Culture

5 Quotes That Prove Cristela Alonzo Is Woke AF

CREDIT: TEAM COCO / TBS

In 2014, Mexican-American comedian Cristela Alonzo created, produced, wrote, and acted in “Cristela,” a primetime comedy on ABC, making her the first Latina to achieve this distinction. While “Cristela” lasted only one season, it represented a victory for Latinos looking to see their one of their stories in mainstream entertainment. In the time since “Cristela” was cancelled, the immigrant experience has become so heavily politicized that it has become difficult to separate fact from rhetoric. And as politics have become increasingly polarizing, Cristela has kept the immigrant experience in her act for a very important reason: both of her parents were from Mexico and she grew up near the Texas-Mexico border. Her struggle to make this relatable and funny was the subject of a recent interview she had with Gothamist‘s Gaby Del Valle. The entire interview is worth checking out, but here are a few quick highlights.

On making America great again.

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CREDIT: TEAM COCO / TBS

“In election years, everyone talks about the good old days—but they never tell you when the good old days were. I’m a person of color. When were my good old days?!” – Cristela Alonzo

On how she finds comedy from her own life.

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CREDIT: TEAM COCO / TBS

“Each of us has an interesting story. Even if you don’t think it is, it’s interesting to somebody, and just sharing it makes people realize they’re not alone.”

On why she chooses to talk about the immigrant experience.

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CREDIT: CRISTELA9 / INSTAGRAM

“And a lot of people don’t know immigrants, they don’t know anything about immigration, period. All they know is what they hear on TV.” She added, “They didn’t come here to take away your jobs. They’re coming here for a chance to survive. For a chance to not die.”

On her own experiences as a citizen growing up near the border.

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CREDIT: CRISTELA 9 / INSTAGRAM

“I remember as a kid, I’d always try and hide from Border Patrol, fearing as a kid that my mom would be taken away and deported at any moment.”

On how people react to the subject matter of her comedy.

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CREDIT: CRISTELA9 / INSTAGRAM

“You can’t control how people are going to react to it. I’ve had people ask me, ‘How do you say certain things on stage without having people turn against you?’ I’m not insulting anybody. I’m just being honest about my life.”

On November 3rd, Cristela is hosting a comedy night for Define American, a non-profit, non-partisan organization.

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CREDIT: CRISTELA / ABC

“At Define American,” their website states, “we believe that we cannot change the politics of immigration until we change the culture in which people see immigrants, documented and undocumented.” Cristela echoes this statement at the end of her interview, saying, “I think that through comedy, we can teach people lessons they need to learn.”


[H/T] Gothamist: Comedian Cristela Alonzo Talks Immigration & Humor In The Age Of Trump

READ: 9 Times Cristela Alonzo Was Everyone’s Soulmate

Undocumented Americans Are Breaking Stereotypes With A Social Media Campaign

Things That Matter

Undocumented Americans Are Breaking Stereotypes With A Social Media Campaign

Define American

Who is American to you? What does it mean to be American?

These are questions immigrants and the children of immigrants often ask themselves. And as many of them now face an uncertain future at the hands of President Trump, who stands to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program these questions become even bigger. DACA allowed certain undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children to receive protection from deportation and work eligibility.

Define American is working to shift the narrative on American identity by empowering undocumented people to tell their stories of joy and resilience with their #UndocuJoy social media campaign. Through this campaign, Define American is working to show a full representation of who undocumented Americans and fight fears.

Watch the powerful campaign video!

Per the website:

#UndocuJoy combats victimizing representations of people who are undocumented by flooding the media with authentic images of happiness.  We encourage undocumented Americans to share their authentic moments of joy, and allies are encouraged to spread their message.

Yosimar Reyes, artist in residence at Define American, created the campaign so undocumented people have a space to rewrite the narrative of who they are, away from how the media paints them. As he puts it, “the media is obsessed with our fear and not how we thrive.”

“#UndocuJoy is for all of us who are tired of answering, ‘Why don’t you just get in line?'” says Reyes. “It’s a love letter to us from us reminding each other that we can’t let a government rob of us joy. It is also a reminder to allies that we can speak for ourselves.”

Through #UndocuJoy, undocumented people find healing and are reminded that they “should exist beyond justifying our existence,” according to Reyes. As he puts it, the idea of being undocumented isn’t an identity but a social condition.

So far, people have been sharing what their #UndocuJoy looks like. For some, it’s cafecito.

For others, it’s having the freedom to explore.

It’s also about spending time at the beach with loved ones.

Whatever your #UndocuJoy looks like, the underlying message is the refusal for each undocumented person to allow the circumstances to keep them from living a full and happy life.

“It raises up the simple fact that no matter what is happening in politics, policy, or the media, our undocumented community continues to thrive,” says Sarah Lowe, digital strategist at Define American. “Their resilience is our #UndocuJoy.”


READ: Undocumented Immigrants In North Carolina Aren’t Eligible For Financial Aid, But This Woman Found A Way To Help Undocumented High School Students Who Want To Continue Their Education

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Cristela Alonzo Is Getting So Much Love From ‘Cars 3’ Fans Because Of The Impact Of Her Role

Entertainment

Cristela Alonzo Is Getting So Much Love From ‘Cars 3’ Fans Because Of The Impact Of Her Role

@thedesigningchica / Instagram / @TheGeekCave_ / Twitter

“Cars 3” has opened in movie theaters across the country and Latinos cannot get enough of a new character called Cruz Ramirez. Without revealing any spoilers, Ramirez is the car tasked with helping Lightning McQueen train before McQueen races a rookie at the Florida 500. It’s clear that she is a major character in the movie based on sheer excitement of several Latinos on Twitter have expressed.

“Cars 3” is here and Latinos everywhere are absolutely loving Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez.

Ramirez is more than just a side character. The Latina lead character is the coach and motivator to get Lightning McQueen up to snuff in order to take on a new car on the scene.

Families are gushing over how much they love seeing themselves represented in the movie.

¡Dale!

This young Latina got excited about a car-centric movie that was “for boys.”

Some kids are even asking their parents for Ramirez toys so they can play with cars, too.

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But it is more than just the character that is getting some serious virtual love right now.

Fans are absolutely gushing over Cristela Alonzo and showering her with praise for bringing Ramirez to life.

The powerful representation brought many of the audiences to tears.

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Ramirez is quickly becoming the feminist heroine of the summer.

Alonzo’s performance is being lauded as a portrayal of what life is like as a woman in a male-dominated field.

Some adults are taking their love of Ramirez a little too far and the little ones are feeling the pain.

Tbh, this would be me if I had a little one right now.

It seems like something so simple but a leading Latina in a cartoon movie about cars is really giving Latinos something to look up to.

You know, because representation in media matters and this kind of representation has been long anticipated.

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READ: Cristela Alonzo Took On A Thief And Walked Away With This Story

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