Entertainment

Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

The Kennedy Center / YouTube

Two generations of Boricua icons in television just gave the world touching love letters to each other, and our eyes are sweating.

Rita Moreno gave Gina Rodriguez, and every other Latina, exactly enough inspiration, validation and hope to make us sob. Straighten up. They want us to be the women we want to see in the world. Here’s the highlight reel.

Three years ago, Gina Rodriguez introduced Rita Moreno at the Kennedy Center Honors.

CREDIT: The Kennedy Center / YouTube

Gina Rodriguez is the star of “Jane the Virgin,” and Rita Moreno plays her abuelita, on Rogelio de la Vega’s side. In her tribute, she shared the story of meeting Moreno for the first time:

“Ma, when did Puerto Ricans come about?”

“What do you mean, Gina?”

“Well I never see us on my favorite TV shows or movies. We must not have existed back then, right?”

“Rita, this is my love letter to you.” 😭

CREDIT: The Kennedy Center / YouTube

“And then she introduced me to you. I met you on screen and I just loved you. Your bright smile, your fierce persona, that fierce persona that just bursts through every performance, every interview. And I just wanted to be just like Rita.”

Three years later, Moreno recorded a love letter back to Rodriguez and unleashed it on all of us.

CREDIT: @knockknockjoan @Netflix / Twitter

She starts her love letter by calling Rodriguez “my little coquí,” which marks the first tear welling up in every boricua. The national animal of Puerto Rico is the coqui frog. which is adorable. 🐸

“Here is an old fashioned letter from me to you.”

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

But now that she is a role model, she says this,

“Throughout my career, of all the roles I’ve played, there is one which had no director no script, no notes given. There wasn’t even an audition. And as I ponder your letter, Gina, I realized it may have been the most seminal role I ever played.”

The reactions at this point were all tears.

CREDIT: @saviovcruz / Twitter

Just like my own mother, Moreno was born to seamstress in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Since she was born in 1931 (IKR, we age gracefully), she’s become an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony winner) and a Latina icon.

“I am so inspired in this third act of my life by young women like you dear, dear Gina.”

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“I was merely a frightened Latina girl lost in the maze of Hollywood, operation in survival mode. You know in my day, I had no role models, no coach, no publicity team. The only way I knew to survive was by being true to myself.”

Hearing Moreno commend Rodriguez for being a wise next act for what she started is raising many emotions.

CREDIT: @Aliciano / Twitter

We all cry when our abuelitas tell us sweet things about their lives and how we inspire them. Even after all of the years they have lived and celebrated, somehow, we are an inspiration for them. Perhaps it is because we are their wildest dreams realized.

Moreno is asking Rodriguez to continue telling the stories of Latinos, which must be heard.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“Watching you, a Latina, navigate our ‘business’ and with such confidence and grace, you go girl. We Latinos have extraordinary histories and stories that need telling. It is so encouraging it’s no longer a job of the few of us but a passion for so many of us.”

She’s right. The proof is in all the boricuas that came out to ship the passing of the baton.

CREDIT: @arizoniallst @jennbonafide / Twitter

Moreno isn’t just talking to Rodriguez at this point any more. She’s talking to all of us. It’s on all of us to represent Latinos accurately in all the work we do. Whether you’re an accountant, an actress, a teacher or chef: stake your claim on this world. We belong here.

Moreno basically just told us that Rodriguez is the new star Latina in town.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“You are young, you are wise, you’re able to see our community and it’s potential. And you have chosen to inspire your generation to do the same.”

In a very Moreno way, she just continues to inspire us all.

CREDIT: @WhizGidget / Twitter

Whether you’re half Latino, a quarter or full blown, todos somos 100 percent Latino y 100 percent American. Moreno has embodied all of us.

She literally also paused to give Rodriguez a thumbs up half way through.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

Moments after she said, “you go girl.” She cannot be 87 years old. Is there an award that grants immortality, because Rita deserves it.

And then she stated the obvious: Rodriguez is already our role models.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“In just a few years my dear, young Latinas will look up at their screens with hope in their eyes and say, “I want to be like Gina Rodriguez.” Come to think of it, I think they already do.”

But hearing it come out of Moreno’s “West Side Story,” beloved abuelita mouth makes it real.

CREDIT: @kurnpineda / Twitter

I think we literally posted the same exact response. Hundreds of Latinos have commented, “estoy llorando.” Probably 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are crying in this moment.

Now we’re wishing Moreno was our fake abuelita…

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

In Gina’s love letter, she said,

“You gave me hope, you gave me a reason to fight and to speak up you gave me a voice and how can I thank you? I’m not sure I know how but I can tell you this: when you followed your dreams Rita, you gave me the allowance to follow mine”

In a world that feels like a dumpster fire, this is “the most important and beautiful thing” we could witness today.

CREDIT: @CallmeKarnstein / Twitter

We are so grateful to be alive during a time when there are more Latinos being given opportunities to play someone other than a maid or drug lord in the industry. #MásAbuelitas

We are especially grateful that there’s such a need for abuelas in entertainment right now.

CREDIT: @latinasmoak @HedwigReads / Twitter

The fact that Moreno will forever give abuelitas everywhere their shining spotlight on “One Day at a Time” and “Jane the Virgin,” is life-giving.

Some folks said they would even continue the tradition Rodriguez’s mom started by showing Moreno’s movies to their daughter.

CREDIT: @NY2CO22 @MonaLovesYa / Twitter

And, so I lay a request to the Puerto Rican people: let this be a state-wide tradition. Our daughter grow up knowing Rita Moreno. Just keep rewatching Jane the Virgin, it’s not hard.

What we all agree on: Rita Moreno is #MyPresident 🇵🇷

CREDIT: @laempanana @netflix / Twitter

And we are all her First Lady. May you never, ever, leave us, Moreno. May we all achieve our dreams and receive similar love letters from you. Te quiero mucho y bendiciones. 🇵🇷

Nurses At A Florida Clinic Are Claiming That They Were Told They’d Be Fired If They Spoke Spanish To Each Other

Things That Matter

Nurses At A Florida Clinic Are Claiming That They Were Told They’d Be Fired If They Spoke Spanish To Each Other

When applying to most local, federal, and government jobs, one of the skills that a majority of employers look for is whether or not the applicant speaks Spanish. Being bilingual in English and Spanish in this country is beneficial to the employer, their customers, and the employee because typically the job is supposed to have a better salary. There are also some places in the country that have large populations of people who speak Spanish and are more comfortable functioning in that language.

There are an estimated 41 million people that speak Spanish in the U.S., or 13 percent of the population, according to Babble. So, speaking Spanish isn’t — at least it should be — a big deal, in fact, it’s quite common. But in Trump America, it’s another story. 

Seven female workers with the Florida Department of Health are coming forward to say they have gotten direct instructions not to speak Spanish in the office. 

Credit: @geronimoproduc1 / Twitter

The women say that even though they were hired because of their Spanish-speaking skills, so they could communicate better with their patients, they are now told not to speak the language with one another in the office. 

“We speak in English to the Anglo-Saxons because we are polite, but we speak Spanish with each other because we think in Spanish,” MairylÍ Miranda, a nurse, told El Nuevo DÍa. “But one day they gathered us all together and warned us that if we continued to do so, we would be fired. But there is no law that bans us from speaking Spanish.”

The seven women on the complaint work at a Florida Department of Health clinic in Haines City, and are also all Puerto Rican. 

Credit: @MDBlanchfield / Twitter

Aside from nurses, the employees on the complaint include an administrative assistant and a secretary. The Florida Department of Health has yet to make a public comment about these allegations. They also allege that management has been on them to stop speaking Spanish for quite some time, but it has only gotten worse in the past year. An official harassment report has been filed to the police department, but the women said nothing has yet to be done.

“It feels like you’re a criminal like you’re doing something that is wrong,” Miranda said, according to Bay News 9. “Never in my life did I think I was going to go through a situation like this one.”

Some people may assume that these employees are speaking Spanish in a way that others may think is rude. But they claim they are very professional at work and never speak Spanish around someone that may not understand them.

While these claims aren’t surprising, especially under this tense and traumatic Trump-era racism, it’s reassuring to know that state and local officials are supporting these employees.

Credit: @relevanne / Twitter

“Haines City is a well-diversified community,” Haines City Mayor Morris West said in a conference, according to the Palm Beach Post. “The facility that’s in question is in Haines City but is not a city of Haines City facility. I stand on behalf of these nurses that’s been [facing] allegations of discrimination against them. Haines City and my staff stand ready to support you nurses from any discrimination.”

Other advocates of these women include Respeta Mi Gente Coalition, which includes Alianza for Progress, Boricua Vota, Hispanic Federation, Misión Boricua, and Organize Florida. U.S. Rep. Darren Soto is also backing these women. 

It’s important to note that the United States does not have an official language.

Credit: @livesinpages / Twitter

For all those people yelling at others, demanding them to speak Spanish, they should know English is not the official language in the U.S

There is nothing in the Constitution that states people in the United States, both citizens or otherwise, have to speak English and English only. Scholars say that the Founding Fathers didn’t include a clause about the English language because immigrants of the 13 colonies spoke other languages, including Dutch, French, and German. Native Americans spoke different languages as well. 

Lawmakers in the past, as recent as 2006, have attempted to make English the official language but thankfully, because of our democracy, the votes have never gone past the House. That doesn’t mean local and government officials haven’t tried to force English on everyone. It’s just part of our assimilation whether we like it or not. 

So the next time someone is yelling racist things such as “stop speaking Spanish” just yell back “English is not the official language of this country. Bye!” 

READ: A Puerto Rican Woman Serving In The Air Force Was Told To Stop Speaking Spanish While At Starbucks

A Puerto Rican Woman Serving In The Air Force Was Told To Stop Speaking Spanish While At Starbucks

Culture

A Puerto Rican Woman Serving In The Air Force Was Told To Stop Speaking Spanish While At Starbucks

Xiara Mercado / Facebook

We’ve seen time and time again, people in the U.S., minding their own business, continuously get disrespected for speaking Spanish. The audacity of someone telling you that you cannot do something like speaking your native language as if it’s illegal. Typically these verbal assaults by complete strangers happen in restaurants, on the street, at stores, but this latest occurrence happened to someone we’d never expect. 

On July 17, 27-year-old Xiara Mercado, a member of the Air Force who is stationed in Hawaii, was wearing her uniform when a woman told her she shouldn’t speak Spanish.

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

Mercado shared the appalling ordeal in a Facebook post and described that she was waiting for a drink at Starbucks during her lunch break and began speaking on her cell phone in Spanish. She said she got off the phone once her drink was ready and walked outside.

Mercado writes, “I get tapped on the shoulder by this lady,” and the lady said to her, “you shouldn’t be speaking Spanish, that’s not what that uniform represents… It’s distasteful.”

The Puerto Rican native said that she was confused at first by the lady and her comment about being “distasteful.”

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

“I’m sorry ma’am, what’s distasteful?” Mercado asked the lady. “You speaking another language that does not represent America and that uniform you are wearing, that’s distasteful.”

Mercado said she collected her thoughts for a moment and responded to her by saying, “I’m sorry ma’am the only distasteful thing here is that you are clueless to your discrimination, please educate your self. Have a nice day.”

But the ordeal didn’t end there. Mercado writes that the lady spoke to her again, this time loudly and said: “I don’t know how you are allowed to wear that uniform.”

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

You would think Mercado would have lost her cool. We know we would have, but rather than lose her temper, Mercado responded to this racist woman by saying, “I wear it proudly.” She then walked away. 

Mercado finished her Facebook post by writing, “I was more sad than mad but above all I am disgusted. Even though I wanted to say a lot more I have respect for people and the uniform I wear… That’s the best I could do in that situation. Someone told me I could have smiled and apologized, Ummm I’m sorry what!? If you don’t see what is wrong with my story you are part of the problem. #thisisamerica.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

Her post has since been shared almost 50,000 times on Facebook.

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

People from all over the world have been sending her lots of support via social media. They tell her she handled the situation amazingly and that she should never apologize for speaking Spanish. 

Vanessa Facio‎ wrote to Mercado on Facebook, “You remind me of a woman who holds a very special place in my heart. When I saw your post, not only did I feel your disappointment and disrespect, but I also felt the warrior in you. Thank you for serving this country and raising an awareness for not only women but for all the warriors and giving those the courage to stand up for themselves.”

A couple of days after her initial post, Mercado was clearly surprised by the overwhelming amount of comments and response to her words.

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

She said that she didn’t write that to get praise. She also said not all of the comments were positive, she said some of them were also bad. Mercado also said that just like us, she too has seen in the headlines how people say offensive things to others but never thought it would happen to her. She said at the end of the day, it’s not about the Spanish language but more directly about discrimination. 

Mercado added that people who live in a bubble and believe the armed forces are run by “straight, white, males” are very wrong. 

Credit: Xiara Mercado / Facebook

Mercado wanted her followers to know that her post was more than about speaking Spanish but also about gender equality, the LGBTQ community, and identity. “That’s what I fight for,” she said. 

Thank you for your service, Xiara!

READ: Two Racist Florida Women Are Caught On Video Telling A Puerto Rican Man To ‘Go Back To Mexico’ If He Wants To Speak Spanish

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