yes, or at least that image is somewhat ingrained into their minds to a certain extent.

Wilhemina Slater, the evil scheming creative director, played by Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty, is seen as black in the show (bus she’s in reality of mixed ethnicty) and to me, she can own Mode Magazine (I knw she doesn’t)o and sleep in her chinchilla coat every night but she’s also playing the stereotypical ‘drama queen’ black woman. Don’t get me wrong. She’s rich, so everything should be fine.

I’ll never forget a job interview I once went to. I look brown, so people never know what ethnicity I am. So they assume things. The manager asked me a question I will never forget: “when was the last time you had a tantrum?”. A tantrum? I had never been asked this question before, esp. using the word ‘tantrum’. I could have understood a question like “Do you remain calm under pressure” as this is a question a lot of employers love to ask. But the way he asked the question and the way he looked at me screamed louder than the question itself. I went to ask my current boss at the time what this question meant, and he said it was a racist question. The interviewer saw that I was brown and assumed I must be a ‘drama’ queen. I’m the most sweet person you’ll meet and I live to avoid drama and bitching. So I did take a little offense to that question, but the way he asked it (mean and skeptical tone of voice) and accusing glances was what sealed the deal for me. I didn’t get the job, of course, but nevermind. I didn’t want it anyway. I found something much better shortly afterwards. This incident wasn’t about getting a job but learning that racism is still alive and well. And can I thank Eva Longoria for perpetuating the myth that ‘brown’ people are drama queens? But she owns big house, y’all !

It’s certainly not Eva’s fault if there are some mean spirited racist people like this manager on planet earth. But you get my point. I don’t judge Eva for playing Gaby Solis. I love Desperate Housewives and I still love the concept of Gaby. Underneath all that shallow exterior, she’s a real survivor and a softy at heart.

What about J-Lo who played a maid in the movie ‘Maid in Manhattan’ ? I don’t think she played a stereotypical role at all. There are maids of all ethnicites. The role could have been easily played by Julia Roberts for all it’s worth. But wait, Julia played a prostitute in Pretty Woman. A role worse than being a maid. Yet she’s not a Latina and no one thinks of white women as being prostitutes after watching this movie. They think of Julia as being a lost PERSON who finds herself eventually.

So it should be with all Latinas and Latinos: We should see them as PEOPLE and INDIVIDUALS, no matter what roles they play: maids, rich CEOs, housewifes, career women, villain, super hero, lawyers, police officers, queens etc.

A role is just a role. An attitude is an attitude that will speak volumes about who you are, more than what you do.

My point is that times have changed. No one today thinks of ‘maid’ when they hear the word Latina. They’ll think of a famous movie star, singer or perhaps a gorgeous looking woman. Maybe they’ll think of Taco Bell or Cuban rythm and salsa dancing. I don’t know. And somewhere along the lines they’ll also vaguely think of a drama queen who loves expensive clothes and has a face full of makeup even when caught in bed.

It’s true that Latinos, and other minorities for that matter, have come a long way in the last 50 years. Nevertheless, ethnic stereotypes remain deeply rooted in American culture. Racism and prejudice have taken another form, if you want my honest opinion. Now it’s politically and culturally incorrect to be a hater of latinos, blacks and other minorities. Pop culture dictates what rules. Beyoncé, Shakira, Jay-Z and J-Lo and the likes now dictate to the youth what’s hot. This generation has no problems mingling with all types of ethnicites. But when the perceptions have drastically changes, the seterotypes remain. Now…intolerance and prejudice are disguised under other stereotypes. Latinas are like this and black girls like that…and white people…oh they are just too… Black men always drop out of school or become athletes.

Yes. I don’t like stereotypes in any way, shape or form but a little more disturbing is when people can’t even recognize they’re being stereotyped.

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Filed under Celebrities, Eva Longoria Parker, Latino in America, Race, Racism, Society's Global Issues, Special CNN Events

Political Analysis AC360 Friday 09 18 09

The issue of race once again was front and center for a roundtable discussion on Friday’s AC360, kept there by President Obama’s taping of interviews for this weekend with five major news networks notably Fox was not among them). At each interview, the issue of race was at the forefront, prompting AC to ask the question of the roundtable if the issue would be put to rest following this weekend’s airing of President Obama’s comments on it.

For his part, President Obama has publicly downplayed the issue in his comments and clearly seems to want discussion of racism to not be part of the discussion on his health-care reform.

What was notably not said by any of the participants (CNN reporter Joe Johns, Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council and Jennifer Palmieri of the liberal Center for American Progress) is that the issue of racism will probably not subside until the passage of at least another generation rather than the passage of the weekend.

For some reason, the generational aspects of the last election have never been fully explored despite their undeniable presence. In a clear way, the election between Barack Obama and John McCainwas a battle between young and old. Obama attracted many new young voters with his talk of new ideas and progress to be made, while McCain courted the older and more conservative voters with his focus on how wonderful things in the past always have been.

The young responded and Obama won the election. It did not, however, remove the older voters from the American landscape. It is to some degree these older voters who are leading the charge against Obama not just politically but also racially.

For the younger generations, it is not as big a deal, if a big deal at all. Their lifestyles are more cosmopolitan and, frankly, more interracial. When seeing large outings of young people in bigger cities, the crowd includes all racial groups, beyond black and white to Asian, Indian and all others – and it truly seems no big deal to them.

As this generation matures and becomes the “older” generation, replacing those currently holding that title, racism will become less of an issue. But not until then.

Written by political analyst George Curcio

Below is an interesting map with America’s different ethnic groups, taken from: http://www.geocities.com/hispanic_eosh/census1.gif

 

 

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Filed under AC360 Political analysis of the day, Daily AC360, Race, Society's Global Issues

AC360 09 18 09: Move on Already!

Welcome to the Anderson Cooper 360 daily summary.

Sorry this is late, the site was down due to maintenance/fixing and I couldn’t post Friday’s show summary earlier.

Before we start, I would like to wish Anderson a speedy recovery. It seems he came down with something as he kept coughing and his voice was hoarse. I’m sick as well since a couple of days and feel completely congested and I can’t stop wanting to sleep, and don’t tell me about those sore muscles…thank God for ‘Nurofen’ (Tylenol/Advil in America)…now that, Miss Prejean, was God ‘choosing’ me to comfort Anderson and all the sick people out there 🙂

MAIN STORIES TONIGHT ON AC360

– Authorities questioning a man who admits having ties to Al Qaeda…was he part of a plot to attack parts of NYC ?

President Obama trying to focus on healthcare and ‘push past race’

Show tonight not too ‘heavy’ and  a very good mix of stories…the Soledad O’Brien piece was really great and eye opening. Last night’s AC360 was really enjoyable and very informative. Anderson, although a little sick, seems rested and very serene.

Let’s get started…

BREAKING NEWS

The show opened up with the breaking news that terrorists attacks may have been planned against America. A young Aghan national of 24 has admitted having ties to Al Qaeda and is undergoing his third day of questioning. It is probable but not 100% sure that he was connected to the alleged planned attacks against New York City. There is still a lot not known. Anderson talks to Jean Reserve from Denver,  who says there are now 2 pieces of evidence possibly substantiating that the young man is in fact related to the plotted NYC attacks. Najibullah Zazi is at the center of this investigation…CNN’s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen jumps in and talks about what is known in this investigation so far.

Here’s the complete interview…don’t miss it:

DIGGING DEEPER – Joe Johns, Jennifer Palmieri, Tony Perkins

Panel Race Claims

The race discussion again. President Obama wants to get over this ‘race’ debate and finally focus on Healthcare…and how do I agree with him. Although I’m very weary about discussions on ‘race’, I can’t help but feel there is such an enormous subconscious attraction to fit into one race or another for most people today. I don’t think it’s bad and I don’t think it’s good. It’s just how we human beings are…the need to label ourselves…that’s how we form identity…this said…race is so embedded in our cultures that we don’t even recognize when we’re pushing too far. It’s been so common to act a certain way that it’s become the norm and no one should question the ‘norm’, right?

I’ll leave you with the panel discussion of tonight’s AC360’s digging deeper segment…discover for yourself why I’m exhausted of the ‘race’ discussion…and President Obama is very right to want to move on.

By the way, I went to check the AC360 LIVE BLOG and there was some anger over the term ‘mutt’ in there…I totally agree with this. The way multiracial people such as President Obama are viewed and referred to in the Western World is completely retarded. We should take example on places like Brazil when it comes to not forcing people into one race or another…hello…white and black is mixed…and I should be able to fit into anything I choose (whether that’s white, black or mixed)…society’s views on mixed race people comes from the Jim Crow system(yes google that)…One drop of black blood makes you only black…how narrow minded…thus completely denying you of one of your parent’s heritage…but hey…it’s not politically correct to talk about that so I’ll shut up.Some mixed people are seen as white because their phenotypical attributes make them look that…never you’ll hear people call them ‘black’…yet they are in fact mixed ethnically….what does that tell you about us as humans? Yes…we’re very focused on outward appearance.

The term ‘RACE’ is outdated, everyone….MOVE ON !!!

CRIME & PUNISHMENT – Randy Kaye

Very disturbing news tonight again about Annie Le’s murderRandy kaye talks to anderson cooper

 The killer was found and is held on 3 million bond. There are still questions surrounding this investigation. Randy Kaye answers them for you:

UNCOVERING AMERICA – Soledad O’Brien

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien talks to a young boy who wants to find his roots and registers in a program run by Malaak Compton Rock (comedian Chris Rock’s wife) called The Angel Rock Project. This program allows you to trace your ancestry by taking a  DNA test. Very touching.

soledad O'brien

Teen discover his roots

 

Malaak Compton-Rock

Chris's Rock Ancestry

Chris's Rock Ancestry 2

 

360 BULLETIN – Erica Hill

Erica Hill brings us the latest news:

-Bone found on Garrido’s property, maybe linked to other kidnappings in the 80’s.

-Miss California Carrie Prejean says ‘God chose me’…(I won’t elaborate on this, google it)

The Shot anderson and erica

 

THE SHOT – Wolf Blitzer on Jeopardy

Pasta

Wolf  Blitzer missed a ‘pasta’ question…ouch!!!

Wolf Blitzer is not so good at Jeopardy it seems…at least not as good as Anderson Cooper !! Enjoy:

Anderson Cooper on Jeopardy

Anderson Jeopardy Champion

 

NEXT WEEK’S SHOW MONDAY:

I won’t tell you it’s creepy but there’s something about hearing voices from other realms. Cool.

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Filed under Daily AC360, International Politics, President Barack Obama, Race, Society's Global Issues, Terrorism