Short Notes: Day and Age (and My Radio Show Appearance)

Sammy Sosa: Before

Sammy Sosa: Before

A few links:

On Friday, I was blessed to be a guest on Rise Up Radio, a program on WBAI Radio, New York City’s awesome radio station on 99.5FM. (Those of you who didn’t get to hear me on Rise Up Radio on WBAI can download the hour-long show here.) On the show, I discussed child sex acts, the 25 Chicago children arrested for their food fight, health care and the Stupak amendment, and Sammy Sosa’s skin bleaching.

While we really went into these topics, I failed to make a few points important to the topic of Sammy Sosa and why it hurt the Black and Latino community when we saw Sammy look so ghastly.

  1. Rafael Trujillo, the most famous ruler of Dominican Republic to date, advocated for white supremacy and changed the whole dynamic of race in a country with a huge African ancestry to a country where most of the darker-skinned people believe they’re “Indian-colored” even when their facial features say differently, differentiating themselves from “Blacks” (read: Haitians, who were slaughtered under Trujillo’s rule). Thus, Sammy Sosa’s color change resuscitates the ideology that pervaded the Trujillo era.
  2. This kind of stuff happened in America often, most notably with Rita Hayworth who changed her whole name, electrocuted her hairline to push it up and straight, lightened her whole skin tone entirely, and made a few other alterations to become acceptable to Hollywood … and became very successful in the process. This is the first time I’d ever known that an Afro-Latino ever went through this process, at least for non-medical reasons. We question, then, why Sammy would do that since he was already successful … at least until recently.
  3. Raquel Cepeda is mulling some of these topics herself on her blog. Check it out.

This week, I’ll be discussing my stance on a variety of educational topics. Please check it out. Let me know what you’re thinking.

Jose, who likes his skin color a lot …