Coffee Rhetoric: Latino
Showing posts with label Latino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Latino. Show all posts

January 25, 2012

Yo Quiero Taco Bell: Translation; East Haven’s Mayor is An Insensitive Bigot


Photo: easthaven.patch.com
Racism and bigotry… This year, political hopefuls and elected officials seem to be wearing the ignorant tags like an expensive, well-tailored suit and my home state of Connecticut offers no exceptions.
After the FBI arrested four East Haven, CT police officers for gross instances of racial profiling and terrorization of Latinos navigating the town; assistant director-in-charge of the NY office of the FBI, Janice Fedarcyk, fittingly described them as a “cancerous cadre that routinely deprived East Haven residents of their civil rights.”  

Rather than co-sign the deserved sentiment and taking an opportunity to speak out against the racial profiling issues that've plagued his town for the past couple of years, East Haven Mayor, Joseph Maturo decided to skip on down to the edge of the plank and plunge head first, into a sea of hot, steaming caca… which splashed and hit the proverbial fan.
When prodded on camera by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, about what he planned on doing for the Latino community to diffuse the situation, Maturo relaxed his shoulders and stupidly thoughtfully farted out this answer: “I might have tacos when I go home, I’m not quite sure… uhh, I’ve spent two years in Puerto Rico…” to which Diaz promptly snatched his wig and alerted him to the sheer stupidity of his comment. Not taking heed to the reporter’s warning, Maturo started to shift uncomfortably and tried to shake the poo he dove in, off. But alas, it was too late… he was covered in the stuff, but continued


"... uhh, I might have spaghetti tonight being of Italian descent. Uhhh… I’ve had ethnic food and when you asked me what I was doin’ for Latinos tonight I said I may have Latino food in the Latino community and there’s nothing wrong with that… so you can twist and turn it whichever the way the press decides to do!” he said defiantly, as he awkwardly continued to plod his way through the interview.

Joseph Maturo is a man at the helm of an entire town, yet he plunged the knife in deeper and continued to mar its reputation even further (the interview has made national headlines) - instead of acting like a responsible leader capable of formulating carefully constructed sentences about an already tense and delicate situation, not laden with racial stereotypes.  He was presented with the opportunity to reach out to the town’s Latino community while helping endorse a teachable moment, and he arrogantly opted to make things worse by perpetuating stupid racial tropes about a community of people, who've already been marginalized in his town.
Maturo not only trivialized the gravity of the situation, he became verbally combative with Mario Diaz when he should’ve taken the time to recover from his gaffe... even when he was flailing and fumbling to speak articulately about the situation.


Maturo’s foolery has taken the focus off of an important issue that needs addressing. He may want to consider more PR people…

The comment below following a story in the New Haven Register, pretty much sums it up:

“I was struck quite deeply by the Mayor’s words as they showed just that: racism. How can a man in such a position lead a community to healing, reconciliation and a better future when thru his words he reveals what is in his heart. Even the way he said it showed not only arrogance, but a kind of contempt. You’re right it kind of brought to my mind images of the old recordings you see from the 1960’s where the minorities are viewed as subhuman by the authorities.
The treatment of minorities in East Haven has been a badly kept secret in the Hispanic community for a long time… How can I spend my hard earned money in a community where its leaders show contempt for me?Last night I couldn’t sleep because I felt so angry. I kept thinking of how I show that hurt and anger in a positive way. Was thinking of sending Maturo tacos for lunch and encouraging others to do the same.”

**UPDATE:  Reform Immigration for America, a group focused on helping fight racial injustice, delivered 500 tacos to Mayor Joseph Maturo's office. Here're the details.

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