A billboard in Yakima, Washington, is drawing criticism for its attempt to appeal to “Hispanics.”
This anti-marijuana billboard in Yakima was paid for by the WA Department of Health. Some find it, well, offensive. pic.twitter.com/NbnoJ5Cw7f
— Mike Faulk (@Mike_Faulk) July 25, 2017
The billboard, featuring the smiling faces of several “Hispanics,” claims: “We don’t need pot to have fun. We’re Hispanics… We’re cool by default.” 🤔
According to the AP, the billboard was the brainchild of 60 middle and high school-aged students in the Yakima area — it’s not clear if Latino students were involved — who were part of a campaign to help keep those cool *ahem* Hispanics from falling into the uncool clutches of marijuana.
The billboard was part of the anti-drug campaign #listen2yourselfie.
Sorry, #listen2yourselfie ** Try again.
— Diana Walls (@LAGATAF1NA) July 26, 2017
Several people took to Twitter to criticize the billboard for being super tone deaf.
“We’re Hispanics … we’re cool by default”: state anti-drug billboard tries to appeal to Hispanic kids pic.twitter.com/MHLE0ETu4y
— Michael goins (@Michaelgoins700) July 26, 2017
So, if you’re not Hispanic, does that mean you’re not cool? Do young people still say “pot”? Would a group of young Latinos even say something like, “We’re Hispanics”? The billboard might have done well to avoid generalizing an entire ethnicity for the sake of a public service message.
For many people, the word “Hispanic” (a word created by the government in the 1980s) is a too loaded.
On a serious note I need to make a thread that educates people on the history and terms Latino vs. Hispanic.
— Georgisbestfriend👯 (@estassii) June 9, 2017
At the very least, the word excludes those who are, or identify as, Latino. Let’s be honest, the issue of Hispanic vs Latino requires a very nuanced and thoughtful conversation, which is well beyond the scope of any billboard. Unless the billboard was written in type 10 font, and maybe not even then.
And the billboard also uses the word “cool,” which is about as cringe-inducing as when parents try to be hip while giving the sex talk.
When used in that way, the word “cool” is so uncool it sounds like it was also invented by the government.
The Washington Health department has since removed the billboard, the Yakima Herald reported.
— Molly Rosbach (@merosbach) July 26, 2017
It’s hard to determine whether the billboard was offensive, lame, or so lame that it was offensive, or so offensive that it was lame.
So here’s the question everyone wants an answer to…
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