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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Differing Views on Multiculturalism

It is very unfortunate and disturbing that through her unwarranted and tasteless comments MiMi Yeh in the article “From Fiesta to Siesta” (November 18, 2002) failed to acknowledge the unpaid long hours of hard work, detailed oriented coordination, fund raising, and full unconditional dedication that it takes from all the students, staff, community agencies, and faculty in putting together a multicultural festival. Those involved in the production of the festival are non-traditional full and part-time students and parents, faculty, and staff that find the time and energy to undertake such a production to share it with the community. MiMi neglects to state these not so obvious details.

MiMi stated Casa Latina is “dedicated to creating community at the University of Massachusetts for Latinos and other students through social, cultural, educational, and other activities that foster the development of leadership among Latino students in [the] University of Massachusetts Boston.” Any ethnic group has to face and deal with issues of prejudice every day in order to advance in a society that has historically refused to share a piece of the pie. The multicultural festival is just one of the many tools available to foster this leadership. There is nothing wrong with having an event mostly in Spanish. MiMi and the editor need to understand and be cognizant that Latinos, like any other ethnic group, have been struggling and will continue to struggle to keep the Latino culture alive.

As a student-run newspaper, The Mass Media has been the students’ vehicle to bring together the entire university community and alumni since 1968. Articles such as “From Fiesta to Siesta” are not just bad reporting efforts but also, disturbing to the readers for they insinuate an atmosphere of ethnocentrism.

I can understand that a reporter will use just about any tabloid-derivative noun he/she can get away with in order to produce an article that somehow causes readers to continue reading his/her story…an article that is also to the liking and beliefs of the editor. It’s a way of increasing the readership. However, good reporters go the extra mile, look beyond the latent, and research what is not apparent in order to disseminate the side of the story that is concealed to the readers so that the readers can get, understand, and appreciate the full picture. I can also understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to speak, read, and write the beautiful Spanish language. Yes, it is intimidating not being able to understand. Nonetheless, all it takes is just a little cultural awareness and a great deal of cultural acceptance…characteristics that many common reporters lack.

While a student at UMB, I was an avid reader of The Mass Media. Now that I reside in Los Angeles, California, I continue to read The Mass Media on-line. However, I find these articles disturbing, trashy, and undesirable for they may create an atmosphere of racial and cultural intolerance. It is beyond my understanding, how the editor of The Mass Media allowed this article to be published. A lot more credit should be given to Casa Latina and those involved in the production of the festival.

Perhaps MiMi Yeh and the editor should take a siesta from working in The Mass Media and go to work for the National Inquirer. Keep up the good work Casa Latina!

Hector Fernando Pérez

Class of 1992