things that matter

After The VMA ‘Despacito’ Snub John Leguizamo Has Decided Enough Is Enough In This Impassioned Letter

Joan Marcus / Playbill

In an impassioned letter posted to Billboard, Colombian-American actor John Leguizamo went off on the state of Latino affairs in Hollywood. The 53-year-old can’t believe that the MTV VMAs snubbed “Despacito” (in the best video of the year category), a video which Leguizamo reminds us has over 3 billion views (the most views of any video on YouTube ever). It fired up Leguizamo, who sees it as the most obvious example of an attempt to exclude Latinos from the limelight.

John Leguizamo broke down his frustrations with the ever-increasing disparity he sees with Latinos in the entertainment industry.

“‘Despacito’ is the name of a Spanish-language music video by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi with a historic record-breaking 3 billion views on YouTube. The song, not the video, was a late, perfunctory inclusion as the song of the summer at the MTV Video Music Awards. We must ask ourselves, is this a blatant omission? A proactive and decisive stand against the Spanish language? With 3 billion views, this historic song and video triumphs over the likes of, with all due respect, Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, but this is only one example of exclusion.”

Leguizamo really wasn’t feeling that snub, yo.

Leguizamo has been outspoken on issues of underrepresentation in the past, but this seems to have been enough for him.

“It was OK in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s because we’d tell ourselves, ‘They don’t know better,’ as a justification to ease our alienation. It wasn’t fair, but it was status quo. Not knowing better is a symptom of ignorance, not evil. We assumed people over time just needed to become educated, and in turn would empower Latino equality in the arts. We were wrong… I was wrong.

In his letter, he talks about how waiting for the world to change feels antiquated at this point. With the world as connected as it has ever been through social media, the 24/7 news cycle and the collective knowledge of the planet only a keyboard stroke away, the fact that we’re still fighting for our place in the media with a population Leguizamo says is near 70 million, seems ridiculous to him.

He’s asking the real questions here.

“There are almost 70 million Latinos in America, and why do we remain so absent and invisible when we are the second-largest ethnic group after whites?”

?

Ultimately, he says, it’s up to us to make a stand, make good art and inspire the next generation to stop waiting for the approval of the mainstream.

“‘They don’t know better’ once quelled all delusion of grandeur. We quietly went back to our corner and waited for our turn in line… but not anymore. It’s time we stand up. It’s time we educated and enabled the Latin people to better the world through brilliant art. We have a lot to offer the world… and I’ve come to feel sorry for those who have yet to know it.”

Leguizamo’s show “Latin History for Morons” comes to Broadway this fall.

Get your tix now! At #latinhistoryBroadway.com event of the fall! Edgiest play on Broadway!

A post shared by John Leguizamo (@johnleguizamo) on

He’ll be bringing the lessons he learned from his own research into Latino history to the stage, educating and creating art all at the same time.


Check out the full letter here: Billboard

READ: After His Son Was Bullied John Leguizamo Learned All About Latino History To Teach His Son To Be Proud


Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below.

U.S. Customs And Border Protection Is Already Building Prototypes Of The U.S.-Mexico Wall In San Diego

Things That Matter

U.S. Customs And Border Protection Is Already Building Prototypes Of The U.S.-Mexico Wall In San Diego

Twitter/@MichelleDiana

In the middle of rescue efforts in Texas and the forthcoming decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the White House is charging full steam ahead with their proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that prototypes of the proposed U.S.-Mexico wall will be built in San Diego.

Contractors have been bidding to work with the White House on the proposed wall since March. Some received death threats. Border officials announced yesterday that four companies were awarded contracts to construct prototypes of the border wall:

Caddell Construction Co. in Montgomery, Alabama

Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. DBA Fisher Industries, in Tempe, Arizona

Texas Sterling Construction Co., in Houston, Texas

W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, in Philadelphia, Mississippi

CNN reports that each award will be worth roughly $400,000 to $500,000.

According to journalist Aura Bogado, one of the companies had to pay $2 million for criminal fraud in 2012.

In 2012, the Department of Justice ordered Caddell Construction Co. to pay $2 million because the company overstated “developmental assistance provided to a disadvantaged small business as part of a Department of Defense (DoD) program.” Essentially, they billed the government for more money than they deserved while providing assistance to a small business that they partnered with in a federal program.

Here’s one prototype of the border wall.

The CBP explained how the wall will be constructed:

“These concrete prototypes will serve two important ends. First, given their robust physical characteristics, like, reinforced concrete, between 18-30 feet high, the concrete border wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed.”

“Second, the concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years. As the border security environment continues to evolve, CBP will continually refresh its own inventory of tools to meet that evolution.”

You may be wondering at this point who is going to pay for all of this.

Mexico has already said they’re not paying for the wall.

Last week in Arizona, Trump basically said that if the government didn’t approve funding for the wall, he’d “shut it down.”

But Hurricane Harvey has changed everything. The government cannot shut down, especially when government workers are working on rescue and relief efforts. Something has got to give, because Trump said, “One way or the other, we’re going to get that wall.” That money has to come from somewhere.

Trump needs billions to fund the wall, and that money could come out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fund.

https://twitter.com/Patrick_J_Egan/status/901972383174721536

When Congress resumes next week after their month-long break, the final budget will get sorted out. If there’s no conclusion met, there may be a shutdown. If they do reach a consensus over the funds for the wall, it will come out of the FEMA fund.

That means those people suffering in Houston will have their resources from their recovery taken away in order to pay for the wall.

READ: Kat Von D Is Using Her Immigration Story To Take A Stand Against Trump’s Border Wall

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories