Tarnishing the ‘Hispanic brand’ after Ariel Castro

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    Ariel Castro Amanda Barry

    This undated combination photo released by the Cleveland Police Department shows from left, Onil Castro, Ariel Castro and Pedro Castro. Charges were filed only against Ariel Castro. (AP Photo/Cleveland Police Department)

    By Teresita Chavez Pedrosa, Esq.

    When word hit the news that Ariel Castro and his brothers had been arrested for kidnapping in Cleveland, Ohio, I was (among other things) embarrassed.

    This would not reflect well upon Hispanics.

    Watching the images on television, I had been able to discern in a second that the flag outside his home was the Puerto Rican flag. Yet at no time did I think this was somehow reflective of the Puerto Rican people. Neither did I think that because I was Cuban, I was home free.

    Too often in this country, Hispanics are all lumped together. Or as one of my American friends who was married to a Cuban for years used to say, we are all Mexicans. As a Hispanic, the shame was mine, too.

    Forward to early this morning. As I was reading my Twitter feed, I saw that someone handling the Twitter account for a fantastic Hispanic organization had re-tweeted the following statements by a @Maliheh_.




    Who cares where Ariel Castro is from?

    @Maliheh_ doesn’t know her flags and doesn’t check her facts. News sources indicate that Ariel Castro was a registered Democrat. But who cares whether he was from one island or another or whether he leans left or right? No one nationality or party has the exclusive on crazy. There is no logical or relevant point to be substantiated in this situation, by pointing out these differences. @Maliheh_ may be easily dismissed as full of… let’s just say, inflammatory remarks. But how can any Hispanic, let alone a Hispanic organization, re-tweet this garbage?

    To quote CNN Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona: “JUST STOP IT.” Cardona, of Colombian origin, stressed that Hispanics had to stop tearing and pulling each other down, during a recent town hall meeting at Hispanicize 2013 titled “Searching for Cesar Chavez, An Exploration of Leadership in the Latino Community.” If we are all one, if we are all Mexicans to the rest of the country, what do we stand to gain by airing each other’s dirty laundry? As I tell my two feuding boys all the time: 1) Los problemas se resuelven en la casa (issues are resolved at home); 2) you are brothers, and what you do (good or bad) will reflect on the other; and 3) at the end of the day, out there in the world, you only have each other.

    There are no Hispanics, largest minority, great purchasing power, important political block, blah, blah, blah, without each one of us individually. Think about whether you want to tarnish or shine our Hispanic brand. Rise or fall, we are all in this together.

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