This is a post I wrote for Latino Rebels, my social media company. It is very dear to my heart and I wanted to post it here as well.
It is said by many that if US Latinos could actually put aside their differences and celebrate all they can offer in this country, then and ONLY THEN will they truly be a force that could move mountains.
However, Latinos (remember we come from 21 countries) get into issues. Issues of coming from different countries, social issues, racial issues, economic issues, cultural issues, religious issues, and so forth. In general, Puerto Ricans mock Dominicans. Dominicans mock Haitians. All of Central America sees Mexico as a big arrogant neighbor. Chileans and Argentines drive each other crazy. White Latinos go against Black Latinos, and vice versa. And don’t get us started about Spain!
Add to the mix that US Latinos might not be in general the most bilingual of people and you get problems. All these problems speak to what is wrong: in an effort to get our voices heard, we unwittingly trample those around us. Our egos become bigger than our hearts, when it fact it is our hearts that will save the day.
There is a running joke that Latinos are jealous of success, especially when it comes to other Latinos becoming successful. We find that sad, quite frankly. Instead of celebrating our accomplishments, we fall into traps, the same traps that were engrained into our cultures for centuries.
In the end, we claim unity and the mainstream media tell us that we are a social force, but the truth is that we are divided and resentful. Last time we checked, that won’t get us anywhere.
Here at Latino Rebels, we try to be unique. We are 30 people strong and our mission is a simple one: to use media, comedy, commentary, analysis, satire, discussion, debate, and community to TRULY UNITE LATINOS. Do we do a good job? You tell us. In the end, we will continue to do what we do and be ourselves.
When we see silly things — like the Tequila Party “national” movement, which we feel belittles Latino unity with a stupid name — we will say so. We will try to do so with respect and integrity, even though we know we have our detractors. Some of those detractors call us “losers” and “rejects.” We say, “AWESOME!” Here is to the losers, since history has proven that it has been those losers and rejects who have changed the world.
Oc course, we are not the ONLY Latino-themed company on the Internet today (there are thousands of them!), and in fact, there are so many groups that share the same vision of Latino unity that it actually gives us hope. Some groups have more followers and more numbers, while other groups are just starting and getting a fan base.
Here is our point: NUMBERS TO “PROVE” SUPERIORITY AND EXCELLENCE MEAN NOTHING when it comes to social media. Like our founder said so long ago when he was actively engaging in social media, it’s all about the QUALITY, baby. The numbers will come if you do the following: post great content and engage with your fans. If you truly want to say who was the first Latino community group, you need to go way back and maybe say it was those forums at Univision.com of the late 1990s.
Take this for example: what would you rather want? 30,000 followers on Twitter or Facebook or 10 followers? Before you answer that question, what if we said those 10 followers are the President of the United States, the President of Mexico, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Shakira, Carmelo Anthony, Ricky Martin, Juanes, Antonio Villaragosa, and the head of ABC, and those 10 followers gave you TRANSPARENT ACCESS to everything they do and they would actively promote what you do 24/7? That is what matters.
Good content also matters. Most bloggers we know in the Latino blogosphere are great people and write some great content. However, when we come across posts that we feel are strange, stereotypical, and offensive, we will let that group know. We aren’t hating, just expressing our concern. Hell, we have been lambasted for our own posts and understand that disagreement is part of being a media company in the 21st century. Most of the times, these types of situations can get a bit messy, but we find that public apologies and genuine concern go a long way. What we don’t try to do, unless of course the comments and posts are directly harming someone, is delete the post and try to ignore the problem. And if we do delete the post, it is because it starts getting too ugly and personal. That’s not good for anyone.
It’s best to just address it and it’s best to be united.
With that said, we will say this: ANY LATINO PAGE online that shares our vision is PART OF OUR FAMILY. We will ALWAYS promote content that speaks to the nirvana of Latino Unity. That is the end goal here. That is how we will move mountains.
Soon, the Rebels will be producing a new show called Seamos Sociales on Mundo Hispano TV, which will be a nationwide Spanish-language cable network by Latinos and for Latinos. We will use our show to share our universe with our viewers. We will promote other groups and causes with no expectations. We want to help anyone who wants the promotion. And yes, we will also have a blast doing the show!
So as we move into the next exciting phase of Latino Rebels, we take a moment to shout out those pages that we have grown to love. ¡Que viva la unidad latina!
Drum roll, please:
- Latinos in Social Media (LATISM): the gold standard of social media organizations.
- News Taco: our favorite news source for US Latino issues today
- MyLatinoVoice.com: another news and entertainment page that is near and dear to our hearts
- Being Latino: the largest Facebook page for Latinos today
- P’Alante Latino: a bunch of awesome bloggers and writers who churn it out each day
- Sofrito for Your Soul: they had us at the name, but also because they have been doing this since the late 90s!!!
- The Daily Refried: they also has us at the name
- Fox News Latino: yeah, we said Fox. Trust us, they produce some of the best news around for Latinos.
- Papa Heroes: hey, we are parents too and this page is amazing