Diversity & Discrimination

Issues ››› Diversity & Discrimination
  • National Association Of Hispanic Journalists Reminds Media To Avoid Anti-Immigrant Slurs In Coverage Of SCOTUS Decision

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) released a statement calling on media to “stop using the dehumanizing term ‘illegals’” in their coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision blocking one of the president’s executive actions on immigration.

    On June 23, the Supreme Court split evenly on Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), a deadlock that affirmed the lower court’s decision to block implementation of the program. In a statement sent through its electronic mailing list, NAHJ urged media reporting on “the SCOTUS indecision” to use “accurate terminology” in their coverage, reminding journalists of their decade-long campaign to stop the use of “pejorative” terms like “illegals” or “illegal aliens.” According to the NAHJ, by using the pejorative terms, media appropriates “rhetoric used by people on a particular side of the issue.”

    The anti-immigrant term has been continuously pushed by conservatives, ranging from Republican lawmakers to Fox News figures to radio hosts. Other national media figures have been guilty of also adopting the slur, although an increasing number of outlets have revised their policies to advise the term “illegal” be used only when referring to an action, not a person. Latino journalists like Univision and Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, former Telemundo president Nely Galán, and undocumented journalist José Antonio Vargas have urged media not to use the term, pointing out, as Vargas did during an appearance on Fox News, the term “is not only inaccurate but really dehumanizing.”

    From the June 23 NAHJ statement:

  • James O’Keefe Is Still Not a Journalist

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Since 2009, self-described “guerilla journalist” James O’Keefe has repeatedly embarrassed himself while attempting to launch undercover stings targeting government agencies, media outlets, and  liberal organizations and institutions.

  • NY Times Highlights Emotional Coming Out Stories Following Orlando Tragedy

    Blog ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

    In the wake of a deadly shooting at an LGBT nightclub, the sexuality of both the victims and survivors have moved to the forefront of the narrative of communities and families coming to grips with the trauma and loss of life trying to heal.

    The New York Times highlighted the coming out stories of several people impacted by the June 12 massacre at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL. The Hispanic community was devastated by the violence-- a majority of the 49 murder victims were Hispanic. The June 22 article featured stories of those who were grieving in the aftermath of unthinkable violence, as well as navigating the newly exposed sexuality of themselves or their loved ones. From the June 22 article:

    Some had their sexuality revealed by accident: Gertrude Merced learned that her 25-year-old son, Enrique, was gay only after she heard the news of his death. Others, though, have chosen to expose their inner lives, stirred by the outpouring of support for Orlando’s gay community or wrought with sorrow and unable to keep their secrets in anymore.

    Cory Richards was in Pulse with his boyfriend, Enrique Rios, on the night of the attack; neither were out to their family. After surviving the attack, Richards came out to his father. Rios lost his life that night and that's how his mother found out he was gay:

    Cory Richards, 24, spent the early hours of June 12 dancing under the strobe lights at Pulse with his boyfriend, Enrique L. Rios Jr. Neither man had told his parents he was gay. But around 9 a.m., as Mr. Richards emerged from the carnage, he cried into his phone to his father.“I can’t find my baby,” Mr. Richards recalled saying. “I can’t find my baby.”

    “What?” his father responded.

    “That’s my boyfriend, that’s not my friend,” Mr. Richards said he told him of Mr. Rios. “That’s my boyfriend.”

    “I don’t care what you are,” he recalled his father saying. “You’re my son. I didn’t know, but I accept it.”

    Mr. Rios had died. A thousand miles away, his mother, Ms. Merced, 48, learned of her son’s death. And then received a call from his boyfriend.

    For Enakai Hernandez, a former regular at Pulse, news of the tragedy hit too close to home:

    Enakai Hernandez, is a 27-year-old artist who had partied at Pulse for years. On the weekend of the attack, he was staying at his parent’s home in a gated community here, sick in bed.

    When he woke and the depth of the tragedy revealed itself, his mother took him in her arms as he cried.

    “Sabes que te quiero mucho?” she has told him over and over in recent days. “Que tú eres el amor de mi vida?” Her message: that she loved her son and considered him the love of her life.

     
     
  • The Important Way Spanish-Language Media’s Orlando Massacre Coverage Outshined Other News Networks

    Univision And Telemundo Offered Representation To The Overlapping, Diverse Communities Affected

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    In their June 13 coverage of the Orlando, FL, massacre, Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo uniquely provided a crucial platform for intersectional voices that included Spanish-speaking, gay Latinos. The distinctly diverse coverage outshined other national cable news networks which underrepresented the affected communities in their coverage.

    A Media Matters study of the diversity of guest appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC the day after the June 12 attack on LGBT nightclub Pulse found that “none of the three networks hosted a significant number of Latino” guests.

    In a tragedy that overwhelmingly impacted the Hispanic community -- more than 90 percent of the victims were Hispanic -- Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo were uniquely equipped to provide a much-needed space for Spanish-speaking voices in their coverage the day after the massacre. Both networks featured survivors and family members of victims, who shared their stories in their own language (and some of them spoke only Spanish), while emphasizing the many communities -- sometimes overlapping -- that the tragedy impacted. Jorge Ramos said the attack was “truly a tragedy, for the Latino community, and truly a tragedy for the Latino gay community”:

    In the aftermath of the tragedy, many family members of the victims were “in dire need” of “Spanish-language interpreters” in order to identify their missing loved ones, according to Fox News Latino:

    Hundreds, if not thousands, across the country are lining up to donate blood to help the victims of Orlando’s tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub. Others wanting to help are donating money for funerals and health care costs.

    But in Orlando, for family members of the victims, there is also a dire need for something else: Spanish-language interpreters.

    Dozens of people waiting to hear from their loved ones at the Hampton Inn in Downtown Orlando, near the nightclub where tragedy struck early Sunday morning, are heart-broken, confused — and compounding matters is that many do not know English.

    Many of the people interviewed on Univision and Telemundo referenced the language barrier, and both networks included reports of Hispanic organizations that were providing resources and support for those with cultural or linguistic obstacles, emphasizing the need for “bilingual help”:

    Hispanic media’s proximity to the Latino community -- Telemundo itself lost one of its producers to the attack -- aided the networks in providing coverage of the Orlando massacre that accurately represented the experiences of affected Hispanics, while providing valuable resources to grieving families. Just as Telemundo’s Maria Celeste Arrarás demonstrated when co-hosting the February 25 Republican debate, newsroom diversity -- and in this case, particularly Latino media representation -- empowers Latino audiences to “engage [with news content] at a higher level.”

  • New Trump Adviser Tony Suarez Spoke Out Against Candidate's "Polarizing" Rhetoric Earlier This Month

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    New Donald Trump adviser pastor Tony Suarez deleted anti-Trump Facebook posts and previously attacked the presumptive Republican nominee as “a promoter of hate, division and insult.”

    Suarez is the executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), a Republican activist, and a television host and commentator. He is a member of Trump’s newly convened “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board,” which will “provide advisory support to Mr. Trump on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America.” A press release states that those participating on the “board were not asked to endorse Mr. Trump as a prerequisite for participating on the board.”

    The board also includes Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress, who has attacked LGBT people for purportedly leading "miserable" and "filthy" lives, and called Catholicism a "cult-like, pagan religion," Islam an "evil, evil religion," Mormonism a "cult" from the "pit of hell," and Judaism and Hinduism religions that lead people to "an eternity of separation from God in Hell."

    Suarez is advising Trump despite lambasting the “embarrassing” Republican as “a promoter of hate, division and insult” who alienates Hispanics and has no chance of winning the general election.

    Media Matters previously documented how political commentator Helen Aguirre Ferré, the Republican National Committee’s new director of Hispanic communications, deleted numerous tweets trashing Trump and previously criticized him during Hispanic media appearances.

    In a now-deleted Facebook post from November 13, 2015, as the Washington Examiner noted, Suarez wrote that it’s “embarrassing” to see “preachers support Trump.”

    In August, Suarez wrote that “Trump is putting on a clinic on how to NOT win the Latino vote or the White House.”

    Time quoted Suarez in October declaring of Trump: “I don’t believe he would have the support of anyone in this room and I don’t think he has a chance of winning the general election.”

    NBC News quoted Suarez stating of Trump: "Mr. Trump has become a promoter of hate, division and insult and if Mr. Trump were to be the Republican nominee - I don't think he has a chance at winning the general election.” Suarez also reportedly called for Trump’s campaign “to be canceled like his last reality TV program."

    Suarez was publicly criticizing Trump and his “alienating” rhetoric earlier this month. During an interview on the June 5 edition of MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Suarez related that his boss “the Reverend Sam Rodriguez, the president of the NHCLC, recently said everyone’s waiting for Donald Trump to build a wall. He’s already actually built walls. He’s built walls with rhetoric that is polarizing and alienating the Latino electorate from his campaign.” He added at the time he wasn’t sure if he would vote for Clinton instead of Trump.

    The Huffington Post reported that “Suarez said he remained uncommitted to Trump, even after meeting with the candidate. But he said he saw the creation of the board as a positive step, if only for providing him and others a chance to urge Trump to think and talk differently about certain issues”:

    The author of that passage, the Rev. Tony Suarez, told HuffPost he probably did it out of desperation (it’s now deleted). Suarez, an executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for president.

    Like others who gathered in New York on Wednesday, Suarez said he remained uncommitted to Trump, even after meeting with the candidate. But he said he saw the creation of the board as a positive step, if only for providing him and others a chance to urge Trump to think and talk differently about certain issues.

    “I was very frustrated with Mr. Trump in the fall,” Suarez said. “But in the spirit of reconciliation and believing that everyone deserves a second chance, I’m giving Mr. Trump that opportunity. Okay, you’re talking about building bridges, you say you love Latinos, you want us to love you — then okay, let’s come to the table.”