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This Latino Has Been Killing It Since The Days Of ’Blade Runner’ and ‘Miami Vice’

Actor and director Edward James Olmos has been fighting for DECADES to make Hollywood diverse. Before many of you were in diapers, tbh. He hasn’t just talked the talk either. Nope, he’s been a pioneer by selecting a wide range of roles that have showed off his acting chops. So, sure, some audiences may know him as the iconic Pachuco from “Zoot Suit,” or the gang leader from “American Me,” but he is impossible to typecast — because he’s pretty much played EVERY type. Check it out.

Gaff in “Blade Runner”

gaff-blade-runner
Credit: Bladerunner/Warner Bros.

In the 1982 science fiction classic directed by Ridley Scott, Olmos plays a longtime Blade Runner working with the LAPD to hunt down and destroy replicants hiding in Los Angeles. “Cityspeak,” the language that Gaff communicates in — a mixture of Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Hungarian and Japanese — was largely developed by Olmos.

Martin Castillo in “Miami Vice”

Lt. Castillo Edward James Olmos
Credit: Miami Vice/NBC

The stars of the show may have been Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas, who played the characters of Sonny Crocket and Ricardo Tubbs, but they answered to no-nonsense Detective Lieutenant Martin Castillo — the baddest badass on the show. Castillo was reserved, revered and didn’t need to raise his voice because he could make the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention with his steely glare. Olmos scored an Emmy and a Golden Globe for this role.

Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver”

Olmos as Escalante
Credit: Stand and Deliver/Warner Bros

Olmos earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante, a high school math teacher who taught calculus to working-class students that everyone thought were just a bunch of soon-to-be dropout malcriados. And, of course, he taught us finger math.

READ: 15 Reasons Everyone Should Watch ‘Stand and Deliver’ Again

Pitmaster in “The Simpsons”

Olmos in The Simpsons
Credit: The Simpsons/Fox

Olmos made his debut on the longest-running U.S. animated series during season 27. On an episode entitled “Cue Detective,” Olmos voices the role of a wise and mysterious BBQ pit master who sells Homer a magical smoker. (No, it’s not the kind you put your weed in.) “Never been cooled down, never been cleaned — mixing meat, fat and smoke into pure magic,” says the man to Homer.

Admiral William Adama in “Battlestar Galactica”

William Adama
Credit: Battlestar Galactica/NBC Universal

Get this, the role of Admiral William Adama, the commanding officer of “Battlestar Galactica,” was actually written with Olmos in mind. Olmos absolutely killed it, becoming one of the series’ most beloved characters. For his portrayal of Adama, Olmos was also nominated for an ALMA Award, which recognizes the positive portrayal of Latinos in TV, film and music .

Virgil Sweet in “Talent for the Game”

Olmos Talent for the Game
Credit: Talent for the Game/Paramount Pictures

The character of a veteran baseball scout for the California Angels was perfect for Olmos given that one of his first aspirations in life was to become a professional baseball player. He was so good he even became Golden State batting champion.

Justice Roberto Mendoza in “The West Wing”

Olmos in The West Wing
Credit: The West Wing/NBC

On the first season of the political serial drama, Olmos played a jurist and an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. On the show, he was appointed in 2000 — that’s a whole nine years before Sonia Sotomayor was appointed in real life.

Jess Gonzalez in “American Family”

American Family PBS
Credit: American Family/PBS

Finally, thanks to PBS, Latinos could see a dramatic series about an American family that resembles theirs on broadcast English-language TV. Olmos played the conservative patriarch who identified as “Spanish” rather than Mexican (insert eye-roll here). The thing is, we all know a man like him. Some of us are related to that man, and even though we don’t always agree with him, we love him because behind all that gruffness is a loving person.

READ: Watch These Latino Movies And Try To Say You Aren’t Proud To Be A Latino

Julian Nava in “Walkout”

The Walkout Olmos as Nava
Credit: Walkout/HBO

Olmos directed and portrayed Julian Nava, the first Mexican-American to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, in this HBO film about the 1968 East L.A. walkouts. The walkouts were a series of protests organized by Chicano students who were tired of being treated like crap.

Michael Axford in “The Green Hornet”

Olmos in The Green Hornet
Credit: The Green Hornet/Columbia Pictures

Wait, what?! A Latino actor in a comedic action-crime film gets to play a former-cop-turned-reporter at The Daily Sentinel instead of some kind of criminal or petty thug? Phew, how refreshing.

Robert Gonzales in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”

Olmos in Agents of SHIELD
Credit: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D/ABC Studios

On this comic book-inspired ABC show, Olmos played a high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) agent. Let’s face it, it’s still rare to see a Latino actor play the role of a leader in an organization that is meant to protect people.

READ: We Asked, You Answered: When Did You First See Yourself Represented On TV?

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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