5 Quotes That Prove Cristela Alonzo Is Woke AF
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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