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Archive for November, 2011


You say you want a little more of the David Foster and Friends guest performance that Fernando Varela gave last Friday at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas? Well, here you go. Yes, as my brother always says, no one was hurt while singing this song.

And the nice shout out to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and all Latinos! WEPA! ORALE!

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This is a YouTube video of my brother Fernando Varela’s performance at David Foster and Friends live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, November 25, 2011. Enjoy!

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And great contests, too!

infographic-follow-brands-large

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Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois) has clearly become the voice of all things Puerto Rican.

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez

This week, on the floor on Congress, Gutiérrez reveals facts about how the Archbishop of Puerto Rico was the latest scapegoat of the the current administration of pro-statehood and Republican Governor Luis Fortuño. Gutiérrez speaks about how the current Puerto Rican government was attempting to silence the Archbishop about his views about Puerto Rico’s political status.

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Is there a written law somewhere in US Latinolandia that I am unaware that says the following: “Thou cannot celebrate your accomplishments or your identity, because if you do some high and mighty individual with a short-sighted agenda will lecture you about how you are just a brainwashed sellout that has ignored mestizos?” (For those who care to know: “Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent.”)

If so, then I am guilty as charged, but it leads me to this: why why why do we as a group of Latinos (50+ million strong) continue to divide and hurt each other?

This all started last night on the world’s new high school environment: Facebook. I had recently come across an AMAZING Life Magazine photo of the Great Clemente (see below) and I had uploaded the pic to my wall (which, in my mind, is my online house), saying that I thought this picture of Clemente was beautifully classic.

Now, a few things you should know about me. Clemente was my hero growing up. When I was three or four years old in Puerto Rico, my dad had gotten me a Pittsburgh Pirates shirt that I basically wore every day it seemed. My grandfather would tell me stories of Clemente’s feats. I loved every minute of it, so much so that every time I see the number 21, I think of Clemente. As I grew up, Clemente was always dear to me heart, not only because of his athletic feats, but how he handled himself when it came to speaking about injustice and how he made the ultimate sacrifice by trying to help others who had suffered a tragedy.

In Puerto Rico, Clemente is a god, and even though I have my issues when political parties on the island use Clemente’s legacy as a political tool (different blog, different story), there is no doubt that Clemente will always be one of the most historic and beloved Puerto Ricans ever.

Which is why I posted the picture on my Facebook wall, saying that I thought the Clemente photo was so classic, so beautiful.

And then Trollzilla arrived.

“He doesn’t look mestizo to me.”

My response: “Yes, he is a true boricua, a mixture of 500 years of history, both good history and bad history, but nonetheless, the best and the pride of PR.”

Trollzilla then continued with a lecture of how I was not a true Puerto Rican because I deny my own mestizo background and I am just a white Spaniard. (FYI, for the record this is me: a Moorish Spanish Corsican Italian boricua, whose ancestors came to the island in the late 19th century)

What the hell does that mean? Was Trollzilla saying that Clemente was not a true Latino because he was darker than others? Really? Well, after an interesting back and forth where I was lectured about how I am not a true Latino because I reject the mestizo (which, by the way, is 100% false, but what would Trollzilla actually use reason to have a discussion), I told Trollzilla to take his patronizing better than thou attitude off my wall. When it comes to issues of identity, I would never tell someone that their own identity is a false illusion and that they are wrong, and quite frankly, I allow for a lot of very heated discussion on my Facebook thread, but I have no tolerance for people who just want to judge someone’s own essence. Well, I tried to tell Trollzilla this, but he kept going He didn’t stop, so I blocked him. Thanks, but no thanks. You see, my Facebook wall is my home, and therefore, you are a guest in my home. I wouldn’t put up with someone acting like an elitist jerk in my home, and Facebook is no different.

One of my Facebook friends said it best: “That’s the problem. People are stuck on some ” I will drill you with my belief because until you believe it like it or not.” Puerto Ricans don’t roll like that.”

Just goes to prove that even when there is such a need for true Latino unity, there still exists a belief that the only true Latino is a mestizo and that if you celebrate anything else or discuss a Latino experience that is different from that, you are just a fake. And yeah, Trollzilla will probably tell me that I am just a product of the repressive culture that tells me that being Latino is just an illusion.

With beliefs like that, no wonder we will never advance as a people.

I mean, hating on Roberto Clemente? Whatever.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) to Discuss Community at “Social Media Disruption: Finding your Voice” Session

BOSTON (November 1, 2011) – Julio Ricardo Varela, @julito77 on Twitter, has been invited as a speaker in the panel “Social Media Disruption: Finding your Voice” at the LATISM ‘11 conference, to be held on November 9 to 11, 2011 at the Navy Pier in Chicago. The conference, LATISM’s centerpiece event of the year, will be a fully bilingual affair exploring the role and usage of digital media in the areas of Latino health, education, economic development, civic engagement as well as at the community and personal levels.

“For this year’s conference, we have focused on bringing speakers who are at the top of their fields, who can truly share the knowledge and best practices for success in outreach to the Latino community,” said Elianne Ramos, Vice-Chair of Communications and PR for LATISM. “As a leader in the Social Media Marketing and Publishing field,  Julio’s contribution is highly regarded, and will add much needed dimension to the ongoing discussion. We are honored to have him as part of our lineup and look forward to enjoying his participation.”

“As one of the early prophets of LATISM, it is a huge honor to speak at the country’s premier conference of Latinos online,” said Varela. “I was a believer in LATISM from Day 1, and to be chosen to share my thoughts about how social media can empower any individual to achieve anything, is incredibly gratifying. I am also thrilled to see some old friends again and meet new ones as well. ”

The LATISM ’11 lineup includes over 100 speakers from the areas of public service, business and some of the most influential members of the Latino online/blogging community. Varela was chosen as one of the LATISM ’11 panelists because of his involvement as one of the country’s top Latinos online, as well as for his leadership and desire to make a difference in the community. Through his work with many of his blogs and ventures (including the promotion of his talented brother Fernando Varela of FernandoVarela.com), Varela works daily to promote and celebrate the vast and diverse accomplishments of the US Latino community .

To view the latest version of the full speaker lineup for the LATISM ’11 Conference, please visit http://conference.latism.org/conference-info/speakers/

For more information about LATISM ’11 National Conference and to register, visit http://conference.latism.org.

To learn more about the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) organization, visit http://latism.org

For real-time updates about the LATISM ’11 conference and to connect with LATISM on our different social media properties, please scan the QR code below.

(QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.)

ABOUT THE LATISM ’11 CONFERENCE

The LATISM ’11 Conference is LATISM’s centerpiece, fully bilingual event of the year. This national event will consolidate LATISM’s mission and audience of health providers, government officials, educators, community members and thought leaders. Since 2009, the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) events have taken place in cities all around the United States, including New York, Orlando, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA and Silicon Valley, featuring more than 400 speakers to date. Participants have included over 5,000 in-person attendees, with thousands more engaging via social media. 

About LATISM

Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community. With a network of over 140,000 members, LATISM is the largest organization for Latinos engaged in social media, including bloggers and professionals from every arena. LATISM also helps to raise awareness among corporate brands, NGOs and government entities about using social media to reach Latinos through research, event sponsorships, and leadership training. A pioneering social media organization, LATISM has been hailed as the most influential online movement in the new multicultural Web. Visit http://LATISM.org/beta

MEDIA CONTACT:

Elianne Ramos

Latinos in Social Media

646.932.7752

elianne@latism.org

@ergeekgoddess

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