Things That Matter

Oprah Helps Bring The Focus On Latinx Podcasts In Her Magazine And We Are Totally Here For It

Oprah — yes, that Oprah — has released a list of the best Spanish and Latinx podcasts in Oprah Magazine. Latinx folk are gaining visibility in the mainstream. While it is certainly not at the pace we all would have hoped (we have been in the states for quite some time now), it is always great to celebrate our continued come up in the cultural zeitgeist. 

Oprah Winfrey is a black woman who propelled herself through adversity, using grit and tenacity, into the hearts and minds of Americans. She created a magazine, named it after herself, and puts herself on the cover of every issue. To grace the pages of Oprah Magazine is an honor exclusively reserved by Oprah, and can only be earned by a lucky few. 

So for those who want light-hearted or heartfelt adventures deeper into Latinidad, you might want to add a few of these podcasts onto your lists. 

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an episodic digital audio series that can be downloaded or streamed. I use Spotify to listen to my favorite podcasts but you can use iTunes or a podcast app like Stitcher. Basically, podcasts are episodic talk “radio” shows, except they’re not transmitted through radio waves. It’s kind of like how we still call Netflix series “TV shows,” when they don’t exist on television networks. Like streaming TV, podcasts are an old format on a new medium. 

Why do Latino podcasts matter?

Podcasts have become a growing and profitable industry in the last 15 years. Breakout podcasts like SerialPod Save America, and Welcome To Nightvale, have spawned television series and HBO documentaries. However, they have largely been operated by white people even when the subjects of the podcasts have not been. Podcasting is another path to greater Latinx visibility. The comedy duo Desus & Mero, who are Jamaican and Dominican Americans respectively, have risen to fame largely earned by their popular Bodega Boys podcast. The pair now have had late-night talk shows on VICE and Showtime. 

It goes without saying, where ever there are people talking about culture from the frivolous to the political, Latinx voices need to be there taking up space. When you’re left out of the conversation, there’s no way you can be heard. As a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Latinx representation in Hollywood discovered, over the past 12 years only 4.5% of 47,268 speaking or named roles in films were portrayed by Latinx actors. Moreover, in a time where we Latinxs are being politically targeted, our voices and stories matter even more. Representation can normalize the Latinx experience and further humanize us during a time of extreme, radical, dehumanizing language being weaponized against us. So, shout outs to Oprah! 

Scratch Your Political Itch with… 

In The Thick Of It

Hosted by the award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, In The Thick Of It doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about race, politics, and identity. If you’re itching to get a Latinx perspective on news and events Hinojasa and Varela have got you covered.

Listen here.  

Radio Ambulante

For those fluent in Spanish who want a deeper look at the Latin American experience, Radio Ambulante will fill that bottomless void in your life. The series focuses on untold stories and uses investigative journalism to uncover heartfelt and moving narratives about Latinidad. 

Listen here

Super Mámas

For moms with a sense of humor (doesn’t every mom have to have a sense of humor? Kids are weird.), Super Mámas is here to drop some major funnies. Hosted by sisters Paulina and Bricia Lopez, the talk show provides comedic commentary on motherhood. However, the show has still got a lot of heart and insight. Prepare to be hit in the feels with profound conversations about postpartum depression, Latinx parenthood, and being a working mom. 

Listen here

Brujaja Podcast

Listen to comedians Anna Valenzuela, Vanessa Gritton and Cindy Aravena as they hilariously discuss everything from growing up Latinx to stereotypes to cannabis to Selena. 

Listen here

Scratch Your LGBTQ+ Itch with… 

Locatora Radio

Diosa and Mala host a “radiophonic novela” that highlights the experiences and contributions of femmes and women of color. Discussions of gender, sexuality, consent, and technology abound on this popular podcast.

Listen here

Brown Bitter Femmes

Cassandra Alicia and Rubén Angel discuss women’s and LGBTQ+ issues to dismantle bigotry and oppression. Their motto is “dismantling shit while talking shit,” and that sounds like an excellent brunch to me. 

Listen here

These are just a few of many incredible Latinx podcasts. For more suggestions check out Irina Gonzalez’s list at Oprah Mag

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Luis Gerardo Méndez Explores The Time Mexico Legalized Drugs In New Podcast

Entertainment

Luis Gerardo Méndez Explores The Time Mexico Legalized Drugs In New Podcast

In the 1940s, one doctor had the idea of curing addiction by legalizing drugs in Mexico. After six months, and some success, the entire project was abandoned. Luis Gerardo Méndez is digging into where the idea came from and why it was abandoned in a new podcast.

Luis Gerardo Méndez and his friends are exploring the time when Mexico legalized drugs.

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It was 1940 and the Mexican government legalized all drugs. Doctors were able to prescribe their patients drugs in a methodical way to slowly get addicts off of drugs. Dr. Leopoldo Salazar Viniegra is credited with creating the program that showed success during the short time that it was allowed to be.

Gerardo learned about Dr. Salazar only recently and is excited to be able to tell the story of the Mexican doctor. The actor is a little shocked that more people do not know about the doctor who could have changed the course of history had he been allowed to proceed.

“I was immediately hooked on the story because I had no idea that that happened. To be honest with you, 99 percent of the people that I know in Mexico have no idea that drugs were legal in the ‘40s,” Gerardo admits. “It was really interesting for me, not just for the story but I was really intrigued about why we don’t know about this. Why didn’t anyone that I know know about this doctor and the incredible work that he did 80 years ago? He was a doctor who was 80 years ahead of his time and the world.”

Gerardo promises, without revealing spoilers, just how the U.S. managed to undercut the medical program.

The U.S. was not happy with Mexico experimenting with this kind of legaliztion. The host hints at talking about Harry Anslinger, the First Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He held the position from 1930 to 1962 and, according to Gerardo, he placed some pressure on Mexico to re-evaluate the program.

“You, as the audience, in a way, realize that the legalization in Mexico ended because of the pressure from the U.S.,” Gerardo says. “The U.S. was putting a lot of pressure on Mexico telling them that they can’t do this about the legalization effort. Now, marijuana is legal in the U.S. and in Mexico we are still having this conversation. I’m pissed. Its not cool. I think it is really important to talk about these things.”

Despite the president supporting the measure, it was rolled back after six months.

The program was helping people get medical attention for their addiction issues and started to curb criminal activity around drugs. The cartels were losing business because addicts and drug users could seek proper medical attention from doctors to get their drugs for free.

Part of the program involved slowly weening people off of their drug addiction. It got people back into a healthier lifestyle while getting them back into the job market.

While Gerardo stops short of endorsing legalizing marijuana today, he is interested in showing people all sides of the conversation. The host splits his time between Mexico City and LA and has seen the marijuana industry take off in the U.S. but not in Mexico. He feels frustrated that the conversation in Mexico hasn’t advanced to the same place where the U.S. is.

“The same people doing that work in Mexico are criminals because someone behind a desk is saying what it legal and what’s not. Especially when this system proves that it works in the U.S. It is making millions of dollars in taxes for schools, for public health, and in Mexico we are still thinking about it,” Gerardo says about the difference in the U.S. and Mexico round marijuana legalization. “I think, again, I’m not saying whether I am in favor or not. I’m just saying that it is really important for me to expose these points of view and open a conversation for the mainstream.”

For Gerardo, telling the story is a point of pride in his Mexican heritage.

“The other thing is that sometimes in the world, we have an idea of all of these progressive ideas come from Europe or they come from the U.S.,” Gerardo says. “Yet, this Mexican doctor had this idea, this really really interesting and strong point of view 80 years ago and no one listened. No one listened to him. For me, I feel really proud to share the story of this man because I think he, in a way, is a hero. He was pretty close to stopping the drug cartel war.”

Dr. Salazar was a visionary of his time. His work to legalize drugs and work to treat drug addiction like a mental and physical health issue was promising. We have seen this same stance done in Portugal decades after Mexico tried it with the same positive results.

“It’s so incredible that we are hearing about this doctor, now, 80 years after this extraordinary things. He was one of the most polemic figures in Mexico and in the United Nations because of his way of thinking,” Gerardo says. “What I thought was really interesting and sad is that we are hearing about this guy 80 years later. He made some really powerful people really pissed and they erased him from the story.”

READ: The Controversy Behind Delta-8 THC And Why Shoppers Are Buying It Up

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No Surprise, Meghan Markle Is Getting Blamed For 99-Year-Old Prince Philip’s Death

Entertainment

No Surprise, Meghan Markle Is Getting Blamed For 99-Year-Old Prince Philip’s Death

Updated April 12, 2021.

Last week, Prince Philip husband of Elizabeth II, passed away at age ninety-nine. In the recent tradition of bullying against his grandson’s wife Meghan Markle, she is being blamed.

Not long after Prince Philip’s death, Markle bore the brunt of unfair blame that she’d caused his death.

How strange of Fox to give Markle such power while also ignoring the late prince’s silence in the attacks his great-daughter-in-law endured.

The Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II died at age 99 after months of hospitalizations. Still, Fox News wasted absolutely no time in blaming the Duchess of Sussex for his death. “There are reports that he was enraged after the interview and the fall out from the interview with Oprah Winfrey,” Fox News host Brian Kilmeade stated during a Fox and Friends segment last Friday. “Here he is trying to recover, and then he gets hit with that.”

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” Buckingham Palace shared in a statement announcing the death.

No doubt the world is curious about the future of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The Royal couple has spent much of quarantine like the rest of us, living a low-key life and taking part in quite a bit of Zoom calls. Still, they’ve also managed to maintain public attention and curiosity at one of the largest scales. Since last March, the couple has moved from the UK to Los Angeles, launched the non-profit organization Archewell Inc., officially retired from the Royal family, and announced a second pregnancy.

Earlier this week, after a much talked-about resignation from Royal life, the couple took part in a “tell-all” interview with the one and only Oprah Winfrey.

The first look at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey gained quite a bit of attention when it aired in February.

Iin February, CBS teased a few clips from  Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special during 60 Minutes.

“I just want to make it clear to everybody there is no subject that’s off-limits,” Winfrey says in the newly-aired clip. Later she asks Meghan, “Were you silent or were you silenced?” and “Almost unsurvivable sounds like there was a breaking point.”

At one point, Prince Harry commented that in regards to his relationship with Meghan, his “biggest concern was history repeating itself.” This is likely a reference to the death of his mother, Princess Diana, who passed away in 1997 after being chased down by paparazzi. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side,” Harry went onto share in the clip. “Because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her, going through this process by herself all those years ago.”

“It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other,” he can be seen saying in another clip of the interview while sitting next to Meghan.

The interview was ultimately quite heartbreaking and upsetting to watch.

During the interview, the couple dropped various surprising bombshells. At one point Markle had at some time become so disheartened with the amount of bullying she faced that she considered suicide. There was also the fact that The ‘Firm’ had a lot of “concerns” about Archie’s skin tone..

At one point the Oprah comemented that there is “no subject that’s off-limits” in the discussion, and later added, “you’ve said some pretty shocking things here.”

Michelle Obama has now spoken out about the interview saying that she is praying for “forgiveness and healing” for Britain’s royal family.

In an interview with NBC host Jenna Bush Hager, Obama revealed that the revelations from Karkle were not a “complete surprise.”

“Race isn’t a new construct in this world for people of color, and so it wasn’t a complete surprise to hear her feelings and to have them articulated,” Obama noted before adding that the royal institution was “first and foremost a family.”

In response to the interview, Prince William replied to questions from reports if the family was racist.

When asked if he had spoken to his brother Prince Harry after the Oprah interview, Prince William replied “No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.”

In response, Labour MP Diane Abbott expressed her hope that Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey would be “a watershed moment that encourages black and mixed-race women to be open about their mental health struggles.”

Abbott expressed her desire for the interview to show black and mixed-race women that they are loved and supported. “The relentless negativity and abuse is awful. It’s not just any one article or tweet, it’s knowing that day after day, there are going to be abusive tweets and stuff on Facebook,” she said in a statement. “Day after day, you’d open a newspaper and see an article, or a news story, which completely distorts your position. And above all, there’s a presumption that you’re not human.”

In February, Prince Harry spoke about his recent decision to step away from Royal life in a lengthy interview with James Corden’s “Late Late Show.”

“We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health,” Harry said during one segment with Corden. “I was like, this is toxic. So I did what any husband and what any father would do.”

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