Thursday, April 10, 2008

Am I the Only One Who Finds These Insulting?

Something that surprises many people, including those who know me in real life, becuase they can't guess my racial heritage by looking at me, is that I'm Hispanic. My parents are from Bogota, Colombia. I was born and raised in the US, and grew up speaking both English and Spanish until I started kindergarten. From that point on I stopped using Spanish and just spoke English. My mom wanted me to speak English really well, so she didn't use Spanish with me at home. At this point yes, I do wish I was totally fluent. I'm conversational, but there are certain verbs and tenses I have trouble with. I can read and write Spanish fairly well, but I couldn't read, say, an entire book in Spanish without constantly looking up words.

Yesterday a friend sent me a YouTube link to a Spanish campaign commercial for Hillary Clinton. At first I thought it was a joke, since it was set to a song called "Hillary, Hillary Clinton", which is in the style of old merengue music. The vidoe on YouTube featured photos of Hillary with lots of Hispanic people, including actress America Fererra, at rallies with lots of Hispanic people holding up Clinton campaign signs, a photo of Hillary with a Hispanic little boy in traditional Mexican mariachi dress, etc. There is also the "Oye Hillary - Latinas for Hillary" video and song, which is, well...see for yourself. And then you can catch an example of Hillary's Spanish speaking...yeah...she didn't pick the pronunciation up any better than that despite having spent so much time with her Hispanic supporters?

Then there are Obama's Spanish campaign videos. Take a wild guess at the demographic he's appealing to with this one. Yeah, I know, that's a real brainteaser. Take your time.

But then he also wanted to appeal to the urban Hispanic youth, so he made another Spanish commercial in the style of reggaeton. Damn, his marketing team is brilliant.

I sent these to my mom and cousins. My mom laughed, but then said, "How ridiculous. They act fake and go shake hands and make a little video with Spanish music, and now we're supposed to vote for them? Why didn't they just film him eating tacos?" Actually, I'm surprised his marketing wizards didn't think of this.

click to enlarge

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