Home > Uncategorized > Let’s clear the air about a few things about Being Latino

Let’s clear the air about a few things about Being Latino

by @lancerios

2011 has been a great year so far… or so I think.

What has happened so far in 2011? Well for one, Being Latino, Inc. teamed up with Felix Sanchez and the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts to write a letter to the Kennedys about why more Latinos need to be recognized for their accomplishment in the arts.

What else has happened? Being Latino has been recognized by Fox News as one of the leading communities living in the social media space for Latinos. Being Latino has also started a partnership with Fox News Latino online where we will be exchanging a portion of our content once a week. Oh wait did I say Fox News? I thought that this was good news!

Since announcing the partnership, I have been met with an equal amount of support and opposition. Many of my friends from South Florida, parts of the south and southwest have immediately called to congratulate me for the partnership. Off the bat, they did not know much about the partnership but gave me credit for being open-minded about working with a traditionally conservative network. In the same breath many of my friends from the east coast and a few other cities between NYC and LA asked me if I was crazy. “How could you do that to our people? I thought you were one of us.”  I am confident to say that the majority of these people who so impulsively congratulated me or criticized me did not take the time to look at Fox News Latino’s website.  From seeing the type of content on FNL, I think it’s safe to say that if they were skewing one way more than the other, it would be to the LEFT.

It is good news. Why? Because for the first time, a major news entity is recognizing the POWER of English-speaking and/or bilingual Latinos in Social Media. But Fox News is so… anti-Latino, why them? Hmm, have you seen any other major news entities taking a stab at reaching this fast-growing, engaged, ACTIVE Latino audience? I have not. Because of this, I do believe that Fox News Latino should be given credit for taking the initiative to reach this community.

To get back to the whole “anti-Latino” aspect… well for one, I will start off by saying that in terms of my personal politics, I have NOT felt that the news entity has done a substantial job at reaching us as well as portraying us for the positive. Although I am an independent, my views have always skewed way further left than the majority of the traditional information that this news entity as a whole has provided.  With that said, I invite you to see that Fox News Latino is not following this traditional model and is truly making an effort to position themselves to provide accurate and balanced content for Latinos.

Lastly, what are the terms for the content exchange partnership? Simply put, we provide Fox News Latino (without any restrictions) the 5 top blog pieces of the week on Being Latino. These top 5 stories will be submitted in a short blurb by EVP of Blogger Relations, Libby I. Juliá Vázquez, on a weekly basis. In turn, Fox News Latino (without any restrictions) will submit to us a blurb of their Top 5 stories for the week as well. Here is what BL sent fox for the first week http://bit.ly/hmOkTx, and here is what FNL has sent us for the first week http://www.bit.ly/dQ4vth. (See Julio Varela’s blog who broke this story initially)

Latinos have a tendency to be passionate, ESPECIALLY when it comes to politics, which I think is great. My only tiff is when people become blinded from great opportunities because their prejudice automatically makes up their mind for them, rather than rationally analyzing the situation before criticizing it. And of course, the conspiracy theorists that will claim that this once a week content sharing partnership is a Republican ploy to brainwash the Latino community, I once again invite you to see the first submission that FNL has sent to us. From whales in the Dominican Republic, to a one-on-one interview with the intern who saved Rep. Giffords life, this seems to be pretty balanced with an agenda to simply inform our community rather than an attempt to over-take the Latino population in the US.

This is by no means meant to serve as my Fox News defense, but more as means to simply clear the air on a few things. You don’t have to agree with everything that I do on behalf of Being Latino but does that mean you need to turn your back on this community, of which is making history, because you don’t like one of the things about it?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Cesar Vargas
    January 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Who do you take more seriously? The entity making false promises but NEVER delivers or the one who reaches out even if we disagree in a lot of things? With this, more people will see. The more people see us as rational human beings, then we will be treated as equals. This is a great leap forward for the entire Latino community be it left or right leaning.

    • January 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Cesar, you are so on target with that assessment!

    • January 16, 2011 at 4:01 am

      i’m not so concerned about Fox’s stance on left or right as i am that we as a community of Latinos are always seeking value or legitimacy in the so-called mainstream general market which is what Fox is…

      Instead of using a Fortune 500 companies gauge of legitimacy or value, maybe we should define our own legitimacy or value for ourselves… It seems to me from a very Sun Tzu Art of War perspective that if Fox is interested in Being Latino it is because they perceive Being Latino as being a threat to Fox… Maybe not an immediate threat but a possible threat in the future… The way for corporations to deal with threats is to absorb them… Once absorbed they no longer work against you but work for you… Once they work for you their autonomy is compromised…

      As Latinos within the US we tend to not feel legitimized until white corporate America picks up on what we are doing… Whether or not that is the case here with Being Latino i don’t know but based on the things that i have been reading by those in response to this partnership it seems that this partnership is being seen as something that somehow legitimizes Being Latino… The value we as a community of people placed on Being Latino was not enough? Somehow a partnership with Fox now makes Being Latino more valuable? To who? And why? As a community we need to define our worth on our own terms… Or continue to think within a colonized mentality that our true worth is defined by someone else…

      Being Latino was/is a place that we went to as an alternative news source to Fox… Some of the causes that were taken up on Being Latino targeted Fox media outlets and personalities because of their views on Latino issues… Will the autonomy of Being Latino as being an alternative to mainstream media like Fox be compromised now that it has partnered with Fox?

      These are some of the questions that i think we need to ask our selves as a community… i wish Being Latino the best with their partnership… Whether or not it’s a good thing for Being Latino or our people will play out in the future… Either way i think the partnership between Being Latino and Fox raises some hard questions that we need to ask our selves as a community and if we wrestle down some answers then i think we can move forward regardless of the outcome…

      • Cesar Vargas
        January 17, 2011 at 5:27 am

        Didn’t you try to push your movie to white America? Didn’t Kickstarter turned down your proposal?

  2. January 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    If people don’t like the programming, they can change the channel.

    If they don’t like the Being Latino vibe now, they can un-friend you/unsubscribe.

    Period.

    Felicitaciones.

    Best wishes for 2011.

  3. Sasa Bella
    January 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Although I was shocked at first on this partnership I will be the first to congratulate you on this groundbreaking deal. You can’t hate people trying to move forward, but I hope it is done with caution. Sometimes as individuals we have to make decisions that others will not like or agree with regardless of the outcome. With that being said, if you didn’t take this initiative you would never know if it was truly worth it.

    The best of luck to BL.

  4. Brenda Santana
    January 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Dear Lance,

    I would like to be one of those to congratulate you. Regardless of Fox’s political views, it is still a MAJOR NETWORK and a tremendous honor and great opportunity for a small and relatively new organization, such as Being Latino, to get the exposure it needs. Now that you have a foot in the door, it is the perfect opportunity to enlighten, if you will, all those who are ignorant about Latino issues and make them see what a wonderful community we are. All in all, I believe this is a positive thing for you and I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely,
    Brenda Santana

  5. January 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    This is an excellent and nuanced post, Lance. As I’ve stated before, I support your efforts with FOX News Latino and see it as a positive step. At the same time, it’s important to realize FOX News Latino is a website and not a broadcast venue. As such, we can expect FOX News to give FNL more latitude than they typically give to their broadcast programs to “stay on message.” Media industry watchdogs have reported FOX News issues a daily memo of the issues to be discussed that day. The FOX editorial commentators launch the issue. Then the news teams report on the issue as “a controversial topic” being discussed in the media. FOX News is a highly effective, if not insidious, propaganda machine. While I applaud the content exchange between FNL and Being Latino, we should also be aware that we are dealing with very astute media manipulators. Latinos risk being window dressing for FOX’s claims to diversity unless our messages remain authentic and uncompromising. It seems that is case so far, and again, I take my hat off to you.

    Interestingly, I believe the Democrats may already be reacting to the GOP Latino initiative with the recent move by the White House to ease restrictions on travel and interaction with Cuba. (More on this in my recent post: http://raulramosysanchez.blogspot.com/2011/01/democratic-countermove-with-cuba.html) When both parties are competing for Latino voters, well all win.

    • January 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      If the first set of BL posts on the FNL site indicate what can be done, I say this is a positive and big leap forward for us.

      • beinglatino
        January 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

        Thanks. Just linked your initial blog to the piece Julio.

  6. January 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Lance, as the blog that reported this partnership, here are my thoughts:

    1. People need to check out the FNL site. It has some excellent articles from the Latino world. I understand that FOX NEWS has had its issues in the past, but I admire what FNL has been doing so far, that is authentically reaching out to Latinos online and engaging with them. I agree with you, this is a positive step and guess what, if people have issue with it, THIS is the time to show that power. Enough talking and more action. I truly believe that Latinos don’t realize the power they have online. They have the power to change perceptions and make progress. To overlook this is a missed opportunity in my opinion.

    2. As someone who NEVER watched Fox News because of what they have done in the past, I will admit that I am intrigued as FNL. I have come to know a bit more about their organization and found out that they are a small group of very dedicate Latinos who WANT to connect with US Latinos online in an authentic and meaningful way. I also think that they are savvy enough to understand FOX’s problems with Latinos in the past. I say, give them a chance and decide for yourself.

    This is a great post and I applaud you for posting it. Will link it and report it.

    Stay strong, mano. You realize that this partnership will get Latinos more engaged in the debate, which is the goal of BL. I should know, I have seen that from the very beginning and I am very proud of you and what you have done.

  7. January 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    First I would like to congratulate you for creating a venue like Being Latino and the success you have achieved so far.

    While I’m glad Being Latino will have a larger platform to voice our opinions and life from our point of view I am extremely skeptical of the FNL agenda. You have in return given them a platform straight into the Latino community. My opinion of them is not a positive one and I don’t want to be exposed to their ignorant, absurd and many times hateful ideas. I’m really hoping they are not the winners in this deal.

    I wish you only success and will continue to enjoy BL content as long as its essence doesn’t change.

  8. Fran
    January 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Lance, congrats on establishing a platform for Latinos to learn and further seek opportunities for making a difference in our communities. I personally enjoy reading the articles and blogs on current societal issues.

    As noted by others, this newly formed partnership will enhance a great product. We all know that politics has most everything to do with our daily lives. That said, let’s remember that the last time the Latino community made a strong impact on a general election was during GW Bush’s campaign. Actually, it’s been reported that he was the only republican presidential candidate who made a significant difference with attracting Latino voters. In case you all haven’t noticed, republicans are doing anything necessary to tap into the fastest growing minority population (and hopeful voters!). So, I guess kudos is also necessary to the FOX empire for establishing FNL and gaining the attention of BL.

    As with most things in life … it’ll all come out in the wash. Stay tuned, Mi Gente. This debate is far from over.

  9. January 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Great job Lance!
    There has never been in the history of the USA a better time for all of us, that in one way or another, consider that we are Latinos, to communicate. The preponderance of opportunities available to us through Social Media to get our opinions and messages across to the world has never been more accessible to all of us, that care about our people, and the rest of the people of the world regardless of their country, race, or creed.
    Whether agreeing or not with your choice to connect with FNL, is totally irrelevant to the fact that the powers that direct conventional media have seen the light and surrounded themselves with Latinos that are willing to get the word out.
    Full transparency rules with the coming of age of the Internet and Social Media as a whole. Or as Arthur Findlay’s book “The Curse of Ignorance” clearly illustrates , no longer is man to believe in history being written by the ruling few, but know for certain that “you can run” but no longer can you hide. Good, bad, or indifferent views can now be expressed by all, specially those that for thousands of years never had even the inkling on how to do so.
    Keep up expressing yourself and helping others in our forever growing Latino world, to see that we too, have a vehicle to agree or disagree but no longer need to stay quiet and simply acquiesce and accept.

  10. January 15, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Great way to start 2011 Lance!

    I think the confrontation you are encountering is how some Latinos perceive Fox News (as discussed above for example). They see one very large news cooperation and stop right there.

    Fortunately, I had the opportunity to go on live with you at the studio and had a chance to meet some of the staff over at Fox News Latino. They have a great vision, are very passionate and are altruistic toward representing Latinos.

    I think after time passes, people will begin to recognize that your partnership is a logical step to what you, me and what everyone is doing online in the first place.

    It’s a shame that some people can’t stop their love affair with negativity and consequently stay close-minded to opportunities.

    My vote? I support it.

  11. Adrian Carrasquillo
    January 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Some people talk about bias in one breath and then echo the same things they decry in the next. It’s a content exchange. We do not censor each other. We post BL content (The ‘Being Latino’ This Week In Facebook), they post FNL content (The Week In Latino News). That’s it.

    We will continue to engage and try to be a part of the community. I am always on social media so reach out to me if you have any specific concerns @RealAdrianC on Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/adriancarrasquillo. Thanks for the post, Lance.

  12. Victoria Cepeda
    January 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I am so happy for you!!! Love you all!

    Truly yours,
    Victoria Cepeda

    • Cesar Vargas
      January 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm
  13. Cesar Vargas
    January 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm
  14. Victoria Cepeda
    January 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm
    • Cesar Vargas
      January 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm
      • Cesar Vargas
        January 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm
  15. Victoria Cepeda
    January 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm
  16. Cesar Vargas
    January 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm
  17. Penny Tafoya
    January 16, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I feel mixed about this partnership. Part of me resists any association with FOX News, but i also recognize that this could be an opportunity to open the minds and hearts of some conservatives to the real value, values, and diversity of those of us who identify as Latinos.

    Penny Tafoya, Sacramento, CA

  18. A. Olivencia
    January 16, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Tsk Tsk Tsk. A lady never speaks out of line. She is always well manicured in the ways of discussion and is always sure to appeal to the masses in an educated manner. She would never give an audience of her peers the false impression of being scandalous. Any concerns of anything off topic are taken into private discussion and addressed accordingly. A formal apology to Lance Rios would be good etiquette and never addressing Mr. Vargas would be a Lady. That being said, the discussion at hand is about Being Latino and it’s merger with FNL. A step forward for the greater good is always risky, but if we never take the risk then we are no better than our foes. Carry on and God speed to our beautiful people. Yours truly, Lady A.

  19. Libby
    January 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Well said, Lance.

    As I continue to see the negative comments about this partnership I am saddened at the shortsightedness of our people. Extreme views on either side of the spectrum box us into a place where we stunt our own growth. Life cannot be seen in absolutes anymore than it can be seen in simple black and white. There are just too many gray areas.

    Being closed to new opportunities to advance ourselves in whatever form they come, and being so quick to identify our enemies without making attempts at making them our allies, makes us no more evolved than those we claim to be against us.

    I believe that once we get through the initial mire that will be the first few days, we will be able to help those who are willing to see things differently, to consider others’ ideas, because only by doing that can we Latinos—whatever our beliefs may be—be united in progress.

  1. January 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

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