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When Was The First Time You Saw Yourself Reflected On TV?

I can remember the first time I saw a family like mine on television. They were called the Delgados, and they lived on a pretty famous street.

Writing about “Sesame Street’s”‘ new Latina character reminded me how valuable it was to grow up with Luis and Maria Delgado, two characters — played by a Mexican-American and a Puerto Rican actor, respectively — who acted and sounded a lot like my own parents. (Except they never told me to make my bed, and so were even cooler than my parents.) When their daughter, Gaby, was introduced on the show, it presented a girl who was a lot like me and girls I knew: She spoke English and Spanish! Her parents loved her, but were kiiinda strict. Even her name — unlike the Brendas and Lisas also on TV at the time — was familiar, grounded in an experience I knew and felt at home in. She was like a cousin, only on the other side of a screen.

Credit: Sesame Street / YouTube / Tiny Dancer

The same was true for “Que Pasa USA,” a truly groundbreaking, fully bilingual show about a Cuban exile family living in Miami that aired on public television and routinely made me laugh until tears ran down my face. The Peña family was like my family, only maybe a little funnier, and they made me feel, from an extremely early age, that my story was one worth telling, one that deserved to be on television and shared with an audience.

Credit: PBS / YouTube / USAHavana

And it’s not like the only people we can relate to as Latinos are other Latinos. (If that was the case, we wouldn’t consistently over-index when it comes to media engagement.) For instance: There’s a scene in “Fresh Off the Boat” that shows the Huang family sitting down to watch “All American Girl.” That one, brief little scene drove home that it’s been a hell of a long time since an Asian-American family was the focus of a U.S. TV sitcom, and that the Huang family may not have existed without “All American Girl” paving the way. It’s a scene that was also relatable, I think, to anyone who has yearned to see more faces, accents and names like theirs on TV. (Like, say, Latinos.) Of course, it’s also not like every Latino presented on TV is instantly relatable to all of us (see: Carlos Mencia). But seeing a specifically Latino story that mirrors your own so closely works to validate that your voice, your experience, and your ideas are of value to people beyond you. After all, you can’t be what you can’t see.

Credit: ABC / Fusion

So, here’s my question for all you: When was the first time you saw yourself reflected on television? When was your “hard relate” moment? And if that’s never happened for you, do you have faith that it’ll happen soon?

Let us know in the comments thread or on Facebook, and your responses might be used in an upcoming post here on Mitú.

READ: After Years Of Hard Work, This Cubana Is Killing It In Hollywood

Let us know! And remember to click “like” on our Facebook page. I mean, like. If you want to. No pressure.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

Things That Matter

From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

One of the big surprises of the 2020 election was how even though most Latino voters across the U.S. voted for Joe Biden, in some counties of competitive states like Florida and Texas, a higher-than-expected percentage of Latinos supported Donald Trump. One factor that many believe played a role: online misinformation about the Democratic candidate.

Another important subject that’s been victim of a massive misinformation campaign is the Coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing vaccination program. But why does #fakenews so heavily target the Latino community?

Since the 2020 campaign, a large misinformation campaign has target Latinos.

Although fake news is nothing new, in the campaign leading up to the 2020 elections it morphed into something more sinister – a campaign to influence Latino voters with false information. The largely undetected movement helped depress turnout and spread disinformation about Democrat Joe Biden.

The effort showed how social media and other technology can be leveraged to spread misinformation so quickly that those trying to stop it cannot keep up. There were signs that it worked as Donald Trump swung large numbers of Latino votes in the 2020 presidential race in some areas that had been Democratic strongholds.

Videos and pictures were doctored. Quotes were taken out of context. Conspiracy theories were fanned, including that voting by mail was rigged, that the Black Lives Matter movement had ties to witchcraft and that Biden was beholden to a cabal of socialists.

That flow of misinformation has only intensified since Election Day, researchers and political analysts say, stoking Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen and false narratives around the mob that overran the Capitol. More recently, it has morphed into efforts to undermine vaccination efforts against the coronavirus.

The misinformation campaign could have major impacts on our politics.

Several misinformation researchers say there is an alarming amount of misinformation about voter fraud and Democratic leaders being shared in Latino social media communities. Biden is a popular target, with misinformation ranging from exaggerated claims that he embraces Fidel Castro-style socialism to more patently false and outlandish ones, for instance that the president-elect supports abortion minutes before a child’s birth or that he orchestrated a caravan of Cuban immigrants to infiltrate the US Southern border and disrupt the election process.

Democratic strategists looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections are concerned about how this might sway Latino voters in the future. They acknowledge that conservatives in traditional media and the political establishment have pushed false narratives as well, but say that social media misinformation deserves special attention: It appears to be a growing problem, and it can be hard to track and understand.

Some believe that Latinos may be more likely to believe a message shared by friends, family members, or people from their cultural community in a WhatsApp or Telegram group rather than an arbitrary mainstream US news outlet; research has found that people believe news articles more when they’re shared by people they trust.

Fake news is also impacting our community’s response to the pandemic.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they’ve made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And Latinos are relying on social media and word-of-mouth for information on vaccines — even when it’s wrong. There’s myths circulating around the vaccine, whether you can trust it and the possible the long-term effects.

And it’s not just obstacles to getting information in Spanish, but also in many of the native Mayan indigenous languages that farmworkers speak in South Florida.

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Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

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Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

Representation matters.

When it comes to interracial couples, this is certainly true. In 2017, The New York Times posed the question “where are all of the racial couples?” in an article about the representation of mixed-race couples on screen. The pieces pointed out that for many years, the entertainment industry “forbid depictions of interracial relationships. From 1930 until the late 1960s, the Motion Picture Production Code banned ‘vulgarity and suggestiveness’ so that ‘good taste may be emphasized.'” The piece put a bold underline under the fact that decades have passed since these codes were dismantled. In fact, the same year of the article’s release, the Pew Research Center revealed that the number rose to 10 percent, including 11 million interracial marriages in total.

These statistics oddly haven’t always extended to even our most innovative forms: texting to name just one. Up until recently, texters weren’t able to express their mix-raced love via iPhones.

Now thanks to a new update, they are!

New updates to Apple‘s iOS 14.5 are bringing interracial couples to your texts this Spring.

New couple emojis with skin variant combinations.nbsp
Emojipedia

Apple is working to make our texting experience more inclusive and representative for all phone users. In a recent update from Unicode, the system that produces emojis, Apple has announced that they will be unveiling new designs and new options for emojis that already exist as part of iOS 14.5.

New designs for the emojis will be more representative of people with disabilities as well.

Emojipedia

They include a person with a bird, flaming heart emoji, a healed heart, and new skin tone variants for kissing couples and couples with heart emojis. There will also be accessibility-themed emojis which include an ear with a hearing aid, a guide dog, a prosthetic leg, and a prosthetic arm.

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