entertainment

This Is The Star Wars Fan Behind The Viral Mexican “Rogue One” Message

Courtesy of Perla Nation

Recently, the world has fallen in love with a viral message about one “Star Wars” fan’s touching moment with her father. In the message, the fan talks about her father finally seeing someone in a major American motion picture with a thick Mexican accent — just like his. The creator of the viral post is Perla Nation, a third-year Peace and Conflict studies student at University of California, Berkeley. mitú caught up with Nation and talked to her about the viral message and the inspiration behind it.

Here is the message that went viral thanks to “Rogue One” star Diego Luna.


“I took my father to see Rogue One today. I’ve wanted to take him for a while,” Nation wrote. “I wanted my Mexican father, with his thick Mexican accent, to experience what it was like to see a hero in a blockbuster film, speak the way he does. And although I wasn’t sure if it was going to resonate with him, I took him anyway.”

Perla Nation, the author of the tear-jerking post, says she was surprised at how fast it spread on social media.

Perla Nation / Facebook
CREDIT: Perla Nation / Facebook

“It was important to me and I never expected to get such an immense reaction,” Nation told mitú about posting the message on Tumblr. “When something is special to you, you want to remember it. This was my way of remembering a moment in which my dad felt proud to be a Mexican in America. By writing it down.”

For Nation, taking her father to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was about giving him a chance to see himself represented in media, like she did when she watched the female-led “Ghostbusters” reboot.

Courtesy of Perla Nation
CREDIT: Courtesy of Perla Nation

“When I saw Diego Luna on a late night television show speaking about keeping his Mexican accent, I immediately wanted to take my dad,” Nation told mitú. “I wanted him to have that experience I had, of feeling represented. There’s a power in that.”

But, more importantly, she wanted her father to have a chance to dream about new possibilities.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr
CREDIT: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr

“That night I saw my dad dream; he started talking about other Mexican actors he wanted to see in American blockbusters,” Nation recalled about her father’s reaction to seeing Luna with his accent. “We had never had that conversation before. At least not seriously. It was incredible.”

The one thing that Nation wants people to take from the message is a need for diversity.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr
CREDIT: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr

“I’d love for people reading this post to acknowledge the need for diversity in film. Not just behind the camera but in front of it,” Nation told mitú. “The chair of the Center for Latin America Studies [at UC Berkeley] Harley Shaiken always says that ‘art transcends borders’ and he couldn’t be more right. I’m glad “Rogue One” knew that it surely transcends outer space.”

“I don’t think I’ve received anything negative, not one message,” Nation said about the reaction her post has received.

hermiunes / Tumblr
CREDIT: hermiunes / Tumblr

“The most common responses I get is, ‘I needed this,’ or ‘I’m crying,’ or ‘I’m now going to take my mom/dad,’” Nation adds.

Nation wants people to know that this is not about her. She is simply the messenger for her father.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr
CREDIT: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Lucasfilm / oscaricaas / Tumblr

“Someone on my Tumblr sent me a screencap of Diego’s tweet. It was brilliant,” Nation told mitú about all the attention the message it getting. “I was jumping up and down going, ‘DIEGO LUNA REBLOGGED MY POST! MY DAD IS FAMOUS!’ I immediately rang up my dad but he was in Tijuana, Mexico at the time and the call wasn’t going through properly. It’s really all about my dad for me, I wanted him to feel special and thanks to everyone’s response, most notably Diego Luna’s, he has.”

Like Nation wrote, “Representation matters.”

forcewakens / Tumblr
CREDIT: forcewakens / Tumblr

Nation told mitú about what she wants Hollywood executives to realize: “I would tell them that our world is changing and then I’d invite them to be a part of it.”

BONUS: Check out Nation’s father’s response to his message going viral.


READ: One Lucky Chicago Couple’s Engagement Went Viral Thanks To An Unexpected Star

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My Parents Found Love in Their Interracial Marriage When the World Didn’t Always Approve

Culture

My Parents Found Love in Their Interracial Marriage When the World Didn’t Always Approve

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

Growing up, I remember placing my hand against my dad’s much darker skin. Our skin tones were always very different. People would say I looked more like my mother but I think they were just seeing the same white complexion. I didn’t have my dad’s deep brown skin or his jet black hair but I had his eyes and his way of looking at the world.

More than once while growing up, I had friends point out the difference between the two of us. While my mom had a mix of white European backgrounds, my dad had Mexican, Indigenous, and Spanish blood flowing through his veins. Her light skinned, slender form contrasted his dark and rotund one. However, I’ve never met two people who were more complimentary of each other than my parents.

In the 1980’s interracial marriage was still against societal norms in South Texas.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

My parents married in a small church in Highlands, Texas during Holy Week. They were joined in celebration by my dad’s large Latinx family. On the other hand, my mom’s family wasn’t so eager to be there. The only reason they attended was that my dad provided their wedding clothes and personally drove them to the church. They didn’t support my mom’s decision to marry someone brown.

My dad’s family was happy to welcome my mom. Still, their welcome came with some trepidation. When they announced their engagement, my grandmother solemnly asked my father if this is what he really wanted. This was not a rejection of my mom but my grandmother’s concern about the ugliness that they would face as an interracial couple.

Officially, interracial marriage was legalized across the United States in 1967.

The decision to legalize came after the landmark Loving vs Virginia case. The Supreme Court found that the laws banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Though it was now legal, it wasn’t exactly popular at the time. South Texas was slow to adopt any kind of sweeping social change, especially if it was mandated by Washington DC. To put this into perspective, look at how desegregation was approached in the area.

Brown Vs the Board of Education reached its historic mandate in 1957. When my dad and his siblings were going to school in the late ’60s and early 70’s their school district had only just begun the process of desegregation. My father would tell me stories of being bussed to the “white schools” to fulfill the 1957 mandate. When he and my mother married in 1985, the city was still very segregated.

Though it was legalized 10 years after desegregation, interracial marriage had just as much trouble being accepted by conservative Texans.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

Though Texas has a diverse population, outside of its major metropolitan areas, it’s still socially conservative. Texas is also part of the Evangelical Protestant Bible Belt and is home to close to ten million Catholics, Protestants, Methodists and Baptists.

The state’s religious breakdown is very relevant when we talk about interracial marriage. Historically, many religions practiced in the U.S. disavow mixed marriages. For example, the Christian Bible is often cited as a reason against the mixing of the races. However, there’s no actual text that prohibits interracial marriage. Both Deuteronomy 7:1-6 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 urge the Israelites not to intermarry with the Canaanites.

That passage in Deuteronomy reads:

“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them [Canaanites]; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

On the surface, this might look like a case against interracial marriages. Nevertheless, it isn’t as the Israelites and Canaanites were of the same ethnic group. The argument here refers to the difference in tribe and religious observations as reasons not to intermarry. Still, though there is no text to back this up, many continue to use religion to argue against mixed marriages.

Another reason why interracial marriage is opposed is something I have lots of experience with.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

One of the social objections to interracial marriage has to do with the offspring of these marriages. Interracial children come from several different cultures. A common worry is that these children will never fully belong to any. Similarly, objectors claim that these children will be shunned by their respective cultures for being mixed.

This has been a major arguement as recently as 2009. Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell was exposed for refuseing to officiate interracial marriage. It was his opinion that these marriages do not last long. Additionally, he claimed he didn’t want the kids of mixed marriages to suffer unduly.

In a 2009 interview with the Associated Press, Bardwell said:

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way. There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage. I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

I can honestly say that Bardwell is absolutely wrong in his thinking.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

A little over 35 years ago, my parents met, dated and fell in love. They had me — their oldest daughter — 13 months after they tied the knot. My little sister joined the family 18 months later. She and I have never felt unloved.

We were raised with my dad’s side of the family. As such, we grew up with quinceañeras, authentic Tex-Mex and my grandma’s telenovelas filling our childhoods. While we were lighter in complexion than my fully Latinx cousins, we were no different.

My mom didn’t have the same sort of family support my dad did. Long before their wedding, her relatives were family in name and name only. However, she loved my dad with all her heart. That included his culture.

My mom had no exposure to Latinx culture before my dad — she didn’t even have any Hispanic friends at the time. Still, she embraced my dad’s family and heritage; learning Spanish words, cooking Mexican food and teaching her children about our culture.

While my parents found acceptance from his Latinx family, not everyone was as accepting.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

Unlike the questions I got from childhood friends, some microaggressions were meant to genuinely hurt my parents. In their neighborhood and, later, when they moved to Houston, my parents didn’t face discrimination or harassment. It was outside these safe places that they experienced bigotry.

My mom has told me stories of times when she and my dad were stared at; sneered at even. Traveling through the small towns of South Texas, my parents’ relationship was sometimes treated with hostility and, other times, like an oddity.

There is a particular story my mom has shared about this. When she and my dad were newlyweds, they went to eat at a cafeteria-type diner. Walking in, dad was immediately aware that he was the only person of color in the restaurant. My mom explained that all eyes were on them the entire time they ate. They were treated as some sort of sideshow while they were there. As my dad put it, they should have sold tickets.

This isn’t the first or the last time my parents would be made to feel abnormal because of their marriage. I remember once they had glamour shot-esque pictures taken of themselves. The photographer applied a filter that completely washed out my dad’s complexion. Totally infuriated, my dad pointed out to the photographer that they made him look like a white man instead of a Latino. It was fixed eventually but the damage was done.

There are other bolder attacks and countless microaggressions but my parents paid most of them little mind. After all, they were together and happy.

Additionally, they were welcomed by my dad’s community and that meant a lot. When my dad died 33 years after they joined in marriage, it’s my dad’s Latinx family and community who rallied to support my mom, my sister and me in our grief.

My parents’ love created that world; one where my sister and I can always find welcoming and love. All the glaring bigotry in the world can’t take that from us.

This Mexican Beer Brand Is Winning Awards For Their Can Design And What It Means For The Environment

Things That Matter

This Mexican Beer Brand Is Winning Awards For Their Can Design And What It Means For The Environment

@BrandFuel | Twitter \ Codigo Web / YouTube

Let’s be real, plastic waste is a huge problem. And it’s one that has recently taken over our collective consciousness as we try and cut back on our waste – in particular, single-use plastics. 

One of the most obvious and unnecessary plastics are those pesky rings that hold cans together. Whether you’re drinking Coke or cervezas, these plastic rings are terrible. They often end up littering landscapes all over the place and animals like turtles and birds can get them wrapped around their little necks. 

So, the news from Mexican-beer company, Grupo Modelo, that they’re working to replace this plastic, is huge. 

Credit: @BrandFuel / Twitter

The beer world had one of the earliest plastic problems: six-pack rings. Getting rid of these rings became a big concern when word got out that they could entangle marine life. And yet, here we are, decades later, and – despite some interesting efforts like sticking cans together with glue or rings that are actually edible – the six-pack ring problem still hasn’t been definitively solved.

But thankfully, Corona is working towards a couple of solutions.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

So how does it work? According to Mexico News Daily, the top of each can screws into the bottom of another, creating an interlocking tower up to 10 cans high. The format makes the product even more portable than before, meaning you don’t even really need a plastic bag to carry it. 

Of course, stacking cans end-to-end isn’t always ideal. Ten standard cans stacked on top of each other would be four feet tall. That’s far more conspicuous and unwieldy than holding a couple of six-packs under your arms. But at the same time, since these Fit Pack cans can be twisted apart and put back together at will, they provide an advantage six-packs don’t: You can stick together as many or as few cans as you want at any given time.

The plastic-free packaging concept, dubbed the Fit Pack, made the shortlist of the Innovation category at the Cannes Lions international awards show this year.

In a promotional video for the new cans, Carlos Ranero, Marketing VP for AB 1nBev, says, “In the beverage industry, there have been many solutions for cutting back the use of plastic; however, none has been fully adopted because they require the use of other materials. This solution has a very simple approach that can bring great financial benefits thanks to the complete removal of plastic materials in packaging.”

Fit Packs are currently being tested in Mexico only, but the company is planning for a wider rollout in the future.

Not only is the company testing out stackable beer cans, they’ve also been testing out biodegradable rings in Tulum, Mexico – obviously a major beer mecca.

Last year, the company also tested six-pack rings made from plant-based biodegradable fibers with a mix of byproduct waste and compostable materials. These were designed to break down into organic matter that won’t hurt wildlife. The plastic-free rings were first launched in Tulum, Mexico, with plans to expand at a later time. For the sake of Mother Earth, we’re hoping these products earn a spot on grocery store shelves.

Beer drinking Twitter was totally here for the news.

Credit: @power97wpg

Anything that makes drinking beer easier and better for the environment, yes please!

Others were already thinking of how much fun this could be…

Credit: @larrykim / Twitter

Like, let’s be real, you were totally thinking the same thing.

And many were glad we may no longer have to hear about the horrors of plastic waste.

Like all too often you turn on the news and hear about animals being stuck, caught, wrapped up in plastic rings. Many even suffocate.

While at least on Twitter user thought about the implications for beer can furniture…

Credit: @larrykim

Because why not?!

And for the one person on Twitter who had their doubts…Twitter was ready with the truth.

Credit: @power97wpg / Twitter

Like for real though, I don’t know where you live that you thought you carry 24 cans of beer with plastic rings…

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