Did you know MTV still films “The Real World”? Yeah, we didn’t either. Turns out 27 years since they first aired the revolutionary reality TV show of “seven strangers picked to live in a house…to find out what happens … when people stop being polite … and start getting real,” the network has not stopped. Despite MTV’s viewership considerably different from back in the day, the network is still pumping out the show, but we’re actually looking forward to this season because of one cast member.
The new season of MTV’s “Real World” taking place in Atlanta includes a DACA beneficiary.
Meet Arely, a 21-year-old single mom from the Midwest. Arely is the youngest in the house and is the first “Real World” castmate to have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.
Arely came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was a child with her parents and had a baby when she was 16.
According to her bio, “Arely became pregnant and began to realize the challenges of being a teen mom. She always imagined life as a registered nurse but found she was unable to take her nursing exam due to her status as a DREAMer. After years of hard work and sacrifice, Arely is ready for adventure and new opportunities.”
The new season airs June 13 on Facebook Watch and looks like things will get heated for Arely.
One of her roommates actually said to her that people should come to the U.S. legally to her face. Ugh! As if she had a choice.
Her problems are way more crucial to life than random hookups and barfing in the sink.
We will see how this season goes down, but it should be more fun to watch especially because viewers can have real-time reactions on social media.
When Clare Crawley was announced in March as the newest “Bachelorette” for the popular reality TV series, the media wanted to focus on one thing and one thing only: her age. At 39-years-old, Crawley is the show’s oldest Bachelorette to date. And the network doesn’t want you to forget it.
Promo materials included Crawley posing as Mrs. Robinson from “The Graduate”. The tagline was “It’s about time” (Because she’s waited so long…get it? Yeah, neither do we). The resounding narrative was that, because of her age, this is her last chance at love. Which, for the record, is patently false.
But coincidentally Crawley has another, much more exciting “first” under her belt: born to an American father and a Mexican mother, Clare Crawley is the franchise’s first Latina Bachelorette.
In an exclusive interview with Mitú, Crawley told us that her status as the first Latina Bachelorette is a happy accident. “That’s not something that was ever really brought up to me or ever even made a point,” she said of her casting. But it is a coincidence that she fully embraces. “I would gladly take the Latina Bachelorette!” she said, laughing. “That’s way better than saying I’m the oldest Bachelorette!”
Crawley knows that her fair-haired, light-skinned appearance might confuse some viewers about her heritage. When asked if she ever struggled with her identity (as many children of mixed-race parents have reported), Crawley said she never had that problem. “No, no, no. I embraced it. This is something that I’ve always talked about, it’s part of my everyday life.”
Crawley went on to describe the customs and traditions she experiences as a woman of Mexican descent. “My mom speaks Spanish all the time and lots of foods we ate growing up [were Mexican]. It was definitely something in my life throughout.”
She then lovingly described her favorite (and familiar) Mexican tradition: making tamales with her (five!) older sisters during Christmastime. “And when I say we make tamales, I mean, we literally make like 12 dozen of them. So, we make them for all our friends, everyone wants them.”
Although Clare grew up in a mixed-race household, she explained that she was largely unaware of the challenges her mother faced as a Mexican woman trying to make a life for herself in conservative Georgia.
“Back in the day, just because [my mother’s] skin was darker, people [in Georgia] didn’t talk to her. People didn’t want to hang out with her. It was really hard for her,” Crawley told Mitú. “It was something I didn’t realize affected her…Because when you think of racism or that kind of stuff, it’s not just towards one race.” Crawley’s family ended up moving to Sacramento–a community that proved to be more accepting of her mother’s heritage.
Crawley, for her part, knows that when many people think of a “typical” Latina woman, the image of her isn’t the first one that comes to mind. But as we know, there is no such thing as a “typical” Latina.
“[People] look at my skin color, they look at my hair color, or eye color, and automatically just say: ‘Oh, this white girl’. And they’ll make jokes and they’ll make off-handed things like that, but they have no idea. And I speak up, and I say it, and I defend it because it’s definitely something I’m proud of.”
And to the critics that say she’s “not Latina enough” because of the way she looks, she pays them no mind. “I think that’s their problem, not mine,” she says. “Because there’s no denying what my genetics and my DNA are. So if people have a problem with it or challenge it or question it, I think it’s just ignorant.”
As for “The Bachelor” franchise and their push for more diversity (they finally casted their first Black “Bachelor”), Clare is hopeful. “I want people to be aware, more and more, that it’s 2020 and here moving forward…embrace diversity. Because everybody, every age, every shape, everything you can imagine, people in general are worthy of love.”
And as for the future Bachelorette (which if rumors are to be believed, will come sooner rather than later), Crawley has this piece of advice for her: “Follow your gut.”
“At the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for yourself,” she explained to Mitú. “Because you’re the one you have to go to bed with at night. Your conscience, your heart is the one that you have to live with…You have to live your life in a way that honors yourself. So, stand by that and you won’t regret it.”
You can catch “The Bachelorette” every Tuesday on ABC at 8p.m.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.
Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.
According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.
“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”
He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”
Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.
Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.
“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”
DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.
People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.
“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”
Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.
“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”
The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.