Disney’s Dia de los Muertos

This week Disney did the unthinkable. And that’s saying a lot, because since its inception, Disney’s been known for imagineering some of the most fiendishly diabolical plots (like founding two American cities that are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution).

But Disney’s abjection sank to an all-time low this week when it tried to trademark an important Mexican holiday, one honoring the dead to boot. That’s right — Disney tried to trademark “Dia de los Muertos.”

Disney was forced to withdraw its application after a media firestorm.

I get the widespread gasps over social media, but it’s difficult to find fault with the soon-to-be 90-year-old American institution.

In a nation as financially driven as ours (little ol’ Disney is a 75-billion-dollar company), very little isn’t for sale.

Maybe it’s my Chicago sensibility. Everything seems to be on the cusp of a corporate takeover in this city of the grand Democratic machine. Soon the city’s official name might be “Chicago-Chase & Co.”

So even though Mickey tried to make a buck off the remembrance of abuelitos, you have to admit, that mouse has balls.

[Watch Mr. Mouse keep one of his musical acts in check]


“Feriners Is Some Stupid Folk”

Here’s the Heritage Foundation’s Jason Richwine on why allowing more Latino immigrants to enter the United States is a bad idea:

“The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. …

No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

Get that? Most Latino immigrants, most of their children and most of their children’s children are dumber than the average ‘Merican.

Being the son and grandson of Honduran immigrants, I find myself entirely dumbstruck by my ability to form so many complete sentences in a row.

As much fun as it is to make fun of such people, their silly organizations and their idiotic “findings,” unfortunately, a great chunk of ‘Merica believes in these asinine reports lockstep.

That’s why mediocrity has never been enough for the newcomer or the outsider. They’ve always had to be better than those inside the club.

For centuries, immigrant groups have come to America  looking to work hard and study hard in hopes of proving themselves worthy of a place at the table.

Today’s Latinos are no different, as a recent Pew Research study showed that, for the first time, Latino high school graduates are enrolling in college at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

Which begs the question: what’s the average IQ at Heritage?


Not All Puerto Ricans Are Kidnappers

Cleveland’s chief prosecutor, Victor Perez, wants to put your worries to rest:

“As the chief prosecutor for the city of Cleveland, born and raised in Puerto Rico, I want everyone to know that the acts of the defendant in this criminal case are not a reflection of the rest of the Puerto Rican community, here or in Puerto Rico.”

On Monday, three young women who had been missing since the early 2000s, were discovered living with their kidnapper in a Cleveland home. With them was a 6-year-old girl, whom one of the girls had given birth to while confined to the home.

Prosecutors look to charge Ariel Castro, of Puerto Rican descent, with rape, kidnapping and even murder, for the pregnancies he ended when he beat one of the women during her pregnancies.

The chief prosecutor’s comments came amid worries within the Puerto Rican community and among Latinos in general that the case would spread animosity toward Puerto Ricans, just as the Boston bombing was followed by instances of ill treatment toward Muslims and Chechens.

It’s a sorry state of affairs when a group of people has to come together and offer a resounding “We’re not all rapists” plea to the American public.

I, for one, am relieved. My Honduran side was growing suspicious of my Puerto Rican side.


A More Perfect (And Gayer) Union

On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state in the Union to embrace marriage equality for all of its citizens

Don’t hold your breath for Mississippi and South Carolina just yet.


Is “Mexican Catholic” Redundant?

Finally, Gozamos’ own Claudio Alberto Cortés asked our Facebook fans on Wednesday if “to be Mexican is to be culturally Catholic.”

Mexico, of course, is home to the second largest Catholic community (the largest living in Brazil). An overwhelming majority of Mexicans, nearly 83 percent, consider themselves Catholics.

Now, I’m not Mexican, but because Mexicans make up 63 percent of the Latino population, as a Latino and an atheist, I beg you, my Mexican cousins: give up your silly superstitions.

While I don’t give any credence to claims that Latino immigrants have lower IQs than the rest of America, our incessant rubbing of rosary beads and praying to alters of a brown-faced virgen surely isn’t convince outsiders that we’re not a backward people.

Some of Gozamos’ Facebook fans seem to understand that our European ancestors used their religion as a justification for conquering our indigenous and African ancestors, and then used Catholicism as a means of controlling them afterward.

When Colón, Cortés and Pizarro arrived, they found millions of brown people whose lives were rooted in superstition. After finding themselves completely defenseless against the men from across the sea — shielded with metal skin and carrying sticks that shot fire — the natives concluded that the conquistadors were no men, but powerful gods.

And if a mighty god lands on your shores and says, “Worship this,” you better start worshiping.

And also, because the conquistadors were outnumbered, they told the natives that there was a man in the sky watching everything they did, ready to punish them for breaking a set of universal laws written in an old book the natives couldn’t read.

Admittedly, their deceit was brilliant. As Ricky Gervais once quipped, “Jesus is like an unpaid babysitter.”

In the case of Latin America, Jesus was like an imaginary, omnipresent colonial governor.

Yet, aren’t we past all of that, now that we’re in the 21st century? Don’t we now realize there was never any difference between Jesus and Quetzalcoatl, the Virgin Mary and la Virgen de Guadalupe, or Moses and Muhammad?

I shutter to think we’re no better, no less ignorant, than when Colón “discovered” us and brought us civilization.


[Photo: sbwoodside via Flickr]

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