Things That Matter

This YouTuber Thought It Would Be Funny To Dress As A Mexican In Boyle Heights But Didn’t Get The Response He Wanted

Two YouTubers, “Kimo & Dani World” decided to use Boyle Heights as a backdrop to whatever YouTube project requires the use of cultural appropriation. Boyle Heights is a culturally rich Mexican community in Los Angeles that has long been a haven for immigrants and the Mexican-American community.

Kimo painted on a mustache, used white face paint, and threw on a sombrero and a cheap knock-off serape. Dani was carrying a camera, filming Kimo in a Mexican costume in Boyle Heights. But the community ejected him real quick.

Apparently, the guy thought it was okay to wear a culture as a costume because he’s Egyptian.

@nico_avina / Instagram

Nico Aviña, the Instagram user who confronted the YouTubers in Boyle Heights on camera, captioned the video, “This foo thought he was gonna stroll and be racist and not be called out. Nah! What was worse is he said he ain’t racist cause he is Egyptian. White girl was recording thinking all of this was funny. #boyleheights”

“I do think it’s funny.”

@nico_avina / Instagram

Though posted on Aviña’s account, a woman, named Myra, is recording the video of Aviña confronting Kimo. You can hear Aviña asking the man, “You think this is funny?” He responds “I do.” The man’s accomplice responds, smiling, “I do, yeah.”

This is the moment before the guy tells Aviña, “F*** you.”

@nico_avina / Instagram

Both Aviña and Myra are telling the disrespectful visitors to “get the f*** out” of their neighborhood. That’s the message they’re delivering these guys. Aviña asks him again, “You want to dress like that? You think this is funny?”

In one breath, Kimo responds, “I do think it’s funny. F***k you. I’m not here to disrespect you, dude.” ????

As store owners come out to stand their ground, Kimo says, “I’m spreading a f***ing good message.”

@nico_avina / Instagram

Aviña responds by saying, “Spread the good message, motherf***er.” Kimo keeps saying that he’s not trying to disrespect him, but also “it is funny” to wear traditional Mexican clothing. That’s not respect.

Their last project was a mockery of being “Homeless in Dubai.”

In a tone-deaf endeavor, Kimo dresses up like a homeless person, draws white paint on his face, like his Mexican costume, and goes around Dubai harassing locals for money and jobs. It’s not at all a social experiment nor an attempt to understand homelessness. It’s for entertainment.

This is a shot of Kimo acting like a hungry homeless person looking at pastries. ????

The video on Instagram has left many stunned that this kind of tone deaf “comedy” still happens in 2019.

@its_me_bina13 / Instagram

It wouldn’t matter if the guy was trying to raise money for Boyle Heights or raise awareness on gentrification. It doesn’t matter what the message is when the means involve wearing a culture’s traditional clothing as a costume.

Most folks commenting thank Aviña for disrupting whatever “message” they were sending.

@WUIXICAN / Instagram

“Bro, thank you,” writes @wordtrav. “damn…que pendejos but you handled it!!! I am glad you and Myra are ok,” comments @polalopez1. “I hope they never come back

Other folks are concerned about the income for serape vendors.

@SKELETO62 / Instagram

The incident took place near Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, where vendors are sometimes seen selling serapes and sombreros. In a barrio where that vendor may exist and other people won’t tolerate the costume, this does spark an internal dialogue.

One person struggles to grasp how stereotypes are a manifestation of racism.

@JACK__RIPLEY / Instagram

There is no footage of Aviña touching Kimo, but at the start of the video, Kimo says, “Don’t f***ing touch me.” The majority of comments are positive, some offer a jumping off point for a dialogue, and, now, the trolls are coming in.

See for yourself. What would you do?

The real message here is that you can’t go up into Boyle Heights mocking Mexican culture. Latinos are allergic to racists and will not tolerate this en el barrio.

READ: Harvard Took A Stand Against Racism By Revoking Admission To 10 Incoming Freshmen Who Posted Obscene Memes

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