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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Latino Community Offended

In the February 2003 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine on page 116 there is an article about a woman who wrote to Dame Edna asking for advice about what language she should learn (suggesting Spanish as an option). As a response Dame Edna says:

Forget Spanish. There’s nothing in that language worth reading except Don Quixote, and a quick listen to the CD of Man of La Mancha will take care of that. There was a poet named Garcia Lorca, but I’d leave him on the intellectual back burner if I were you. As for everyone’s speaking it, what twaddle! Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower? Study French or German, where there are at least a few books worth reading or if you’re American, try English.

Dame Edna’s response is shameful. I do not understand what kind of person hides behind the character of Dame Edna, but it’s definitely an ignorant one. How can she quote only two Spanish works as possibly worth reading? This person writing for such a prestigious magazine should have been able to refer to great works written by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa and Pablo Neruda-not only great Spanish writers, but also Nobel Prize winners. There is also Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz one of the first feminists and poets in the Americas. Also worth mentioning is the fact that President George W. Bush speaks Spanish. The irony of all this is that Salma Hayek is on the cover of the magazine.

As Latinos, we have a lot to feel proud of; our language, our culture, and our people. The so-called character is degrading us saying that we are only capable of being “the help.” We not only have great authors, we have community activists, political representations in Washington D.C and people in Hollywood. Instead of writing negative things of our community she should focus or at least inform the majority community about the great achievements Latinos have done, both locally and nationally.

I do not understand how Vanity Fair Magazine permitted such distrustful article to be published. I hope the editor of the magazine becomes more aware of what it is being published in each issue of the magazine so something like this does not happen again.

By Kristina López