Letters to the Editor
March 16, 2001
[Editor's Note: The following letter to the editor was received in
Spanish. The original version is being reprinted, along with an English
Solo quería felicitarte por tu columna de opinión en el
periódico ["Estrellas Mexicanas
sin una," marzo 2]. Aunque no soy mexicano he conocido bastantes
desde que estoy aquí en California y creo que, como bien dices, la
estupidez del sistema en el que nos encontramos no tiene límites
al momento de estereotipar a las personas, en este caso a las minorías.
A pesar de no ser mexicano, pero si latinoamericano, creo que el excesivo
abuso del estereotipo es una de las peores muestras de la ignorancia de
la gente en este lugar; ignorancia que se presta para montar comedias en
parámetros absurdos. Podrían, como bien señalas, hacerse
muchas películas acerca de "el mexicano" que no tendrán
nada que ver con una pistola y dos gringos tras de ella...pero estamos lamentablemente
del otro lado de la frontera y aqui el mensaje lo construye el dinero del
productor y lo sustenta la estulticia de quienes lo consumen.
La tarea del periodista, en este caso tu, es denunciar esta realidad
y tirar de las orejas de las personas que, como yo, a veces no caemos en
cuenta de lo que consumimos porque simplemente Julia Roberts es increíble.
Una vez más felicitaciones.
I just wanted to congratulate you for your last opinion column in the
last issue of the Campus Times ["'Mexican'
stars without one," March 2]. Although I'm not a Mexican, I've
met several since I lived here in California and I believe that, as you
cleverly say, the stupidity of the system in which we are living doesn't
have limits when stereotyping comes to scene, in this particular case, stereotyping
Although I'm not a Mexican; but Latin American, I believe that the abuse
of the stereotype is just one of the examples of ignorance; this ignorance
becomes the base for absurdity. Lots of films about "The Mexican"
could be made, certainly, and none of them would show two "gringos"
looking for a gun. However, we are on this side of the border and, here,
the message is built by the money of producers and is supported by the foolishness
of those who consume this message.
I think journalists' work, you in this case, is to denounce this reality
and criticize it. A journalists' work is to touch the arms of people like
me and make us look at what's going on "just in case we didn't notice
it;" to touch the arm of people like me that go to the theater because
of Julia Roberts. Once again, congratulations.
Regarding the editorial "Free
expression granted for all" [March 9], I strongly oppose the ideal
of free expression at whatever cost. Too many people use the arguments of
free expression as a means to force their forms of expression on others.
I have no objection to the person who wants to listen to Eminem in the privacy
of their room or through headphones. However, as the father of two boys,
aged 6 and 3, I resent the bombardment of our ears and sensibilities by
people who seem to think their "right" to listen to whatever they
want takes precedence over other's rights not to have to listen to it. The
acceptance of earth-shaking stereo systems simply perpetuates this attitude;
I do not hear lovers of classical music forcing their music on the general
public and I would be offended if they did. When "free expression"
is manifest in not only offensive lyrics but also in forcing others to listen
to it through the use of excessively loud stereo systems, then I think those
"rights" need to be curtailed. A pilot program in Colorado and
Alaska forces offenders of loud music ordinances to have to listen to "Barney"
and other syrupy music at the same volume they forced on others. Do we have
to resort to that, or will some more sensible solutions prevail?
professor of movement and sports science