For Latinos, there’s only one famous person that’s been part of our lives since day one. Okay, well aside from Juan Gabriel, it has to be Walter Mercado. The 87-year-old Puerto Rican has influenced our lives in so many ways, and now it’s time to return that love. If you have ever dreamed about getting a personal reading from the greatest psychic icon of all time, your dream is about to become a reality, sort of.
The HistoryMiami Museum is hosting a retrospective on the life and legacy of Walter Mercardo.
The exhibition titled “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.” The show will feature his “costumes, mementos, and ephemera, on display for the first time ever.”
The show’s description states that the show “celebrates the life and career of the beloved Latino astrologer and pop culture icon. For over five decades, Walter Mercado has shared his astrological predictions with style, flair, and mucho, mucho amor.”
The exhibition will also feature a fair amount of history on this eccentric icon.
While we know he grew up in Puerto Rico, we don’t know much else about his life. This show will hopefully fill in the gaps.
The description states: “Raised in the sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico, Mercado grew up to become a gender non-conforming, cape-wearing, psychic astrologer whose televised horoscopes reached 120 million Latino viewers a day for more than 30 years. One of the world’s most famous astrologers, he is a part of the cultural zeitgeist for Latinos and remains a popular figure that transcends generations.”
And (drum roll, please) on Aug. 2, Walter Mercado will be at the museum for a special public program!
Details about tickets have yet to be revealed, but once they are you know, they’re going to go fast. Everyone wants to get a close look at the Latino icon and his long legacy dictating our lives.
The news is already getting Mercado stans truly hyped.
The world has been a crazy and uncomfortable place for a while. There is always scary and bad news on the tv whether it is about international crises or the migrant crisis. Fortunately, we have been able to disconnect when Mercado comes on our tv screens.
There is no lack of people willing and ready to buy all of the tickets for this event.
Honestly, if you are planning a trip to Miami around this exhibit, what are you doing? He is one of the greatest stars of the Latino community. He has been giving people astrological readings on tv since 1970. He has been telling our abuelas what their year has to offer for 50 years and it is our duty to show him some respect.
Let’s just take a moment and think about the importance of such an iconic and necessary event.
Thank you for the decades of advice and guidance, Walter. You made our lives the exciting and interesting rollercoaster it is. If it wasn’t for your advice, we would not know what to do.
Georgia has been requiring Puerto Rican natives seeking Georgia driver’s licenses to answer a special set of questions such as “identifying ‘what a meat filled with plantain fritter’ is called; where a specific beach is located; and ‘the name of the frog native only to Puerto Rico,’” according to a lawsuit filed against the state this week.
A Puerto Rican man has filed a lawsuit against Georgia for alleged discrimination and voter suppression.
A man is accusing Georgia of discriminating with driver’s licenses and requiring Puerto Ricans to answer trivia questions about fritters, frogs, hillbilly hats, baseball players and customs on their native island.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the US District Court for Northern Georgia, accuses the state’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) of violating the Civil Rights Act by engaging in “race-based stereotyping and implicit bias against Puerto Ricans.”
The lawsuit says Georgia holds residents of Puerto Rico, who are American citizens, to more stringent requirements than it does transplants from American states or the District of Colombia.
The quiz and other discriminatory practices prevent Puerto Ricans living in Georgia from traveling to work, school, and even doctor appointments. They also subject Puerto Ricans to the threat of a $500 fine and a year in prison if they drive without a license, the lawsuit says.
LatinoJustice obtained a copy of the quiz questions and shared them in a report.
A DDS document titled “Puerto Rican Interview Guide,” provided to CNN by LatinoJustice, includes numerous questions about the island, some of them are allegedly trick questions. Among them:
How long is the San Juan-Fajardo train ride? (There is no train.)
Who is Roberto Clemente?
What is the name of the frog native only to PR?
What is a pava?
What is alcapurria?
How do you celebrate San Juan Day?
A note in the interview guide says the questions are designed to better identify possible Puerto Ricans and discourage fraud. “While this guide can in no way positively determine if a person was born in or lived in Puerto Rico, it will help determine if the individual has a normal base of knowledge of their claimed birthplace,” it says.
Many on Twitter were using this as yet another example of Puerto Ricans being treated as second-class citizens.
“Puerto Ricans who are trying to start a new life in Georgia deserve access to the same benefits that are afforded to other citizens of the United States,” LatinoJustice PRLDEF attorney Jorge Vasquez said in a statement.
Driver’s licenses and identification cards issued in Puerto Rico aren’t subject to the same reciprocity extended to those issued in other states, the lawsuit says. Puerto Rico driver’s license holders must successfully pass the written and road exams to get a driver’s license, unlike other out-of-state license holders.
While others pointed out the shocking resemblance to a time when segregation was still a thing.
“The so-called quiz, applied to Puerto Rican drivers, bears a strikingly disturbing resemblance to the tests applied by segregationists to block voter registration of people of color,” Southern Center attorney Gerry Weber said.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor has come out swinging against the possible acts of state-sanctioned discrimination.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has weighed in, calling the alleged special requirements “absurd” and demanding that Puerto Ricans receive equal treatment in all US jurisdictions.
“If true, I ask Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to address the disturbing irregularities immediately,” Rosselló said in a statement. “The U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico cannot be subject to illogical and illegal requirements when procuring government services.”
There are more than 93,000 Puerto Ricans living in Georgia, according to the 2017 census estimate.
To many, this is just another sign of Puerto Ricans having to work extra hard to prove themselves as American citizens.
Other examples of Georgia’s allegedly discriminatory practices include refusing to accept any birth certificate issued in Puerto Rico before July 2010 and flagging Puerto Rican birth certificates for fraud review, the lawsuit states.
The Democratic Party had their first presidential debate last night in Miami hosted by NBC News. Ten candidates for the Democratic Party spoke last night on immigration, the economy, student loans, and the humanitarian crisis happening at the southern border. While the candidates did debate some real issues, there were moments that caught everyone’s attention that had nothing to do with policy and politics. Here’s a quick recap of the first Democratic debate.
The Democratic Party hosted their first debate last night in Miami and there were clear winners and losers. Elizabeth Warren was the clear standout.
Senator Warren did not hold back on what she plans to do as president to make the United States work for all Americans. She came out of the gates swinging with a progressive platform that more and more Americans are supporting. Notably, Warren defended her calls to break up big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Apple.
In a platform released by the Warren campaign, the presidential hopeful laid out why it is important to end the monopoly the current tech companies have.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
Warren also spoke on how she would use the people who elect her to fight to make the country work for everyone.
The current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring bills to the Senate floor to a vote. Bills that many Americans support like gun control measures and health care amendments. While Warren was not completely clear with her stance on how to work with a Republican controlled Senate, she seems ready to fight.
Julián Castro showed his strength and delivered an exceptional night for his campaign.
Castro, who was the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, lead the debates when it came to immigration. Chiefly, Castro stated that if elected he would make crossing the border a civil infraction as opposed to the criminal infraction it has become.
Castro used his moment addressing immigration to spar with his fellow Texan competitor Beto O’Rourke who stated he did not support that same measure. Instead, O’Rourke told Castro that he has introduced legislation to decriminalize those crossing the border for seeking asylum.
Castro claimed that O’Rourke is not going far enough because targeting just asylum seekers is not addressing the full problem because some people cross without seeking asylum. Castro’s plan to decriminalize border crossing has been used by Republicans to push the inaccurate narrative that Democrats support open borders.
Castro set off a strong reaction from the audience when he included trans people in the conversation about reproductive rights and, as he says, reproductive justice.
The candidates were asked if they supported a health care plan that would cover abortions. The nation is in the middle of a major discussion about who should and should not have access to abortions. We have watched states take unprecedented steps to limit a women’s right to safe and legal abortions in several southern and Republican-led states. One of the largest applause moments during the debate was when Castro included the trans community, one often overlooked, into the conversation about abortion rights.
Castro was the candidate who most needed a good night to get his name and face in front of American voters and it seems to have paid off.
Castro announced his candidacy in January 2019 and has dealing with a severe enthusiasm gap. Other candidates, like Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris have dominated media coverage and Castro couldn’t break through. It seems that the debates last night gave him the boost he needed to become a household name.
Coming in third would be New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
During the debate, de Blasio gave an impassioned speech about the unjust vilification of the immigrant community in the United States. He referenced the horrific photo that has been shared of a migrant father and daughter, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and Valeria, and how what led to their deaths is not the America we know.
“We have to change the discussion about immigration in this country, because look at the bottom line here. .. That tragic photo of that parent, that child – and I’m saying this as a father – every American should feel that in their heart, and every American should say that is not America,” de Blasio said.
“Those are not our values, but we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we’re not being honest about the division that’s been fomented in this country, the way that Americans citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges.”
“For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind or feel the American dream’s not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you. The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you.”
The debate did offer some lighter notes that worked as fodder for infinite social media jokes and memes, namely, the use of Spanish.
O’Rourke, who ran a campaign attempting to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, used his first remark to use his Spanish skills. Now, there is nothing wrong with a presidential candidate speaking Spanish. In fact, it is good to know that there are people running for the office willing to speak directly to the people they want to help.
However, O’Rourke’s attempt to speak Spanish came off as pandering so many who watched the debates.
And a lot of the focus was on Cory Booker’s reaction to O’Rourke’s Spanish.
That is what shook looks like. It seems as if Booker was prepared to speak Spanish himself and was caught off guard when Texan O’Rourke beat him to the punch.
For some Latinos watching the debate, it seemed like an unnecessary flex for someone from Texas who would likely know Spanish.
Again, there is nothing wrong with them speaking Spanish at the debate. It is admirable that they would use the language and normalize it to a broader audience. However, it did strike some people as pandering and it is just something the candidates will have to learn to navigate.
The second round of Democratic debates are happening tonight at 6 p.m. PST.