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Riled Readers Sound Off About Music, Racism Today's Blend: Tasty Mofongo And Magic Talk
Riled Readers Sound Off About Music, Racism
Mike Thomas, Sentinel Columnist
8 February 2005
My column last week on Clear Channel switching oldies station 100.3 FM to a salsa format hit a nerve. Good.
Now, it's your turn . . .
Dear Mike: I am a Puerto Rican high-school student. Your article was very disturbing to my friends and me.
I have never been to a place with so much racism. Students always say disrespectful things about us. For example, "Go back to where you came from" or, "This is America. Speak English." These things hurt.
How would you like it if a "Latino" wrote about you: "White people are a bunch of stupid, racist rednecks"?
This is a free country, and you are going to have to realize that. With this e-mail, I mean no disrespect. But as a fellow American, I do have a right to express how I feel.
Dear Anonymous: And you express it well. Some white people are stupid, racist rednecks. But some are simply overwhelmed, as would people of any community be in the midst of such a cultural overhaul. I try to inform, entertain and provoke. And so I opted away from the standard blahblahblah analysis of the radio change and instead personalized it. This was done tongue-in-cheek, but also to point out the reality of our clash. We can worry about saying all the right things or pull our heads out of the political-correctness quicksand and deal with it. As for the kids who taunt you, someday they'll probably work for you.
Dear Mike: What an insult to the children of the "Greatest Generation." Take my Social Security, but give me back my Beatles! From this day forward, Feb. 2, 2005, will be for me the day the music died.
Dear Miguel/Mike: I feel for you, mi amigo. We should come to this country to blend in, to add to its cultural diversity, not to take over. My fellow Latinos need to learn the language. We need to be proud AMERICANS. Unfortunately, corporate America sees we are winning the population race, so they cater to us. "El gran dollar es el Rey!" Oops. Sorry, white dude. This translates to, "The mighty dollar is king."
We should all work together to be AMERICANS -- regardless of color/religion/creed.
Dear Mike: You are hysterically funny. But as a "Boricua" (that's slang for Puerto Rican), I'm sorry that you lost your "oldies." Please don't be offended; we just love sharing our culture. By the way, I love Santana!
Dear Mike: I do like plantains, but I will be missing my oldies, so please sign me up when you get ready to take back our station.
Dear Mike: My wife is Colombian. She listened to that new station for two songs before switching it off. She says it is just another stereotype that all Hispanic music has to sound like a 33 record played at 45 rpm. These stations don't realize that Hispanics moving here have real money and education. My wife holds three master's degrees and is a bank vice president.
It is sad to see our children already losing their Spanish. Tell people not to worry; with our public schools, the Latino children will barely be able to speak any language in 10 years.
Today's Blend: Tasty Mofongo And Magic Talk
18 February 2005
My column about the changeover of 100.3 FM from an oldies format to salsa sure gave Hispanic talk radio something to talk about.
Let's just say my sense of humor did not cross the cultural divide with many readers. But people like me who dish it out can't complain about having to take it. And one station was nice enough to dish out some mofongo in response to my joke about "green bananas." It came in a Styrofoam container and was yummy.
Mofongo is a tasty concoction made from mashed plantains.
I also got a big bag of plátanos from other listeners. Usually, I let them turn black and fry them. But with so many, I want to try mofongo. I have mastered Indian vindaloo, Ethiopian groundnut stew and Cuban black beans.
How hard can mofongo be? Anyone have a good mofongo recipe?
Isn't it interesting that food often is the first bridge people cross when entering new cultures? The problem is that too many of them eat it and then scurry back home. We should all learn to stay awhile.
The rest of this regularly scheduled column will now be interrupted because people want to talk about the Orlando Magic.